Lancaster’s Maritime Museum was designed by the famous Richard Gillow and initially opened as a Custom House in 1764. The building is one of the Georgian collection in St George’s Quay and alongside buildings once owned by the Quaker slaver Dodshon Foster.
By 1801 there were 76 ships supporting by the port, all of which would have made use of the Customs House and which represented some 13,996 tons of trade.
Exports were often manufactured goods from Manchester and Glasgow. Imports included sugar, coffee, cotton, rum and mahogany from the West Indies and other colonies.
The Martine Museum hosts Halloween events. The 2009 schedule promises Spooky Ships and Mysterious Mariners.
The old Custom House is a significant building for Lancaster mariners of old and maybe one of those places that sailors who died at sea return too. Could sailors like Thomas Woodhouse, who died at sea in 1805 at the age of 47,
There’s also the story of the Wennington. The Wennington was the first iron ship to be built at Lancaster, it was built by the Lune Shipbuilding Company and launched in March 1865. In January 1878, with Captain Sterwood in command, it sailed from Samarang, Indonesia, was seen at the end of the month passing through the Bali Straits and was never seen again. In this case, Bali is an Indonesian island but it is also fun to note that the word “Bali” is synonymous with King Bali, one of the Asura, or demons.
Needless to say, there’s also the chance of angry ghosts of slaves who may have been mistreated or killed in the maritime museum back when it was the customs house or in St George’s Quay.
In Pure Spirit
What do you think? Is there any evidence that the Maritime Museum is haunted or is death by the sea a stretch too far even for believers in the paranormal?
Creative Commons Credit: Stephen Richards.