The Stanley Dock opened in 1848 and was designed by Jesse Hartley. The Stanley Dock Warehouse was opened later, in 1901, and is a grade II listed building. In 2006 work began in a £20,000,000 exercise to link the connecting Leeds and Liverpool Canal to the waterways of Pier Head.
In 1901 when the Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse was finished it covered the largest area of any other building. The building was used by a morgue for dead American servicemen during the war during which time it became infamous when a body snatcher was discovered and shot dead.
The dock and warehouse were used up until 1980. During their lifetime they served as a port on the sea routes between the United Kingdom and America. As a busy port it was the location for numerous murders. Immigrants and travelers, especially the Irish, were often blamed for the deaths and sometimes without any evidence at all.
In 1980 the warehouse fell into disuse but has been championed by local newspapers and the ground floor is now used as a Sunday market.
There are a number of reported hauntings in Stanley Dock and Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse. It is said that the ghost of the body snatcher shot by the Americans still lurks in the building as does that of the soldier who’s body he tried to move. Psychics visiting the warehouse have often reported sensing the name ‘George’ or ‘Crippins’ in relation to the incident.
Another report tells the sad tale of a woman and a child who spend eternity roaming the huge building looking for each other but unable to meet. One theory is that both lost souls are from a Polish family who fled to England to escape famine but who never made it any further than Merseyside docks. The daughter may have drowned and the mother died of a broken heart.
Headless Moll is a ghost more commonly associated with Pier Head – having died in an accident at the Stanley copper works – but reports of a headless ghost at Stanley Docks began shortly after the construction work to link the canal around Stanley Dock to the Pier Head area started. Has this lost soul moved to the morgue or elsewhere in the warehouse?
The South West Wing of the building is known to be one of the most haunted areas of the warehouse. The morgue is supposed to be haunted by the spirit of an evil doctor.
In January 2009 Living TV’s Most Haunted Live visited the warehouse to look for ghosts. They used webcams to allow an interview audience to view a number of rooms in real time during the live TV show.
In Pure Spirit
Have you been down to the docks at Liverpool? How would you describe them?
Does it make sense that the ghost of the American serviceman who’s body was attempted to be removed from the warehouse would be haunting the area? What about the underground sections of the area? Could they home any evil pit ghosts?