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The following cases I have termed 'Provisional' since, while suggestive (in that they involve mysterious or out-of-place figures that arrest the attention of the witness(es)), they lack the clear 'ghostly' features of the majority of examples on this site which at least leave us pondering whether something truly anomalous has taken place.
Having said that, they conform in other ways to the general theme of this site - of figures incongruous in situation, behaviour and dress - to warrant their inclusion. And, of course, should compelling support come along in the form of additional eyewitness or documentary evidence, then I will be happy to 'promote' these accounts to the main database.
Please to email any information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A25 Seal to Borough Green
Location: Between Seal and Borough Green (Kent)
Date/Time: Not specified. MAP
Kylie Whitfield wrote to the Your County (Kent) website in an appeal for information after she discovered that her father had had an identical experience on the same stretch of the A25 in Kent.
Working in a restaurant in in Seal, near Sevenoaks in Kent, Kylie's homeward journey to Borough Green would often be at a late hour. The A25 is the most direct route, but it had a section that Kylie hated. Long, and with thick woodland on both sides of the road, it was always so dark and desolate at that time of night that it was eerie.
What she saw one particular night was almost the last thing she could have wished for: there was a man standing on the side walkway, who just stood there watching her as she drove towards him.
"I had to look
twice, but he was definitely there, all in white [and] standing just
really still. It was just really weird because the road is in the middle
of nowhere and this person was just standing there watching."
Kylie later discovered that her own father had once seen something along the same section of road, a figure dressed all in white - except on this occasion he was sitting at corner of one of the junctions along the road, again watching the car as it approached.
"It gave me such shivers to find out that it wasn't only me who had seen this man and I just want to try and find out if there have been any other sightings or if there is a story behind this mystery white man who sits on this dark road."
'Eerie Apparition On The A25', Kent 51 -
Unexplained phenomena in Kent, www.yourcounty.co.uk
- the Kent website.
Location: A322 Bagshot (Surrey)
Date/Time: Early summer 2000. c.1.00 a.m. MAP
Emily Degouveia wrote to Roadghosts.com to to report a sighting she and her husband shared in the early summer of 2000 along the A322 between Bagshot and Bracknell.
The A322 leaves the M3 from junction 3 at Bagshot, Surrey, heading northwest across the Berkshire border to Bracknell, where it becomes the A329, and then A329(M) before reaching Reading.
Emily's and her husband's experience took place on the section between Bagshot and the turn-off for Windsor and Lego Land (a right turn northward, also designated A322). Over to Emily:
"We were returning home after a night out. It was quite late, probably about 1a.m.-ish.
"As we drove along the dual carriageway, we saw a figure walking along the side of the road on a grass verge. Bear in mind this is a very long stretch of road, the nearest towns being Bracknell and Bagshot which were both miles away from were we saw the figure.
"As the figure approached, we could both see that it was a young man. I'd say he was in his late teens / early twenties. He looked like he had been beaten up as he appeared to have a bruised face and a black eye etc, but I remember thinking that he looked extremely pale. My husband, who was driving, slowed down and as we passed him, he made no acknowledgement that we were there.
"Both myself and my husband commented on the fact that he must have walked miles from Bracknell and he would still have a long walk ahead of him. We were both quite concerned as the young man looked like he had been attacked and so we decided to turn around but we had to travel approximately another mile to turn around as we were on a dual carriageway.
"As we passed on the opposite side of the road, we could see no sign of the man so we carried on for several miles to the next junction to turn around. I have to point out that there would have been no where for the man to have disappeared to, no woods, nothing. The grass verge is very wide and runs the entire length of the road with just a hedge at the side.
"After turning around and driving back to the spot, we still could not find him. I rang the police and waited for them to attend. They also found no sign and drove off puzzled.
"I remember thinking that none of it felt right and I had a feeling that what we had seen that night wasn't a living human being. I still remember the look on the young man's face as we passed. He just looked completely blank, no expression. He was walking along a normally busy road late at night and I'm sure he would have at least have acknowledged our car as we had driven past. There was no where he could have gone, no ditch to fall into as he looked like he had been hurt.
"On the way home, I felt quite shaken up but also I remembered that about a week prior to this, myself and my husband had been travelling along the same stretch of road, quite late at night (we used this road quite frequently as my parents-in-law lived in London and we would use this route to get onto the M3). We had been held up for a while as there had been an accident in about the same spot as we had seen the man. When we passed the accident my husband had said that he reckoned someone would have probably died in the accident as one of the cars was over turned and in a terrible state.
Maybe it was the ghost of one of the victims of the crash or maybe it was a young man trying to get home. Either way, I hope he got to were he was trying to get to!
Emily later had the following to add:
"Thinking about it, the car in the accident was a fiesta and in it were a group of young people."
"I still think that what we saw that night was something out of the ordinary as the look on the young man's face struck me as un normal if that makes sense. Also when I have mentioned it to friends who know the road they have all said that they too have witnessed strange things along that road. Not quite like we saw that night but I know many people have seen strange lights and figures in the road. The road is an accident blackspot.
"I would love to know if what we saw that night was paranormal or not."
Source(s):Personal correspondence with witness.
Have you (or do you know anyone who has) had a similar experience to Emily's on the A322/A329? If so, please to email any information to Roadghosts.com.
In keeping with many cases featured on this website which demonstrate the liminal (boundary) characteristics of road ghost appearances (see Liminal Lemures), I find it noteworthy that the county boundary between Surrey and Berkshire (here in the form of the Unitary Council of Bracknell Forest) crosses the A322 before the Windsor turn-off mentioned by Emily and presumably quite close to the scene of their encounter.
At the same time, it is difficult to overlook the coincidence of the figure with the scene of a recent serious accident. Whether the figure seen by Emily and her husband relates to this incident, or to another possible fatality on this road, or was simply a worse-for-wear wayward pedestrian on his own way home, is impossible to say. Unless, of course, you know differently.
Location: M62 nr. Whitley Bridge (junction 34) (N. Yorkshire)
Date/Time: 27 November (year ?) 11.30 p.m. MAP
You might think there could be little as unusual as encountering a road ghost. Well, what about a 'ghost' dressed in nothing but a G-string and a jumper?
That was the conclusion a truck driver was coming to after his encounter on the hard shoulder of the M62 motorway near Whitley Bridge (junction 34), near Selby, one November night.
The driver, who was accompanied by his brother (both are un-named in the source account), nearly knocked down the woman who was walking down the hard shoulder. Thinking she might be the victim of an attacked, he stopped approximately 50 yards the road for her and got out of his truck to ask her if she was OK.
The woman simply muttered something and turned around and started walking in the direction she had come from. The driver got back into his truck and called the police.
The police searched the motorway with a helicopter with a heat-seeking camera, but without success. No other report was made to the police, leaving this truck driver and his brother as the only witnesses.
The driver's wife, who submitted a report to mysterymag.com, summed up: "What was she doing there at that time of night? Why didn't she accept help? And where did she go? Nothing adds up an we are coming to the conclusion that what he saw was a ghost."
Source(s):Road Ghosts:'Half-Naked Road Ghost!', Mysterymag.com
Despite the police's failure to locate the woman, and the lack of other witnesses, I would be more inclined to believe the woman was a confused or abandoned party-goer or hen-night 'victim' than a ghost. However, as they say, stranger things have happened, and it will be interesting to hear from anyone who has had or heard of other strange sightings along this stretch of the M62.
Please to email any information to Roadghosts.com
A non-ghostly connection with this stretch of road worthy of note (which I'm sure readers in the UK will recall) is the tragic train crash of 28 February 2001, caused when Gary Hart's 37-year-old Landrover and trailer left the westbound M62 near Great Heck (a relative stone's throw from Whitley Bridge), coming to rest on the main east-coast railway line. While Mr Hart was dialing 999, the London-bound GNER express approached the scene at an approximate speed of 120 miles per hour, and slammed into the Landrover assembly, resulting in its derailment. A freight train then travelling from the opposite direction at 70 mph then careered into the express train. In all, ten people were killed.
HSE: Train Collision at Great Heck near Selby 28/02/2001
Terror on the Highway. The M62 does feature in another ghostly tale, in this instance collected by Tom Slemen, who posted it on the True Ghost Stories website. The whole account is best read in its original form by following the link, but a condensed version is presented here:
Tom was told the 'bizarre and scary' tale in September 2001 by a 'well-known comedian' from Liverpool whom wished to remain anonymous and was therefore dubbed 'Bob' for the sake of the story telling.
Bob had his very unusual (some would say, far-fetched) experience in the early 1990s. he had driven up the M62 to Manchester to perform his routine at a cabaret show. During his 20-minute encore, he noticed a beautiful blonde woman smiling at him from one of the tables. She reminded him of Farrah Fawcett. He estimated her to be 25-30 years of age.
After his performance, he approached her and offered to join her. She accepted with a smile, and introduced herself as 'Danielle'. She had a non-local accent, and, now he was closer, he could see she had sapphire-blue eyes. Soon, Bob had ordered champagne (Danielle sipped only mineral water), and was dancing with her. He learned that she had been due to meet her boyfriend at the club but he hadn't shown up. She lived in St Helens.
Bob suggested that since she hadn't been drinking, she could drive him home to Merseyside in his car, but Danielle offered to put him up at her home until he was fit to drive in the morning. They left the club together at 3 a.m. The air was chilly, and Danielle shivered in a sleeveless top, prompting Bob to give her his leather jacket.
Very soon they were on their way, down the M62. Bob reached for the car radio, but Danielle stopped him, so they drove in silence. Bob turned to look at her, and 'saw something that still gives him nightmares to this day'. Danielle's face had taken on demonic features; her eyes turned red and her mouth opened unnaturally wide to reveal pointed teeth. 'Danielle' shrieked with laughter, and zig-zagged maniacally between the lanes of the motorway. Petrified, Bob cried out, 'Jesus please save me.' The car skidded 180 degrees about, and veered into a ditch off a slip-road.
In blind panic, Bob opened the door and tried to get out, but was restrained by the seat-belt. He looked at the driver's seat, but it was empty except for his jacket.
The police found Bob wandering along the hard shoulder of the M62. He told them his story, but he wasn't believed. When they checked with the club, it was confirmed that Bob had left with a young woman, but no-one knew he she was.
Source(s):'Terror on the Highway', by Tom Slemen, True Ghost Stories
The anonymous witness, the beautiful blonde ghost, the journey to the woman's home, the loaned jacket, the sudden disappearance, the stunned-witness calls police - and all told by a person other than the unidentified protagonist...all 'giveaway' features of the legendary Phantom Hitch-Hiker 'script'. The less common features - the demonic transmogrification of the woman's features, and the ghost taking the driver's seat rather than rear passenger seat - simply push credibility to beyond breaking point.
Quite simply, what we have here is a Version C Phantom Hitch-Hiker. These are cases in which the 'Hitch-Hiker' is met at a social venue (a dance, nightclub, or a bar) rather than on the roadside. An important characteristic of the Version C is the loaning of an item of clothing after she complains of the cold - an item that is later found on her grave.
While I believe that the above account is founded more on artifice than fact, present at least is the theme common to many road ghost encounters - of the ghost proving to be other than the spirit of a departed human being, but rather something both elemental and hostile - brought out succinctly here by the story's melodramatic finale. And there have been a few well-documented and corroborated cases that exhibit similar features, such as the unearthly screams of the ghostly hitch-hiker of Uniondale (South Africa) and the ghost of Castledawson (N. Ireland), or deliberate-seeming assaults on lone drivers (see A38 & Ruskington). And of course, there is probably the most famous Version C hitch-hiker, Chicago's Resurrection Mary).
Location: A4177, Warwick to Balsall Road (near Five Ways roundabout) (Warwickshire)
Date/Time: July 1996. 12.30 a.m. MAP MAP (Zoom)
Ella Connor wrote to Roadghosts.com to relate her experience, which took place in July 1996. It was around 12.30 a.m. She and a friend had been to a concert at Wembley, and were on their way home to Warwickshire. They were not far from home when their otherwise uneventful journey was disrupted.
Ella said: "There
is a long stretch of road just after the Five Ways roundabout [A4177] as
you head away from Warwick and towards the village of Balsall Common (where I was going to drop off my passenger). As we turned the
corner onto the long straight I saw a man about a 100 m ahead of me on the
right hand side of the road. He looked youngish - I would say late
twenties/early thirties and was wearing a red checked shirt. He started to
cross the road as we drove towards him and I suddenly realised that he was
heading for the car and trying to get in front of it. I accelerated to try
and get past him before he reached our side of the road. He got to the
middle of the road as we reached him and he was still trying to get to the
car. I remember his face next to the driver's side window, grinning as we
passed. He was so close that the wing mirror should have hit him, but
there was no impact. We drove on as it's a very lonely spot and as two
girls on our own we did not want to get out, particularly since the man
gave the appearance of being deranged. My passenger had seen him too. We
reached home about 10 minutes later and my parents called the police who
went to check for him, but found no one. Unfortunately I've never found
anyone else who has had a similar experience on this road."
Source(s):Submitted to Roadghosts.com by witness, March 2002.
The Five Ways Roundabout can be found at the junction of the A4141 and A4177 north of Haseley.
With car hijackings featured so prominently in the media, I am more inclined to see Ella's experience in this light; or possibly a drunken prank. Either way, her experience is certainly no less frightening, and arguably more so than an encounter with a ghost. Still, the account ends inconclusively, and there is at least one feature of interest - the check shirt of the assailant, which, for some unfathomable reason appears as a feature in some road ghost encounters involving male figures (see Nunney, for instance). This may be sheer coincidence however.
Location: M27/M3 junction, north of Southampton (and below Chilworth) (Hampshire)
Date/Time: 20 July 2003. 2.30 a.m. MAP MAP (Zoom)
In July 2003, I received an e-mail from
Darren, who had just had a strange experience on the M27 in Hampshire, and
literally wrote as soon as he arrived home while it was fresh in his mind.
He was interested to find out if anyone had experienced anything similar
at the same location, or knew of a fatal accident that may occurred at
this spot, or simply any information that might allow for a perfectly
Darren said: "I had been spending the evening with my girlfriend, and at around 2.30 a.m., I set off for a familiar journey back home to Oxfordshire [via M271>M27>M3>A34]. I drove westbound towards the M3 junction, but I decided to stop off at the petrol garage, just before it, to find a CD to listen to from the glove box.
"From where I parked (just outside the garage on the slip road) I could see all the traffic oncoming and heading into the M3 junction, so I had a clear view of the whole motorway.
"The garage was
occupied by two workers, and at 3.00 a.m. weren't busy. I found a choice CD
and switched on the car engine and continued to leave the slip road
which joins the M27, but once you join that stretch of the motorway you
immediately indicate and join the slip road on to the M3. As this is
fairly dangerous junction, I have seen a few minor accidents, and my
girlfriend often tells me of the accidents, fatal and otherwise.
"As I accelerated I notice a figure of a female teenager facing the car with a thumb up, I'd say late teens, perhaps 15-17. What struck me as odd was that a girl should be alone at this time of night. Two other issues bothered me: if a lone female should require a lift why didn't she call a taxi from the garage which was 200 metres up the slip road? If she ran out of petrol, or broken down the guys at the garage would have helped. I didn't notice a broken down car neither. It was not a cold night, so I thought her blue jeans and green cardigan was a suitable attire for an early morning. The second thing that bothered me was where she was standing on the road. It was the cross hatched section dividing the slip road to the motorway and the actual M3. A precarious and somewhat unsettling place to slow a car down. I didn't concentrate on her face, but she had blonde, curly, possibly permed hair. It did remind me of the girls I went to college with in the early 90's. She was approximately 5'7" tall and of healthy build.
"I passed her at speed, and this is something I really wished I did - I never glanced into the mirrors, I just continued driving with lots of thoughts in my head, and a little apprehension. The drive home wasn't as carefree as the usual late night dash normally is, as I tend to sing along to the music and look forward to bed. Half of me wished I helped her - I'm fairly confident in car repairs, the other half or me feels relieved that I never found out more."
In later correspondence, Darren conceded that there wasn't in his brief sighting anything about the girl that stood out in itself as unusual, save for her possibly dated hairstyle, and her puzzling choice of a place to await a lift. It was, as he said,"...only as I passed her and felt my heart sink that I started thinking 'what was that all about?' I didn't really look at her face but from what I recall it was without emotion or distress. If I had broken down at that point of the morning, maybe some visual action - such as a wave or some facial expression might have encouraged a driver to stop, but she looked quite blank and expressionless, which was I guess the main reason for me not to stop. My car's headlamps gave her a slight blue hue, but thatís due to the type of bulb, but from what I recall there may have been no reason to assume that there was another light source other than the cars."
Source(s):Submitted to Roadghosts.com by witness, July 2003.
As Darren himself points
out, there is, on the surface of things,
every reason to believe that the girl was probably a normal human being,
albeit in unusual circumstances of place and time. And yet, there is for
the witness the immediate impression that the elements
immediately don't 'add up'. I have corresponded with other people who have reported similar lone
females, who they now wish they'd stopped to talk to or offer to
help...except something told them at the time to simply keep driving.
Location: Unspecified lane, near Meopham (Kent)
Date/Time: Not specified. MAP MAP (Zoom)
The principal witness in this case names his wife in his account, but not himself. We'll call him Pete. Pete recounted that in their younger days, he and his wife Jan liked to round off the working week by taking a drive in the Kent countryside. They would find a 'nice little country pub' for a drink and a bite to eat.
On this occasion, a friend had recommended a pub called the Amazon & Tiger (near Meopham), and he had drawn a map to assist the couple in getting there. It was a fine Friday evening when they set out, and the directions worked fine until they came to a fork in the road. Pete took the right fork, which they both realised immediately was the wrong choice. The lane in which they found themselves was narrow - too narrow to turn the car around. Jan suggested looking out for a farm gateway or somewhere else to turn the car. As they drove slowly along the lane, they noticed a girl of around twenty walking toward them.
"We both remarked that she was dressed in the 'flower-power' style of the 1960s, in a sheepskin coat, tie-dyed T-shirt and wide flared jeans. She had a shock of bright ginger hair reaching well down her back and what looked like an old school satchel over her shoulder. She was smiling to herself, almost as if she knew we had taken the wrong turning, but how could she?
"We carried on up the lane for about another two hundred yards until we found an entrance into a field on our right, and turned the car around. I drove carefully back the way we had come, looking for the lass with the ginger hair, so that we could ask her directions to the pub.
We arrived back at the fork in the road but had not seen the girl. This prompted Jan and I to wonder where she could have got to. The lane was too long from where we had seen her originally for her to have beaten us to the fork, and the high banks and tall hedgerows precluded her cutting across the intervening fields. There simply were no gaps to dive through."
Pete turned the car around again, and proceeded slowly back up the lane to look for her, even getting out at one point to climb the banks to try to push through the hedges on either side. But to no avail. There was no sign of the girl.
Again they turned the car in the field entrance and set out in search of the pub, which they found about half a mile down the left fork, where they had a well deserved drink.
"As a postscript to this tale, we returned several times to the Amazon and Tiger over the course of the next few years and asked a few discreet questions in the bar about the hippy girl with the wonderful hair, but always met with either unknowing shakes of the head, or on one occasion, a blunt request not to be so nosey! So Jan and I will probably never know what became of the girl, or what her story is, or was. The only certainty remains that she apparently disappeared in thin air. There was absolutely nowhere to hide along that lane, nor was it possible to reach the fork in the road before us in our car."
Source(s):'The Girl in the Lane': www.castleofspirits.com
& Tiger can be found at Harvel Street,
Meopham, Gravesend, Kent DA13 0DE
Tel 01474 814705.
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