In June1970 a family of four moved into their semi detached home on Huyton’s Rupert Road. Robert and Liz were both in their late thirties and they had two children, Suzy, aged 12, and John, who had just turned 10. 

On the Saturday morning of 20 June 1970 at around 9:30am, Suzy and John were throwing a balsa wood glider (made by their Uncle Ron) at each other on Rupert Road when a woman – described by the children as “weird” – appeared on the scene and grabbed their hands. 

She wore long black silk gloves that went to her elbows, a long black dress, a greenish blouse with puffed sleeves, and a straw bonnet hat adorned with flowers. 

‘Come, children!’ she shouted in a high-pitched excited voice, and dragged the brother and sister along with her. 

‘Let go of me!’ cried Suzy, but the strangely-attired woman had a grip like a vice and she refused to let go. 

John tried his utmost to wriggle free; his mum had recently told him not to go off with strangers. 

Suzy started to shout, ‘Help!’ when a lorry came hurtling down the road and smashed into a wall before rebounding across the road and hitting a lamp standard, which crashed down on the very space where the children had been playing seconds before. The lorry then crushed a Ford Anglia and ploughed through three gardens. 

The driver of the lorry and his passenger emerged dazed with minor injuries, and Suzy realised that the woman who had dragged her and John away had saved their lives – but where was she? 

One moment Suzy had felt the woman’s gloved hand squeezing her hand, and then that grip had been released – and now there was no sight of the lady anywhere. 

The two youngsters looked at one another, and then their parents – who had heard the almighty crash – came running out of the house and asked the children if they were okay. 

Suzy and John both gave garbled versions of what had happened at the same time, but their mum and dad did not take it in; they were too busy surveying the aftermath of the terrible accident.

In August of that year, Suzy and John went to their Uncle Ron’s house on Jeffreys Crescent to pick up some books on gardening for the children’s father. 

Uncle Ron treated his niece and nephew to ice cream and lemonade and gave them some pocket money. When the children made their way home that sunny afternoon, John noticed that peculiar woman again. She was following him and his sister from a distance of about sixty yards (about 55 metres). 

‘Suzy, you know that woman – the one who dragged us that time? She’s following us!’ John told his sister, and Suzy turned around saw her brother was telling the truth; the weird lady was stooping behind a parked car, peeping at them, but the children could see her yellow straw bonnet.

‘Let’s run,’ John suggested, but Suzy said, ‘No, let’s just walk and if she comes near us we’ll leg it. Wonder what she wants?’

‘Suzy, I think she’s a ghost,’ a worried John told his big sister, and he dropped the gardening encyclopaedia he was carrying. He stooped to pick it up, and Suzy said, ‘Oh my God! Look!’

That woman in the old-fashioned clothes was now just thirty feet away. ‘Children, come with me,’ she said, smiling at Suzy and John. 

The children ran as fast as they could, even though the books they were carrying were quite heavy, and by the time they reached Rupert Road, just a few moments later, John had to slow down because he had a painful stitch in his side. 

Suzy looked back and saw that the woman was close behind her brother, and at that moment, the girl saw her mum coming round the corner from Church Road, and so Suzy screamed to her: ‘Mum! This woman’s trying to get us!’

Liz - Suzy and John’s mother - glanced over at her daughter, and she saw a woman she would later describe as being dressed like someone out of the days of Queen Victoria. 

Liz ran towards her son, and she saw the quaintly dressed lady who was closing in on him vanish into thin air. Liz took the books off John and led him by the hand to his home, accompanied by Suzy, who incessantly gabbed about the ghost until her dad told her to be quiet. 

Liz told her husband what had happened, and he could see his wife looked shaken, but he suggested the ‘ghost’ might have been some hoaxer dressed up in a costume.

‘And how did this hoaxer vanish into thin air?’ Liz asked her sceptical husband, ‘I don’t even think a member of the Magic Circle could do what she did. It was a ghost – but why is she bothering our children?’

The ghost was seen one more time by Suzy when she got up out of bed and went to the toilet one morning around 3am. The bonneted figure was standing on the landing, and when Suzy screamed, she vanished.

The ghost was never identified, but I have investigated cases where female ghosts have been drawn towards children that remind them of children they had – or lost – when they were alive. 

Perhaps the backdated lady was just a ghost who had maternal and protective feelings towards Suzy and John; she did save their lives, after all.

All of Tom Slemen’s books and audiobooks are available from Amazon.

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