Night Maidens

South Drive in Wavertree

In 1970, Rob, a 20-year-old man from Berbice Road, Allerton, met a friend he hadn't seen in years named Jimmy, at the Tudor nightclub in Parliament Street. The two men enjoyed a few drinks together, and had a lot of catching up to do, so, around 1.30am, Jimmy invited Rob back to his house on South Drive in the Victoria Park area of Wavertree. Even in the daytime, North and South Drives have a gothic eerie atmosphere hanging over them, possibly because the Victorian buildings that line these drives are dark and tall, and admit little light into their tree-shaded winding roads. Some even believe the uncanniness is something to do with the ancient Neolithic urns and other prehistoric artefacts that have been unearthed on the site of the neighbourhood over the years.
Jimmy's wife Gladys cooked a fine supper for her husband and his friend Rob, and around a quarter to three, Rob said he felt tired and asked if he could possibly sleep on the sofa. Jimmy wouldn't hear of this, and he told Rob he'd get a proper night's sleep in the old spare bed in his own master bedroom. The bed had been there when Jimmy and Gladys had moved into the house (which dated back to 1850) and they hadn't got round to moving the heavy cast-iron bedstead out of the place yet. Not long after Jimmy and Gladys got into bed, the couple fell fast asleep, and Rob got into the spare bed and tried to settle down. After a few minutes, he fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
Around four in the morning, something awakened Rob. To this day he does not know whether it was a sound or something touching him; all he remembers is that something roused him from his slumber, but what that something was he still cannot say. The young man turned in the old bed and happened to glance over at the bed where Jimmy and Gladys were sleeping. What Rob saw over there sent an icy shiver down his spine.
A young woman of around eighteen was sitting on the couple's bed, eyeing Rob intensely. The pale-faced girl just sat there in a peculiar posture, leaning forward, gazing directly at Rob without blinking. By the faint amber light of a street lamp that filtered into the room through the net curtains, Rob could see that he silent watcher's hair was raven black and long, and that she was wearing an old-fashioned nightgown but what really unnerved Rob were the girl's huge and dark lifeless eyes.

Rob sensed something very unsavoury about the girl, and ducked under the blankets for a few moments, before looking back at the couple's bed, hoping of course, that she had gone -but she was still there, still watching Rob with that blank expression that made his flesh creep. Again, he took refuge under the blankets. After a while, with sweat pouring from his brow, and his lungs gasping for air, he reluctantly 'resurface' and peeped out to see, to his horror, that the ghostly girl was still sitting over there, concentrating on him. Rob closed his eyes and prayed for morning to come, expecting the girl to approach, but she never came. He dared not open his tightly-shut eyes and miraculously he somehow managed to fall into a sleep, albeit light and uneasy.
In the morning, Rob told Jimmy about the weird girl in the 'antwacky' nightdress, but his friend just laughed and jokingly said he wish a girl of eighteen would sit on his bed. Rob insisted that she had been real and described her ghastly dark lifeless doll-eyes, but, knowing how superstitious his wife Gladys was about such things, Jimmy asked Rob not to mention the incident to her.
The identity of the ghostly girl of South Drive is not known. Not long after I wrote about her in Haunted Liverpool 1, back in 1998. it was speculated she was the spectre of a girl who had died in the house in the 1930s from meningitis, but I feel the night maiden is Victorian, or possibly Edwardian, and from what I have heard, she still haunts the old house, and still has a penchant for watching those who sleep.

© Tom Slemen 2010.