Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

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Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

Postby Thebogeyman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:02 am

Reading a collection of stories called "Spinechillers" which I purchased in the late 80s , came across it when clearing the loft recently and had a browse through. The stories are a collation of paranormal encounters from round the UK by people who called into the Pete Murray radio show in the 1970s and a location of particular interest was the stories of the Crank Caves.

The caves run deep under the hills , there are also mine shafts which have since collapsed , but there are all manner of lurid stories regards the remains of a Satanic alter , of the ghosts of Cavaliers who entered the caves during the English civil war and were lost within the labyrinth of caves and can be heard moaning and crying ( the stories relate also to priests taking shelter there during the reign of Henry the 8th ) .... but the most lurid tales relate to a tribe of cannabalistic dwarves residing within.

I have been looking up on details of a party of explorers who went deep into the tunnels in 1977 and were overdue to return hence there was a call to the emergency services who eventually rescued the party from the depths of the caves. They brought back spectacular images of rock formations and stalagtites however it was evident that the lost party had allegedly encountered something down there and to a man ( and woman ) grey with fright and fatigue. Despite the power of the internet I cannot find any further details of this event , of any members of the party nor any images so more than likely it may be an urban legend but was interesting coming across the stories of this location.

Would I accept the challenge to go down ? ..... well no , not because of spooks or such but having watched how on youtube how you have to squeeze in through a metal grate and internally it looks so claustrophobic which is where I would draw a line. The caverns are sealed off as they are unstable after all this time and there is a very real danger of becoming lost in that perpetual dark maze underground.

Take time to look up the legends on youtube and the PNI teams who have gone down there to give you an insight to this location to while away a few minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmlCnMV3wXA
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Hotspur. - Why, so can I; or so can any man:
But will they come when you do call for them ?
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Re: Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

Postby ThatZealousOne » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:34 am

A fascinating tale. I've always wanted to go caving, how about caving and ghosts? I know a few people who are into caving, and from what I understand it is a bit of a muddy affair. I think trying to babysit sensitive equipment during all that.

Still, I imagine that would be an adventure. I'll take a look about to see if I can find some of those pictures from the 70s, and the more recent footage. They may well have not been uploaded to the internet, but if they have, it might take a bit of digging to find them, and i'm not too bad at internet research.
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Re: Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

Postby Thebogeyman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:14 am

Hopefully you have better luck than I have had , I have come across 5 references to the expedition from 1977 but no images or other info other than anecdotes that they came out and appeared terrified by some encounter however there are no names associated with the group ..... dare say that having to be rescued would be terrifying enough and the story takes off from there.

As for caving or potholing , myself I will have to count out as I would become claustrophobic. We have numerous locations and legends around me regards caverns and such :

Sawney Bean , the Galloway cannibal from the 16th Century was said to inhabit a cave near Ballantrae and has various stories of hauntings.

There are allegedly witches caves below Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast where the clan Kennedy piper entered and never came out but you can still hear him playing some nights ( there is a similar story regards Edinburgh Royal Mile of a cave between the castle and Holyrood Palace.

The man made tunnels of Gilmoreton Cove are fascinating , this is now open to the public and worth a visit .... and there are stories of hauntings there as well.

Not a cave but the remains of a castle outside Gullane on the East Coast lies Yester Castle also known as Goblins Ha , the legend being that the castle was built by Satan himself in order that the dark arts could be practised there. I was in contact with a group some time back who spent time in the basement which comprise of Gothic arches and were impressed with the evidence they brought back of bangs , knocks and somebody whistling. Sometime I will get to that one ....
Glendower. - I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur. - Why, so can I; or so can any man:
But will they come when you do call for them ?
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Re: Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

Postby Thebogeyman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:22 am

Doooooooooooooooooooh ..................... meant to post this blog regards the caves , interesting read ..... https://ludchurchmyblog.wordpress.com/p ... k-caverns/
Glendower. - I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur. - Why, so can I; or so can any man:
But will they come when you do call for them ?
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Re: Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

Postby Spirit Bear » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:11 pm

Interesting spot, but not one I'd care to go into, unless I drop a fair amount of weight!
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Re: Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

Postby ThatZealousOne » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:35 pm

No luck with the pictures. Seems a fair few sites relating to it have been snatched up by webhost trolls. Of those had pictures from the expedition, they're not there anymore. I've found a few references however that says there's a church down there, not just an altar, and that the police have retrieved bodies down there too. No photographic evidence though. Apparently a lot of the old quarry was sealed some time ago, so perhaps lost to history this one?
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Re: Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

Postby MrBirdz » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:51 am

if you search for Rainford Delph Quarry, youll find probably a lot more info, That place is about 20 to 30 minutes away from here, and as with most of these tales you have to cut through years and tears of wild tales of over active imagination and attempts to keep kids away from the place. The reality is that a lot of Lancashire around this area is an absolute warren of coal mining and quarrying and much of it undocumented.

A friend of mine bought a Victorian office block belonging the the old coal board in Wigan, and one day while clearing the yards around the converted buildings that a now the house, he unearthed a shaft with a bucket loader. It transpired this was an old ventilation shaft, this thing was ridiculously deep and is in effect in his front garden. It cost a fortune to make safe with a capping in steel and concrete spanning the over 5m hole, and the weirdest part is there was no record of any mining activity by these buildings. I sat on the edge and dropped stones in and they took a seriously long time to fall and I never heard them hit anything at all, they just vanished. But down there must be a huge mine complex for such a vent shaft to exist.

But all of this area radiating out from Wigan is riddled with mines and quarries and only a small proportion is mapped or recorded and there must be hundreds of miles of criss crossing tunnels at many levels. Of course this would also apply to South Wales, Cornwall and Yorkshire to name a few and have any of you ever been down Chislehurst caves complex? a monster set of caves under London
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Re: Crank Caverns , St Helens in Merseyside

Postby Chatelaine » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:54 am

Just sounds so dangerous to me, heavens, what other shafts might be lurking undiscovered out there?
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