Updated: Apr 25
While on a shopping trip sometime in 1996, off-duty policeman Frank (last name unknown) made his way back from a record store to meet up with his wife. As he past the Lyceum Post Office, he entered what he described as an “Oasis of quietness”.
He was suddenly startled as a small box van reminiscent of the 1950s speed across his path, narrowly missing him and honking it's horn as it past. As he jumped back to avoid it, Frank realised that his surroundings had changed. He was now standing in the middle of an active road (which had previously been pedestrianized) and the shop in front of him, which was Dillions bookstore, now had the sign Cripps, with a window display of ladies shoes and handbags replacing the books that were showcased before he crossed the street.
Confused, he looked at others nearby and noticed that their clothing and hairstyles were reminiscent of the 1950s, with women in headscarves and gloves and the men wearing hats and overcoats.
As Frank tried to make sense of his new surroundings, he saw a young woman heading towards Cripps in hipsters and a short sleeve top. Reassured by her modern dress and the Miss Selfridge bag she carried; Frank followed her into the shop.
As they both entered, the décor suddenly changed around them and reverted back to the bookstore Dillons. Seeing everything around him change except for the woman, Frank immediately asked her if she had seen the same thing. Confused, the lady confirmed that she had entered the shop thinking it was ladies fashion and didn’t expect to see books at all.
Laughing the incident off, the woman simply turned around and walked out.
Did Frank somehow hallucinate the whole experience?
If so, how did the young woman also see the same shop?
The account is posted all over the internet, yet the original source material is difficult to find. The earliest account seems to be from a 1997 book on Liverpool mysteries by local author Tom Slemen.
Many accounts used by fellow paranormal sites seem to be the same story copied and reused with occasional alterations to pad it out. For the most part, this padding doesn’t add any vital information and actually ends up making it sound less credible. We are told extra but useless information like; “Frank’s wife had gone to Dillions to purchase a copy of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting”, the colour and details of the young woman’s outfit or that his wife’s name (who wasn’t even present during this experience) was Carol.
We do know that Trainspotting was first published in 1993, so this does suggest that the event happened sometime after that date. Extra details such as Frank was an off-duty policeman, may be true but more likely just additions to add credibility to the account – you’ll be surprised to read how many paranormal events happen to ex or serving police officers!
However, if we believe this account and accept the additional details introduced by other versions, we can use this information to expand on the story further:
· Various accounts say that Frank was an off-duty policeman from Melling. Although we’re crying out for a last name in this story, he may have shared this experience with fellow officers at the time? Maybe there are some ex or serving police officers in Liverpool who knew Frank in the mid-90s? Do they have extra details or more importantly, a last name to put us directly in contact with the original source?
· Some accounts expand on the record shop that Frank was on his way back from – It was in Ranelagh Street. We can use this to pinpoint the area of the timeslip occurrence. He turned left into Bold St from Ranelagh, so the slip happened between that turning and the steps of the Lyceum, which is opposite the old location of Cripps.
· The van that honked at Frank is an important and telling detail –
1) Other timeslip stories tell of witnesses being there but not there, viewing scenes around them but rarely being noticed or having interaction with the people they see. In Frank’s case, the driver of the van clearly see’s something that causes him to react with his horn? Did they see Frank appear and if attempted, could he communicate with or touch the people around him?
2) The Van had the name Caplan’s on the side (sometimes Cardin’s in other accounts). Both were identifiable local businesses in the 50’s & 60’s, Caplin’s being a wholesale business and Cardin’s being a family firm who operated a fleet of vans in the area.
· The day of occurrence is sometimes listed as a Saturday. We’re unsure of the month/season in which this event happened, but as Frank was leisurely shopping and the lady who accompanied him into the shop was wearing a short sleeve top without a coat, we can presume the event happened in the spring or summer of 96. When Frank looked at the people around him during the slip, they were wearing hats, gloves and overcoats – this tells us that Frank’s experience took him back to a date in the autumn or winter.
· There have apparently been hundreds of timeslip accounts in this area. Strangely, the majority of them all seem to transport witnesses to a particular window in time - between 1950-1970?
Have you experienced a timeslip or strange occurrence in this area?
Do you know who Frank is or why he hasn’t come forward to support this story?
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