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

In this latest tale, Heath falls in love with a girl who lived and died before he was born..

MOST people run away from ghosts, but Heath Thornton ran after them.

The 22-year-old Birkenhead student's hobby was hunting ghosts with friend Eric, and in September 2018 the two young men were investigating reports of a ghostly girl in a boater who had been seen both day and night walking to and from the alleyway known as River Street, just off Exmouth Street, in Birkenhead.

On the Tuesday evening of 25 September, 2018, Heath and Eric were sitting in the latter's car, which was parked on River Street.

A full moon was shining down and the time was fast approaching midnight.

Heath was eating a sandwich and Eric was swigging Red Bull when they both saw a semi-transparent shadowy figure come strolling through the closed gates of the backyard of a Grange Road shop.

As the outline walked west, up River Street towards Exmouth Street, Eric seemed to freeze. He had never seen a ghost as clear as this before; just the odd tiny orb, and he was very afraid.

Heath, on the other hand, was grabbing his Nikon D3400 and an unreliable EMF meter (which Eric had branded at useless because it gave false positives all the time).

He swung open the car door and chased after the paranormal entity. As he reached the top of River Street he could see that the ghost was that of a girl of about five feet and three inches in height, and she was wearing a boater with a ribbon around it, and she had dark collar-length hair and a long black coat which went down to her knees. Under that coat the ghost was wearing an ankle-length skirt, and possibly boots.

"This is incredible," Heath whispered, thinking Eric was right behind him, but when he looked back he could see his colleague standing next to the car with the door open, gazing at him in the bright moonlight. His bottle had gone again.

"Excuse me," Heath called to the female ghost, removing the lens cap of the Nikon as he dashed after her.

She turned left at the corner, heading towards McDonalds, and Heath caught up with her and placed his hand on her solid-looking right shoulder – and the ghost let out a yelp and turned to face him.

She looked pretty, about eighteen or nineteen perhaps, Heath estimated, and then her eyes widened with shock – and she vanished into thin air. Heath swore.

He had not even managed to take a single photograph of her. He looked at the spot where the ghostly girl had vanished, then turned – and saw Eric peeping around the corner of River Street.

"I touched her, Eric", said Heath, looking at the hand that had made contact with the ghost's shoulder, ‘and she felt solid." 

"Did you get any footage?" Eric asked, with a sheepish look.

"No, I didn’t get a chance," Heath answered grumpily, "but you could have got some, and I bet you didn’t." 

"I was that surprised," Eric started to say but Heath cut in and bluntly told him: "You were scared, Eric.

"I don't understand why you’re into the paranormal when you’re like this.’ Eric followed his friend back to the car. "I told you, it’s because it took me off guard – I was that stunned – " 

"I saw her face," Heath recalled, "and she looked really lovely. I’d say more Victorian than Edwardian. Only for her clothes, she could have passed for a modern girl. Wonder who she is and why she’s walking?" 

Heath wanted to come back to River Street for another stake-out on the following night but Eric said he had to go down to Chester tomorrow to visit his parents. Heath lurked alone in the shadows of River Street on the following night but the phantom girl never showed.

As the weeks went by, Eric could see Heath had become obsessed with the ghostly girl. He said he had talked to her one night.

"Her name's Ann Jones; she’s a flower seller," he claimed.

"You spoke to her?" Eric asked, and he thought Heath looked a little unbalanced and manic. "When was this?" 

"Okay, you are not going to believe this, Eric," said Heath, "but there seems to be some opening in time in that alleyway." 

"You mean River Street?" Eric queried with a look of disbelief.

Heath nodded with a dreamy look in his eyes.

"Yes, and I know it sounds scatty, but Ann comes through that opening, and she doesn’t always know she’s come through; she thinks we’re the ghosts sometimes.

"She lives near Grange Road, and she sells violets and other flowers at Charing Cross. Where she comes from, it's 1891." 

"Heath, have you got any footage to prove this?" Eric asked, and now he really feared for his friend’s sanity.

Heath smiled faintly and resignedly shook his head.

"I've tried to take pictures of her but they either come out blurred or they’re all dark.

"I'm not imagining her, Eric." 

Heath then went missing for days, and then he called at Eric’s flat at 1am and said: "I love Ann. I want to marry her, Eric, and I want you to be the best man.

"And when I marry her I am going to stay in the past with her because she can’t come into the present now for some reason." 

He showed Eric a Victorian double florin, and the silver coin, dated 1887, looked brand new.

Eric visited Heath’s doctor and told him what had happened.

"Try and gently persuade him to come and see me," said the doctor, cryptically.

Weeks went by, and then Heath said he had not seen Ann, and that he thought the opening to her time in River Street had somehow closed up.

Day after day he visited the cul-de-sac and the police, thinking his behaviour suspicious, told him to keep away from River Street.

Heath told his friend he wanted to end it all if he couldn’t be with Ann, and Eric convinced Heath to visit his doctor, and he finally did.

The doctor was fascinated by the story of Ann, but still suggested it was all in Heath’s mind.

Heath underwent treatment and then he moved away from the area. He still maintains he fell in love with a girl who lived and died before he was born.

Haunted Liverpool 34 is out next week.