Thursday, 22 January 2009

On ghosts and strange occurences

I've always been fascinated by anything that cannot be explained rationally, but I've been obsessing over ghosts recently - moreso than usual.

For today's brief and unexciting (I'm getting desperate for material here) tale of idiocy, a little background information is needed. A friend of mine is convinced my flat is haunted, despite having only stayed here once, and I've often felt like someone else was in my bedroom as I lied in bed, even if I was alone. Nothing too out of the ordinary though.

A couple of nights ago, something very eerie happened here.

I haven't been sleeping recently so when my flatmate had retired to her room for the night, I laid in my bed with the light on and read for a while. This was around midnight. A couple of hours later I'd turned off the light and been having coughing fits, whilst perhaps dozing for a couple of minutes before coughing woke me up again. I was never fully asleep. After one particularly nasty spluttering session I looked up to see the silouhette of my flatmate standing at the door of my room, I assumed checking to see I was ok, but it startled me so much I shrieked and said "Jesus you scared me!" She giggled and left.

The following morning we were sitting on the sofa and she asked how I'd slept, to which I replied, "You heard me coughing! I assumed that's why you came to my room," and she looked all perplexed and said she hadn't, and that she'd slept through the night. When I told her what had happened she went white.

To her knowledge, she's never sleepwalked in her life before, and it may have been that I'd seen this figure during one of my brief periods of semi-sleep, but still, it sent shivers down us both.

So, today I was alone in the flat, sitting at my desk, in darkness except for my bedroom, when I heard a slight whistling, groaning sound, like someone gasping for breath. It was barely audible though so I did my best to strike it from my ears and carry on working. But the volume and intensity gradually increased until it was all I could focus on. It was now accompanied by a spluttering sound, and was definitely not in my imagination. I began to freak out a little, looking anxiously around me. It was then that I noticed the kitchen light on and went to investigate.

On entering the kitchen I saw the source of the noise and yelled.


I'd put a pot of coffee to brew on the stove earlier and obviously forgotten about it. It had boiled over and sprayed itself all over the wall and oven top. No ghost, and now no fucking coffee either.

I told you it wasn't a good story, but while I'm on the subject I might as well fill some more space with a couple of genuine tales of terror.

It's my lifetime ambition to see a ghost, although preferably whilst I'm not alone - a) so I have someone to back up my story, and b) because I would probably scream and panic like a small child if alone - although I'm pretty sure ghosts don't judge people, and I could probably explain that I'm pretty manly usually.

I have had two experiences in years gone by where I think I may have witnessed a supernatural being, but there are probably rational explanations (care to offer anything up, science?).

When I was about 13, I was mucking about with a few mates by the river in my hometown. It was dark and we were walking along an unlit path when suddenly the lad I was walking beside got a right panic on and started frantically thrashing the air and throwing punches around. He then screamed and ran off and the rest of us being the pussies we were just ran with him.

As we slowed, he asked me in a terrified voice, "Didn't you see it?!" At that point I turned and looked and saw a clear humanoid outline in purple on the path back where he'd gone nutso. I shat it and ran with him off the path around the corner where the rest of our bunch were waiting.

Most of them were clueless as to what had spooked us, but when asked if they'd seen anything, a couple of them also described the purple shape I'd seen.

I still don't know what it was.

Weird, and terrifying in retrospect, but as I said, there's probably a rational explanation.

A couple of years after the above happened, I was walking with a friend by the same river but a mile or so away from that incident. There's a bit where the path is interrupted by a deep trench which you have to clamber down, cross the mud at the bottom via precariously balanced stepping stones, and then clamber up the other side. It's not something you can rush.

As we approached the trench I happened to glance behind and saw an old fella a couple of hundred yards back on the path. He was wheeling a bike with him, and I thought nothing of it.

My friend and I crossed the trench in the usual careful, laboured manner and began to walk the other side. I wondered how the old boy would manage with his bike and all, since it's not a simple operation even for a young lad with no bike to hinder, so I turned round again, only to see the guy, bike and all, already on our side.

At the time I didn't really think about it or consider it too strange but later that day it hit both me and my friend - how the hell had this old chap, with a bike, covered 200 yards, and crossed the trench in a matter of seconds?! Sure, he may have decided to hop on the bike pre-trench, but the mounting and dismounting alone would have taken almost as long as the time he took to ride/walk/climb/carry his bike to the other side.

Again, almost certainly not a ghost, but I'm still to hear a definitive alternative.

So there are my ghost stories, and to follow and conclude here are a couple of instances of odd coincedences that I've experienced.

A few years ago, whilst living in Lincoln as a student, there was a period where clocks in films we watched would show the same time as the actual time at the point we were watching. It started with The Karate Kid I believe and happened again with about 10 other films over a year or so. Just coincedence I guess, but weird.

Also, I was once house sitting for a friend and he said, "You'll need to know the alarm code, it's..." and I finshed with, "6458?" He looked shocked and asked how I knew, but it was a total guess, a shot in the dark, and the number has no relelvance to either of us or anything.

Another time, the father of a friend of mine came home all excited and asked his son, "You'll never guess what I saw this morning!" His son shrugged and said, "I dunno? A kestrel chasing a sparrowhawk?" His dad went white and asked if he'd been followed as that was exactly what he'd seen, but I'd been with his son all day and we'd been nowhere near his dad and the birds - it was a completely random guess, and neither bird was anything like common to the area.

I still put it down to some kind of involuntary mind reading or something. 


Shelly said...

I love ghost stories, there are so many based in and around the village I'm from in Ireland. I'd always been a skeptic about ghosts until first year of college though. I was living in a really old house in Galway and always got really weird vibes from it. Myself and my flatmates would regularly hear footsteps loudly going up and down the stairs. A friend of one of my flatmates was staying one night and slept in the sitting room. This room was directly below said flatmates bedroom and mine was across a very small hallway. I was away for a while so my room was empty. At around 4am they could hear footsteps in my bedroom, quite loud ones at that. Weird stuff always happened in teh house and it was always freezing cold, no matter how many heaters were turned on. One night upon returning from the pub i started playing with my new digital camera, taking photos to test it out etc (it was a quarter past three in the morning but i was slightly drunk and it seemed like a good idea) While sitting on the stairs I dropped the camera and it took a picture. It should have been a picture of a low part of the ceiling over the stairs (not extremely low but i'd regularly hit my head when going upstairs) but instead the picture was of white swirly, i dunno, it looked like smoke or something. I though "huh, weird" and deleted it but then copped that something wasn't entirely normal with that. I took another pic of the room and when i looked at it I noticed the white whatever again except this time it was smaller and just in a corner of the mirror. I zoomed in on it and it looked quite like a face, i freaked out and slept with lights and music on that night. Told my flatmates about it and it freaked them out considerably. Showed them the picture and they saw this face too. So it wasn't just a crazy drunk seeing things. It was all beginning to freak me out a bit so i showed the picture to a friend of mine who i knew would talk sense into me but the first thing he said was "ah yeah, see that there, it's an "orb", they show up in pictures that have something spiritual in them". It was all very unnerving. There were plenty of other freaky unexplainable things that happened in that house but I shan't bore you with them any longer!

Bramish said...

Cool! Any chance I could see the photo?

Shelly said...

yeah of course, there're actually two. the one from that night with the girl's face and then a test one from another day to prove i wasn't crazy that had a beardy man's face. send me your email address, you can pm me on that expat site with it if you'd rather not put it up here, unsurprisingly i'm on it as "shelly"