In recent months I have had a number of reports concerning sightings of a ghostly man with a painted face, dressed in a clown’s outfit, peering through the windows along a certain stretch of Queen’s Drive. The apparition is particularly odd because it is missing from the waist down and seems to hang in mid air, as if standing on a pair of invisible legs. I delved into the hauntings and have uncovered a grim story stretching to 1940.
In World War Two there were many horrific civilian casualties that were censored by the authorities and not immediately made public in the newspapers. In one grisly incident, a bomb destroyed a house in the Wavertree area and the body of a man was thrown almost a quarter of a mile by the blast, landing in Stevenson Street off Picton Road, where it smashed into the front door of a house. The man who opened the door that night received the shock of his life because the disfigured and disjointed body was that of his best friend. Another tragic incident occurred one evening in November 1940, during one of the heaviest bombing raids of the Blitz, when a German landmine hit a junior technical school on Durning Road, killing164 people who had packed into the air-raid shelter in the building’s basement. The incident was deliberately suppressed by the authorities and kept out of the newspapers to prevent news of the tragedy lowering public morale. There was also a story of child’s entertainer who didn’t have time to change from his clown’s outfit one evening after a party as an apocalyptic rain of bombs from Hitler’s Luftwaffe decimated the city. The clown dashed home from the party instead of joining the children in the air-raid shelter, and when the all-clear sounded, police and ARP wardens came across a ghastly sight. A trail of blood led them to a stretch of Queen’s Drive, Mossley Hill, where they found the children’s clown dragging himself along with nothing but entrails straggling behind him where his hips would have been. He’d been blown in half by the bomb-blast, and had somehow, despite losing a great amount of blood, survived long enough to try and crawl homewards in severe shock. A policeman held the unfortunate dying man’s hand in an attempt to comfort him, but, perhaps because of the shock, the clown began to laugh. He then passed away and was covered with the policeman’s jacket.
At 11.30pm on Halloween 1950, a motorist travelling down Queen’s Drive near the Allerton Road roundabout, was forced to swerve when he saw a man with ho legs lying in the middle of the road, moving along at considerable speed by dragging himself across the tarmac. When the motorist pulled over and looked back, the chilling figure had vanished. In 1965 there is a report in the ECHO of a Mrs Hughes, of Briardale Road, Mossley Hill, who was walking her 11-year-old nephew Peter to his home on Gwydrin Road, a journey of just under a mile on a pleasant moonlit summer’s night. At 11.30pm at the junction at Menlove Avenue and Smithdown Road, aunt and nephew saw a bisected man crawling along from the road to the pavement in front of the Midland Bank on the corner of Queen’s Drive. Mrs Hughes screamed and ran off, dragging Peter with her down Allerton Road. She reported the ‘accident’ at Rose Lane police station but investigating officers found no trace of the crawling body…
Copyright Tom Slemen 2010. All rights reserved