As he sat at his desk at Swan Street Police station, Constable Peter 'Wolf' Blass's attention was drawn to a light which was moving about mysteriously from the first floor of the disused Swan public house.
" What do you make of that shaft of light?" asked the Policeman to his loyal partner in crime, Isaac Haynes.
" That pub has been shut for three years now...I think we better investigate!"
Like all good cop buddies they never went anywhere unless they were together.
Their combined 60 years service with the South Wales Constabulary, meant that they were on 'light duties' after a terrible car crash in his dog patrol car had left PC 'Wolf' Blass with shattered knees and a guilty conscious, after his dog 'Sniffer' had gone to Doggie Heaven, on account of his swerving to avoid a Cat in Lupin Close.
'The Cat' was in fact a local Gurnos burglar , who was the pair's last recorded arrest, with Sniffer bravely hanging onto the Cat, by his teeth until help arrived.
Isaac Haynes felt that he had been 'shafted' by being paired with Wolf Blass, as he was hoping for an easy last six months, till he got his Police pension.
Boy did he regret losing the keys to the entire Panda Car collection in the Police Compound that night , nothing could move for a whole week , and the boys in blue had to borrow a Police Horse to get around.
They never forgave him at the station, as the Chief Superintendent had used the situation to promote a campaign called 'Heartbeat' , a return to 1960's style on the beat policing , which had ever overweight copper on his case, till he found them at the Briggs Arcade 'Heel Bar' where he had dropped them.
The pair received mercilessly ribbing from the lads, becoming known by the PC incorrect name of 'Car Keys and Crutch'
" Oh it is only a ghost ....said Haynes...the Swan is well known to be haunted... it is one of the oldest pubs in Merthyr!"
" Light Duties ...we were assigned to by the Super...and that was a light!" ordered Wolf Blass with two days superiority over his partner.
" All right!...moaned Haynes...grabbing his Columbo style Gannex....but it is Halloween....that's when ghosts are supposed to walk abroad!"
As the two intrepid investigators passed the blue lamped entrance they headed for the front door of the Pub.
Yvette Fielding and Derek Acorah sat silently in the main bar area of the disused pub...spirits surrounding their every move.
The web cameras whirred and clicked , as their investigations for 'Most Haunted Live 'were beamed live to the Nation, via the wonder of the internet.
In hushed tones, Yvette whispered to Derek " I think I can hear knocking....is it the spirits trying to make contact?"
" Open the bloody door....!" shouted 'Wolf' Blass ...pounding the pub door with his fist... this is the Police!"
" It's times like this when I miss Sniffer....! sighed Wolf Blass, looking at the open aperture at the top of the front window...he would have had them pinned in no time!".
As the door creaked open, the Producer, Karl , stuck his head around the crack in the door , only to receive a receive a size nine boot for his efforts.
" When I say open the door mate....I MEAN OPEN the door!" declared 'Wolf' Blass stepping over the prone figure of the producer and into the pub bar.
"Officer down ....he laughed....your kneecap...has gone again...!" pointed out Haynes as his partner crumpled to the floor .
" It is better...if you remember to let ME do that next time !" declared Haynes twisting his partners leg back into a forward facing direction.
" Allo Allo Allo, what's all this then?!" enquired Haynes looking at the circle of three people holding hands around a wooden bar table.
" Is this one of them swingers parties ....I've read it about in the Police Gazette?" enquired Wolf.
" If you must know I'm a medium!" announced Derek Acorah looking up from the table .
" Well I' m extra large!" declared Haynes lifting his Police issue trousers up to his size 50 waist.
" Do you mind...you are interrupting his concentration...!" declared a stranger stepping out of the shadows , causing both Constables to jump in unison.
" You are interrupting an important scientific experiment, to prove that there is in fact life after death...Mr Acorah here, is not only attempting to communicate with the dead but is hoping to be the only man ever to 'cross over to the side and return' since our Lord did it 2000 years ago.!"
" What about Bobby Ewing in Dallas....?" asked the ever alert Haynsey suspiciously.
" Aren't you Doug Collar....the Running Reverand....former Policeman? Interrupted Wolf Blass running through his photo-fit image in his mind.... " I never forget a face or a sermon!"
" Correct....we are here with the team of Most Haunted Live ...and you are live on Living TV so please do not swear!" continued the Minister.
" So what exactly are you doing in a disused pub at 11.30pm ....do you have a Spirit Licence?" asked Haynes ever the copper.
" We Exorcise!" interjected Yvette Fielding from the table circle.
" Never do it myself!" was the proud boast reply.
" Are those bar prices of £1.25 a shot of whisky still valid?" enquired the prostrate Wolf..." Only I gotta a bad knee see- medicinal like!"
" I thought it was a trick of the light.... announced Haynsey...an optic illusion!" he chuckled at his own joke, pressing up the glass in quick succession and placing his partner's whisky shot on the bar.
As he left £2.50 on the till register, he turned just in time to see the whisky glass move through the air and into the hand of his downed partner .
" Now that's what I call service!" he declared knocking the shot straight down.
" It appears , we are in the company of spirits !" declared Fielding..." Perhaps you gentlemen would help us in our little experiment...it might be handy having independent corroboration!"
As Wolf Blass staggered to the table, the three became five as the circle transformed into a pentagram.
Acorah sat at the Head of the table facing North, Fielding sat next to him together with local priest William Peter Blatty and the two policemen making up the séance party.
" Can you all join hands and be silent ...I will try and make contact with the spirit through my spirit guide...Magua!" announced Acorah dramatically.
" He's from Galon Uchaf isn't he...!" announced Photofit Blass.
" We share a bond!" declared Acorah.
" He's from Galon Uchaf too...!" continued the copper remembering his regular Saturday night charge sheet.
" Sssh...he needs to concentrate....!" snapped Blatty.
" Will you look at that ....!" said an amazed Haynsey....
Emerging from the centre of the ouija board , was a billow of mist and a shining object appeared above the bar table.
" I can see a crystal ball shining...!"announced Haynsey mouth agape
" That's not a ball !" announced the summoned spirit angrily...that's my bald head!....and what's more I tore my hair out working with you pair of clowns!"
" I know that voice....!"said Wolf with some trepidation at the vision before him who seemed to be looking through some kind of round window.
" Your....Inspector Dai Porthole...aren't you...the most feared but respected policeman ever to serve in Merthyr?" continued Wolf nervously.
" I thought I recognised the shining....what do you want with us?" asked Wolf concerned look on his face.
" Well...your drinking on duty for a start...replied the spirit...and you both haven't bulled your boots today.....!" boomed the spirit....but as usual I have come to help you out and save your bacon!"
" Exactly what do you mean....?" asked Haynsey....as I feel that there is going to be a price on this offer of help!"
" I want to help you solve the last of your unsolved cases on your desk before you leave the force, in exchange for one little favour!" offered the phantom.
"Agreed?" said the spirit menacingly.
" Agreed!" stuttered Wolf Blass and Haynesy as one.
" Agreed....SIIIIR...ranking officer on parade!" continued the phantom menace.
" Agreed Siiiir ..!" .said the pair sitting to attention and saluting the dead Chief Inspector.
" Good ...I'll be in touch....other spirits want to come through!" declared Porthole.
As the vision disappeared , Wolf Blass regained his composure and quipped to his partner.
"We'll have to call him Dai Portal-hole now!"
" I heard that !" came the voice from the ether.
Derek Acorah suddenly went into a trance and the glass on the ouija board began to spin wildly.
The gathered gang of five noticed that the glass began to spell out a word....M....Y..
" My...!" offered Haynsey.
" Fanny.... " continued the Policeman...." My Fanny what?"
" MYFANWY....!" declared Acorah , as he suddenly took on the face of the long dead composer Joseph Parry complete with white moustache and grey suit.
" What do you want with us ?" asked Fielding to the new incarnation.
" Those bloody benches...the spirit moaned...with my name on it...outside Nationwide...the ones with the bloody red lights on...I didn't spend weeks composing my songs to have the lyrics stuck up some hooded chavs arse...Dewi Argloed ....!" wailed the spirit.
" If you don't like that you, won't like the run-down 1960's Maisonette they named after you in Caedraw!" offered Wolf Blass
" We have a Doctor Who Court ?" asked Haynsey
" No ....that's not William Hartnell...it's Joseph Parry....the musician....you fool!" laughed Wolf Blass.
" So what's he doing now...if he is dead...is he DE- Composing!" chuckled Haynsey getting into the 'spirit' of the party.
A ghost baton made of ectoplasm suddenly cracked Haynsey on the head before departing.
Acorah's face began to change once more this time into a woman's face.
"Look !" declared Haynsey at the medium chameleon.
The table started to lift mysteriously , on the side of Wolf Blass without any apparent force.
" That's Loretta Swit...Hot Lips herself from MASH ...didn't you have a crush on her once Wolfie!"
" How do you think the table is lifting?" offered a red- face Peter embarrassed by the appearance of his Policeman's Helmet .
" I thought I'd seen the last of 'Blue Peter' !" declared Yvette fielding off some ectoplasm.
The face changed again, to that of the famous medium, Helen Duncan who was known as the Blitz Witch.
The atmosphere changed from one of mirth to one of fear.
" You police...you locked me up under the Witchcraft Act....accused me of being in league with Lucifer...and all because I predicted the sinking of HMS.(Classified)........during the Second World War.....you police...are always getting the wrong guy.....WINSTON SILCOTT, BARRY GEORGE, COLIN STAGG, and my little friend here TIMOTHY EVANS from Merthyr Vale...he wants me to curse you all....!" the spectre fired a blue spark of electric light from her fingertips towards Wolf Blass, but fortunately his disability helped him , as his sudden movement on his dodgy knee and shifting weight shattered the rickety bar chair on which he sat .
The bolt missed him, but rebounded off the pub mirror and struck the head of Priest William Peter Blatty turning his hair whiter than his own dog- collar.
As the Blitz Witch disappeared into the writhing body of Acorah there was a mass sigh of relief.
" Can you smell that Evil?" asked Yvette.
" No that's just Wolfy....declared Haynsey...I've spent many a rugby trip in Ireland with him to know when he's dropped one!"
" Sorry about that....!"offered the reappearing spirit of Inspector Porthole.
" Like you boys in the constabulary, we go round in pairs up here....I tried not to let that Witch through , but she has a way with us Navy types!"
" Anyway, you wanted me to help you clear up some unsolved local crime?" asked the Inspector....." I am always happy to help the police with their enquiries"
Looking down at his Police Note pad...Haynsey put on his best Witness Box Voice and started to read out.....
Unfortunately, by the time he had got to the right page, the medium had transformed into another spirit.
" Where am I....?" declared the one- eyed sailor looking around furtively for cannonballs.
" One minute I am kissing Hardy on the ass on the deck of the Victory ...the next I am strapped to a hairy Welshman ........where am I?" announced Lord Horatio Nelson
" In the Swan ....Merthyr Tydfil....South Wales....!" offered Yvette calmly.
" Merthyr Tydfil.... I stayed there after Trafalgar, down by the Lucy Thomas Fountain......they even named a pub after me in Pontmorlais....where's it gone?" demanded the apparition.
" Closed.....said Wolf Blass.....along with most pubs in Merthyr Tydfil....like the Crystal Palace, The Talbot, the Rose N Crown, The Gurnos Tavern, Matchstick Man, Gwynnes Arms, The Lamb, the Beehive, Castle Vaults, The Wheatsheaf , the Kings Arms, the Western, The Eagle , the Tydfil Arms......."
As the pub names were called , Haynsey sobbed like a mourner at a funeral at the passing of each boozer.
"You know why all those pubs closed.......none of them sold that wonderful Rhymney Brewery Bevan 's Bitter....now that's what you call 'Real ale'....pass me my Police CAMRA!" declared Wolf Blass...splashing his pint down on the table in doing so showering the spirit.
" That's one in the eye for me...must go... my support act wants a word!" declared Lord Nelson
" Hello Boyos...it's me Ray Gravell....what's happened to my beloved Parc Y Stradey .....they knocked it down and built a new stadium....how will they fill that ...I'm Scarlet with rage....they promised me they would name a stand after me....and they only named one entrance in my honour...imagine calling it the 'Gravell Path indeed'.....I'm hopping mad...!"
As the face disappeared , all the talk of old Merthyr Pubs had made the Running Reverand sentimental...."What about the most famous one pub of all...the one on Glebeland Street.....named after our once great heritage of railways in Merthyr .... The Narrow Gauge...... !" sighed the Holy Man
" I thought that was named after the number of shotgun weddings we had in the town!" proffered Wolf Blass.
" That boys.....was the best run pub in Merthyr Tydfil !" continued the Rev
" When I was a copper I did enjoy drinking its fine ales.!"
" As it was a pub known to police its own , popular with the Labour Party and the LVA , the landlord and landlady Dick & Peggy were given carte blanche to operate ....in the days of strict opening hours....they were given advance warning of police raids....many a time me and the other boys in blue hid on the floor behind the bar covered in coats ..... !"
"I too did some of my best undercover work there!" sighed Haynsey
" I heard that!" ....said Dai Porthole re-emerging on the face of the Medium
" He is being re-possessed!....there's a lot of that about in Merthyr" declared Wolf Blass.
" Now .....a Police Order is a Police Order....and I'm here to help you clear up those unsolved Merthyr crimes...but remember the ether is like a shortwave radio and there is a bit of a wavy signal....if you imagine the crystal ball as being a primitive search engine...trying to connect to the spiritual internet....we are not broadband but dial up and there is a lot of spam...besides the rules of 'the other side' prohibit me giving straight answers...a bit like a politician on Question time....or Haynsey in the Witness box....okay!"
" Firstly, ...oldest murder on Merthyr books.... local Brecon girl murdered near the Parish Church, Lower High Street on her way back home from Tanglwst Aberfan ....one.....Tydfil Brychan...any leads?" asked Haynsey.
" Irish....pair of brutes ....BOBO & MAGWAR.... Pict on her... long since dead...close case!" replied the Spectre.
" Fight in old Tesco store in early 1980's...who was involved?" asked Wolf Blass.
"Ouiji bored....Corned Beef wars...double cross....'Princes' of the aisles...tins of soup...blood stained all- weather tee-shirt?" blurted the spirit.
" Who was the Gwernllwyn Close flasher... who stuck his old boy through the letter boxes?" continued Haynsey.
" Dowlais.....guess who's coming...foreskin still in door...tip off....try ARTHUR COX. Penydarren!" wailed the banshee.
" Abercanaid. 2008 ...body of de-selected Local Party candidate...found...shot, drowned and stabbed five times in the back.... marked suicide on Police records... asked Wolf Blass.
" I'm Labour in to answer that one!" was the spectral reply.
" Tiny body found in Gurnos buried near front door...any concrete ideas who it is...?" quizzed Haynesy
" Step-son" was the cryptic reply.
" How much did the Council lose on the Quo concert....£200,000.00K? asked Wolf Blass.
" Down, down deeper and down....!" was the rocking reply.
"Lynette White Inquiry ...?" asked Haynsey.
"Hooker...Scrum Half...touchdown...ruck...balls up...no result" said the voice from the ether .
" Who stole our Isambard Kingdom Brunel Railway Station ?" said Wolfie
" Great Train robbery....see Ronnie Biggs at the Welsh Office!" was the reply.
" How do Merthyr Football Club can get a crowd of Four Thousand for the Walsall game and 221 average British Gas Premier game?" quizzed Haynsey.
" That's one crime ...I can't solve!" replied the sprite.
" Thanks Dai...our enquiries are complete!" said Wolf Blass.
" Now to you completing your part of the bargain!" declared the spirit.
" Well if you want our souls ...we sold them years ago to the God Bacchus !" laughed Wolf Blass.
" And if George Best wants either of his livers back, he'll have to fight us both for them .....snapped Haynsey losing his fear of the Inn spectre.
" I want you to arrest the medium....Derek Acorah!" ordered the deceased Copper.
" On what grounds...? asked Fielding shocked.
" Being the worst actor since Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbour.... Impersonating a policeman....being over the spirit limit...(and nodding at the white haired clergyman.).... and a bleach of the priest.!"
Acorah suddenly broke from the trance and legged it passed the two Coppers and up the stairs to the first floor before they could move.
As the Grandfather Clock struck 12 midnight ' The Witching Hour' brought the remaining hair on Wolf Blass neck and back to attention.
A blood- curdling scream came from the medium, as the Most Haunted crew and the two policeman made their way to the first floor.
Pushing Wolf Blass in front of him...Haynsey opened the door to the guest room to find it was completely empty save for one leather brogue- style shoe which sat in the exact centre surrounded by a chalk pentagram.
The Most Haunted Live Team were worried about the disappearance of Acorah but excited about the prospect that Acorah had finally crossed over.
" Check his shoe for his message!" demanded the Producer eagerly expecting great viewing figures.
" Are there any words inside?" asked a nervous Fielding.
" Just one....!" said Wolf Blass dejectedly realising he had lost his last chance of a 'collar'
" Tuf!" came his reply.