WELCOME to Haunted Wirral, a feature series written by world famous psychic researcher, Tom Slemen for the Globe.

In this latest tale, Tom explores the mystery behind ‘The Weird Incident in the Elevator’...

On a cold foggy afternoon one New Year’s Eve in the late 1970s, nine men from many walks of life shuffled into the elevator at Lime Street Station, most of them carrying attaché cases and suitcases.

All of them were bound for Wirral. 

The lift descended, shuddered and came to a halt between levels. 

"I of all people should have foreseen this," said Clive, a bushy-haired

Bebington man in glasses and a lime corduroy jacket. 

"Why’s that?" asked a police detective named Roy. "I’m a psychic – but I don’t foresee everything,"Clive replied, and looked down at the elevator floor self-consciously. 

"What’s the gimmick?" Roy asked him, "Confederates in the audience? Codewords?"

"I’m genuine, but think what you like," said Clive, head bowed, "I’ve been laughed at all my life and I’m used to it all now."

Billy, a 25-year-old Liverpool lad, went pale, took a deep breath, and then he pressed the alarm bell button.

Seeing how distressed Billy was, Roy gestured for him to stop pressing the button and endeavoured to calm him down, saying, "They’ll fix it soon, lad; probably just a worn sheave. We’ll be out soon – they know we’re stuck."

"Can you read palms?" Harry, an estate agent in his late fifties thrust his palm out to Clive the psychic, who shook his head and turned his gaze away from him. 

"I’d like to know what the New Year has in store you see, you see," a smirking Harry went on, and Clive’s face flushed from subdued anger.

Clive gritted his teeth then told the estate agent: "Well, unless you stop hitting the bottle – and your wife – you might just end up dead or in prison!"

Harry was speechless for a moment, and then he swore and lunged at Clive, but a smartly-dressed debonair man intercepted Harry, and held him back, and then he shouted at the estate agent: "Stop this! All this movement might rock the lift, and a cable might snap!"

"What!" Billy the young scouser started to panic, but Roy shook his head and tried to give a reassuring smile. "No cable’s going to snap!" said the detective confidently, "and as for you –" he said to the psychic, "could you keep your psychic act for the stage?"

"It’s not an act, sir,’ Clive told the policeman, "I’m picking up all sorts of impressions from the people in this elevator; one of the reasons I hate being in crowded places – and I can’t just turn my ability off."

"You’re not psychic," said Harry with pain in his forced laughter, "you’re a charlatan. Prove it! Go on, tell us something about our lives! Let the great oracle speak!"

"Put a sock in it fatso!" said a massive, square shouldered man with a broken nose – he was a retired boxer in his sixties, "Ring that bell again, you!" he ordered Billy, who duly rang the alarm bell.

The lights in the elevator faded slightly.

"You work for the police, don’t you?" Clive asked Roy, and the detective seemed a bit taken aback, but didn’t utter a word of reply.

Clive looked at Billy, "You – you were in prison last year – for burglary – isn’t that true?"

"How – how did you know that?" Billy asked, and started taking anxious breaths again.

"You lie through your teeth," Clive told Harry," and I see houses, so you must be some estate agent."

Harry made a waving away gesture with his hand, "All guesswork – all kidology!"

"And you know what?" Clive said, and he was trembling as he spoke.

"There’s a killer in this elevator! A man who has killed many times."

"This is ridiculous," said the debonair man in the fine clothes, "absolute nonsense. I’m returning from my friend’s wedding; I was best man. This has ruined the whole day – cooped up with a bunch of argumentative louts."

"You’re not going to believe this," Clive told Roy, "but the killer in this elevator is none other than Jack the Ripper."

"You mean the Yorkshire one?" Roy asked, and his eyes darted from face to face.

"No, no," Clive shook his head of bushy hair, "the first one – the one they never caught in London! He’s in here! And he’s got his knife on him."

"Oh boy, this crank is something else!" said Harry, and he turned to Roy and smiled.

"He’d be a bit old wouldn’t he?" Roy asked Clive, "Only he was around thirty when he was going in the East End nearly a century ago –
"He’s a freak!" cried Clive, "There’s something wrong with him! He doesn’t age."

"Well it isn’t me!" laughed Harry, and the passengers looked at one another’s confused and suspicious faces.

"It’s him!" Clive backed into Billy in the corner as he pointed at the debonair ‘best man’.

"What?" Roy looked at the man.

He was about fifty-five maybe, not the centenarian Jack the Ripper would have to be.

The elevator rocked and began to ascend, and the debonair well-dressed guy in his best man attire seemed awfully nervous at the psychic’s accusation.

The elevator halted, the doors parted, and railway guards stood there – and also a woman known to be a prostitute in the Lime Street area.

She screamed when she saw that ‘best man’.

"You!" she yelled, and hid behind a guard, "He tried to kill me!"

The best man walked out the elevator casually, and Roy said, "Not so fast, sir," and reached out, and in a flash the man pulled out a knife, slashed his hand, and ran off, out the station into the fog, and he was never caught.

Over the forthcoming weeks Tom will tell you more tales of the mysterious and the uncanny in the Globe.

Haunted Liverpool 28 is another dazzling collection of supernatural fact by Tom Slemen, England’s greatest writer on the paranormal.