The Paranormal - Fact or Fiction - Ghost cases
Ghosts seem always to be associated with old houses, but there is no reason why. Death happens all the time and there is absolutely no reason to think that several hundred years have to elapse before someone who died can return to haunt somewhere, like they're waiting for the house to get old first.
Most old houses however, have a kind of eerie quality about them, often prone to creaks, groans and other odd noises. They are also prone to draughts and cold spots, so often associated with ghostly phenomena, which is perhaps why it is assumed that somewhere old will be haunted.
That’s not always the case though and in more than one instance, the area upon which the property was situated was haunted, not the buildings themselves and in at least one instance, the property concerned was a boat.
Case one: The haunted farmhouse – Residual
Residual hauntings apparently represent the most common form of haunting. In these cases, the ghosts are not always seen, but are more often than not, heard. They appear not to be aware of us and are prone to repetitive haunting practices, like for instance walking up or down stairs, wandering around in a garden or down a lane.
They are thought to be harmless due to the fact that they do not interact with us.
In this case, courtesy of Michelle Myers at Ghost Hunting Secrets, the owners of a farmhouse have seen a man dressed in old-fashioned clothing that seems intent upon rushing down the stairs and appears to take no notice of either the man or his wife.
The reply given states that this was probably due to a residual haunting and should prove harmless.
It is unknown whether or not these so-called ‘residual hauntings’ happen at the same time or in exactly the same way every time, but the fact that little or no interaction with the corporeal people around them is ever recorded, is why they have been given the name residual.
In addition, psychics that have been present during a residual haunting have also expressed that although those present were witnessing audio or visual phenomenon, the ghost was not of someone who was ‘aware’ and therefore the haunting was termed residual.
Case two: The Stockbridge by-pass – open land – Intelligent
The A619 Newark-on-Trent to Huddersfield road is one such case where there are no buildings – unless you want to term a bridge as a building.
The road itself has gained a bad reputation as speeding cars and poor signage were responsible for a string of fatalities. However its notoriety gained further momentum after an episode of Strange but True, hosted by Michael Aspel. When was aired on December 2nd 1994, it spoke of something slightly more unsettling...
It appeared that a number of security guards saw a group of children playing under Pearoyd Bridge. It got their attention as the children appeared to be wearing clothing that was extremely antiquated.
They went to investigate and when they got to where they had seen the children playing, they found nothing. In fact, even the soft mud under the bridge showed no signs of them having been there at all. The next day, the security guards discovered that workmen staying in caravans often heard children singing at night.
The following night, the same security guards spotted a man who looked like a monk on the bridge. When they approached in their car, he simply vanished, which spooked the men so much, they contacted Deepcar Police Station.
The policemen, as can be expected, jokingly said that the guards needed a vicar not the police and taking them at their word, they contacted a local vicar, who in turn contacted the police.
When the police went to investigate, they parked their car so that the bridge was clearly visible and upon seeing something moving, they went to investigate. Sadly, it was no more than a tarpaulin flapping in the wind.
Suddenly, it went cold and they got back in the car and both of them saw a body – well only the torso, in the window before it vanished. The policemen tried to start the car, but with no success, but when it did, they got out of where they were, driving back to the construction area where they parked up radioed the police station informing them of their position.
It was then that a loud crash was felt inside the car by both the policemen, but there was no-one anywhere near them. Needless to say, they got out of there as fast as they could and headed back to Deepcar Police Station.
There are stories of children who had fallen down numerous pit-shafts that existed on the north side of the valley, which may well explain their appearance and there was also a monk who became disillusioned with the priory and went to work at Underbank Hall. It may well be his ghost they saw.
Case three: The Queen Mary – Ship – Intelligent and residual
There are many alleged ghosts on the Queen Mary that have surprisingly only come to light since the ship was taken out of service.
There is a woman in a white ball-gown who is seen dancing alone in a corner of the ballroom and two that are said to haunt the first and second-class swimming pools. These two areas of the ship are often said to ring with the laughter of young children and the splashing of water and in the case of the first-class pool, wet footprints have been seen as well as trails of water from the pool to the changing rooms.
In addition, fifty feet below the water’s surface in the engine room, there is said to be the ghost of a young engineer who was crushed when the watertight door 13 closed on him during a routine exercise in 1966. The bearded young man is seen in his blue overalls in shaft alley, but he disappears when he gets to door 13.
In the only film evidence I have found to this effect, the Most Haunted team, who visited the ship a few years ago, have film evidence of this phenomena, where wet footprints are seen leading away from the first-class pool towards the changing rooms…
Case four: Two personal experiences – House – Intelligent
I think this next account comes under the heading of intelligent as the experience was definitely one which interacted and whilst it has been said that this was nothing but romanticising – a way to get the attention of others, I can assure all that there are definitely easier and less frightening ways of getting attention.
It all started in my uncle’s house, situated on the north side of Hove railway station. It’s a design that can be seen all over Brighton and Hove and is said that they were originally built for the railway workers. Then the house was home to my uncle, his partner and their two children.
I became their lodger around 1979 and took a bedroom formerly occupied by others with apparently no trouble at all, but one night I was woken with the feeling of tremendous pressure on my chest and the inability to move anything other than my head. It was also extremely cold and smelt bad.
The room when I opened my eyes was pitch black, which was odd, as there was always some light that filtered through the very flimsy curtains even on moonless nights. I was scared out of my wits, having no idea what was going on and when my head rolled to my right, I could see the figure of someone standing against the wall between my room and Chris and Jan’s bedroom.
I think it was the fact that the apparition was a kind of dull phosphorescent green and not entirely opaque that made me all the more scared and I could actually see the faint markings from the wallpaper pattern through the person’s body. To illustrate how cold it was, I could now see the vapour from my breath in the air before me as it was possible to see that the figure was actually giving off a small amount of light.
The thing that scared me the most was the fact that it appeared to be an archetypal ghost; having about it, a shapeless quality – although it was still recognisable as human, especially since I could make out the face. This appeared gaunt, with prominent cheekbones and deeply lined features, but no eyes.
Despite being able to see the wallpaper pattern through most of the apparition, I could not see beyond the eyes. They were just two deep holes that appeared to go on forever. It took a few moments to notice this in my fearful state and once I had, it only served to add to it.
After what felt like an absolute age, I managed to shout the word “no”, although it was rather dry and hoarse. I don’t know why that particular word either, but it seemed to do the trick. I felt the room return to its normal temperature and lightness as the apparition disappeared.
I felt sweat pour from all over me as I sat, trembling and wondering what the hell had just happened.
I asked Chris about this the next day when we were on our own and he told me that one of the other lodgers had also experienced something similar, but without seeing anything. He said that she too had complained of a huge pressure, the smell and the cold.
I can’t say I was particularly comfortable in the room after that, but it was after repairing the barmaid from the local pub’s motorbike that I really got to see something I thought only possible with the aid of special effects.
Having finished the repair and letting Julie know, I went back home to wait for her when she had finished her shift.
When she arrived, I offered her coffee and switched on the stereo. To my surprise, without being switched to tuner, the stereo started playing something and no matter which buttons I pressed, the strange music wouldn’t go away.
She asked what was wrong and I just shrugged and said it must be the ghost.
Believe me when I say that the off-hand attitude was just bravado and nothing more. The thought of sleeping in a house with something that had taken me several weeks to calm down from and get used to, was not top of my agenda. It wasn’t a plot to get to know her better either, so when she asked where it was, I told her it was my bedroom and I was disappointed to say the least that we should be heading there under these circumstances.
When we approached the landing, the light started to flicker and the closer we got, the faster the light flickered until when outside the bedroom itself, it blew, showering the carpet with tiny shards.
I was almost soiling myself by this time, but she just seemed more interested and opened the door to my bedroom. You could feel the icy blast that rushed out to meet us and when we got in there, it looked like we were looking through moving water at the walls and so forth.
She told me that although it was strong in the room, that wasn’t where it was coming from and proceeded to open the window. Some silver foil I had created a reflector for the coloured lights in a recess, ripped and fell to the floor and I could feel the room start to spin.
Julie meanwhile had frozen and I tried to get her away from the window, but it was like trying to walk through thick putrid mud. Before I could make the six or seven feet to her, she dropped to her knees, sobbing and I closed the window, before going to comfort her and get her out of there.
It took some time to calm her although once over the emotional outburst, she seemed perfectly alright and it surprised me. She said she was used to it – something that I couldn’t fathom, but well, she said she was fine and shortly afterwards, she left.
Needless to say, if I could have slept somewhere else I would have, but I had to stay in the house and chose to sleep in the lounge.
I didn’t stay there much longer.
So does this prove the existence of ghosts?
Not a chance. These two experiences alone made me a believer, but that’s not to say it will do the same for others.