WELCOME to Haunted Wirral, a feature series written by world famous psychic researcher, Tom Slemen for the Globe.
In this latest tale, Tom explores the mystery behind Wirral's demonic hell riders...
Seven silhouettes of figures on motorbikes crested the ancient landmark hill of Bidston that September evening back in the early 1970s.
Many saw the audacious motorcyclists; dog walkers, an amorous couple courting on the hill, an observant policeman on his Vyner Road North beat, as well as a ‘cocky watchman’ sitting in his little tent overseeing roadworks on a twilit Eleanor Road.
Against the fiery tangerine and vermilion skies of a spectacular autumn sunset, the seven ominous motorcyclists stood out as stark living shadows, and some with a keen eye noticed the horns protruding from their helmets.
Then the seven riders made what looked like a suicidal daredevil descent of Bidston Hill on their machines, and many of the entranced observers noticed that the headlamps were crimson, and straight away the policeman set out to confront the bikers because the law is adamant that headlamps can only be white or yellow – and certainly not red.
An old man walking his terrier on the slopes of Bidston Hill told the zealous officer of the law to keep well away from the maelstrom of motorcyclists roaring down the sandstone incline because they were devils. "They’ll leave us for dead," said the nervous old man, picking up his terrier and crouching behind the trunk of a tree. "The Hell Riders; that’s what they call them; keep out their way, let them go past!"
The policeman returned a smirking sarcastic look at the cowering elderly man and his whimpering dog and he defiantly shone his torch at what he perceived to be seven idiotic youths who were flouting the law of land and road.
The leader of the gang of motorcyclists accelerated to a phenomenal speed, and although his bike was thundering down a steep forty-five degree slope over hazardous rugged crags, his path was straight and did not swerve by a hair’s breadth.
In a flash the leader lashed out with a large hammer which smashed the torch and sent the policeman into a spin.
As the bikers and their thrumming machines flew through the air, landing on the poorly lit road below, the young constable rolled down the rocks, and he was left with sprains and bruises – and an incredible tale to tell them back at the station.
Some of the older serving coppers at the station had heard of these Hell Riders – bikers who had supposedly returned from the dead as servants of some ancient god – or possibly even the Devil.
The policeman who had come within inches of that lethal hammer recalled that the red headlamp of the leader’s bike had a strange symbol in its glass; it had looked like an upside-down star; a pentacle in other words – an ancient talisman of magical evocation.
That very same night, a young motorcyclist lay dying in Wallasey’s Victoria Central Hospital after deliberately driving into a tree.
He cried out, "Satan, receive my spirit!" and died at one in the morning. Several staff members swore they later saw the dead man outside the hospital on a motorcycle.
Seven other black-clad bikers wearing weird horned helmets drove off with him. The parents of the dead man later revealed that their son had been obsessed with the occult.
In the summer of 1978, two 16-year-old girls – Maura and Alice - decided to camp overnight on a field off Willaston Road because they wanted to go ghost hunting. They’d heard hair-raising stories of the Devil’s 3am appearances at the crossroads formed by the Raby Mere Road/Willaston Road junction about half a mile east of the Wheatsheaf Inn and wanted to see if the tales were true.
Two young thugs in a stolen car spotted the girls camping around a fire that night as they listened to a radio, and tried to assault them. Maura put up a fight, clawing the faces of one of the juveniles but they dragged her friend Alice to the car and drove off.
Alice stood there in tears.
The radio was playing the Blue Öyster Cult hit, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” when the girl heard a humming sound like a thousand bees.
She turned to see a procession of red lights coming down Willaston Road with the full moon hanging high above them.
As they drew nearer she saw it was nine motorcyclists, and not only did they have blood-red headlamps featuring a symbol she knew well – the inverted pentacle – the eyes of the bikers seemed luminous, and they wore horned helmets.
Maura bravely stood in the middle of the road and waved at the uncanny riders and the leader halted his machine six feet away.
The others also came to a halt.
Maura went up to the leader and told him she’d been attacked by two men in yellow car who had taken her friend.
The leader said nothing, but gestured with the thumb of his gauntlet for Maura to get on the back of his bike.
When she put her arms around him she found his body ice cold – and he slapped her hands away; he didn’t want to be held.
She had to put her hands behind her and grabbed the back of the seat. That motorbike started to slowly move off and then it rocketed through the moonlit night at such a speed, Maura really thought she’d fall off and be killed.
Hedges streaked past and within a minute, Maura saw the red tail lights of the yellow car the youths had Alice in.
The bikers overtook it and surrounded the vehicle, forcing it into a ditch. The two males tried to escape but were captured by the bikers who lashed at them with chains.
Maura went to Alice, who was unarmed, and they heard the screams of the youths as they hurried home over farmland.
The girls later saw the bikers roar along Thornton Common Road – and Maura silently whispered, "Thank you."
She developed a crush on that leader and his ‘knights’ but she never saw them again.
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