The War-time Ghost of James Street Station


Billy Butler, the Radio Merseyside presenter, received a letter from James Davidson, a lollipop man, who lived near Penny Lane. Mr Davidson stated in his letter that he had witnessed a very strange encounter at James Street Station during the summer of 1995.

Mr Davidson was travelling from Liverpool to Hoylake on the Wirral at 10am when he noticed a man dressed as a First World War soldier in his train carriage. He assumed the man had been to a fancy dress party the evening before or that he was an extra in a period film which was being made in Liverpool at the time. Mr Davidson said the only thing that seemed bizarre was the man looked flat – he looked two-dimensional, as if he were a cardboard cut-out.

The stern-looking officer got off the train at James Street Station and marched along the platform towards an area which was out of bounds to passengers at the end of the platform where the tunnel leads to the Wirral. Carrying a baton in his hand the officer then walked towards a brick wall and walked straight through it. Mr Davidson, and other eye-witnesses, watched in utter disbelief. “I wasn’t scared,” he wrote in his letter, “just absolutely mesmerised!”


Later that year Mr Davidson saw the ghostly officer repeat his vanishing act in front of dumbstruck commuters. He reported the matter to the Liverpool Echo who ran a small piece about the ghost, reporting that travellers on the Wirral line had witnessed a soldier disappearing into a wall on the underground.


Following this second sighting Mr Davidson stretched a picture of the ghostly figure.


Many people could easily dismiss Mr Davidson’s story as another one of those ghost stories you hear now and again and dismiss him as a nut – however, there is more to this story than just these sightings.

Following a hunt through the archives, it was discovered that a Colonel in the army had actually died at James Street station in 1919, just after the First World War. It is not known whether he committed suicide of if he died as a result of an accident. However, when researchers found a photograph of the Colonel it looked identical to the sketch Mr Davidson had made.


Could it really have been the ghost Mr Davidson had seen?

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