Feature

The Vamps

The following strange story was related to me many years ago.

It was Valentine’s Day, 1980, and Karl Creighton, a 20-year-old Huyton man, browsed the latest LPs at the Probe Records shop on Button Street, in what is now known as the Cavern Quarter.

Shortly after leaving Probe, Karl noticed two women – smartly dressed and both in their mid-twenties - walking behind him. One was a brunette and the other was a brownette with sandy hair.

Karl walked on into Whitechapel, and he looked at the hi-fi systems in the window of Beaver Radio, and in the reflection of the shop window, he saw the two young ladies standing about six feet behind him.

They seemed to follow him everywhere he went, and although the girls were very good-looking, Karl felt there was something very sinister about them.

Instead of heading home as dusk gathered late in the afternoon, Karl called at the flat of his mate John Hickey on Roscoe Street, about thirty yards from the Roscoe Head pub.

Hickey, an old school friend, answered with a Spanish guitar strung from his shoulder. With his upturned bowl-shaped hairstyle of flaxen blonde and impish grin, he was a dead ringer for Rolling Stone Brian Jones, and he seemed surprised to see Karl standing there.

He invited his friend in and Karl told him about the two women who seemed to be following him and how he sensed there was something weird about them.

“Bring them in, man,” said John, in a jokey manner, “I could do with some birds in my life. I’m like a hermit nowadays.”

“No, seriously John, there’s something creepy about them,” said Karl, and he turned the light out in John’s living room, crept to the blinds, and gently lifted one of the plastic slats an inch to peep out.

The couple who had been shadowing him were standing there in the gloom on the other side of the narrow street, blatantly looking at John Hickey’s flat.

“They’re out there now!” Karl sibilated, and John came over and asked: “You been doing drugs or something?”

“Have a look, go on” Karl stepped aside and John took his place and pulled a cord to open the blinds.

“Don’t do that!” said Karl. “They’ll know we’re on to them.”

“They look a bit classy,” opined John, and he popped a cigarette in his mouth and lit it.

The girls outside turned away and walked southwards, towards Leece Street.

“You sure you’re not doing drugs, Karl,” John said, and exhaled blue smoke, “only no straight guy in his right mind would be scared of two birds – especially birds like that.”

“Why on earth would they follow me all over the place?” Karl wondered out loud and leaned towards the blinds, trying to see where the mysterious women were going.

John went and switched the light on, then sat on a beanbag and played a tune on the guitar. “It’s called ‘Serendipity’ – an instrumental,” he said, and Karl could see he had taken something from the inane smile on his face; he was in some psychedelic reverie.

Karl made a coffee for himself and John, and then he left the flat, and instead of going to the bus stop, Karl decided he’d walk to Lime Street Station and get the train to Huyton, for he felt that those two women would try and get him into a car.

The logical part of Karl’s mind thought this notion was daft, but his intuition told him not to hang round at a bus stop, and he went with his gut feeling.

As he reached the dark and secluded end of Roscoe Street which leads onto Mount Pleasant, he took a sharp left turn – and there, standing between the pillars on the doorstep of Number 66, were those two women.

They dashed from the step and the brunette grabbed Karl’s left arm and the brownette seized him by his right forearm. Their grips were like vices, and as Karl tried to escape from their clutches, the brunette said, “Look at me, Karl!” and she had a slight German accent. Karl noticed her eyes – they were not human, but more like the eyes of a cat – and he found that he could not avert his gaze from the woman. It must have been some form of hypnosis.

“Walk with us, and realise that you cannot escape,” said the dark-haired beauty, and she smiled – to reveal fangs.

Karl immediately realised now that these women were vampires. “It won’t hurt,” the brunette said over and over, as she and the other woman led Karl to a black Transit van.

Then there were screams, and Karl snapped out of the hypnotic spell. He saw an old white-haired man with a large crucifix in each hand, and he was thrusting the crosses at the vampires, and they ran to the van and it screeched down Mount Pleasant.

The old man said he was a vampire hunter, and Karl pressed him for more information but the man told him to get off the streets as soon as possible gave him a crucifix. Karl was advised to sleep with it every night.

The man then went to a car and drove off. Karl lived in fear of seeing those two women again, but thankfully he has not set eyes on them since.

Karl has a rare blood group, and perhaps that is the reason why he was targeted. I wonder if those two vampires are still prowling about...

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