Paranormal Runcorn

Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here. It has been a while since me and my human have written a blog about some of the spooky events that have occurred in Runcorn. So, we thought that we would write another one while we are still in the dark winter nights. It was a cold misty evening and the moon was full but, low in the sky. We walked from home and headed to Victoria Road where the older headstones and memorials can be seen in the town’s graveyard. We were both wrapped up warmly and we had cold noses. My nose was wetter than my human’s, thankfully, because its not a good look on a human. He was sniffling a lot as we reached the graveyard. The big feller shone his torch across the silent rows of graves. He told me about a phenomenon known as ‘Corpse Candles’ that have been seen on many occasions.

The full moon over Runcorn Cemetery – by Claire Moss

Corpse candles have been seen in many graveyards. Sometimes they are known as ‘fetchlights’, jack o’lanterns’ and ‘dead man’s candles’. They appear as bright red, blue or white phosphorescent lights and flicker, disappear and re-appear above freshly filled graves. The size of the ‘flame’ is said to indicate the age of the corpse, a small flame being that of a child. They are also reputed to have been seen over a freshly dug grave and the size and colour of the flame indicating the age of the impending death of a person. Other theories claim that the ‘flames’ are caused by unusual atmospheric conditions or by luminous flying insects.

Leading to Beckett’s Wood

Our next port of call is a small area of woodland on the edge of the town’s boundary at Aston, near to Sutton Weaver. Beckett’s Wood is an innocent looking patch of deciduous woodland with a brook running through Mare’s Clough. However, in 1931, things were quite different. A six year old girl called Lizzie from Frodsham was playing with her friends in the wood when she was startled by, what she described, as a man with the head of a rabbit. She ran back to tell her friends, who laughed at her. She realised that she had left her doll behind as she was running away. They all decided to return home but, a few days later, they returned. A local poacher met them and warned them not to go into the woods as ‘big ears would skin them’. He described the man to the children and they recognised him from Lizzie’s description. The children ran home. A few months later a family of four were picnicking in the woods. The son and daughter were climbing in the trees when a man ‘looking like a rabbit’ snatched the girl. The girl screamed and the ‘Bunny Man’ dropped her and disappeared into the trees. It is thought that the ‘Bunny Man’ was a deformed hermit who lived in a shack in the woods. He is said to have died from self inflicted injuries and next to his body was a child’s doll, maybe Lizzie’s.

Beckett’s Wood – home of the ‘Bunny Man’

Halton Castle has long been associated with unexplained events. Several descriptions of a lady dressed in a long white dress seen walking along the footpaths and stone flights of steps. The vision of a lady in white has been reported in several other locations around Halton Village. On another occasion a photograph was taken by a retired policeman on Castle road that he asks ‘does this photo show four ghosts carrying the body of a witch. The castle is the location of of several investigations by paranormal teams. Whilst one team carried out an investigation, a dark figure was reportedly seen walking from a solid stone wall. As is the case of many ruined castles, tales of unexplained happenings are commonplace.

Steps to Halton Castle
Ruins of the castle

The Castle pub, which used to be the castle courthouse, has also had its share of unexplained events. A landlord was locking the pub after an uneventful evening, shortly before Christmas. He saw a man in a butler’s uniform stood by the Christmas tree. He appeared to be admiring the decorations on the tree. The landlord claimed that he knew that the man was a spirit. He merely bade him ‘Goodnight’ and went to bed.

The Castle

The Cottage Hospital, on Holloway, was our final place that we visited on the day. Originally known as the Victoria Memorial Hospital, and was built in 1905. A few years ago it was refurbished and converted into residential housing. When it was still being used as a hospital, several sightings of a nurse in ‘Victorian style’ uniform were reported. It has been suggested that the nurse is the spirit of a nurse who died after falling down a staircase in the building. She has been seen operating the dumb waiter that took items from the kitchen to the wards.

WW1 Cottage Hospital Group Runcorn
Cottage Hospital in WWI by Peter Malecsek – Flickr
Cottage Hospital nowadays

It was a visit to a few of Runcorn’s places with a paranormal history. My human is sceptical about these events but, I believe them all because I am smarter than him. Anyway, make up your own minds. We will do another walk around some more of Runcorn’s spooky sites in the near future. Till next time!


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