The Star and Garter
61 Higher Hillgate, Stockport, Cheshire
A most dreadful story lies behind one of the ghosts haunting this town pub. In 1861, folks saw a two-year-old boy called George Burgess playing with other children near the Star. Later, someone found his murdered body in Hempshaw Brook nearby. Over the years, the children of the pub’s licensees have talked about their ‘Friend’ who regularly comes out to play with them. When he manifests, he wears a gown. This could have been a shroud as, when people found him dead, George Burgess was naked, apart from a pair of clogs. Two eight-year-old boys, Peter Barratt and James Bradley, killed the child. They did not know or ever seen before they murdered him. On 11 April 1861, the toddler was abducted from the street. He was smothered in a pool of water near Love Lane, Heaton Norris. The killing bears an eerie resemblance to that of James Bulger, 132 years later… The stories do not end there: on numerous occasions, witnesses see and hear a ghostly couple argue outside a bedroom door. They have been described as wearing old-fashioned clothing, possibly from the 1920s, who disappear into the wall when they are observed.