A Surprise Appearance at the Cavern Club
Old Nick Conjured up in Cavern?
Around 1957, a
man named Alan Sytner opened the Cavern Club in Liverpool to
provide a venue for the then thriving jazz scene. As most
people the world over know, the Cavern was basically just a
collection of arched warehouse cellars in the heart of
downtown Liverpool where the Beatles first came to prominence.
In the late
1950s, three men went to the club one evening with their
girlfriends, and had a great time listening to the jazz bands
well into the early hours. The men were Johnny, Tony and
Peter, and at 4 a.m., when most of the clubgoers had gone
home, the three men and their girls sat at a table, smoking
and chatting away. The conversation turned from sport to
politics then to religion, and then to the meaning of life,
and they finally ended up arguing about the occult. At this
point, one of the men's girlfriends, a girl named Rita, said
that one of the toilets in the Cavern were said to be haunted,
but Peter, who was a hard-boiled sceptic, said the ghost story
was probably just a publicity gimmick invented by the Cavern's
owner, Alan Sytner. But one of the management overheard
Peter's remark, and said there was a ghost of a man in black
that had been seen in the club by the one of the bouncers
At this point,
Johnny suggested that everyone present should gather round the
table and join hands to summon the ghost up, and he claimed
that he knew the actual words to evoke a spirit. The
girlfriends thought it would be exciting and they urged their
boyfriends and the bouncers to join in. Everyone thought it
was a joke, except a young man named Tony, who was not exactly
religious, but said the occult should not be regarded in such
a jokey manner, and he sat at another table and lit up a
cigarette. He watched the proceedings and seemed very nervous.
Tony gathered about the table, and Johnny said, "Right,
turn the lights off. Get a candle or something."
couldn't be found, but someone brought a small electric torch
to the circle, and switched it on, then placed it in the
centre of the table. Then the lights were switched off, and
all the people round the table joined hands.
There was a
scream. One of the bouncers had put his hand up one of the
girl's dresses for a laugh. Johnny said, "Stop messing
about. We need absolute silence."
There were a
few sniggers, then a strange silence descended into the
cellars. About a minute later, Johnny said, "O Lord of
darkness, I invite you into the Cavern. Give us a sign so we
One of the girls said, "And get a move on cos I wanna go to the toilet."
Then a shadow
walked across the darkened room. It was a tall man. He
wore a black suit and a black polo-neck sweater, which was
hardly out-of-vogue in those times. His black fringe was
combed back into the style of the so-called 'DA cut'
popularised by the film star Tony Curtis. All the girls looked
at him, but none of them were scared. They thought the
stranger was just a clubgoer who had been part of the
stay-behind. All the girls later said that the man was very
attractive and had magnetic dark eyes.
Tony, who was
seated at the other table on his own, thought the man was evil
from the moment he set eyes upon him, and he noticed that the
stranger seemed to come from the direction of the toilets.
Lucifer." said the man, in a rich deep voice. He then
smirked and studied the shocked expressions of the people at
"Stop messing about, " said Johnny, "we're trying to hold a seance here."
"You idiot," said the stranger, "I am Lucifer. You didn't expect me to have horns did you?"
"Oh, you're the Devil like?" said one of the bouncers in a cocky tone. he was trying to impress one of the girls.
The stranger nodded, and said, "I haven't got hoofed feet either."
"Johnny I'm scared. Turn the lights one." said Rita, and started to shake. She was about to turn hysterical.
"Relax dear, " said the stranger, "I'm not as bad as I'm painted."
The sceptical one, Peter said, "There's no such thing as the Devil."
believe in God you must believe in me too." said the man
in black, then he said, "Unless you are an atheist of
"Yes I am, actually." said Peter, in a matter-of-fact way.
"Then if you don't believe in me can I have your soul?" said the stranger.
Peter laughed nervously, "But I don't believe - "
"Then give me your soul then!" shouted the stranger.
your soul mate!" joked the bouncer, and he said, "Soulmate
gerrit?" But no one was laughing. The atmosphere was
tense with a mounting sense of terror.
"Okay, take it then." said Peter, and he grinned, but seemed to be very uneasy.
"No! Don't Peter! Don't!" shouted Tony from the other table, and he stood up but was afraid to come over.
"Thankyou." said the stranger, and he reached out in the direction of Peter with his hand and seemed to clutch at something in the air.
Then the torch started to fade. Within seconds it was just a dim orange filament, then the Cavern was in complete blackness.
one amatuerish set-up." said one of the bouncers, almost
falling over the table in the dark. He went to switch on the
lights, but they didn't go on. "Oh, don't tell me the
fuses have gone again." said the bouncer groping in the
During this time, a voice whispered in Tony's ear, "I'll be back for you one day, and your god won't be able to save you."
Tony said, "In the name of our saviour Jesus Christ I tell you to leave."
Then the lights
suddenly went on, and the rest of the people rose from the
table. But Peter didn't. He slumped forwards, hitting his face
on the table-top. He seemed drunk, but when his mates took him
home to his flat in Smithdown Lane, Peter didn't seem to be
breathing. He was taken by a taxi to the Royal Hospital in
Pembroke Place - and was certified dead on arrival. The
coroner who performed the post-mortem examination later said
that Peter - who was 27 - had the body of an 18-year-old, and
seemed to have been in perfect health. A verdict of death by
natural causes was recorded, but all the people who attended
the frightening seance believed that Peter had died because he
had foolishly given permission to the Devil to wrench the soul
from his body.
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