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 Clown Woman of Flaybrick Cemetery...

In the many years I’ve spent investigating the supernatural, I have found that on the whole, you are more likely to find ghosts in modern settings rather than a graveyard.

Flaybrick Cemetery is something of an exception, though.

Visitors to the Birkenhead cemetery have often heard a growling noise, and heavy footsteps plodding behind them when they walk through the place.

Some visitants to the cemetery have even seen what looks like a tall, hairy hunched werewolf-like figure skulking among the graves.

In Victorian times, there was a gravestone with the curious inscription: ‘Here lies one who was half man, half beast’.

The stone seems to have been removed by someone in the 1960s, but what was it referring to?

The most active ghost in Flaybrick Cemetery is alleged to be the so-called 'Clown Woman', and she has been seen since around Edwardian times, but no one knows who she is.

I have scoured burial registers, cemetery receipt books and various archives and cannot find a reference to a clown buried in the cemetery, but this entity continues to be seen even today.

The first report I have comes from June 1937.

The body of Charles Fry of Leamington Road, Wallasey, was due to be interred at Flaybrick Cemetery, and quite a crowd of mourners attended because Fry had perished in the prestigious Isle of Man Air Race the week before when his plane crashed into a house at Hanworth.

One of the female mourners at the graveside noticed that the old coffin at the bottom of the newly-excavated hole bore the rusted name plate of Fry’s uncle, and she cried out: "This is not the right grave! This is not the family grave!"

The mourners had to wait for almost two hours while the gravediggers were taken to another plot where the Fry family grave was located, and they began to dig – and a very strange woman, dressed in the costume of a Pierrot clown came upon the scene, laughing and joking about the blunder made by the cemetery staff.

On a hot June day in broad daylight, over fifty mourners saw this strange woman in her white clown outfit, and some chased her away, thinking she was a lunatic, but they soon realised she was a ghost when she vanished, only to reappear behind various gravestones and tombs.

She pulled faces at the unnerved mourners and even threw water urns and flowers from graves at them.

The older of the two gravediggers toiling away with shovels told his nervous young colleague that the weird prankster was the ghost of a female clown.

He had last seen her in the cemetery in 1910.

In May 1996, a newspaper reporter and a photographer were travelling up Boundary Road, which runs past the western side of Flaybrick Cemetery, on their way to Flaybrick Reservoir, where thousands of gallons were leaking through the reservoir’s old sandstone wall.

It was a newsworthy story, and the reporter was to meet a representative of North West Water for an interview, but as he drove past Flaybrick Cemetery, a figure in a strange one-piece white suit jumped out into the road into the path of the car.

The reporter almost crashed as he swerved to avoid the suicidal person, and then the photographer noticed that the jaywalker was a woman dressed as a clown.

She ran back towards the six-foot-high cemetery wall, which was topped with railings – and cleared it in one leap.

At this point an old man coming from the allotments to the right of the car told the reporter and photographer that they had just seen the 'Clown Woman'.

"Is she insane? What’s she dressed like that for?" the reporter asked.

"She’s dead. She’s a ghostie," said the elderly man, and walked off.

Some who have encountered the ghost say she occasionally plays a tiny guitar, possibly a ukulele, and people have heard spooky music being plucked and strummed by the eerie clown all hours at night, when the cemetery is closed.

In 1995, a gang of teenagers climbed over the wall of the cemetery one summer night at around 11pm and played hide and seek.

One of the trespassers, a girl of 14, hid behind a large upright marble cross, when she suddenly noticed something on the moonlit grass – the shadow of someone creeping up on her.

She turned and saw it was a woman, about 5 feet 7 in height, and she had on a baggy white silk one-piece suit with large furry pink pom pom buttons, and her face was covered in thick white make-up.

On her head she wore a white cap of some sort.

She swore at the girl and said, "Get away from my grave!"

The teen screamed, tried to run, but fell.

She felt gloved hands around her throat, and then the hands began to throttle her and shake her so her head repeatedly hit the ground.

She somehow broke loose, and ran past her friends, too scared to even utter a warning.

She then heard her friends cry out as the ghost attacked them, and all of the teens climbed over the wall and ran off down Tollemache Road.

The Clown Woman still prowls, and hopefully I might discover her identity one day.

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