Bold Street in Liverpool is place well-known for time slips. CHRISTINE MILLER investigates this strange paranormal phenomenon.
Otherwise known as spontaneous time travel, time slips are a curious sub-genre of the paranormal. Even to the die-hard Fortean enthusiast, they remain quite the mystery, with no one singular theory as to how – and perhaps more pressingly why – they occur.
There is one place where these mysterious time slips seem to happen more often than anywhere else in Britain: Bold Street in Liverpool, a bustling, modern street filled with shops and cafes.
And quite possibly the last place you’d expect anything paranormal to happen.
Numerous stories have transpired over the years of people unwittingly entering other realms in the street, with one of the most well-known occurring as recently as 2006.
A Journey to 1967
The tale goes that 19-year-old Sean has been shoplifting in the area when a security guard quickly noticed and approached the young man. Sean proceeded to run down an alleyway in an attempt to shake off the guard, only to find it was a dead end.
Turning around, he expected the looming presence of the security guard hot on his heels, but the security guard was nowhere to be seen.
It would soon become apparent that something very odd was happening.
Sean walked back out into the street, whereupon, strangely, bafflingly, the road had changed entirely from mere minutes ago.
People were dressed strangely; cars looked peculiarly outdated; even the road works which Sean had just seen moments earlier were now gone.
He attempted to use his mobile phone, only to learn there was no service. The young man was by now wholly bewildered as to what was happening and tried to piece the terrifying puzzle together. He stumbled to a kiosk, where to his horror, he saw the date on a broadsheet:
It was 18th May 1967.
Somehow Sean had managed to travel back in time some 39 years.
By now, in a complete blind panic, he began to run. Yet as he did, he could just about make out the streets of his hometown slowly beginning to form some semblance of normalcy. He stopped and looked around at the now modern-day street, yet where he had run from still looked like that old-fashioned street full of oddly dressed people and antiquated cars.
He jumped on a bus and made a quick escape back home.
While some have put Sean down as not having the most reliable eyewitness testimony, the security guard who chased young Sean had something interesting to say which would support his incredible story.
Speaking to a journalist, the guard mentioned that when he was chasing Sean, the pair had headed into the dead-end alleyway, where the guard visibly witnessed Sean suddenly and inexplicably vanish into thin air.
The details Sean gave about 1967 Bold Street firmly added exactly how the street would have looked then.
Sean told his story many times – and always remained consistent in his retelling. Indeed both men stated that they were profoundly affected by what had happened to them on that strange, curious morning in 2006.
The pair aren’t the only two to experience a time slip in Liverpool’s Bold Street.
A Shopping Trip to Remember
Just 10 years earlier, Frank and Carol, a married couple were out for a day shopping in Liverpool’s city centre.
Carol decided she wanted to pop into a bookshop to purchase a book. They were held up, however, when Frank bumped into an old friend and the pair got chatting. Carol went on ahead, walking to the bookstore by herself.
When Frank finally said goodbye to his friend, he travelled to Bold Street, where he was surprised to see that the bookshop had changed its name to Cripps, with the new name displayed above the door.
It soon became clear that the store was no longer a book shop but a women’s boutique, with clothing and handbags adorning the window display.
Before he went in, Frank heard a van passing whose signage said Cardin’s on the side. The van gave out an old-fashioned beep from its horn as to proceeded up the road. Upon looking closer, Frank soon noticed that all the cars busying past him were old-fashioned – like they could have been from the 1950s.
He was beginning to feel on edge when a woman in modern clothing also approached the front of the shop. She smiled at Frank while looking somewhat confused at the shop front. Nevertheless, they entered Cripps together, only to discover that inside, it had returned to being a book shop – with not a ladies’ handbag in sight.
The woman appeared puzzled, remarking to Frank that she thought it was a new women’s store, before turning around and leaving the shop.
It should be noted that Frank was a retired police officer and not a man to give rise to tales of the paranormal. Yet, there seems to be very little other explanation for the events.
As it would turn out, Cripps was a store on that same very spot in Bold Street many years previous. Similarly, Carlin’s, the name that was on the side of the van, was also a thriving business in Liverpool at one time, yet the company was long gone by 1996.
Read more about time slips in this fantastic article by Nia Jones.
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