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The mysterious haunted caves near Greater Manchester where four children ‘vanished’

Have you seen or heard strange things happen here?

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Andy Davis / Geograph & @jackolanternstories / TikTok

There are some mysterious haunted caves close to Greater Manchester filled with ghostly figures, witches, monks and dwarfs.

Just a few miles from Ashton-in-Makerfield, there’s a mystical underground world called Crank Caverns.

According to local history archives, sandstone quarrying began here as early as 1730 — no wonder it’s haunted!

Having seen plenty of paranormal activity over the years, the abandoned quarry near Rainford in St Helens, has attracted visitors from far and wide to see if its folklore is really true. 

Andy Davis / Geograph

The spooky abandoned site is said to be home to dwarfs, monks and witches who inhabit its labyrinth of caverns, living deep underground. 

Many have reported seeing the monks walking deep into its murky tunnels, seen a ghostly highwayman leaning on a rock, heard the echoing of strange voices and even spotted what resembles a witch’s face on a rock wall.

Formerly called Rainford Delph Quarry, the area is filled with a network of tunnels and caverns, as well as an extensive woodland — enough to make your imagination run wild.

The caverns aren’t easy to locate and are now sealed off by a gate on the private road that leads up to it.

@jackolanternstories / TikTok

The caves are thought to have  been used as a game reserve by the Earl of Derby, and then an ammunition storage facility during the Second World War.

Legend has it in the late 18th century, four children decided to explore the sandstone caverns and vanished. One child survived and told a story about small old men with beards who killed his three friends and chased him.

The petrified child stumbled over human bones in the caves and finally managed to scramble through an opening to the surface as a hand was grabbing at his ankle.

@jackolanternstories / TikTok

The authorities were concerned because a number of people had gone missing in the area near the cave entrances.

Two heavily armed soldiers descended into the caverns with torches and claimed that they not only found a heap of human bones, they also found the ruins of an ancient church of some unknown denomination.

The interior of the church was lit by three large candles and grotesque gargoyles formed part of an altar.

Throughout the exploration of the underground, the soldiers said they felt as if they were being watched, and also heard voices speaking in an unknown language.

@jackolanternstories / TikTok

It is believed one report said that a child’s head was found in a cave, along with evidence of cannibalism. After a second investigation, the caves either collapsed or gunpowder was used to seal them.

Another myth surrounding Crank Caverns is that there could be a cathedral deep within the caves, however through research, Lewis Atherton from Exploring History UK folklore podcast, along with Claire Rigby from Momo’s cafe, believe this is not the case. 

In the podcast, Lewis said: “In a caving world, a cathedral would be the opening of a cave, of a mine. The best way to describe a cathedral in a mine is how it is described to this day — a big grand opening with big rooms and big walls.”

Claire said: “If you studied caving at university, a cathedral would be classed as the largest cave out of a series of caves and caverns, and the largest cave would normally have some sort of slab and that would be where a lot of miners would sit and rest and drink and things like that.”

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New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

Get this one in your diary!

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Supplied

A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

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There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

Supplied


There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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Billie Eilish announces FOUR Manchester shows as part of world tour

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Billie Eilish / Instagram & Co-op Live

Pop star Billie Eilish is coming to Manchester, with four dates confirmed at the new Co-op Live arena.

The Grammy and Oscar-winning pop icon will be playing Manchester’s newest arena on July 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 2025.

The dates are part of a full world tour taking place next year, in the wake of Hit Me Hard And Soft, her fourth studio album which is due out on May 17th.

The full UK dates:

  • 7 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 8 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 10 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 11 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 13 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 14 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 16 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 17 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 19 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 20 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 22 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 23 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester


Presale tickets go live tomorrow, Tuesday April 30th, at 12pm and are exclusive for Co-op members only.

To become a Co-op member, click HERE, and enjoy exclusive benefits.

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