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

In this latest story, Tom tells the haunting tale of the FaceTime demon...

Fatal insomnia is a very rare disorder in which death occurs from a few months to years when the thalamus - a symmetrical structure of two halves in the centre of the brain – is damaged or degenerates.

The person with this form of incurable insomnia finds it impossible to sleep and after experiencing frightening hallucinations, weight loss and dementia, invariably dies.

In most people the thalamus is healthy and when we sleep, the brain blocks out external stimuli through a screening process in the thalamus.

If someone mentions your name or a word you class as important, or if you were to smell smoke, your thalamus would wake you up.

The thalamus also listens out for other possible dangers, such as intruders in your bedroom, and this brings me to the 3am Phenomenon – the inexplicable awakening from sleep at three in the morning and the feeling of someone being there – even though nothing physical is present to account for the alert.

The phenomenon has been reported to me on numerous occasions and most serious students of the paranormal will know about this intriguing cognitive process.

A few years ago a 22-year-old girl in Birkenhead was rushed into hospital after hyperventilating because she was so afraid of something supernatural which kept calling her on her mobile – and this thing even appeared in her room.

At first the girl – named Jessica – received anonymous text messages warning her of fatal accidents and all sorts of terrible illnesses.

She suspected an ex-boyfriend named Geoff and even reported him to the police and they advised her to block the sender’s number – but Jessica explained that there was no visible number to block.

Jessica went to a solicitor, who explained the offences of Malicious Communications and Harassment, and he asked to see the distressing text messages – but somehow, they had been deleted from Jessica’s mobile.

Jessica’s mother, father and her best friend Naomi had seen these messages, but the solicitor said without them there was no basis for any case.

Then the number of text messages increased, and one of them read: "If you will kindly kill yourself, you will be my servant in the afterlife. I have 37 servants attending me. They all killed themselves to be mine."

Then two names were mentioned in a follow-up text message, and these names were of two friends of Jessica who had taken their lives some years ago in their teens.

Jessica almost had a breakdown when these messages continued for months, and one morning she walked half a mile to the waterfront via Alabama Way, and threw her mobile into the Mersey.

Days later, Jessica’s dad bought her an iPhone – and not long after the persecuting text messages started again. The first one said, "You naughty [expletive deleted]! Throwing away a good phone, but you can’t escape me!"

Again the sender’s number wasn’t accessible, and then things got worse, because someone – or something – FaceTimed Jessica.

This happened at 3am when the girl suddenly awoke with a mounting sense of panic. The iPhone buzzed. It was someone called “Arawn” wanting to FaceTime Jessica.

The bleary-eyed girl accepted the call, thinking it might be a friend named Aaron – but the face that appeared on the phone’s screen looked terrifying.

It was a red face with black almond-shaped eyes, a pointed chin, fangs and a classic Dracula widow’s peak.

The caller screeched with laughter and told Jessica she was going to die soon in a car crash. "If you try to hang up, I’ll appear in your bedroom!" the person warned.

Jessica tried to hang up but the face remained on the screen – and then it appeared in her bedroom by the curtains – a glowing red head.

Its maniacal laughter was so loud, Jessica’s father knocked on the wall, thinking his daughter had her TV on.

The ghastly face flew towards Jessica and she passed out.

When she awoke her mother and father were standing over her. Despite hearing the strange laughter in Jessica’s room, her parents could not believe the account of the apparition.

Jessica’s doctor persuaded her to visit a psychiatrist, and the specialist said it was possible that the young woman was suffering from persecutory delusions.

However, “Arawn” visited Jessica again a week later, and this time, when the girl’s mother barged into the room at 3am, she saw the weird red luminous face vanish in mid-air.

Jessica became so afraid on the following night, she hyperventilated and was taken to hospital. The entity then left text messages on the girl’s phone, but eventually stopped contacting her.

This “FaceTime Demon” has been reported by other people, not just locally but across the world.

Some of the incidents may be the work of hackers in scary masks, but I did discover that Arawn is a very mysterious and ancient Celtic God of suicide.

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