Manchester’s Craziest Urban Legends

Jan 23, 2018

Mancunians can be a superstitious bunch. This great Northern city that has split the atom and brewed the first Vimto has its fair share of myths and mysteries.  Here are just some of the eyebrow-raising urban legends in Manchester:

The mystery of the moving statue

Though it may sound like a title to a Scooby-Doo episode, Manchester Museum‘s mysteriously mobile statue had befuddled the staff for weeks-on-end.

The ancient Egyptian icon had been at home in the Museum for 80 years when it seemed to gain a mind of its own and begin steadily spinning around its display case.

Meddling kids this was not, as the display case was locked at all times. Confused, staff turned to CCTV cameras to catch the culprit in the act.

The statue did indeed slowly rotate and upon further investigations by Scoob and the Gang, it turned out that vibrations from the footfall of passing visitors were causing the statue to bounce around its cabinet.

He would have gotten away with it too…

Demon Dogs

No, not a poor man’s ripoff of a Gorillaz album, this urban legend actually involves a demonic canine that stalks the streets of Manchester.

The charmingly-titled Black Shuck is a name that has struck fear into the hearts of Brits across the nation for hundreds of years. The myth of a demonic dog that curses folk and brings bad luck to any who have the misfortune of bumping into it has become the stuff of national folklore.

The old mutt has been sighted in Manchester too, running about with no head, turning over bins and showering the citizenry with unluckiness.

That would explain the rain then.

urban legends in Manchester


Boggart, sourer of milk and abductor of children

The 190 acres of Blackley’s woodland park is supposedly haunted by a troublemaking, bearded fella known as the Boggart.

Causing all manner of trouble is the name of the game for this mischievous Manc, from hiding your car keys to turning your milk sour.

Though, the malevolent spirit is also said to have a penchant for abducting children, with Blackley’s Boggart supposedly responsible for the disappearance of a farming family.

River of bodie

Way back in 1872, whilst many Mancunians were going about their usual day, they so happened upon 100 bodies floating down the Medlock river.

This gruesome scene passed into local folklore, though there is some truth to the ghostly tale.

The Medlock flooded its banks that year and washed 78 corpses from their graves in a nearby cemetery, carrying them downstream through the city centre. One of the more believable urban legends in Manchester.

urban legends in Manchester



William Cowherd, the founder of vegetarianism

As far as urban legends in Manchester go, this one is 100% fact believe it or not, despite being a tale worthy of any fictitious legend in its own right.

Manchester’s Beefsteak Chapel is probably the last place you’d expect to find the origins of vegetarianism, but nevertheless, a certain Reverend William Cowherd (yes, that’s right) kicked the meat-free diet motion into movement in this very church.

Cowherd and his congregation believed it was a sin to eat animal flesh, and as such founded the Vegetarian Society.

The movement was a success and there was actually more vegetarian restaurants in Manchester during the Victorian era than there are now.

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