Manhattans Bar stands at the top end of Stockton-On-Tees high street and is a public house that has changed it`s name a number of times over recent years. It has been known as Number Nines and then Fitzgeralds before taking on its current name in the Summer of 2005.
The History of Manhattans Bar
The pub itself is a large open area with a prominent bar situated in the center. Downstairs – now where the male and female toilets are situated, there used to be a cellar bar that was frequented by the biker crowd.
A steep, cold stairwell leads up to a highly decorated room that is being used as a sports gym/kick boxing room and above that, as the stairs continue, is an officially abandoned apartment that was once lived in by previous landlords and landladys. It is up here – and the attic above the apartment – where out investigation would focus.
There is not much information available on the history of the pub and more specifically, the building and site itself. Other than the recent name changes of the public house, we do know that sometime in the 310 year history of the building it has been used as a gentlemans club, a workhouse and an alledged tuberculosis hospital.
We visited Manhattans in 2006 and found it to be one of the best locations we`ve so far investigated and so it was only natural that we`d make a return visit one day.
Unfortunately (or fortunuately depending on your take) there had been a fire in the upstairs apartments since we`d last been which not only made the place a lot dirtier and in some places tough to navigate due to the mess on the floors, but the sooted walls and the boarded up window made for an altogether spookier atmosphere.
The Haunted History of Manhattans Bar
There are a few stories of ghostly goings on inside Manhattan`s – predominantly in and around the bar area as this is usually where people would witness events.
There are numerous instances of items moving on their own accord. The glasses behind the bar, for instance, would fall from the shelves they sit on, tumble to the hard floor below and land upright without smashing. Many witnesses have reported that they have sat and watched it happen.
The same is true with various everyday items – somebody would put a cigarette lighter down and when they go to pick it up to use, they will find that is gone. Later, the lighter will be found in another area of the bar.
In the past there used to be a cellar bar that was frequented by the biker crowd. It is alleged that a former biker who frequented the bar often and was jokingly referred to as part of the furniture, comes to visit often after he was tradgically killed after an accident. Many people tell stories of uneasiness surrounding the downstair toilet area in Manhattan`s – it is here that the cellar bar once was. Numerous people visiting the female toilets have heard banging on the walls of the cubicles when there was no body else in the toilets. Some punters won`t go back down there.
The landlord, Mick, reports many instances of cold spots with-in the bar area and has in fact caught images on the CCTV sytem seemingly showing ghostly figures moving behind the bar and it is reported that a blonde woman is said to roam the central stairwell that leads to the upstairs apartments.
One final thing we heard about Manhattan`s was a claim that, upstairs in the apartments, somebody had awoken during the night to find themselves being choked by an unseen force. Naturally, after this occurred, they left the apartments rather quickly – never to return.
Whatever may be found within Manhattan`s it is alleged that they`re have been 100 recorded deaths on site – are any of those tragic spirits still around today?