One very strange realm of the paranormal is that of what are known as “time slips,” wherein a person will suddenly find themselves in surroundings that seem to be alien and far removed from the reality they know, entrenched in another time. In these cases these witnesses tell of being surrounded by a scene from another era, decades or even centuries past, witnessing events unfolding around them that have happened long ago, only to find themselves whisked back to the present, leaving them bewildered. These time slips seem to be liable to happen anywhere, to anyone, but there seem to be places where this time slip anomaly is more pronounced than others, and one of these is a rather posh little street in England, which has accrued quite a few amazing reports of people being transported to times long gone.
Located in Liverpool, England, is a quaint little street lined with shops and cafes, leading from Clayton Square up to the famous Church of St. Luke. Mostly closed to cars, Bold Street is a place where one can stroll around, do some shopping, sit out and people watch at a cafe, or get a drink at one of the area’s many bars or pubs, and it is mostly a pleasant place to take a stroll. The street has a bit of history behind it, originally designed as a ropewalk, essentially a narrow lane where materials are laid out to be twisted into rope, and Bold Street was measured as the perfect standard length for the ropes needed for sailing ships of the day, but with merchants increasingly finding it necessary to live nearby, the area evolved into a residential district in the late 18th century and the ropewalk became a sort of gathering place and place for small businesses to cater to the influx of people into the area, going on to be seen as an upscale, fashionable shopping district in later decades. In modern days, is a popular place to walk and shop for locals and visitors, but it has also oddly become rather well-known in the world of the paranormal for its frequent reports of time slips.
In the 1980s there was the curious case of a woman who was eating lunch at one of the area’s cafes when the otherwise clear and sunny day suddenly became inexplicably dark, as if a cloud had covered the sun. The lady looked outside and realized that oddly the throngs of shoppers who had been walking about moments before were now gone, and that the few people still out there were dressed in what appeared to be 1950s style clothing. When the surprised witness looked around her the interior of the restaurant had also changed, and sitting next to her was a dapper gentleman in a 1950s style vintage suit. The man apparently struck up a conversation with her, and as they talked she looked back to the street briefly, but when she looked back towards the curious man she had just been talking to, he was gone and the restaurant was back to normal again, the street outside once again crowded with people and the day bright and sunny again.
Another strange case happened with a young lady named Imogen, who had gone to Bold Street to buy a present for her sister’s baby shower. She found a baby supply store called MotherCare, and went about getting the gifts, surprised by how cheap the prices were, yet things got very weird when she went to pay for them. When she took out her credit card to pay, the clerk looked at the card as if it was some alien artifact, not seeming to really recognize at all what it was, and informed Imogen that they only accepted cash. Later on, she related the strange experience to her mother, who was surprised to hear that since the MotherCare store had been closed a long time ago and there was a bank at that location now. The insistent Imogen dragged her mother to the MotherCare store to prove it, but there was a bank there, just as the mother had said.
Perhaps one of the most well-known reports of a time slip incident on Bold Street comes to us from the year 1996, when a man named Frank was out shopping in the area with his wife, Carol. It was an otherwise clear and warm day for a stroll, and would have been a pleasant time out if it weren’t for the weirdness they were about to encounter there. As they headed towards one of the shops, Frank ran into an acquaintance and stopped to talk as Carol went ahead towards a bookstore called Waterstones, her husband telling her he would meet up with her there. Frank finished up his chat with his friend and went off to join his wife, and that was when he had the sudden and odd feeling that he did not recognize where he was. He went to where he was sure Waterstones was, but he could not locate it, and the street in general appeared different that it had been just a few minutes before. It was especially odd because Frank was supposedly an ex-policeman, and was sure he knew this area well. It was a very disorienting feeling, and the startled Frank began wandering around to see if he could get his bearings straight.
As Frank looked around, a van drove by, beeping for him to get out of the way even, and this was where things would get stranger yet, as it was a very old fashioned type of delivery van with the name “Caplan’s” emblazoned on the side. He went over to the area of the street where there was car traffic and noticed that the other vehicles that could be seen there were of a similarly vintage design from the 1950s, and as it dawned on him that something was amiss he could see that other pedestrians around him were dressed in old fashioned clothing that seemed to be of the type worn in the 1940s and 50s. He managed to find the building that he was certain must be Waterstones, but over the entrance was written the name “Cripps,” and in the windows were not books, but rather women’s dresses and shoes of a similarly vintage design as the people walking along all around him, which only added to his growing confusing and creeping sense that something was definitely wrong.
It was then that he noticed a young woman in more modern attire standing at the entrance of the store looking just as confused as he was, and they both entered the store with quizzical looks on their faces. When they crossed the threshold, Frank then saw that they were in Waterstones book store and everyone within was wearing modern clothing as if nothing was amiss at all. The young woman who he had entered with looked around in shock and expressed confusion that it wasn’t the clothing store she thought it would be. It would not be until later that Frank would figure out that “Cripps” had been a popular, historical traditional dressmaking shop that had opened in 1848 and closed down in the 1970s, and that the name on the van “Caplan’s,” was also a delivery business that had closed down long ago.
Another oft-told incident on a time slip on Bold Street is the story of a man called Sean, who was at Bold Street in 2006 not to buy things, but to steal stuff. He was apparently caught shoplifting by a security guard, after which he fled down a street with the guard in hot pursuit. Unfortunately for Sean, the street turned out to be a dead end, but when he turned around, expecting to be arrested right there, the guard was nowhere to be seen. Sean warily went back out to the main street and not only was there no sign of the guard, but the entire area looked different, with the shops changed, the road construction that had been going on gone, trees where they weren’t supposed to be, and perhaps oddest of all everyone was wearing 1960s style clothing. It got even more surreal when he passed a news stand and allegedly saw that the date on the newspapers was May 18, 1967.
The unsettled witness tried his cell phone but got no signal, and in a bit of a panic he began walking down the street trying to figure out what was going on, finally entering a jeweler called H. Samuel. When he entered this store he claims that a look out the window showed that everything was still stuck in the 1960s, but when he went back outside it all had turned back to normal and his phone worked again. Making the case odder still is that a look at his watch showed that no time had passed while he was in his strange time slip, and the guard who had been chasing him would claim that the young shoplifter had just vanished into thin air right before his eyes. Interestingly, when the Liverpool Echo newspaper investigated this wild tale they found that the shops and lay out that Sean described were accurate for the area in 1967.
Another report was related to me personally, and was indeed the first time I had ever heard of the Bold Street time slip phenomenon. The witness claims that in 2010 he had been at Bold Street doing some shopping when he exited a store and found the whole street changed, with people dressed in 1950s style clothing. He looked back and the shop he had just been in simply wasn’t there anymore, with the whole building having transformed, and he explains:
I walked out of this clothes store and everything has changed on the street. Trees, bushes, the buildings, it is all different. Then I see that the people are wearing these old fashioned clothes, looked like the 1950s to me. I tried to rationalize this all somehow, but couldn’t, it was a very surreal experience. I turned around to go back into the store and the door wasn’t there where I had exited, and the whole building was different. I freaked out and went to where the door now was, leading into a totally different shop, and when I went in it was all back to normal again. The door was back to where I had just been standing and the street was the way it was supposed to be. I don’t know what was going on there, but it freaks me out to this day.
There are numerous other accounts of people experiencing time slips at Bold Street, almost always going back to the 1950s or 60s, and it makes one wonder why this should be happening here. What are these people experiencing? Is this actual time slips into the past, a peek into a parallel dimension, or simply their imaginations playing tricks on them? Paranormal investigators who have investigated these claims have come up with one theory that it could have something to do with the fact that Bold Street lies atop large deposits of sandstone and quartz, which could be creating a magnetic field that could mess with perceptions or cause some sort of rift. Another idea is that the high voltage rails for the Liverpool subway system just happen to form a tight circle in the area of Bold Street, which could be causing some portal effect. Whatever the case may be, it is curious that this one little area should attract so many reports, and that they should all funnel back to that specific time period. What is going on here? It is very likely we will never know for sure.