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

In this latest tale, Tom examines the mystery of the Doppelganger Janguar...

I'VE changed a few names in this strange story for legal reasons.

In May 1974 Cliff Keynes, a quantity surveyor from Higher Bebington, was cruising through the blazing sunshine beneath the blue canopy of a cloudless sky in his signal red 1967 e-type Jaguar (given to him by his father shortly before he died from a long illness two years back).

At the 27-year-old's side was new girlfriend Lily, 22, a red-headed Heswall girl he had met at the Fox and Hounds pub in Barnston a fortnight ago. He was starting to see another side of her.

When he had first met her she seemed so sweet and quiet, but now she had started egging him on to speed in the Jag.

As Cliff drove down Brimstage Road, she put her hand on his fist as he gripped the gear leaver and incited him to speed, yelling: "Come on Cliffy, faster! Faster!" 

Cliff prided himself on being a considerate, sensible driver, but he thought the road was clear as far as the eye could see and, in a momentary lapse of reason - perhaps just to shut Lily up - floored the accelerator and peeled rubber.

At 90mph the car rocketed along Brimstage Road when a hare suddenly sprung out from the Talbot Avenue junction.

Lily screamed and Cliff somehow managed to swing the car away from the long-eared jaywalker - but he lost control of the vehicle and it hit a grass bank and overturned as he desperately tried to negotiate the bend beyond two cottages at the end of the road.

Cliff and Lily survived the crash with nothing as serious as grass-burn and mild concussion.

As well as paying a small fortune to have the Jag repaired, Cliff had to appear at Wirral Magistrates' Court. He was fined £20 after pleading guilty to careless driving.

Lily left him, branding him a bore. Shortly afterwards, the nightmares started.

They always began with Cliff speeding in his Jaguar down country lanes, knocking people over like skittles as he laughed.

When he looked at himself in the rear view mirror of the car during these violent dreams, his eyes were glowing and his hair had turned red.

Each night the carnage Cliff caused on the roads in his dreams became more bloody and violent. 

He eventually went to see his doctor, who prescribed mild sedatives.

The doctor told Cliff that if the dreams continued, he’d have to go and see a psychiatrist to get to the bottom of the nightmares.

"I'm no shrink", Cliff’s doctor told him, "But some dreams go by contraries; if you're a responsible safe driver in your waking life, you might let off steam and all the emotions you've been bottling up in the real world by being a reckless maniac roadhog in your dreams." 

The graphic nightmares ended one night in August 1974 when Cliff's Jaguar smashed into a couple as he sped along a moonlit country road.

He heard their bodies thump hard against the bonnet and fly high into the air, and awoke with a start, drenched in sweat with his heart palpitating.

Three days later though, the nightmares spilled over into waking reality in a very sinister manner.

It was an infernally hot Sunday afternoon and Cliff was driving in his Jag to the house of his cousin Dafyd in Barnston, when he was pulled over by police on Whitehouse Lane by the railway bridge.

"Can I help you, officers?" a nervous Cliff asked the policemen hurrying from their patrol car.

"Yes you can, Stirling Moss!" cried the older copper in reply. "You nearly took the buttons off my coat when you whizzed past me at what must have been about ninety!" 

"Where was this?" asked Cliff, cowering at the window of the Jag - the red-faced furious policeman looked as if he was about to punch him.

"Arrowe Park Road, that's where!" roared the enraged cop, when the other policemen cried out something and the two officers of the law leaped out of the way of a very familiar car that shot down the road and went under the bridge; it had been a red Jaguar.

The policemen looked at one another, then ran to their patrol car and there was a roar of an engine and a squeal of tyres as their vehicle flew off in pursuit of the other red Jag.

Cliff was visited by the police the next day because a Jag with his registration had caused havoc on the roads of Barnston and Heswall, and Cliff told the police to check with their colleagues who had pulled him over for dangerous driving before almost being mown down by a red Jaguar.

The police theorised that someone had copied the registration number of Cliff's car.

Cliff kept encountering the "doppelganger Jaguar" and even tried to chase it, but the lunatic behind the wheel - a man who resembled him - was a much superior and daring driver, for he always escaped by performing heart-stopping manoeuvres, and had even driven across fields to get away.

Early in September, Cliff was travelling down Brimstage Road when the replica red Jag almost ran into him.

It screeched to a halt, and two policemen on their beat saw Cliff jump out his Jag and run to the lookalike vehicle screaming swear words.

But the car was empty and then, slowly, it faded away.

The mystery of the ghostly doppelganger car has never been solved, but years later, Cliff was told that his ex girlfriend Lily, like her mother and grandmother - was a practising witch ...

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