When there are big wars, the forces of evil are activated everywhere, and while soldiers are killing each other on the battlefields, very strange things sometimes happen somewhere nearby or in the rear. World War II was no exception, and Britain turned out to be a fertile place for the paranormal.
ARP rushes to the rescue
Even during the First World War, British cities were repeatedly bombed by German Zeppelin airships and Gotha heavy bombers. Experts predicted that large-scale aerial bombardment of civilians would be essential in the wars to come. Therefore, when the aggressiveness of Hitlerism began to look threatening, the British in April 1937 created the Department for Combating Air Raids - ARP (Air Reid Precautions). With the outbreak of hostilities, the ARP fighters provided control over the notification of the population about the bombing with the help of air raid sirens, sent people to public bomb shelters, issued and checked gas masks, provided first aid to victims of the bombing - in a word, they were engaged in solving many tasks related to air defense.
In total, during the Second World War, about one and a half million people passed through various ARP services. In 1943, a certain Howard Leland served on the London ARP patrol, with whom a strange incident once happened. One October night, he was bombed. An aircraft shell exploded near Howard, and he tried to hide, rushing into the basement of a nearby dilapidated house. There he waited out the raid, while cement and plaster fell on his head from nearby explosions. When all was quiet, Leland decided to look around and turned on his flashlight. He saw that he was in a dirty and dusty room, from where an old staircase led upstairs. Suddenly Howard felt that someone was watching him. This feeling quickly outgrew fear. Leland thought that someone was at the top of the stairs and shone a flashlight there. Imagine his surprise when he saw an absolutely incredible creature there.
In general, it looked like an unusually large cat with glowing red eyes, on whose head for some reason were adorned with horns. According to him, the strange creature literally "radiated waves of pure evil." The bright eyes of the monster had a hypnotic effect on the person, and Howard fell into a state similar to a trance. He sat and looked at the strange beast, which meanwhile jumped down the stairs and headed towards the ARP fighter, howling terribly. From this sound Leland woke up and saw people from his squad rushing into the basement. It turned out that his colleagues had been looking for him for a long time.
Howard told them about the terrible creature, but none of his deliverers saw the horned cat. The strange creature seemed to disappear into thin air with the appearance of new people. However, later, the hero of this story was surprised to learn that a similar creature was seen in the area by others. Howard Leland was so shocked by what had happened that he decided to seek help from a psychic and clairvoyant John Pendragon.
The clairvoyant told him that in the house where he saw a terrible creature there once lived a certain occultist who used cats for his dark rituals, sacrificing them to the dark forces. Experiments of this kind drove the occultist to insanity, and he hanged himself. After that, many people saw a huge black cat near this house. The creature that Howard met in the basement of the house, according to Pendragon, was some kind of elemental spirit, or demon, who took the form of a cat due to the terrible incidents of violence against cats that took place in this building. Although, who knows, maybe it was the evil occultist himself, who briefly entered his house directly from the underworld.
Another strange story happened in Liverpool two years earlier. It was first set forth in a book by the modern Liverpool collector of urban legends, Tom Slemen. On Friday, October 31, 1941 (October again - what an obsession!), A certain Ken, a 55-year-old member of the Militia, which in Britain was formed from reservists, patrolled the territory of Stanley City Park at night. While patrolling, he met a cyclist, whom he recognized as his old friend, nicknamed Jagger, who had already taken part in the First World War. Ken asked Jagger what he was doing here, and he replied that something similar to gliders had been seen over Stanley Park, and he was sent to check this information. The Militia's many duties included patrolling wide open spaces like Stanley Park where enemy paratroopers or gliders could land. Just the other day, there was a panic in Liverpool: eyewitnesses claimed that they saw a German warship at sea. People were so afraid of the invasion of the Nazi invaders that they dreamed of them everywhere.
“There must be some kind of communication problem because I was sent here for the same reason,” Ken told a friend. “However, all I've seen so far has been a dirty owl from Anfield Cemetery.
After that, Jagger went to eat, and Ken continued to patrol. He soon met 70-year-old Macintosh, who worked as a park watchman. A militia fighter told him about the strange gliders above Stanley Park. Ken assumed that the old man would let go of some kind of mockery of the alarmists, but he, on the contrary, nodded in understanding, and then said:
“These are not gliders, Ken, but there really is something flying at night, and I saw it with my own eyes. And whatever it is, it comes from there,”and the old watchman nodded toward Anfield Cemetery.
"It's just a night owl, Mac," Ken objected, chuckling nervously.
“In that case, it’s a huge owl with a wingspan of almost two meters, and its white muzzle looks like a face - honestly,” Macintosh retorted.
Suddenly Ken literally froze.
- What it is? Women's laughter! Just listen!
- Oh yeah! And I hear, - the old man responded anxiously, after which he whispered: - but it looks more like crying than laughter.
- The sound comes from the other side of the park, on Anfield Road. And it seems to be approaching us! Ken exclaimed.
Shooting a flying woman
Suddenly, laughter echoed over the tops of the nearby trees, and a dark, barely discernible figure flew over the heads of the men, right under the waning moon. Then it swooped down towards the graveyard, spun around and flew straight towards Ken and Macintosh. The Militia fighter raised his rifle and aimed at the attacking creature. Taking aim, he saw the face of a woman with shining, like a cat's eyes, her hair wriggling over her head like snakes. A black cloak rose behind the flying woman. Ken shot her in the face, then again. The second bullet hit the target, and the strange creature let out a loud, piercing cry, and then fell down on the fence of the park. Ken fired two more shots at the night monster, but missed. The creature jumped up, ran along the path, flapped its wings and flew up into the night sky again.
When it disappeared, Macintosh asked Ken several times if he saw any teeth in this creature. When the militia finally found the strength to say no, Macintosh said:
- She had huge teeth. How did you not see them?
“I was too busy trying to shoot that thing,” Ken snapped.
The watchman left him and went to his closet. Ken returned to headquarters the next morning, where he had to report on what he had spent four rounds on. He told his captain about the strange night incident, expecting a serious reprimand for the fabrication, but instead heard that that night another militia also saw some strange creature above the Anfield Cemetery and also shot at it. Ken quickly realized that the captain was probably talking about Jagger, who, after eating, had to return to patrol.
Hardly anyone can intelligibly say what kind of creature flew over the cemetery and park at night, but Tom Slemen got information that this phenomenon was associated with some "Russian vampire" who was buried in Anfield cemetery somewhere in the middle of the 19th century.
At that time, Liverpool was visited by a Russian nobleman who preferred not to call himself with his wife. Soon his wife fell ill with some strange disease and died. The nobleman buried her in a special coffin, which was placed in the so-called Enfield catacombs - tunnels passing under the cemetery, built centuries ago in the manner of the Roman catacombs. After that, the nobleman went back to Russia. After a while, rumors spread that a vampire had settled in Anfield Cemetery. However, these rumors did not circulate for long and were forgotten by the beginning of the 20th century.