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

In this latest tale, Tom delves into the story behind the creepy Arkle Road ghoul...

I’ve noted that there are certain areas of urban Wirral where there is a high incidence of hauntings and there are certain roads that stand out because they seem to have quite a few ghosts.

One of these ghost-ridden roads is Birkenhead's Arkle Road, which is a crescent made up of mainly semi-detached dwellings with St James’ Church as its cynosure.

Of the 72 dwellings on this road, 12 of them seem to have been the scene of paranormal goings-on, ranging from poltergeist activity and time-slippages to a bizarre-looking entity resembling a vortex of white smoke and a white-haired skeletal ghoul that crawls along on all fours in the wee small hours.

This latter being was encountered one Saturday night on 16 September 1978 when a 14-year-old girl named Denise invited two friends over for a sleepover at her new home on Arkle Road.

Her family had moved there a month ago. The girl’s mother was in hospital recovering from an operation and so Denise’s father Patrick had let his daughter bring two friends over instead of one.

The girls sleeping over were Kate and Cressy (short for Cressida) and like Denise, they were also aged fourteen and both attended the same school as their host.

Denise and Cressy slept at the top of the double bed in the so-called guest bedroom and Kate slept at the bottom (top and tail style), and they talked about boys and other girls and around midnight Denise heard the sudden swell of the theme music of the TV chat show Parkinson as the programme ended.

The girl’s father had opened the living room door and was going to put out the cat – Rosy - before retiring.

As soon as Patrick went to bed, Denise sneaked outside and let the cat back in and brought her up to the bedroom.

She also went to the kitchen and brought up packets of crisps, chocolate biscuits and a bottle of Alpine dandelion and burdock.

The full moon was out that night and was peeping into the darkened bedroom as Cressy told Denise that she had fallen in love with a boy named Charlie who had sat next to her on a bus.

The mention of the boy’s name prompted Kate to start singing, "Charlie had a pigeon, a pigeon, a pigeon, Charlie had a pigeon, a pigeon he had. It flew in the morning it flew in the night, and when it came back it was covered in sh-"

"Kate! You’re going to kick my dad off!" Denise warned her friend and playfully pressed her bare foot in her friend’s face.

"Your feet pong!" Kate giggled and then she deliberately crunched her cheese and onion crisps as Cressy continued to talk about her unrequited love.

Eventually the girls settled down and by half-past one they were asleep.

Rosy the cat woke Kate around 2.40am by placing its cold wet nose against the girl’s cheek. It was then when Kate heard a strange howling noise.

It sounded like the wind somewhere down in the hallway but it was making a groaning sound and seemed to be saying "Charlie."

It really spooked Kate and she told Denise – who said it was the wind, before falling asleep again. Kate couldn’t even wake Cressy. Rosy looked at the door and tilted her head sideways; she could also hear the weird sound.

"What is it, Rosy?" a nervous Kate asked the feline – and then the bedroom door clicked. Kate peeped over the top of the bed’s footboard and watched the door slowly and steadily open. She hoped it was the wind or Denise’s dad messing about.

In came a bizarre and frightening figure of what seemed to be a female on all fours. Her hair was white and hung in scruffy, greasy-looking strands, and as she reached the centre of a rug, Rosy hissed at the unearthly figure before leaping off the bed and running out of the bedroom.

The head of the bedroom intruder swung to face Kate, and just before the girl ducked behind the footboard she saw the scary glowing orange eyes of the entity.

Kate began to say the Lord’s Prayer in her mind as she lay there tensed up under the blankets.

"Charlie, where are you?" said a raspy voice, and Kate thought it was coming from under the bed. She was right.

She felt thumps beneath the mattress, and then a scuffling sound which went towards the door.

The bedroom door closed, and Kate jumped.

She waited until she had to come up gasping for air, and she looked into the moonlit room to see that the door had indeed been closed – but then she saw a strange grey shape in a corner of the ceiling, and as her eyes adjusted to the low lighting, she received quite a shock.

It was that creepy, emaciated woman; she had somehow defied gravity and was peering over her bony knees with those bright orange eyes as her feet rested on the wall.

Kate screamed and ran out the bedroom. Denise and Cressy woke to the scream and they saw the entity as well. All three girls ran out onto the moon-silvered Arkle Road.

An old neighbour who later heard of the incident tantalizingly said, ‘"She’s been looking for Charlie, God rest his soul," but she would not say more, and Denise’s parents later sold the house.

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