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The Mysterious Bold Street Time Slips in Liverpool

Nell has been an online writer for over eight years and is fascinated by the paranormal, including omens, time slips and the supernatural.

Bold Street has been the site of many mysterious stories.

Bold Street has been the site of many mysterious stories.

Why Is Time Travel So Intriguing?

The subject of time has always intrigued us. Is it as set as we have always believed? Or does time loop back on itself, giving us a glimpse of a shadowy past out of the corner of our eye?

Was it just our imagination that made us believe we saw an object or building change before our very eyes? Why does it seem as though we have stepped back into the past in such instances?

When this happens, we usually shake our heads and put it down to imagination. But over the last few decades, something strange has been happening in or near Bold Street in Liverpool, England. These odd instances have not been merely glimpses of the past, but full immersion into the strange and mysterious world of English history—if only for a few moments at a time.

Step Back to the 1950s and 1960s

One of the strangest things about the Bold Street time slips is the actual time and place they are set. In the following cases, the people involved did not go back really far, but seemed to visit a particular decade or decades.

So far, most of the sightings have centered around the 1950s and 1960s, and this is strange in itself. Most time travel experiences seem to take the recipient back to the 18th or 19th century. But not in this case.

Are these people simply copying each other in their experiences, or are they genuinely taking a step back in time? The answer to this has to consider the possibility that they may be doing it deliberately to get noticed. In other words, are they perpetuating a hoax?

Another explanation could be mass hallucination. And, last but not least, it is possible that they really are experiencing this strange phenomena!

The most important point is that the very first person who had this experience obviously believed in what he saw, heard and felt.

So, does time flow like a river? Or does it twist and turn, going forward then sweeping back, picking up historic events and placing them down in front of you, if only for a few moments?

A step back in time to the 1950s.

A step back in time to the 1950s.

The Missing Bookstore

In this first tale, we find Frank and his wife, Carol, out for a stroll in Liverpool town center.

It is 1996.

Carol decided that she wanted to go and buy a book at Waterstone's—the large bookstore—and they started to walk towards the shop.

As they approached Bold Street, Frank decided to go to another shop first. However, he bumped into a friend and stopped to chat in the street. His wife went ahead without him.

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A few moments later, Frank said goodbye, visited his shop and turned to go back to meet his wife. After reaching Bold Street, he headed on towards the bookstore. As he approached, he glanced up and was surprised to see the name, Cripps, above the door. As he was about to cross over to see what was going on, a van swept past him with the name Cardin’s on the side. The van driver honked his old-fashioned horn and drove past.

Looking around, Frank suddenly realized that things were not quite what they should be. He looked at the cars driving past and realized that they were all old-fashioned vehicles like the ones people drove back in the '50s and '60s.

And then he noticed the people. Men were wearing hats and macs, and the women were dressed in head scarves and full skirts and had old-fashioned hair styles like the ones women wore just after the war.

By this time, Frank was beginning to feel slightly freaked out. He carried on crossing the road and headed towards the store.

As he got closer, he noticed in the window there were handbags, shoes and umbrellas. Suddenly, he saw a young woman looking up at the shop sign. She looked confused. She was wearing modern clothes, and as she saw him approaching, she smiled at him.

 Bold Street Liverpool then and now.

Bold Street Liverpool then and now.

The Mystery of Cripps and Cardin's

Frank went into the shop, closely followed by the young woman. When they entered, he was surprised and pleased to see that it had indeed turned back into a bookshop. The young woman smiled, shook her head and said, 'that was strange, I thought it was a new clothes shop!' She walked away looking extremely puzzled.

This may sound like an unlikely tale. But the odd thing is that Frank was in fact a former police officer—he was used to dealing in facts and definitely wasn't the type of person who would believe in the paranormal.

Frank never stopped talking about this strange experience. Was this a time slip? Evidently Cripps was a women’s shop that sold clothes and other goods decades before! And Cardin’s was also a well-known Liverpool firm that owned vans around the same time.

A MotherCare Store or a Bank?

The second story concerns a young girl by the name of Imogen. She had decided to go into Liverpool to buy her sister, Abigail, a few things for her new baby. Upon arriving, she was happy to see a new MotherCare store that had opened up on the corner of Lord Street and Whitechapel.

She wandered around the store and picked up a few baby items, such as cardigans, baby bibs, and gloves. She was surprised to see how cheap the items were, but thought they were on offer since the store had just opened. Taking them to the counter, she tried to pay with her credit card. The staff member looked at her suspiciously and went off to get the manager.

When she came back, she looked at the card and told Imogen that they didn't take cards. Disappointed, Imogen went and put the items back as she hadn't any money with her.

When she got home, she told her mother what had happened. Her mother was surprised and really puzzled. ‘That store closed years ago,’ she said. 'There is a bank there now. In fact, that’s where I have my account'.

Not believing her, Imogen took her mother back to the same place the next day. Sure enough the store wasn’t there. It was a bank, just as her mother had told her.

Time slips are confusing and can make you feel lost.

Time slips are confusing and can make you feel lost.

A Thief Goes Back to 1967

The third tale is of a young man named Sean. While shoplifting in Liverpool back in 2006, Sean ran away from a security guard and headed down Hanover Street. Trying to shake off the guard, Sean turned into a dead end street called Brookes Alley.

By this time he was out of breath and started to get a tight sensation in his chest. He soon realized that actually it wasn't a problem with him, but the atmosphere around him.

He waited for the guard to come around the corner after him, but he never appeared. Thinking he had given him the slip, Sean sauntered back out and started to walk down Hanover street again. But he soon realised that something was wrong.

The road looked different, and so did the pavement. He noticed cars driving by that looked very old-fashioned, and the road works that he knew were there, were now gone.

Soon he saw that the people around him were wearing strange clothes. Crossing over to Bold Street, he noticed that there were traffic lights where they weren't before. Bushes were growing around the Lyceum, near a bar that he recognized.

He carried on walking. Soon he began to feel that something was not quite right and began to panic. He realized that somehow he had stepped back in time, and the time slip was not going away.

Then he remembered his cell phone. Taking it out of his pocket, he tried to get a signal, but of course it didn't work. Eventually he began to really panic, but soon spotted a kiosk selling newspapers and headed over.

Leaning over the stand, he took a look at the front page of the Daily Post. There in bold lettering was the date. 18th May 1967.

He wondered what to do. What would happen if he couldn't get back to his own time? What about his family and friends?

Picking up his pace, he reached H. Samuel the Jewelers, and tried his phone once again. This time it worked. Sighing with relief, he looked around and realised that he had returned to the present. Strangely though, he could still see people walking around in 1967 just down the end of the road.

By this time, Sean had seen enough and dove onto a bus to go home. When he was interviewed by the local newspaper later, he stated over four times the exact same account.

Now, you may think that Sean was making the story up to escape from the guard. But the strange tale didn't end there. When the security guard was interviewed, he stated that when he ran after Sean and turned down the dead end alley after him, Sean had completely disappeared!

When the newspaper checked the facts of Sean's story, they found that everything he said was historically accurate.

Time Slip Mystery

These three stories are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many tales from around Liverpool that tell of time slips, ghosts and other strange phenomenon. The stories keep coming thick and fast, and of course the more tales, the more likely people will start to believe that they are all being made up. Or, as the saying goes, that they are Urban Tales. So, what do you think? Are these stories the result of real-life time slips, imagination, mass hallucination or are they purely tales that started out as fun but have turned into the greatest Urban Legends of all time?

My opinion is that, yes, something probably did happen to the first guy, Frank, who was just out shopping with his wife. The others? Maybe it was a case of mistaken roads, taking a wrong turning or just a glitch in the person's memory. By the time they got home, they totally believe what happened.

Or, is it true? There are so many cases concerning Bold Street (and indeed just about anywhere else in Liverpool) that maybe, just maybe, they are all living on top of the biggest time slip phenomena in the world.