The following terrifying story took place in January 1972 in Huyton, and over the years, quite a few witnesses to the incident have spoken to me to add more detail to the account of the weird goings-on.

It was January 1972, and it was the 9th birthday of a boy named Martin who lived at a semidetached house on Dinas Lane.

Martin and his parents hadn’t lived in Huyton long; they’d only moved to the area the year before from Blackburn, but already Martin was a popular boy with the local kids.

Martin’s parents let their son invite as many friends as he wanted to the party, and had it been in the summer months, there would have been a marquee in the back garden for the partygoers.

Martin’s parents had money and the lad’s father was planning to build a big swimming pool in the back garden, just to encourage his son to swim with a view to obtaining medals one day.

A small fortune was spent on the birthday party, and Sayers and Cousins did a roaring trade that week as Martin’s mum bought boxes of cakes, pasties, sausage rolls and a huge jelly.

The birthday cake itself was made by a local woman who specialised in wedding cakes, and she was paid £30 for her elaborate creation in sponge, jam, cream and icing.

The party was held in the afternoon at half-past four, and a fog had descended on Huyton by then.

Martin’s father was stranded by the fog and black ice at his workplace in Widnes, and didn’t get home in time for the party, but Martin didn’t even notice his father’s absence because he had so many friends over at his house.

The boy’s mother made all of the little guests welcome, and each was given a slice of the birthday cake on a paper plate, along with as many glasses of “lemmo” as they could drink.

Most of the savouries went untouched during the party, and at one point, a 7-year-old girl named Jill – a school friend of Marty – was put on a large dining table that doubled as a stage, and the child started singing “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” – a song by the New Seekers that was currently at Number 1 in the pop charts.

Around half way through Jill’s performance on the table, a rowdy child entered Martin’s house. He was described as about 4ft 5, and he looked around Martin’s age – about 9, possibly a little younger. He had a shaven head with only a few millimetres of blonde bristly hairs showing through his scalp, and a small pair of dark blue eyes.

Although it was a bitterly cold January afternoon, the unknown boy wore only a thin grey tee shirt, black shorts, white socks (that had dropped down to his ankles), and black slip-on ‘pumps’ – or plimsolls to give the footwear its proper name.

This lad started to shout rude names at Jill as she performed her song, and at one point he picked up a custard tart and pelted the girl with it. The cake splattered upon impacting Jill’s face and she fell backwards off the table and landed on two children.

There were screams as the mischievous boy changed before the very eyes of the little party guests. The child’s features seemed to melt at one point, and his body simultaneously stretched upwards, and this spectacle of terrifying transfiguration sent the children running from the living room in a state of utter terror.

When Martin’s mother came into the room she thought she was looking at a man covered in pink paint from his bald head to his feet, but the head was oval shaped and elongated, and the feet looked more like claws.

The eyes of the entity were swept back and thin, and its mouth opened wide to reveal rows of pointed teeth.

The thing hissed at Martin’s mum, and tipped over the table the birthday spread had been laid out on. Cakes and plates of abandoned food and bottles of lemonade went crashing to the floor, and then the mother of the birthday boy saw something that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

The pink figure of the demonic being quickly changed into an animal before her eyes. The pink shiny skin was replaced by a grey coat of hair, and the face of the weird gatecrasher now resembled that of a wolf, minus the ears.

Martin’s mother ran out of the house with the screaming children into the fog and told a startled neighbour returning home from work what had happened.

The neighbour, a Mr Thompson, thought that someone in a costume of some sort had just been playing a joke on his neighbour, and he went into the house and saw the overturned table and the cakes, rolls and pies all over the floor.

He had a look around, and saw nobody hiding, and even checked the rooms upstairs. He came out of the house and convinced Martin’s mum she’d just been the victim of a silly prankster, and she went back into the house with Martin and a few of his braver friends. Minutes after this, Jill, the 7-year-old who had been pelted by the weird boy, came out of the kitchen and said to Martin’s mother: “He’s behind the fridge.”

Mr Thompson smiled and asked Jill to show him, and he swore and recoiled from the fridge, saying, “There’s an animal wedged behind there!”

Martin, his mother, and a handful of guests all withdrew into the hallway, and Mr Thompson grabbed a mop, and then took a carving knife out the cutlery drawer. He poked behind the fridge with the mop handle, and then everyone heard a high-pitched scream.

That boy in the grey tee shirt came running out of the kitchen, and in the few seconds Martin’s mum saw him pass by before he ran out of the house, she noticed he had furry arms. This ‘boy’ ran out the place, into the fog of Dinas Lane, shrieking with laughter, and was never seen by Martin or his mum ever again.

The usual explanations were trotted out: the overactive imagination of children, and mass hysteria, but something happened that wintry day in 1972, and whatever it was, it drove nearly a dozen children away from the tasty delights of a birthday party, so it must have been something very frightening...

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