Ex-teacher tells tales of the paranormal

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An illustration from 'Paranormal Merseyside'

An illustration from ‘Paranormal Merseyside’

A former English teacher has unearthed a series of peculiar legends in the city for his new book, ‘Paranormal Merseyside’.

Tucker, 31, left his job at St Julie’s Catholic High School in Woolton two years ago to be a full-time writer and it took him six months to write his spooky and supernatural stories.

His tales include an alien abduction and leprechauns running loose in Liverpool parks.

He told JMU Journalism: “I tried to bring out the humour of paranormal stories in the region, rather than choosing the most plausible stories I chose the ones which were the most absurd and unlikely.

“I went for a mixture of sceptical and non-sceptical in the book, I wanted to make it different from other paranormal books.

“I’ve been fascinated in the paranormal since I was a child, I don’t necessarily believe in all of it but I just find it interesting.”

He added: “I enjoyed being a teacher but I didn’t like all of the paperwork and taking home 12 hours of work at the weekend.

“I didn’t like the government interference in schools and eventually had enough of it. I would definitely say I enjoyed the more creative side to teaching.”

Steven, who is from Widnes, is also a regular contributor to paranormal phenomena magazine Fortean Times which he has read since he was a child.

He said: “I wrote the book in quite a short time as I knew a lot of the facts beforehand. The publishers, Amberley, have a series of regional paranormal books and they asked me to do something regional so I suggested doing Merseyside because I live here and I know a lot of local stories. I’ve been writing for magazines about it for years now so I had built up a library of that kind of material.”

Steven’s library of supernatural books and information gave him a head start in writing the tales, however he admits to it not being a completely serious book: “I wanted it to be entertaining. I wanted to look at the most amusing and strange stories as opposed to the scary ones which have been done before.

“One story I included was from 1964, when school children believed that leprechauns were running loose in Liverpool parks. It is obviously not true but it’s an amusing story.

“That’s one of my favourite stories in the book just because it is just so unlikely. There is a sort of absurdness to it.”

However, despite the bizarre stories, Steven says the book is not teasing those who believe they have had a supernatural experience.

“The stories are ones which may have some kind of truth to them,” he said. “One of the stories is about a man called James Cook who alleged he was abducted by aliens in the 1950s. It’s highly unlikely that he was but I don’t think people like that are necessarily lying, I think it is true to them. It seems to me like this guy had a visionary experience which he has taken literally.”

Steven has two more books coming out this year entitled Terror of The Tokoloshe and The Hidden Folk.

Paranormal Merseyside is out now from Amberley Publishing, priced £15.99.

About Lauren Murphy, JMU Journalism