Feature

The Huyton Vampire Hunter

On the Tuesday morning of 6 May 1952 at around 3.20am, a group of silhouettes was seen skulking about among the gravestones of St James’s Cemetery, a vast sunken graveyard next to the Anglican Cathedral on Hope Street.

A resident with insomnia at her third floor flat on Canning Street had a view overlooking the cemetery, and by the light of the moon hanging over the chimney pots of Toxteth, she could see that some of the shadowy people creeping about among the gravestones wore cloaks.

She put their number at six.

On the following morning, work-bound people taking a short cut through the cemetery saw that one of the tombs built into the sandstone walls had been opened, and whoever had broken into the Victorian sepulchre had been very determined and organised, because they had neatly removed huge blocks of stone to gain entry and had even wrenched away the copings to allow the removal of wrought-iron railings that had guarded the place of rest for a century.

A child’s coffin lay three feet away from the desecrated tomb with its lead-lined lid prised open, revealing the lifelike open-eyed corpse of one Eliza Nicholson.

Inside the open tomb, police found the nine other coffins of the Nicholson family, and some of the caskets had been interfered with.

Some accounts say garlic bulbs were scattered about the tomb and white crosses had been daubed on the walls. Eliza’s coffin was resealed and she was put back in the tomb, which was bricked up.
Police blamed vandals – possibly thieves who wanted the lead from the coffins, but as the local Parks and Gardens Superintendent P F McCormack told the Press: “I don’t think it was vandals or criminals.

This was done with great precision and no lead or valuables were missing from the tomb.

“These people went to a great deal of trouble using crowbars and other tools to get into that tomb.”
All the same, the police staked out the cemetery on the nights after the incident and hid behind gravestones – but the criminals never returned to the scene of the crime.

Fifteen years later, in 1967, a group of about sixty students were having a party at a house on Percy Street one summer evening, when a long-haired and bearded stranger in his early twenties gate-crashed and told the partygoers that he had discovered the secret of eternal life.

At this time, drug-taking was rife and young people were always looking for new kicks and ways to expand their minds, and interest in the occult was at an all-time high, so most of the students at the party were absolutely transfixed by the claims of the hippy-like gatecrasher – who said his name was Adam.

He told his mesmerised peers that there was a hole in the wall of a certain tomb in St James’s Cemetery, and that he had been told by a voice within the tomb to put his hand through the hole.

Adam had then felt a slight pin-prick in his wrist. The being in the tomb was a man who called himself Chris the New Christ who had been resurrected by Jesus, and he had chosen Liverpool to inaugurate his cult of the Undying Ones.

Adam said he had been dying of a disease before he was ‘reborn’ and was now able to stay awake for weeks at a time.

Fifty of the students eagerly followed Adam into the cemetery and he led them to the tomb with the hole in its frontage.

They heard the voice within it say it was Chris, the New Christ, and one young man forced his girlfriend’s arm into the hole. She screamed and said she’d been bitten.

“It’s sucking my blood!” she cried, and fainted. More and more put their hands into the hole and were duly bitten, and people brought bottles of wine into the cemetery, and even played guitars down there.

An orgy broke out, and around 4am, as it was getting light, two men dressed in flamboyant old-fashioned clothes turned up at the cemetery. They carried bags containing tools, and they used crowbars to remove the blocks of the tomb.

A student said one of the oddly-dressed men was an eccentric self-styled vampire hunter from Huyton named John.

When most of the blocks had been removed by the duo, the crowd saw a tall greyish naked man with huge black eye sockets and a mouth of fangs cowering in the tomb.

John thrust a huge golden cross of emeralds and rubies at this weird entity and it screamed and started to smoulder.

“You’re killing Christ!” screamed a girl, but John replied, “That is no more Christ than the man in the moon! It’s a vampire!”

The figure crumbled to dust as John recited something in Latin, and the students began to leave the cemetery in shock.

John told the ones who had been bitten to stay so he could give them an antidote, but they fled – and their fates are unknown.

I’ll tell you more about the Huyton vampire hunter in the near future.

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