Ghosts & Hauntings
'Ghost Rider' haunted 19th-Century Wirral
By T.K. Randall
July 4, 2021 · 11 comments
The ghost was said to have a 'face of fire'. Image Credit: Pixabay / umaralimalik1
A ghost with a face wreathed in fire was said to have tormented part of North West England 120 years ago.
England is certainly no stranger to ghost stories, with just about every town and village being home to at least some sort of paranormal tale - many of which dating back several centuries.
The Merseyside Borough of Wirral in the country's North West is no exception; back in the late 19th Century it was home to a spate of sightings of a ghost said to have a face wreathed in flame.
Sightings of this unrelenting phantom, which were often accompanied by a strong smell of sulfur, have in recent years seen comparisons being drawn with the comic book antihero Ghost Rider.
References to this terrifying spectre can be found in a newspaper article published just before Halloween in 1887 which described it as having a face "smeared with phosphorus, which gives the appearance of a ball of fire."
According to local reports at the time, one woman who encountered the ghost was so traumatized that she was left bed-ridden and in a "state of shock."
Witness accounts of its attire varied, with some reports indicating that it was wearing a long military coat and others claiming that it wore a "rubber dress" and that it was coated in grease.
Others again even claimed that it had devil-like horns and a "hollow, sepulchral laugh."
So great was the level of fear instilled by the ghost that for a time, many were too scared to venture from their homes at night in fear of running into it.
While local police were left to attend the sites of numerous sightings of the spectre, no definitive evidence was ever found and many of the accounts turned out to have mundane explanations.
After a while, the hysteria died down and the "ghost with a face of fire" was never seen again.
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