Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here. Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way before I tell you about one of our latest walks. The big feller has had the result of his MRI scan on his knee. Apparently, he has a torn meniscus and a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The ACL should heal in time but, the meniscus needs operating on. Luckily, with the aid of a knee brace, he can still walk. He can walk on the flat and he can still cover a few miles before he starts whining. This human is a liability. Hopefully, he can get himself sorted over the winter and we can get back into the hills, in the spring. If he doesn’t, I will be looking for an unbroken human to take me on my hikes!
Anyway, back to our latest walk. Recently, if you recall, we did a ghost walk around our town. Since then, we have been made aware of lots more haunted sites a short walk from home. So, my human said that we should investigate more spooky venues. He plotted a walk from home taking in some of these haunted buildings. We decided to do the walk on a chilly damp early December evening. He said that the walk would be more atmospheric in the dark. I think that he fancies himself as a Ghostbuster! Have a guess what the muppet started to sing as we were getting ready for our walk. Ye, correct … Ghostbusters! Please!
My dad put on his waterproof coat in case the rain arrived early while, I chose to wear my HiViz jacket. I wanted to be seen while we walked around town in the murky darkness. I did notice that I wasn’t given the choice of wearing my waterproof coat. He looks after himself!
Our first port of call was fairly close to home, at The Town Hall or Halton Grange as it was once known. A recollection of a haunting appeared in the Pavillion Blues in December 1919. The newspaper was written by patients of the Pavillion Hospital for Limbless Men during the First World War. It is alleged that a soldier fainted after seeing a figure running from the house after hearing a blood curdling scream. He claimed that the figure disappeared into the earth as if it was swallowed up. Two other soldiers investigating the incident saw another person disappear into the ground. On further investigation they found an ivy covered well. They climbed into it, revolvers drawn, and dropped to firm land some six feet below. They walked along a corridor leading to a shaft of light coming from behind a doorway. A shriek came from behind the door and as they opened it, they witnessed a strange sight. The man that they had followed was stood over a huge boar hound that was strapped to a large table. He was injecting the hound with a syringe of fluid. The two men rushed into the room and one was knocked unconscious while the man with the hound fled. The strange noises and yells heard prior to this event were obviously from other animals that the strange man had experimented on. The man was never seen again but a body was later found in a river that could have been him. On reading about this incident, it is difficult to believe that it occurred in the Grange but, that is how the story is recalled.
I had a good run around the Town Hall grounds while we were there. We go to the Town Hall regularly and we have never felt anything strange. I sniff around the bushes in the dark and I am not scared. My dad told me that when he was a sprog, he thought that the tower of the Town Hall was haunted. He said that a ghostly shape appeared in the tower of the building. It always happened around dusk on a winter’s late afternoon. They used to ‘leg-it’ home, terrified.
We left the grounds to head along Heath Road toward our next destination at the site of Pool Farm. The farm was demolished to make way for the building of the Spur Road in the sixties. Runcorn’s most famous supernatural event occurred in the fifties, when a house in Byron Street was plagued by a poltergeist. On leaving Byron Street, the poltergeist or The Runcorn Thing, allegedly relocated to Pool Farm. It was here that 53 pigs were mysteriously slaughtered one night by having their windpipes crushed. Mr. Crowther, the owner of the farm, was almost killed by strangulation by the poltergeist. One night the poltergeist suddenly left the farm through the window in a ball of smoke, never to be seen again.
There have been several reports of a cloud following people under the nearby Spur Road bridge. My dad told me about how he and his friends were followed by a hovering stick above them when they were young. I would have caught the stick and chewed it had I been there. I asked him if he had been drinking Double Diamond under-age but, he said that I was cheeky!
We headed into town along Heath Road until we reached The Wilsons public house. Over many years The Wilsons has been subject to paranormal investigations. Many unexplained sightings and sounds have been reported. During one investigation several orbs were photographed hovering within the function room. A strange dark shadowy figure was also witnessed by an investigator.
Our final destination on this walk was the Royal pub. A report in a national newspaper describes how the landlord witnessed a customer having a conversation with a ghost for ten to fifteen minutes. There was only one other customer in the pub at the time and the man was not talking to him. When the landlord approached the customer, he asked who he was talking to. The man replied that he was talking to ‘this lady’. As they both turned to look at the apparition, it vanished. The landlord also claims to have seen a glass move across a table on its own on another occasion.
It was only a short walk but, we enjoy walking around our town. Whether the tales are true or false we don’t care, they are still fascinating. Till next time!