Feature

The Haunted Laundrette

In October 1973, a 59-year-old Halewood window cleaner named Sid Parker was reading through a local newspaper when he noticed a very interesting offer in the Businesses for Sale section. 

The advert read: Laundrette for Sale in Huyton; superbly built and well-equipped, established 1960. Good clientele, promising catchment area. Quick sale due to owners business interests elsewhere. £5000 o.n.o.

A phone number was given in the ad which Sid circled with a red-ink biro. He discussed it with his wife, Betty, and she thought it could be a risky venture as more and more people were buying washing machines, but Sid eventually persuaded her to give the business a try. 

He was good at haggling and he managed to get the laundrette for £3500. 

Sid had recently been diagnosed with an inner ear condition that was giving him vertigo so he was only too glad to jack in his window cleaning job. Betty gave up her part-time job as a cleaner and Sid’s brother a professional decorator did the laundrette up with a new lick of paint. 

Betty’s cousin Frank was a mechanical engineer and he had a look at the washers and dryers and said they were all in good working order. 

On the first day of business only three customers used the place, so Sid made plans to advertise the Huyton laundrette in the local newspapers. 

Just before the laundrette was about to close, at 11pm, Sid looked out the window at the full moon, and a tall and very pretty blonde girl who looked about twenty years of age dashed into the laundrette and started to cry. 

She had her hair done up in a high ponytail and Sid and Betty thought her short sleeveless dress and calf-length boots harked back to the fashion of the Sixties. 

“I’ve been in a car crash” the girl told the couple, and began to sob. “I’ll phone for an ambulance,” said Sid, “sit her down love,” he told his wife, but the young lady wouldn’t sit down and could not be consoled. 

Then something very strange took place: bloodstains started to blossom in the girls dress, and as the distressed youth noticed the spreading stains she screamed and began to take her clothes off. 

Betty watched in shock as she saw that even the girls underwear was soaked in blood, and the apparently injured lady opened the door of a washing machine and threw the clothes in, saying, “I’ll be alright! I’ll wash it all out! It’s just on the clothes!”

And then she literally vanished into thin air. In a state of shock, Sid looked in the washer to see the bloodied dress - it was empty. He and Betty realised that a ghost had paid a visit, and when the ambulance turned up at the laundrette, Sid found he had some explaining to do – and his account of the vanishing blood-soaked girl was not received well by the fuming ambulance men. Sid was asked if he had been drinking.

That same girl appeared at the laundrette a month later on November 10, again during the night of a full moon, but on this occasion Sid closed the door on the ghost, and she stood there looking through the window with her mascara running down her face as she cried, and then she vanished. 

Sid went to see his reverend, and he seemed to think the whole affair was some hoax staged by someone with a macabre sense of humour, so Betty, who was a Catholic, went to see her priest, and he said, “It sounds like an earthbound ghost. She needs prayers.”’ 

He said he’d dedicate a Mass to the troubled ghost, and he also promised he’d pay a visit to bless the laundrette, and he did. 

However, on 10 December that year, there was another full moon, and this time the girl called in much earlier around 8.30pm, and in front of seven customers, she burst into tears and said she’d been in a car crash – and blood trickled down her nose and from her ears, and then bloodstains began to spread out from the injuries under her dress.

Blood which spurted from the girl’s nose dripped onto the floor. 

“No! In the name of God, you will go to your Maker!” Betty yelled at the ghost, which reacted by looking at the full moon outside with a blank expression. The startled customers then looked on as Betty continued her ad-hoc exorcism. 

“You died a long time ago and have no business to trouble the living! Depart spirit and stay away!”

The ghost closed its eyes, smiled, whispered what sounded like, “Thanks - Amen” and vanished. Two customers ran out the laundrette, never to return, but the ghost never came back after that night. 

Sid was later told by a local Huytonian that the ghost was that of a girl who had suffered horrific injuries in a car driven by her boyfriend when it had collided with a tree. 

The girl crawled out the wreckage and staggered into the laundrette in shock after the crash, bleeding to death, and tried to take her clothes off, thinking she’d be okay if she washed them. And then she had dropped dead. 

The crash had occurred on the night if a full moon in the early 1960s, and every few years the ghost of the tragic girl would go through the motions of that terrible night and visit the laundrette. In the end the owner put the laundrette up for sale as people kept away because of the ghost.

• Haunted Liverpool 30 is out now on Amazon

 

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