THE ghost of a German bomber pilot is believed to haunt a shoe shop where his plane crashed during the Second World War.

Staff at Stainers in Parkstone claim to have had many “Herr-raising” experiences over the years, thanks to a resident spook they’ve nick-named Heinz.

“We often hear strange noises coming from upstairs when there’s nobody there,” says Paula Dack-Stainer (great-grand-daughter of Tom Stainer, who founded the business in 1912).

“I arrived one morning just after 8am and went upstairs to use the loo. All of a sudden I heard heavy footsteps walking along the corridor outside.

“I called out my brother’s name – Jon – thinking it must be him but when nobody answered I bolted out of the door and there was no-one there. Then I realised it must be Heinz!”

Paula’s 20-year-old daughter Sophie was just 14 when she first made his acquaintance.

“I went in the stockroom one day and a couple of tins of shoe polish suddenly flew past my head,” she said. “I ran downstairs and told the girls what had happened and they laughed and said: ‘That’ll be Heinz!’ “Everybody who has worked here, regardless of whether they believe in ghosts, has sensed something at some stage. He has even been known to open the bunker at the back of the shop, which is always padlocked.”

Shop manager Hayley Willats, 23, usually the first to arrive at the Ringwood Road store, says she often hears creaks and bangs coming from the floor above.

“I usually put some loud music on now as soon as I get here,” she said. “Sometimes I find random shoes on the floor, too, but I’m still quite sceptical about it all and I always try to find a logical explanation.”

Paula maintains that Heinz – who once even tidied up the loft – is a friendly ghost who tried to make contact through a clairvoyant who “saw” a man in German uniform declaring that he meant no harm.

“I was really taken aback because she didn’t know anything about me and only a few of us knew about the strange goings-on in the shop back then,” said Paula.

On November 13, 1940, a German bomber fell from the sky after being hit and crashed into what was then Stainers shoe repair shop.

It is thought there were four crew on board. One bailed out over Kinson but his parachute failed to open. The others were killed on impact.

Paula still has a German parachute document, some twisted metal believed to be part of the aircraft and a man’s gold ring that were found in the wreckage.

It would seem, however, that’s not all that remains as a reminder of that dramatic incident.

But don’t worry about Heinz the next time you’re in Stainers – according to staff, he’s defin-itely the nice variety of ghost!