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'Ghost Rider' haunted 19th-Century Wirral

Posted on Sunday, 4 July, 2021 | Comment icon 7 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.

Source: | Comments (7)

Tags: Ghost, Phantom

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by acute on 3 July, 2021, 22:05
Demonic entities are often accompanied by the smell of a rotting corpse/ sulphur/ rotten eggs.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Jon the frog on 3 July, 2021, 22:13
Ghost rider was lost in time...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Orphalesion on 3 July, 2021, 23:07
See this is sorta (sorta) connected to an idea I had about the Gorgons (No I don't believe Gorgons to be real). In the original Myth people turned to stone if they saw the face of a Gorgon because it was so ugly/terrifying. And here people go "bed-bound with shock" from seeing a ghost with a burning face. I wager today people wouldn't go into quite as big a shock over a ghost with a burning face, because people tend to be desensitised from movies and such. the same vein I'm wondering, could you make yourself immune to being turned to stone by a Gorgon simply by desensitising yourself by... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by papageorge1 on 3 July, 2021, 23:23
1887 and no one could get us an early cell phone picture of this? Oh well, the skeptics would have called it an early version of photoshop anyway.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Seti42 on 4 July, 2021, 14:43
Newspaper publishes the story just before Halloween.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Peterk505 on 4 July, 2021, 19:47
heh - the vindaloo was stronger in those days...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Gilbert Syndrome on 4 July, 2021, 22:03
Pretty much. This is a rehashed version of the story that Tom Slemen wrote about in one of his enjoyable but not very factual books. That Jocelyn-whats-her-name from Mysterious Universe seems to regurgitate a lot of his stories while seemingly swallowing them whole like they're truth taters. Tom is a storyteller, that gets lost on a lot of people. 

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