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 terrifying story of the ghost that could kill...

It all started on the Monday night of 12 June 1978.

A chartered accountant named Peter Hadley Thomas, aged 52, and his 25-year-old girlfriend Zoe Richards, watched The Hunting Party - a gory western starring Oliver Reed on BBC1.

The film ended at twenty past midnight, but halfway through the movie Peter thought he had heard someone walking heavily upstairs in the bedroom of his semi on Birkenhead’s St Andrew’s Road.

He didn’t want to alarm Zoe so he went upstairs under the pretence of going to the loo, but checked the three bedrooms and saw no one. All of the windows were secure, so Peter surmised the thumping walker had been his neighbour.

After the western, the couple went up to bed and Zoe had no trouble dropping off as she’d been up since 7.30am (she was a nursery teacher) and she went out like a light after kissing Peter. He lay there for a while, and unable to sleep, he carefully switched on the bedside lamp and read a newspaper and a magazine.

He charily opened the drawer of the bedside unit, took out a small transistor radio and plugged an earphone into it. He listened to Peter Clayton, a DJ on Radio 2, then fell asleep just after one – until a stabbing pain in his heart startled him from his slumbers.

As he sat up, thinking he was having a heart attack, he saw a silhouette – a solid black shadow of a girl – with a knife – back away from him.

She had pulled the knife out of his chest. He heard the rustle of her clothes and he saw her make threatening stabbing gestures at him before she vanished. Peter felt his chest, expecting to find a wound but the skin was unbroken.

The pain in Peter’s chest faded, but his heart pounded as he realised he had just encountered a ghost.

He had lived here for a year and this was the first time anything supernatural had occurred in the house. He gently nudged Zoe awake and told her what had happened.

"You’ve had a nightmare, love," she groaned, and persuaded him to settle down, but Peter insisted in sleeping with the bedside lamp on.

He talked of the shadow ghost over a rushed breakfast and again Zoe assured him it had all been a nightmare because he’d dozed off on his back – but that evening at 11pm the ghost returned in a very dramatic way.

Zoe went to bed first and Peter said he’d follow her soon, but twenty minutes later he heard his girlfriend scream.

He ran up to see what the matter was and met a wide-eyed Zoe on the stairs. She said she had lain face down to sleep and had felt a ‘punch’ in her back, and when she opened her eyes she had seen a reflection in the dresser mirror of a woman – made of solid black silhouette – leaning over the bed with a knife in her hand, about to strike again.

Zoe asked Peter to check her back, and he just saw a red patch of skin between the shoulder blades. Zoe now believed her husband’s account of the stabbing ghost. The couple got little sleep that night, and left the ceiling light on, but the ghost didn’t make another appearance. Peter was up when the milkman called at 5:30am and he mentioned the ghost.

With a knowing look the milkman said, "I’ve heard stories and that; Mrs Jeffries facing knows a lot about it."

Peter visited Mrs Jeffries on Sunday afternoon, and the old lady told him a terrifying story.

Around 1930, a 50-year-old man named Thompson, who lived in the house now occupied by Peter’s neighbour, was a notorious Peeping Tom, and one day he removed bricks in his loft wall, climbed into the loft next door, and set about creating a peep hole so he could look down into the bathroom next door. He saw the 18-year-old girl next door leaning over the bath.

She was dismembering the body of a man. The shock of this caused Thompson to have a stroke, and his wife later told the police what he had seen and how he’d seen it.

The police searched the premises next door, and found no trace of a body, but the girl accused of cutting up the body was deemed insane and sent to an asylum, where she died.

Not long after this, her knife-wielding ghost – described as a shadow – came through the wall – sometimes even during the daytime – and it would always stab Thompson, who could hardly move or talk because of the stroke.

The knife blade never left a mark, but the pain was excruciating and in the end, Thompson died of a heart attack. Peter decided immediately to leave the house, and he and Zoe went to live in a flat in Claughton.

I hear the silhouetted apparition of the ghost with the knife still occasionally haunts the house on St Andrew’s Road.

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