Transport Ghosts And Haunted Vehicles

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Trains, boats, cars and buses?

"Houses are not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the architecture with which we surround ourselves, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts."

DEAN KOONTZ, Velocity


When we think about ghosts and paranormal phenomena we tend to visualise haunted houses, castles and graveyards. However, looking into the realms of the supernatural, where anything seems possible, it shouldn't really surprise us that transport vehicles have their own ghost stories to tell. Poltergeists, apparitions and exorcism are just a few of the events that have happened with haunted vehicles.

The western side of the Lizard Peninsula Cornwall - the scene of may ghost ships and legends.
The western side of the Lizard Peninsula Cornwall - the scene of may ghost ships and legends. | Source
Many ships and fishing trawlers are reported to be haunted.
Many ships and fishing trawlers are reported to be haunted. | Source
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The Fishing Trawler 'Pickering'

This boat had so much paranormal activity on board that the crew finally called in an exorcist. They were so frightened by the poltergeist activity aboard their boat that they finally refused to go on her. Skipper, Derek Gates, reported that 'something' was taking over the ship's steering and making it go around in circles and the radar and engines constantly malfunctioned. The crew also reported that almost every night a 1.30pm the lighting would start to flicker, go on and then off. They also experienced, not just cold spots, but freezing temperatures even when the heating system was on full.

The previous skipper, Michael Laws, confirmed that strange activity did happen and that one of his crew had actually seen an apparition on deck late one night. The ghost was of a man wearing a flat cap. Michael Laws was not spared either when it came to paranormal activity. While sleeping in the lower bunk of his cabin, he would feel someone getting in and out of the top bunk when he was the only one present. Phenomena such as objects moving, being thrown and disappearing were witnessed, in addition to the oppressive feelings of being watched and followed. Strange noises were also heard but no natural explanation could be found.

The phenomena reached such a terrifying level that Vicar Tom Willis, an official exorcist for the Church of England, was called in to perform an exorcism. The vicar travelled out to sea with the crew and blessed the boat with holy water. He then led the crew in a prayer session for the spirit before returning to shore. The crew has since reported no further paranormal activity. Who or what the spirit was has never been discovered nor the reason why it was aboard The Pickering.


Cornwall, England

One of the most unusual sightings of ghostly transport can be found in that beautiful epicentre of legend and the supernatural - Cornwall. The area of Cornwall around the Lizard Peninsula for example has many legends but also ghost sightings of people and other things - such as ships.

One interesting haunting is said to occur around, Glonhilly at Croft Pasco Pool which is a large body of water. There is reported to have been numerous sightings, usually at night, of a huge white ship with her sails billowing - even when there is no wind. This odd apparition mysteriously appears and disappears without trace. Who the ship belongs to or where it is coming from or going is unknown.

In the past the locals would take the long path back home in order to avoid seeing the ghost vessel - in addition, so stories say, the locals also wanted to avoid meeting the legendary 'Lizard Folk' said to inhabit the same location.

The famous Lancaster Bomber - sightings of ghostly Lancaster Bombers are numerous.
The famous Lancaster Bomber - sightings of ghostly Lancaster Bombers are numerous. | Source
Lancaster Bomber - many crashed during WWII. Do they come back in ghostly form and are the flown by the spirits of the crew?
Lancaster Bomber - many crashed during WWII. Do they come back in ghostly form and are the flown by the spirits of the crew? | Source
Lancaster Bombers and other planes have been observed in ghostly form since world war II
Lancaster Bombers and other planes have been observed in ghostly form since world war II | Source

The World War II Planes

There are numerous stories about spirits and other paranormal phenomena surrounding people and vehicles from both world wars. The number of sightings of 'ghost planes' is a prime example of these types of manifestation.

Lancaster Bombers, Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District, Northern England.

The beautiful Peak District of northern England is a major attraction for nature lovers, hikers, bikers, bird watchers and any other enthusiast for the outdoors. Sadly, this area is also treacherous - in particular for plane crashes. Over fifty five air accidents have occurred over the years and in particular during World War II. One such crash happened just after the war ended. This particular Lancaster Bomber plane, had the nickname of 'Vicky, the vicious virgin' and was flown by Captain Sonny Clifford and a Canadian crew. They had survived numerous dangerous raids and had come through the war intact. It was during a routine training flight that the plane went missing in the English Peak District, near the northern moors. It was later established by investigators that they had crashed into the notorious Dark Peak and all six crew members had died instantly.

Since the war, there have been numerous sightings of Lancasters in the Peak District area. One fairly close sighting happened in the 1980s on a clear, moonlit night. A couple out walking near the Ladybower Reservoir saw movement out of the corner of their eye and suspended in the bright moonlight was a Lancaster Bomber. It could be seen distinctly but what made the scene even more eerie was that there was no sound coming from the plane. Then it simply vanished. Whether this was 'Vicky' or another Lancaster hasn't been established.

An even more extraordinary event happened in 1997 at around 10pm at night when two hikers noticed a plane flying so low that it was almost at ground level. A farmer out in his field saw the same object and was so shocked by how low the plane was that he ducked to avoid it. What is even more bizarre is that a gamekeeper and his wife also saw the plane, but they actually witnessed an explosion and heard an impact. They called the emergency services who spent 15 hours searching for the crash site using helicopters and ground personnel but no crash was ever discovered and no reports of missing aircraft came through from either the armed services or civilian airports. All the witnesses involved were certain that the aircraft was a Lancaster Bomber.


Yorkshire Sightings of Lancaster Bomber.

One of the most intriguing cases is that of a ghostly Lancaster Bomber that is reported to have been seen by a number of witnesses between 2004-2006 in Barnoldswick. In the first incident a retired police officer (Moira Thwaites), saw a large grey, silent aeroplane emerging from thick mist and flying so low that she thought it would hit her car and nearby houses. The plane - later identified as probably being a Lancaster - was large and grey with four propellers. Like so many other sightings it then simply vanished. Once the story had been printed in the local newspaper - The Craven Herald - numerous people contacted them to say that they had also witnessed the plane on the same day as Moira Thwaites. In addition, other witnesses gave their accounts of sightings that had happened prior to the 2004-2006 event.

In 2006, the bomber was again spotted - as if about to land at an old air strip that had been used during World War II for emergency landings. The witness was an elderly man - who asked for his name to be withheld from the newspaper - stated that he knew right away that the craft had been a Lancaster Bomber as he had seen many during the war years. His description is also very similar to others describing how the huge aircraft was low to the ground and made no noise at all - the Lancaster Bombers by all accounts seem to have been very noisy.

What is also interesting however, is that the plane does appear to be solid and not see-through or wispy like some apparitions - if indeed that is what these sightings are. Some theories put forward have suggested that in addition to some form of ghost or replay, perhaps time slips could also be a possibility?

The new Tay bridge with a train travelling along. Beside this you can see the stumps of the old bridge that collapsed killing 75 people.
The new Tay bridge with a train travelling along. Beside this you can see the stumps of the old bridge that collapsed killing 75 people. | Source
Real ghost trains are found everywhere in the UK!
Real ghost trains are found everywhere in the UK! | Source

The real 'ghost' trains

Given the small size of the UK it always amazes me just how much paranormal phenomena there is. In addition, we do seem to have quite a high number of ghost trains - but not the fun kind you find at theme parks. Many, but not all, are often witnessed around areas where accidents have occurred. For example the Tay Bridge disaster of 1879.


Tay Bridge - River Tay, Fife & Tayside, Scotland.

On 28th December 1879 a train was crossing the rail bridge over the Firth of Tay that divides the Scottish counties of Fife and Tayside. It was a black and violent stormy night. A train travelling along the newly built single track was making it's way northwards from Fife over the Tay to Dundee. In the darkness the ferocious wind caused the bridge to suddenly collapse near the centre. The train and its passengers had no chance. The six carriages went plunging into the river, killing 75 passengers and the driver David Mitchell - whose body was one of the very few recovered.

There has always been a strong belief around the area that near or on the anniversary of the disaster, a ghost train can be seen re-enacting the horrific accident - strange lights and the sounds of crashing - some say screams are heard - have also been reported.

It's difficult to estimate whether this is an actual replay as the remnants of the old collapsed bridge stand next to the re-built bridge. Being so close to the working rail bridge some sightings might be of modern trains seen in unusual conditions or odd angles. However, this doesn't account for the sounds of crashing metal that would have occurred when the train went plummeting into the Tay. Perhaps then, due to the powerful emotions that must have been felt, has this horrific accident somehow been imprinted on the location?

Talyllyn Railway - Wales

A group of climbers saw a phantom train near to the site of the Dolgoch Viaduct in north Wales. Around midnight while they were camped for the night they suddenly spotted a black form with a few lights racing along, before suddenly vanishing. This particular track is historic and not used for commercial trains. The only train used on the single track is the slow moving visitors train and that only runs during the day. Local people have frequently heard a train's whistle, seen lights and a steam trail speeding along the tracks - but it's nighttime when everything is shut down.


Clayton Tunnel - Brighton, Sussex

This ghostly train is not actually seen but heard and the sounds are grisly. Coming from the dark tunnel people have reported not only hearing the grating and crunching of crashing metal, but also the screams of passengers. There was a serious train crash in the tunnel in the year 1862 and it seems as if this could be a playback of this horrific event.


Nuneaton, Warwickshire

One of the best recorded - although creepy - sightings of a ghost train in this area was in October 1986. In the area near to the tracks called 'Bomb Hills', two walkers noticed steam coming from beneath a railway bridge. As they moved closer they were shocked to see on the track an old type of steam locomotive with injured people thrown around, they were horrified to notice that the scene in front of them was transparent. They ran off to get help but on returning their was nothing to be seen.

Clayton train tunnel where the apparitions of injured passengers and a train have been seen.
Clayton train tunnel where the apparitions of injured passengers and a train have been seen. | Source

Conclusions

Its very hard to reconcile the idea of a non-living thing such as vehicles being able to appear in ghostly form as people and animals do. However, when they were working vehicles they didn't operate on their own but with people inside them. Can human energy some how be printed onto the fabric of vehicles so allowing them to be seen? In addition, many of these vehicles would have been loved by many of their owners, captains, pilots etc. Would this emotion and others - especially the powerful emotions at the time of death - in some way animate these vehicles, that it's actually the human energy that has been captured with these vehicles that allows them to be seen in ghostly form?

We have no idea and this is only my personal conjecture. As with everything else in the paranormal field, if we ever do get close to solving this puzzle, there is no doubt that it will throw up many more questions and even greater enigmas.

© 2013 Helen Murphy Howell

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Comments 30 comments

Kalmiya profile image

Kalmiya 3 years ago from North America

These vehicle-type hauntings are very interesting. We have a number of old historic homes in our city and they also have haunted stories attached to them but as far as vehicles, I haven't heard of anything nearby. Voted up!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 3 years ago from Georgia

I thoroughly enjoyed your telling of these ghost stories. I'm of the belief that something is happening when these sightings occur. I'm not able to tell what it is, but one day we may and it could turn out to be so simple, we'll throw up our hands and say "of course that's what's happening." Well, that's my conjecture anyway.

Thanks for sharing the collection with us.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

Most fascinating, indeed. I am very interested in the paranormal; indeed, we have a few spirits in and around our home.

I believe your theory about people intimately involved with these vehicles is what brings their images back--the spirits of the people who worked them, loved them, are forever entwined with the objects, and return with them. It makes as much sense as any other explanation, and probably more sense than many.

Voted up, interesting, awesome and shared.


Christine B. profile image

Christine B. 3 years ago from Medina, Ohio

I loved this article! You are a writer with a kindred spirit, so to speak! :) I posted a link to this article on my Christine B.'s World of the Paranormal Blog so others can read it, as well. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/242891635779481/)

Voted Up and Awesome! :o)


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Fascinating and e good reading. Thank you for this.


onegreenparachute profile image

onegreenparachute 3 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

As usual this ghostly hub is both fascinating and well-written! I would love to see and experience one of these apparitions.

Thanks Seeker!

Voted up and shared.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

Seeker like I said before I enjoy hubs like these bless you :)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Wow one spooky hub; so very interesting and voted up.

Enjoy your weekend.

Eddy.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Very interesting and fun stuff. I have never seen a ghost but I do believe in them. Voted up and shared.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Kalmiya,

Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I have to say that all areas of the paranormal fascinate me but historic homes are at the top of my favourite's list. I think because it's easier at times to learn more about the people who used to live there and get closer to them if they happen to be around. Ontario, must have a fantastic history and I can imagine the hauntings are fascinating!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Cyndi10, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub!

That's a really interesting insight about these types of paranormal happenings. I think it's very likely that the cause may well be very simple and it could be a case of 'why didn't I think of that?' Certainly the way my brain works at times, I have often had the experience of 'why couldn't I think of that'! LOL!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Lizzy, lovely to hear from you and hope things are well with you!

Yes, people do love their cars and there are so many stories of captains and crew who wanted to go down with their ship when they were sinking and so on. And since man-made vehicles, as far as I know, may not have the kind of energy that can materialise, perhaps its the people that make it happen.

Many thanks for the share and the vote up - greatly appreciated!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi ChristineB, lovely to hear from you and glad that you enjoyed the hub.

I'm very flattered that you've shared this article on your blog - thank you! I really do appreciated the compliment. I will look up your blog - it sounds fascinating!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Mhatter99, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi onegreenparachute, many thanks as always for stopping by and leaving a comment - greatly appreciated. Glad also that you enjoyed the hub and like yourself, yes I would love to see one of these apparitions - maybe one day we might be lucky!! LOL!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Frank your one heck of a gentleman!!! Blessings to you as well.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Eddy, hope your having a nice weekend - hope the weather isn't as bad in beautiful Wales as it is up here!!

Glad that you enjoyed the hub and that you found it a good spooky one!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi moonlake, many thanks as always for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub! The vote up and share is always appreciated - thank you!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for another fascinating paranormal hub, Seeker7. Paranormal sightings are so very interesting and mysterious, and your hubs give a lot of food for thought on the topic!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

HI AliciaC, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub.

I have to admit that these transport/vehicle ghosts are real puzzlers but so interesting as well!


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 3 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Fascinating. As ususal you have excelled in this field of reporting the paranormal. You do an excellent job of both research and writing and the images you find are incredible.

I never thought of transport as being ghostly and all of these are new to me, although I have heard of the Lancaster bomber before.

Personally I can't come up with any other explanation than that these vehicles are visual through human energy. As you say the more we may find out the questions there will be.

Excellent hub and a thumbs up from me and shared


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Rosemay, hope you had a lovely Easter - and didn't eat too many chocolate eggs!!

Glad that you enjoyed the hub and I agree with you about and the human energy - because these vehicles were involved with people, I can only think that the ghost sightings are somehow linked with the human spirits rather than the vehicles themselves having their own energy - but with the paranormal you never know!!

Many thanks again Rosemay for the vote up and the share - always greatly appreciated!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

A haunted fishing trawler is certainly a new one and very interesting the witnesses and their experiences. Interesting too in that an exorcism seemed to work. The paranormal appearances of large craft like ships and planes really brings up the question of heightened emotions causing an imprint in time that occasionally plays over in our spectrum of recognition. War plane disasters would seem to be the most likely as there was almost always a higher degree of danger in peoples thoughts and feelings. Just thoughts there on the subject, there are so many more possibilities. Enjoyed this write thoroughly my friend, that last pic of the Clayton tunnel reminds me how much older are buildings in the British Isles as compared to over here lol. Oh and Helen, try contacting through this e-mail: daneman100@gmail.com. Can hardly wait!:)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Alastar, apologies for the delay in replying, it's the long weekend holiday so we've been out and about a lot.

I agree with you about the plane crashes, especially the ones from the world war. Their emotions would already been primed before going into battle or even on a return and then to know that the plane is going to crash and the inevitable is about to happen - very powerful energy must be created, enough I would think to ensure the apparition of a plane at any rate. But yes, there are endless possibilities and I wonder, as with so much in the paranormal field, if there is either more than one cause for certain experiences and/or a combination of factors need to be present before a paranormal event occurs?

Thanks also for the e-mail, will use this one. I'm sure we were able to contact hubbers via e-mail from this site, so I'm either been incredibly dumb or we can't do this now! But I will be in touch soon - thanks again for the great comment though, always fascinated to hear your views!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

No apology needed my friend. We get caught up with life or other projects and do what we can when we can. That is something to think about with the combination of factors. Do you recall the 1972 airliner that went down in the Florida swamps killing the two pilots and some passengers? Well, the two pilots started appearing to people in the parts of the downed jet used for other jets. It was often they gave advice or warnings of something wrong with the particular plane and were found to be right. It got to the point the airline company had to mothball all the jets with those parts eventually, fascinating case. Waiting for your reply with bated breath as they say lol! It can be on anything you want Helen, anything at all 1500 words or less. Don't believe there is a contact on HP anymore, couldn't find one for you. Anyway you'll make an awesome guest and I do look forward to it!:)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

What a fascinating case and yes I do remember the plane crash. It almost seems like they could use part of the crashed plane as an attachment to the physical? How interesting, it's a shame those bits were 'mothballed' but then understandable if people were seeing spirits on their journeys - this is not usually among the in-flight entertainment!

Hopefully, I wont be much longer with the article, my only concern is that you wont be disappointed. But I'll try my best! Thanks again Alastar, you're a gem and a gent rolled into one!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

What a spooky hub, especially in time for Halloween! Nice inclusion of detail and photos. Voted up and more, plus pinned.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

This reminds me of my own experience with "The Ghost Train of Highland Park" which in retrospect was probably a time slip, but was no less terrifying at the time. So much so that I wrote a hub about it!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Having had my own experience with a "ghost train" passing in front of my home at 3:00 in the morning, I'd have to say that the Lancaster Bomber sightings are definitely time slips...in a sense, Mother Earth forgetting to turn off the REPLAY button. I suspect the same to be true of ghost ships that appear with billowing sails when there's no wind.

As for the the Pickering, the haunted ship, that would be a case of the ghost or ghosts of former crew members who, because of the traumatic nature of their death(s) aboard the ship, had not yet gone to the Other Side. No surprise then that an exorcism involving prayers to send him/them on the rest of his/their journey worked.

There's another form of "transport haunting" I've not seen mentioned anywhere, i.e. when the now-deceased previous owner of a private automobile or van was so attached to it that their non-crash death didn't sever the attachment. This only happened to me once, but although terrified when a good friend, the recently-deceased but disembodied owner of a van I was ferrying back to his widow, suddenly began carrying on a normal conversation from the passenger seat, I managed stay calm until "we" reached "our" destination. I didn't mention to the young widow, whom I knew didn't believe in ghosts, that she'd be in for a hopefully-happy surprise the first time she drove that van! ;D


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 2 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi JamaGenee - as always huge apologies for taking so long to respond. Many thanks for the fascinating comments and I loved the story you relate about the deceased van driver. This is a neglected area of research that needs to be looked into.

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