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Location: A55 nr. Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd (N. Wales)
Date/Time: October/November 1975. Between 10 p.m & 11 p.m. MAP MAP (Zoom)
Submitted to this site by James Whitehead of Manchester. James's experience - which was shared by a fellow student [name supplied] at the University of Bangor - took place in 1975, around October or November.
I can do no better than to allow James to recount his experience in his own words:
can only claim the one rather unspectacular sighting. It was, however,
also seen by the friend with me.
"We had been at school together and gone up to the same University at Bangor. This evening we had been at the tiny village of Abergwyngregyn to visit friends. To answer the Blue Nun question first, we had certainly had a drink but were in no way the worse for it.
"Our friends had told us to turn Right to find the nearest bus stop but had meant Left. We therefore found ourselves walking some way towards Llanfairfechan. The night was dark and the road unlit. This was a Sunday night and, Bangor being "dry" traffic was returning from Llanfairfechan, the nearest town where you could obtain a drink.
"We soon thought we were approaching a bus stop because there was a woman, somewhat stooping and elderly by the side of the road ahead. We had seen her in the light of the oncoming headlamps. As we were getting close to the spot, another car came towards us and the form of the old woman disappeared downwards, as if a pillar of sand had blown away.
"We were nonplussed but not scared. We went over and over what we had seen, trying to account for it as an optical illusion. The woman had however
been perceived as a solid shape between us and the car headlamps. Her dissolving before our eyes was experienced by us both. Until that moment, we had not questioned that she was a flesh and blood figure - a welcome sight, when we were seeking a bus stop.
"In fact we had to walk further to find the real bus stop. I don't know if we mentioned it at the time but it was ironic for this ghost to cross our paths uncalled for. As kids of about thirteen we had once set off on a ghost-hunting adventure to a Southport graveyard. And found nothing.
North Wales coast road, the A55, was streamlined after this period and
the traffic now by-passes Abergwyngregyn. It is difficult to tell whether the spot
at which we saw the figure is on the widened main road or on the
orphaned spur which now leads out of Abergwyngregyn.
"I return to the area every couple of years or so with another friend. I have never been able to pinpoint the spot."
Update: James later said that the sighting had taken place nearer to the outskirts of Llanfairfechan, which would put the location near or within the Conway-Gwynedd boundary.
Location: Victoria Road (between A34 and A38), Aston, Birmingham (W.Midlands)
Date/Time: 28 September 1971. 8.15 a.m.; [not specified] 9.30 p.m. MAP
Two friends, a Mrs Bagley and a Mrs Heath, were walking to work along Victoria Road when, reaching the site of a former police station, they suddenly saw standing in the middle of the road, a woman dressed in a green frilly gown. They watched with apprehension as their bus approached the figure, which vanished when the bus was only a few feet from it.
A few months later, at 9.30 p.m., a Mrs McFarlane witnessed a woman in a 'yellowish green dress' appear at the kerbside and hurry across the road, to vanish on the other side.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980), p.169; BBC Birmingham features: Haunted Birmingham
Location: Aycliffe, near Newton Aycliffe (Durham)
Date/Time: [not specified]. MAP
According to Andrew Green's Ghosts of Today, the White Lady of the Great North Road may be one with a very long history, associated as it is with the finding of a woman's body in the River Sherne in 1698. Historically, the ghost is said to have been picked up by stage coaches between 'North Birton' and Rushyford (now on the A167 just to the north of Newton Aycliffe). In more recent years, the lady has been seen by drivers and pedestrians at Aycliffe. A relative of Ron Watson, who has written about the White Lady, saw a 'white shape' from close range walking in a field. The figure resembled a young woman in a wedding dress and veil.
And, in 1978, Dennis Fisher wrote to Birmingham Society of Ghost Hunters to relate a personal experience that took place in the early 1960s, when he was heading for the 2 a.m. shift at Auckland Park coal mine. The morning was fine - dry and clear, capped by a starry sky and a full moon. As he approached the William Street end of Thomas Street, 'Up popped what I took to be a woman in a white pixie hat and raincoat'. Nearing the figure, he noticed that there was no face beneath the hood, and the figure had no legs. 'It just floated across the road, surrounded in what seemed to be a circle of blue light.' Hurrying towards it, it simply vanished.
The same figure is said to have been picked up by at least one motorist, who took the woman to Rushyford, only to find she had vanished en route.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980), p.30.
Location: A38, near junction with B3130, Barrow Gurney (Somerset)
Date/Time: [not specified]. MAP
A woman in a long white coat haunts a spot on the A38 near to the B3130 and a reservoir. Several drivers have reportedly been forced to brake to avoid hitting her. In some cases, a collision has been unavoidable, and motorists have got out to look for the woman, only to find no trace.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980), p.1.
Location: Borley (Essex)
Date/Time: Winter 1950. MAP
"I never met Mr. Price, but I once gave one of his ghosts a lift in my car." So said Mrs Jean Clarke, of Fobbing, Essex, who claimed to have seen a ghost near to the site of the famous and now long-demolished Rectory in Essex that Harry Price once declared to be the most haunted building in England.
Mrs Clarke, who was a British spy in Germany before the war, said she saw the ghost as she was driving (accompanied only by her cocker spaniel) on the Suffolk-Essex border, heading for Bury St. Edmunds.
Finding herself lost, Mrs Clarke pulled over to look at a map by the light of her dashboard. Suddenly, her dog, Buff, began to howl. Standing, his hair on end, he was staring at the front passenger seat.
"It was then that I saw, sitting beside me, a man dressed in a long, out-dated, cloak-collared fawn coat." She had not seen or heard the man enter the car.
The man pointed forward [see Stanbridge case], and the atmosphere in the car had become very cold.
"I assumed the man wanted a lift and started off again. I had not gone more than 40 yards when he motioned me to stop. Then he just floated through the door. I thought he must have opened it silently while I was watching the road ahead."
Meanwhile, Buff howled continuously. It was only later that Mrs Clarke discovered that she had been in the village of Borley, although it would be some time before she learned of the significance of that place.
Only when she had read in the previous week's Sunday Express ( 8 January 1956) about the so-called headless coachman of Borley that she thought it possible it was he she had given a lift to six years previously.
Source(s): Jessie K. Payne, A Ghost Hunter's Guide to Essex (Ian Henry Publications, 1995), pp.114-115; 'The night I took a ghost for a drive...', by Peter Hopkirk, Sunday Express, January 15, 1956, p.5.
Location: A259(?), Brookland, Romney Marsh (Kent)
Date/Time: 1998 or 1999 (?). MAP
Roy Vidler was driving home to New Romney when, near to the village of Brooklands, a man stepped into the road ahead of him and beckoned for him to stop. Mr Vidler braked quickly, but the car's forward momentum carried him through the figure. Shocked and shaken, he got out to look for the man, who had a pointed black beard and Elizabethan-style clothing. However, after several minutes' searching, he realized that there was no such victim to be found.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Haunted Kent Today (S.B. Publications, 1999), pp.14-15.
Location: Castledawson, County Derry (N. Ireland)
Date/Time: March 1992.
In March 1992, several reports came out of the village of Castledawson of sightings of the Tamnadeese Ghost” - a woman with long flowing blonde hair who screamed wildly as she walked out of the centre of a roundabout outside the village.
According to Neville Chambers, a churchwarden, who lives near the roundabout, one man had been alarmed to see her appear in front of him on the roundabout in chains; he was not sure if he had struck her. And Mr Chambers had himself heard the screams the month before: "The hair stood on my head. I don't know what it was but the screams I heard, I'll take to my death."
Another witness, Harriet Hudson, swerved to avoid the woman as she appeared abruptly from the right into the path of her car. "The most striking feature was her long straight blonde hair," she said.
"As I was driving round, she walked from my right into my path. She was waving her arms and staggering. She looked to be drunk.
"I got alarmed because she came out on me so abruptly and I had to swerve violently to the left to avoid her."
One possible explanation put forward was that the construction of the by-pass - which runs from the roundabout onto the Toome Road - may have disturbed an old grave.
Source(s): 'Drivers Spooked by By-pass Ghost', by Tommy Walls, Sunday Life, 29 March 1992; 'Ghost busters flock to see the by-pass spook', by Tommy Walls, Sunday Life, 5 April 1992.
Location: B3114, Chew Valley Lake, off A368, 6 miles ENE of Cheddar (Somerset)
Date/Time: 5 June 1999 (Pugh/Gunning). MAP
A number of sightings of a ghostly lady near Chew Valley Lake prompted an appeal by a local history society for people who had seen her to get in touch. As a result, several people contacted Jacqui Salter of the Compton Martin History Society, who set up a meeting with West Harptree History Society - a group who had recently run a workshop about Moreton, the village that was flooded when the lake was created.
Attending the meeting were Chris Pugh, his daughter, and partner Wendy Gunning, who were heading for home at Blagdon from the direction of Chew Stoke, when they narrowly missed hitting a woman who was crossing the road at Heron's Green.
"I had my main beam on but had no reaction from her, even though I flashed the lights at her," said Mr Pugh. The woman, whom they missed 'by about four feet', had long wavy hair and was dressed in a three-quarter-length gown and a linen cape-style dress with a hood.
A party of five people (who were also coming from the direction of Chew Stoke) - two adults, a Mr and Mrs Court, their daughter Nicola, and two of her friends, Maria and Louise Stuckey, whom they were driving home from a party - saw her at walking along the left verge by the old council yard at Kingshill Lane. The girl, estimated to be around 14 years of age, was "solid but greyish and misty", and was wearing a mid-calf Victorian-style dress and hob-nailed boots. Her hair was long and she was walking along with her hands behind her back.
Yet another witness that night was hairdresser Carol Gillen, who was travelling home in the same direction, had to slow down to let her cross the road. "She had on a long, heavily embroidered Victorian style dress with leg-of-mutton sleeves. They were billowing back with the breeze and the whiteness of her dress was very bright, as if electric.
"Her hair was loose, very thick, longish to the top of her shoulders and blowing off her neck." She walked across the road with a "confident stride", taking no notice of the approaching car - prompting the realization afterward that she must have been a ghost.
Local legend has it that the ghost is that of a young girl named Catherine Brown who drowned at Stratford Mill at the turn of the Twentieth Century, and whose former home and grave lie beneath the surface of the reservoir that flooded the valley in 1956.
Source(s): 'New sightings of 'Lady of the Lake', by Ros Anstey, Standard & Guardian, 9 September 1999; 'Ghostly Goings-on Down by the Lake', by Andrew Jefferson, Bristol Evening Post, 9 September 1999 - both sourced from News Search West via Televisual's on-line news archive.
Update: Chew Valley's ghost girl was featured on London Weekend Television's Britain’s Most Terrifying Ghost Stories (broadcast 23 November 2001, and narrated by Ian McShane).
On 5 June 1999, Chris Pugh, with his girlfriend Wendy Gunning and his daughter Sam, were returning home from Bristol past the lake on the B3114.
"Just as I got to the brow of a small hill," said Chris, "I could see a triangular light at the end of the cats’ eyes. And just as I approached it, Wendy looked up and she said: "Pughie, Pughie. Look out!"
"And I said, 'I know. I’ve seen it.'"
As they drew closer to the object, a lady just appeared from the middle of the road, and drifted very slowly in front of the car.
"I can remember distinctly that she had long wavy hair that looked sort of greasy, or even wet. I was convinced that it wasn’t a human being - it was something supernatural."
"What is it? What could it be? And then, the next thing you think ‘crikey’, that is is a ghost - and I just knew it," commented Wendy.
Mr Pugh pulled into a pub car-park just adjacent to the lake, and phoned the police, who responded by searching the area, but found nothing. It was a week later that Chris replied to an ad in a local paper asking for people who had seen strange things at the lake, and arranged to attend a meeting at local historical society to discuss the ghostly girl.
"There were about 12 people in total - which was amazing because all of them recorded almost the same information when asked a series of questions. Yet there was no collaboration because no-one knew each other before that night," said Chris.
One of those witnesses was Carol Gillen, who watched the girl proceed slowly up the lane, attired in only a dress despite the miserable weather conditions.
"I was thinking ‘Stupid cow - what’s she doing out at this time of night? Just with a dress on. And that was when I realized that she was a ghost.
"I started asking around the local village where I lived if there was anybody that knew anything about a girl out on the lake road. Then I found a lady that had a book [Old North Somerset, by Alan Holt] of stories about neighbouring villages. [I] came across a passage in the book about a girl called Catherine Brown that lived at Stratford Mill - which now is Chew Valley Lake - and the story goes that she’d actually drowned in the moat. And she was only a young girl. So I just surmised that this was who it could have been."
According to legend, Catherine Brown disappeared one day at the turn of the century. She was found drowned the next morning. Yet her mother claimed to have seen her the previous night climbing the stairs soaking wet [but apparently didn't check on her welfare, or attempt to question her about her condition].
"Somewhere there’s got to be a grave," said Carol. "And I would love to think that she’s here. And I think until I’ve actually gone right to the end of the story, I won’t be satisfied. But I will find out. And hopefully, it is Catherine Brown."
Location: A253 Canterbury Road, nr. to junction with A256, Chilton, Ramsgate (Kent)
Date/Time: [not specified]. MAP
The A253 in the vicinity of the railway line at Chilton has a reputation for accidents caused by a monk-like figure that appears suddenly in the middle of the road. One motorist described its attire as resembling more a services-style duffle coat.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980).
Location: A370 Bristol to Weston Road, Congresbury (Somerset)
Date/Time: various. MAP
A male figure haunts the Bristol to Weston-Super-Mare road in Somerset. A number of years ago, a friend of John Bailey (author of the source of this account) called him to excitedly report a ghostly experience in Congresbury, about 5 miles out of Weston. He and a friend were driving from Bristol one night. It was winter time. As they passed through Congresbury, a figure started out from the side of the road by the Railway Inn (since re-named the Prince of Wales) ahead of them, and walked across to vanish through the fence on the other side. The outline of the figure, according to the witness, was 'quite firm', but the car's headlights shone straight through him, without casting a shadow. The driver was so surprised he didn't even brake, but at the bottom of the bridge (since demolished) they pulled into the inn's yard, to check to see if they had hit him, but there was no-one there. Their story was casually accepted in the inn bar; they were told their experience was not unusual.
The landlord at the time, the late Victor Skuse, claimed also to have seen the figure, whom he named as George Parsons - his former neighbour, whose dog he was still looking after. George lived in the adjacent cottage and habitually crossed the road and lean on the fence opposite, watching the river [Yeo]. He died in 1953, and was buried in Congresbury churchyard.
John Bailey was editor of the Weston Mercury, After publishing his friend's experience, he received a letter from Rev. Wilfred Griffin of Taunton, whose daughter, Susan, had encountered the same figure whilst riding towards Weston over the railway bridge on a moped: "She tells me that just after Congresbury she saw a man walk across in front of her, and feared she would hit him. But there was nobody there!"
When told of his daughter's experience, Mrs Megan Harris told Rev. Griffin that she, too, had ha a similar experience just a few evenings before.
Source(s): John Bailey, Somerset & Avon Ghosts, Witches & Legends (Redcliffe Press, 1985), pp.16-18.
Location: Corfe Castle (Dorset)
Date/Time: 1967. 2.20 a.m. MAP
John Seager, 22, of Halves Cottages, was driving his van towards the bridge above Batterick's Mill, on the south-east slope of Corfe Hill when he saw a figure in the road ahead of him. Thinking it a woman out very late walking her dog, he braked hard. But when he looked closely, he was astonished to see "..a white figure, headless, and seemingly wearing a long nightgown, drifting across the road in front of me."
It moved down the path at the foot of the castle hill, near the bakery. "I trembled and came over cold, in fact I felt frozen. It was an experience I would never want again."
Source(s): Rodney Legg, Mysterious Dorset (Dorset Publishing Company, 1998), pp.23-24 (based on a report in the Swanage Times of 12 July 1967).
Location: A4 Corsham (Wiltshire)
Date/Time: [not specified]. 02.30 a.m. MAP
Laurie Newman, a lorry driver from Bath was driving from Chippenham to Bath along the A4. Just before Corsham, he caught sight of a figure in his headlights walking in the road in front of him. His first impression was that it was a nun. Slowing down, he pulled out to drive around the figure. Just as he was about to pass it, it turned toward him. In place of a face, he saw a white blur. Suddenly it leapt onto the cab of the lorry, and stared at him through the side window. What was particularly terrifying was that, instead of a human face, he saw a grinning skull. The figure continued to hold on for a few moments before vanishing.
Mr Newman was so upset by his experience he couldn't talk about it for three months afterwards.
Source(s): Margaret Royal & Ian Girvan, Local Ghosts: True stories of odd happenings (revised edition; Abson Books, 1990), p.12.
Location: Exact location not specified. Gloucester (Gloucestershire)
Date/Time: September 1996. 11.00 p.m. MAP
Bill and Faith Cox were only their way home to Gloucester when a figure suddenly appeared in the road ahead of their car. It was just after 11 p.m.. Both screamed as the figure of a girl appeared in front of them. Faith recalled the girl having her hands up as they hit her. “She was about 12 years old with plaits in her hair and ribbons at the end. Her eyes were wide and staring and it looked as if she was about to scream.
“I heard a bang and shouted at Bill, ‘You’ve killed her!’ I was sure we’d driven over her, without a doubt.”
Bill was reported as shaking as he got out to investigate, only to find no trace of the girl and no damage to his car. The police, it turned out, had a file of similar stories that was three inches thick to add to theirs.
Source(s): 'The Scariest Stories on Earth', Daily Mirror, 4 September 1996; sourced from Televisual's on-line news archive.
Location: Green Lane, Gosport (Hampshire)
Date/Time: Sunday 7 November 1999. 02.00 a.m. MAP
A taxi driver by the name of Seymour was returning to the rank at 2 a.m. on 7 November 1999 when a 'black shape' appeared to step into the path of his vehicle. Braking hard, the hooded shape, which had no face, glided away and 'dissolved'. His wife later commented that her husband was not usually impressed by ghostly tales, but was very shaken by his experience, vowing never to drive that way alone again at night.
Source(s): The News (Portsmouth), 16 November 1999; Fortean Times no. 137 (August 2000), p.8.
Location: Great Chart, nr. Ashford (Kent)
Date/Time: November 1984. MAP
Gina McCartney, 23, had a ghostly experience one night whilst on her way home to Lakemead, Ashford from a dance class at Great Chart village hall.
She was alone on a dark stretch of road, and was just approaching the roundabout at Tesco when, looking in her rear-view mirror, she saw something sit up in the back seat. She recalled the face of a man, whom she estimated as 30 to 35. Turning cold, and "rigid with fright", she turned around, there was nothing there.
As she turned to face the road again, however, the engine cut out. Gina was travelling at 30 or 40 mph; she pulled in and tried to re-start the engine three times, without success.
Getting out of the car and walking around it, she noticed the front left tyre was flat. When she returned with the jack, it was properly inflated. Puzzled, she got back in the car, and it started first time. Moments after pulling away, she entered a fog bank that took five or 6 seconds to clear.
When she got home, her husband said: "What's the matter, have you seen a ghost?" When he checked the car, it was perfectly alright, and started first time for him. He speculated that whatever it was may have been protecting his wife from a hazard hidden at the time by the fog patch.
Source(s): 'Ghost Driver Takes Gina For A Ride'', by Don Packham, Evening Post (Kent), 21 November 1984.
Location: A404, between High Wycombe and Amersham (Buckinghamshire)
Date/Time: January 1971. 12.15 a.m. MAP
Steve Bond and his wife were heading home to High Wycombe along the A404 late one night in January 1971. The road was clear, and 'fast', with sweeping curves and long stretches, flanked on both sides with wide grass verges. With little other traffic about, Mr Bond utilized his car's full-beam, which illuminated the road ahead for several hundred yards. Just before the turning (B474) to Beaconsfield, 'in an instant a figure appeared standing in the side of the road half facing towards us. The appearance was so sudden that I had to swerve to avoid it." There was no cover from which it could have emerged. In the few seconds it was in the headlight beams, Mr Bond could see it to be a stocky figure of a man in a sports jacket. His head was wrapped in bandages, but where his face should have been there was only 'a greyness'. A car behind showed no sign of making a similar manoeuvre.
Mr Bond's wife described exactly the same thing. The two of them were too unnerved to go back to investigate.
Source(s): Bruce Barrymore Halpenny, Ghost Stations 4: True Ghost Mystery Stories (Casdec Ltd., 1997), pp.87-88.
Location: Warstone Lane, Hockley, Birmingham (W. Midlands)
Date/Time: Post WWII; 1966. MAP
A few months after the war, a Mr Dixon saw the ghost of a fair-haired young woman dressed in an old-fashioned white dress glide through a parked taxi outside Warstone Lane Cemetery. She was seen again in 1966 by a pair of scrap-metal dealers 'coming through the tunnel wall close to the graveyard'. And in 1968, two women saw her walk through the railings.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980), p.169.
Hodge Hill Common
Location: Coleshill Road, Birmingham (W. Midlands)
Date/Time: February 1975. MAP
Kenneth Ruskin was driving his Securicor van along Coleshill Road, where, approaching Hodge Hill Common, he had to slow down for traffic. Suddenly, the figure of a man appeared and stepped into the path of his van. Mr Ruskin slammed on his brakes and, despite regulations, wound down the window to shout at him. The man stopped and stood silently before him. Noting the poorly dressed state of the man, Mr Ruskin's attitude softened. Thinking the man a tramp, he got out with the intention of giving him 'a couple of bob for a meal', he was astonished when he vanished before his eyes. 'If that wasn't a ghost what the hell was it?' he said.
The ghost is said to be that of Wilfred Barwick, a butcher who was robbed and murdered at the spot in November 1780.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980), p.167.
Location: Horton Road, Allington, nr. Devizes (Wiltshire)
Date/Time: Sunday 30 October 1904. MAP
In demonstration that road ghost and vehicle meetings are not a new phenomenon comes this case from 1904. Where the Horton Road skirts the foot of Tan Hill, a white-robed female is occasionally seen. On 30 October 1904, Alfred Fielding, 24, a baker and lay preacher of Poulshot, was travelling with a fellow preacher in a horse and trap along the road after a chapel service. A tremendous storm came on, and through it they saw approaching the figure of a woman in white. At the sight of her their horse stopped dead in the road. The tw omen could do nothing but watch the woman in a white dress draw nearer in the pouring rain. When she arrived level with the lights on the trap, they could see her 'beautiful, angelic face and auburn hair'. And then she vanished. 'Up to then,' said Mr Fielding, 'I had never believed in ghosts.'
Source(s): Kathleen Wiltshire, Ghosts & Legends of the Wiltshire Countryside (Compton Russell, 1973), pp.36-37.
Location: Somerset Road, Huddersfield (W. Yorkshire)
Date/Time: 1980 or 1981. MAP
A ghost is credited with saving the life of a woman at a bend in Somerset Road, Huddersfield. As Mrs Agnes Kelly drove into the bend, the glare of on-coming headlights picked out the figure of a young, fair-haired boy. She swerved to avoid him and crashed into a parked car. Suffering only shock, while she waited for an ambulance, she asked a policeman, 'Have I killed the boy?'
A court apparently heard in January 1981 that Mrs Kelly had seen the ghost of an eight-year-old boy who had been knocked down and killed by a car at the same spot years before. Afterward, Mrs Kelly stated her belief that but for the boy's appearance, she might have driven into the other vehicle and been killed.
Source(s): Terence Whitaker, England's Ghostly Heritage (Robert Hale, 1989), p. 125.
Location: Hullavington, six miles north of Chippenham, off A429 (Wiltshire)
Date/Time: January 1967. 6.00 a.m. MAP
Mr H. Tyrell, 64, was on his usual journey to work at RAF Hullavington one January morning in 1967, when, on the road neat Burton Hill House School, he saw the figure of a man appear in the middle of the road. It was dressed in grey, and appeared to have a bright buckle at his waist. Fearing he might hit the man, Mr Tyrell tried to stop the car. As he bore down on the figure, it turned to face him. It had a white face, with sharp features. He judged the man to be about 40 years of age. The figure turned sideways towards the verge, raised its arm - and vanished.
The spot, Mr Tyrell later learned, had been known as Horse Pool, after a pond that stood there. Local legend has it that a coach and horses were driven into it, drowning its passengers.
Source(s): Kathleen Wiltshire, Ghosts & Legends of the Wiltshire Countryside (Compton Russell, 1973), pp.45-46.
Lavendon to Harrold Road
Location: Lavendon to Harrold road, off A428, nr. Bedford (Bedfordshire)
Date/Time: February 1998. 06.45 a.m. MAP
One February morning, Gerald Boak was driving home after a night-shift when, reaching the 3-mile-long lane that connects Lavendon and Harrold, he spotted what appeared to be an injured pheasant in the road. Almost running it over, he drove on to a spot where he could turn around, but as he reversed in the farm entrance he saw another vehicle approaching. It swerved across the lane (he guessed to avoid the bird) and came to a halt.
By this time, Mr Boak was driving slowly back, toward the other car, which had stopped on his side of the lane. The driver - a young man in jeans, grey jumper and a red woolly hat - was staring back along the lane at the bird, some 20 feet behind.
The man didn't move as Mr Boak drove around him and the bird. Something struck him as very odd about the situation, so he decided not to stop after all. Driving on another 60 feet to a turning off the lane, he U-turned his car, but as he straightened up, he immediately noticed - first - that the bird had gone; and then that the young man and his car had also vanished. He had a clear view up the lane through the breaking dawn, and there was no car to be seen.
Later he realized what had struck him as so odd. The man had not moved a muscle as he passed him - not even a glance to check on his own safety as Mr Boak drove by. He went back to the spot many times afterwards, seeking a rational explanation, without luck.
Source(s): Fortean Times no. 146 (May 2001), Letters, p.52.
Location: Red Bridge, A470, 2 miles on Newtown side of Llanidloes (Powys)
Date/Time: May/June 1973. MAP
School headmaster Mr Bill Hopkins ran into the ghostly figure of a girl who stepped out in front of his car one night as he travelled home from Llangurig. The incident happened near an old railway bridge - known locally as the Red Bridge - two miles on the Newtown side of Llanidloes.
"About 200 yards on the Llanidloes side of the Red Bridge a girl suddenly stepped out of the hedge straight in front of the car," he said. "I braked hard [from 50 mph]. All I could think was 'I am going to kill this woman'. But there was no impact, I could see her face looking straight at me and it seemed to pass through the car. She must have turned around as I could still see her face in the mirror."
Mr Hopkins was too frightened to stop. "It all happened so quickly", he said. "All I can remember is her face. It was so sorrowful and she was looking straight at me."
Mr Hopkins called in at the Lion Hotel in Llandinam - "all of a jitter" and needing a drink", he said. Other customers were not surprised by his story, having heard a similar tale from a local couple, Mr and Mrs Gwilym Swain of Llandinam, who had experienced something similar six years ago.
Mr Swain said: "We were on the way home from Llanidloes one Friday night when a woman just stepped out from the ditch into the path of my car. There was no impact and she disappeared."
On 8 June, the Red Bridge ghost claimed another victim, when Abderrahman Sennah, a 25-year-old Moroccan chef of the Trewythen Arms Hotel, Llanidloes, reported seeing the white lady after taking his girlfriend home and missing a turn on the way home.
"I wasn't sure which way to turn when I came to the main road," he said. "Then as I approached a corner I saw the wall of a bridge and suddenly the head and shoulders of a woman came out towards me. It came straight at the windscreen and passed through the car on the passenger's side."
Realizing he was on the Red Bridge, and shaking with fright, he drove straight to the hotel, where he asked barman Brian Alman, to go back to the bridge with him. A search of the area yielded nothing; neither did a later search by police.
"I don't believe in ghosts but I saw her," said Mr Sennah. "She had longish hair and a white face with white and yellow shoulders and she passed straight through the car."
Source(s): 'Ghostly Girl Gives Teacher A Fright', by Graham Breeze, The County Times and Express (Mid-Wales), Saturday 2 June 1973, Front Page; 'Saga of the Red Bridge ghost - Chapter 4: I was terrified says latest 'victim'', Ibid., Saturday 14 July 1973, Front Page.
In February 2003, I received an email from Janey, who related her own frightening experience near Llanidloes. She said:
"I was amazed to see the accounts of the Llanidloes road ghost, because I have had a similar experience. However, it is not at exactly the same place.
It was on the same road, but about 2 - 3 miles from the Llangurig roundabout heading toward Llanidloes. Back in 1987 my husband and I were riding our motorbikes along this stretch of road to visit friends in Llanidloes. My husband was leading on his bike and I was following on mine. As we got to one place along the road I had the most awful eerie feeling that I had picked up a passenger on the back of my bike and I can tell you it was not pleasant! I sped up to catch up with my husband but couldn't get the impression of a pillion away from me - until a few hundred yards from the Llanidloes turn off.
"We regularly visited our friends there and I insisted from that day onward that we would use the alternative route of the back lane from Rhayader.
"A couple of years later our friends took us out to dinner whilst we were visiting and they drove. They took the route from Llanidloes to Llangurig and sure enough as we reached that part of the road I felt my hairs stand up and the atmosphere in the car felt chilled as if someone had got in with us. The feeling passed as we neared the roundabout at Llangurig.
"I was very pale and my friends asked what was wrong. I wouldn't say till we were in the safety of the pub. Our male friend is an ex-military chap and made attempts to 'cheer' me up by gently poking fun of the whole ghost thing.
"However, he did promise to make some enquiries. It turned out that the new road is much higher than the old road and where I had my 'encounters' the new road runs above where the old road has a bridge. Apparently there have been many accidents and fatalities on the bridge on the old road. I don't know if the new road is a 'black spot' or not because I still will not use that road at night!"
Seeking to clarify some points, I wrote back to Janey. In turn, she replied with the following:
"I can remember the incident very well - one is hardly likely to forget it! The weather was clear and it was a starlit night. It would have been a Friday night as we were going for the weekend to visit our friends. The exact date I can't remember. I was really enjoying riding my Bonneville and looking forward to seeing our friends. The feeling of an unwanted passenger was very sudden. I 'sensed' it was a male, don't ask me why, I just felt it was. It/he felt 'heavy'. It also felt menacing, more than just the unpleasant realisation that I wasn't alone on my bike. All I wanted to do was catch up to my husband and get the thing off my bike! Like the Uniondale case, I sped up, in some stupid way it may have been the thought that the speed would frighten it off - stupid really.
"The incident took place between Llangurig roundabout and Llanidloes turn off, so I don't think it is the same bridge as the 'Red bridge' as I think that is described as being between Llanidloes and Newtown?
"The incident when we passed there again in a car was some months later and I have just spoken to my husband about it and he says he felt the presence in the car too. But he had no sense of anything odd when the wretched thing got on my bike!"
Location: A470 Llangurig-Llanidloes road, near Llanidloes (Powys) MAP
Source(s):Personal correspondence with witness.
Do you have any news regarding similar encounters along the A470? Please to share it with us.
Location: Millhams Road, Longham (Dorset)
Date/Time: February 1972. 5.30 a.m. MAP
Early one frosty February morning in 1972, Robin Legg, 30, set off on his bicycle from his home in Kinson to cross the meadows to Longham. His route took him along Millhams Road (Millhams Lane to the locals) below Kinson parish church, He was approaching the A348 on the south side of the River Stour when: "Suddenly - there in the gleam of my cycle lamp - was a greyish figure. I could see no face but distinctly made out some sort of cape which was flapping about." It was crossing the road at walking speed.
Mr Legg braked hard, but the road was icy and the bike slipped away from him and he was dumped on his backside. When he looked up, the figure had vanished.
Source(s): Rodney Legg, Mysterious Dorset (Dorset Publishing Company, 1998), p.17 (based on a report in the Bournemouth Times of 20 October 1972).
Location: Bridge Street, Longnor, six miles south of Shrewsbury (Shropshire)
Date/Time: August 1975. 5.30 p.m. MAP
The bridge over the a tributary of the Cound Brook is the scene of appearances of a girl in what looks like a wedding dress, who stands for a moment before floating over the bridge and into the stream.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980).
Location: A286 Midhurst (W. Sussex)
Date/Time: Tuesday 19 October 1999. 7.50 a.m. MAP
Tangmere man Lee Fellick, 28, was approaching Midhurst when he saw a figure step out into the road ahead of him, as if from an opening or driveway. Instinctively braking, he watched as the figure, dressed in a long waistcoat, baggy trousers, and a Quaker-style hat, start across the road. But as he closed to within fifteen feet of the man, Mr Fellick realized he could see right through him. "He crossed the road in front of me and just dissolved into the trees," he said.
Source(s): ''Ghost' Shocks Motorist', West Sussex Observer, 20 October 1999; Mysterymag.com.
Location: B4068, nr. Naunton (Gloucestershire)
Date/Time: Wednesday 26 August 1998. 10.00 p.m. / April 2000. 10.42 p.m. MAP
Anæsthetist Guy Routh, 48, of Andoversford, was driving down the B4068 near the village of Naunton when he spied a woman standing by the verge. "I saw her quite clearly in the headlights...wearing a creamy sleeveless dress, with dark hair to the shoulders that hung down loose."
Concerned for her, Mr Routh slowed down to see if she was alright. The woman looked at him and, smiling, gave him a small wave. Stopping the car, he looked away from her momentarily...and when he looked back, she had vanished.
A smell of wood-smoke filled the car, which was not present when he got out to investigate. A torch aided him in his search for her. But apart from two trees nearby, he was faced with an empty field, and no sign of the woman. Giving up, he returned to the spot the next morning, but still there was no sign of her.
A security guard (who did not wish to be named) came forward to claim a similar encounter on the same stretch of road in April 2000. "It was pitch black," he said. "A figure all in white appeared out of nowhere. It looked like a monk and was about 6ft tall." The witness was driving at around 60 mph, and was given no time to brake. He drove straight through the figure. "I stopped to have a look, but there was nothing there. I phoned police because I wanted to know if anyone else had seen it. It wasn't scary, just weird," he said.
Cars have been reported to inexplicably stop along the same stretch of road
Source(s): Gloucester Echo, 3 September 1998; 'Doctor spooked by vanishing woman on desolate country road', Essex Gazette, 3 September 1998; Fortean Times no. 137 (August 2000), p.8; Mysterymag.com.
Location: M2 Greencastle roundabout, Newtownabbey, County Antrim (N. Ireland)
Date/Time: 14 February (1993 or 1994?). 8.00 p.m. MAP
Mary Kerr, a 65-year-old former nurse, of Newtownabbey, was driving onto the M2 from the Greencastle roundabout at 8 p.m. when "suddenly a young girl came skipping across the motorway from my left towards the front of my car. I braked, and I think I must have closed my eyes briefly. Then she was nowhere in sight."
The girl was described as being around 11 years of age. She had long fair hair and was wearing a white dress with long sleeves, and a skirt with two or three overlapping tiers.
Shocked, Mary nevertheless drove on, but came off the motorway at the next junction to drive back to Greencastle and retrace her journey. But there was no sign of the girl, nor did she ever see her again, despite repeated visits to the spot.
Two years later, she got a further shock when she read the "On This Day" section of the Irish News. The date was 14 February - the same date she had seen the child. The year in question was 1922, and one of the events that was commemorated was the terrorist incident that took the lives of two teenaged girls in Weaver Street. Mary knew instinctively that this incident and her sighting were connected. Weaver Street no longer existed, but would certainly have been very near to the path of the M2 where Mary Kerr saw the girl.
The Irish News of 14 February 1922 recounts how two girls, 13 and 14, were killed when a bomb was thrown towards a group of children playing (skipping rope) in Weaver Street.
Source(s): 'The Night I Nearly Ran Down A Ghost', by Sue Corbett, Sunday Life, (27 June 1998 (or 1999)?), p.16.
Location: A258 (Dover-Deal Road) Oxney Bottom, nr. Dover (Kent)
Date/Time: 1967/1973. MAP
A sharp S-bend is the location of a number of accidents in the past, and the scene of sightings of the 'Grey Lady'. who glides across the path of vehicles travelling along the A258. In 1967 a Kent Messenger reader wrote in to the newspaper to comment on the recent reappearance of the ghost [details of that sighting unfortunately not available here]. A woman, apparently, had at one time boarded a bus and ascended to the top deck. When the conductress went up to collect her fare, there was no-one upstairs. The bus had not stopped, leaving the driver and conductress completely bewildered.
in 1973, four young engineers went ghost-hunting for the Grey Lady. Two were fortunate to catch a glimpse of her: 'Her face was very serious. It was miserable really,' commented one. But her appearance and disappearance were too quick to notice any additional details.
Shepway area researcher Paul Harris told Andrew Green in 1999 that a recent coach party witnessed a 'grey lady' cross the road in front of them on their way to Walmer Castle. The driver slammed on the brakes, but the coach had passed through the figure before it stopped. No sign of the woman could be found.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980), p.97; 'Ghost Boarded A Bus', Kent Messenger, 23 June 1967, p.12; Andrew Green, Haunted Kent Today (S.B. Publications, 1999), p.63.
For more on Oxney Bottom, go to 'Oxney Bottom - The scariest place in England?' - Kent 51 - Unexplained phenomena in Kent, at www.yourcounty.co.uk/Kent51/oxney.html
Location: Bradford-on-Avon to Bath road (A363?) (Wiltshire)
Date/Time: [not specified]. MAP
Between Bath and Bradford-on-Avon is an area named Sally-in-the-Wood, named after an old gipsy woman. Renowned for accidents, the road is also said to be haunted by Sally' s ghost - hence the name. A television engineer was driving through the area when his girlfriend shouted to him that there was a woman crossing the road in front of him - which he couldn't see. Others have reportedly had the same experience.
Source(s): Margaret Royal & Ian Girvan, Local Ghosts: True stories of odd happenings (revised edition; Abson Books, 1990), p.21.
Location: Sark Bridge, Gretna, Dumfriesshire (Scotland)
Date/Time: October 1957. 10.45 p.m. MAP
Hugh Watson Reid, of Livingstone, West Lothian, was driving an articulated lorry to Carlisle when he had his experience. The night was misty, visibility not great, but still not 'all that bad at approximately 40 feet'. As he reached a left-bend in the road near Sark Bridge, Gretna, at the junction with the A75, a midlle-aged couple walked out in front of his lorry. He stamped on the brakes, and brought the vehicle to a safe stop and, like so many other drivers, jumped from his cab to scold them for their stupidity. There was no sign of the couple, who had been unseasonably dressed in summer-style attire. Thinking they might be beneath the lorry, he was relieved to find that fear unrealized. But neither could they found on the road about, which was bordered by impenetrable hedges. Disturbed, he continued on his way to Carlisle, and only learned months later that others had had the same experience at the spot.
The same road is said to be haunted by a ghostly car, which is said to have caused a number of accidents.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980).
Location: (A51?) Fazeley district of Tamworth (Staffordshire)
Date/Time: March 1972. 11.30 p.m. MAP
Alan Berry, 23, was on his way home to Birmingham after a night out in Tamworth (during which he had consumed no alcohol) when he had his experience. The night was wet and windy. At Fazeley his route left behind the comforting surroundings of the town, and plunged into dark countryside. "That's when I saw him," he said. Through the passenger window, he saw a very tall soldier walking purposefully towards Birmingham. Mr Berry's initial reaction was to stop to offer him a lift; but there was something not quite right about the man that made him hold back. On his head (Mr Berry didn't see his face) the man wore a scarf or balaclava. On his frame, he wore a 'greatcoat' with a large collar, below which Mr Berry could see buckled garters and army boots - quite obviously a soldier, after all. Berry decided to offer the lift. However, as he came within ten or twelve feet of him, the figure - like an image projected onto water and rippled by hand - shimmered and fragmented into the bushes and trees behind.
Source(s): Vivienne Rae-Ellis, True Ghost Stories of our own time (Faber, 1990), pp.214-215.
Location: Hollin Moor Lane and Badger Wood Road, off A629, nr. Barnsley (S. Yorkshire)
Date/Time: Thursday 17 September 1992. MAP
A taxi-driver from Kendray, John Cullen, 29, was driving with his wife Diana, 33, and their three children, along this dark back lane between Thurgoland and Hood Green, when a ghostly figure floated out in front of their car near the Eastfield Inn, causing it to stall.
"This ghost-type figure floated about three feet above the road in front of our Orion car," said Mr Cullen. "The car just stopped - it stalled on me. The featureless shape, which drooped down like a policeman's cape, glided to my wife's side of the car and into woodlands at her side of the road."
The couple, who didn't previously believe in ghosts, just looked at each other.
Mr Cullen claimed to have seen it before, but didn't mention it for fear people might think him crazy. Since on this occasion his wife saw it also, they decided to report it to the police.
Source(s): 'Ghost 'visit' shocks couple', The Star, Friday September 18, 1992.
Note: Thurgoland is remarkably near Stocksbridge, scene of 1987 road-ghost encounters on the Stocksbridge by-pass.
Location: Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells (Kent)
Date/Time: [not specified]. MAP
A Mr and Mrs Gearing of Tonbridge were driving down Broomhill Road when they noticed the misty figure of a man standing on the verge. Seeing him too late, the couple were unsure if they had hit him. They stopped the car and searched about for some minutes for the man, before acknowledging that he had disappeared.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980).
Location: A13 Vange (Essex)
Date/Time: September 1969. MAP
The ghost that haunts the A13 at Vange was seen several times by the landlord of the Five Bells Inn, John Howard.
Alerted to its appearance by a thumping noise, Mr Howard described it thus: "It was pure white and coming down the A13 from the direction of Vange Church, and then it disappeared over in the direction of the Fobbing rail crossing. I know I saw it and nobody will ever convince me different."
Update (Mar 2003): see One Tree Hill - a nearby case in Essex that suggests a possible connection with the Vange ghost.
Source(s): Jessie K. Payne, A Ghost Hunter's Guide to Essex (Ian Henry Publications, 1995), p.117; Thurrock Gazette, 26 September 1969.
Location: High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire)
Date/Time: December 1936. MAP
Lorry driver Bill Smith's experience took place in December 1936 whilst he and his co-driver were on a night delivery run to Worcester. On this night their journey was hampered by thick fog. Consequently, they arrived at High Wycombe - where the incident happened - very late. As they started down the steep gradient of White Hill into the town, Mr Smith dropped the lorry down the gears to slow their descent. Suddenly, his mate shouted, "Look out! You'll hit him!"
At that moment, a figure dressed in a long black cloak stepped into the headlights. Smith braked hard, but couldn't stop the lorry in time, and the figure disappeared beneath the radiator cowling.
As soon as the lorry came to a stop, Mr Smith's mate jumped out to investigate, followed moments later by Mr Smith himself. When his mate reported that he couldn't find the man, he surmised that he must be caught underneath - to which Smith leaned, stunned and speechless, against the lorry.
Finding a torch in the lorry, Smith handed it to his mate, who crawled beneath to search for the man's body. Shining its beam all about, he called out, "There's nothing under here!" Emerging, he walked back up the hill, passing the lorry's skid marks, and then came back down on the road's offside - without result. The road was set in a cutting, so the man could not have been thrown off the road altogether.
Mr Smith had come to the conclusion that they had probably encountered a phantom, but didn't say anything to his mate, who suggested, once they had started on their way again, that they find and report the incident to a policeman.
Finding an officer in High Wycombe, Smith described the incident to him, only to have reported back that he was the third motorist that night claiming to knock someone down on the hill, and that a police search had revealed nothing.
Further along their route, the pair met one of those drivers, who was on the roadside with a wheel off. He told them that the figure he had collided with and reported to police had been dressed like a monk, with a long hooded cloak.
Source(s): Vivienne Rae-Ellis, True Ghost Stories of our own time (Faber, 1990), pp.218-219.
Note: This White Hill not to be confused with White Hill, nr. Wye, Kent.
Location: A22 Eastbourne Road, Willingdon, nr. Eastbourne (E. Sussex)
Date/Time: 1976. MAP
Late afternoons appear to be favoured by this road ghost, which crosses the road at the roundabout connecting Kings Drive and Willingdon Road with the main A22. The ghost has been the cause of several near-accidents, and has actually been linked to a fatal accident at the spot in 1923.
Local man John Martin claimed to have seen her on two occasions. The first occasion was one evening in 1976 as he was returning home from Hailsham. 'I nearly had a heart attack,' he said. 'For suddenly this woman was in front of my car and I had absolutely no chance of avoiding her." But when he managed to stop and got our to investigate, appalled at the thought that he had killed someone, there was nothing there. Nearly a year later, the same thing happened to him again.
Source(s): Andrew Green, Ghosts of Today (Kaye and Ward, London, 1980), p.36.
Location: Road from Charlton Abbots to Winchcombe (Gloucestershire)
Date/Time: August or September 1956. After 9.30 p.m. MAP
In 1956, William James Hunter was a RAF Liaison Officer at GCHQ Cheltenham. He lived with his wife and two young sons in a rented cottage in the village of Greet, near Winchcombe. One evening, in August or September, he left his weekly squash match at Rossly manor, a country club near Charlton Kings (Cheltenham), at around 9.30 p.m. and made his way home by 'the scenic route' - a lonely and, in the area of his strange incident, a heavily-wooded lane that ran along a ledge or bench, which sloped down to the right and steeply up to the left. About halfway along a straight stretch that ended in a steep bend to the right, he noticed out of the corner of his eye, off to the right, a light - a glow in the darkness of the wood. After a while, he was aware that it was moving and proceeding up the slope toward the lane ahead of him. Mr Hunter had the feeling he and it were on a collision course, but he reassured himself that if it were a person it would see his car's headlights and avoid crossing the lane in front of him.
However, as the glow grew larger, it took on a human form - one that was strangely dressed. It wore some kind of cloak that was a dull crystal blue in colour. The figure was bare-headed, but Mr Hunter could not recall seeing a face. Spookier still, it maintained a purposeful and straight course directly into the path of his car. Despite braking hard, Mr Hunter was unable to stop in time. "This creature moved through the bonnet of my car. Automatically I prepared to open the door in order to get out to see if I had collided with something, although I neither heard nor felt anything at the time."
What Mr Hunter did see was "this creature, person, thing, continuing to move - it could hardly be described as a walk - across the road." From there, it continued up the hillside, still glowing and growing smaller in the distance. Not once did it deviate to avoid the trees, and, strangely, Mr Hunter observed, it was never hidden by them.
Feeling numb and uneasy, Mr Hunter continued on his way, arriving home some twenty or thirty minutes later. An inspection of his car revealed no sign of damage.
A few days later, a friend pointed out that there was a long barrow on that hill above that corner [Belas Knap long barrow].
Source(s): Vivienne Rae-Ellis, True Ghost Stories of our own time (Faber, 1990), pp.212-214.
Interestingly, the scene of Mr Hunter's 1956 encounter lies only six miles or so to the west of Naunton, where Guy Routh and another witness encountered strange figures in 1998 and 2000 respectively. Mr Hunter's 'ghost' had emerged from the woods in that direction.
Link: Belas Knap long barrow
Location: A51 Wybunbury, nr. Nantwich (Cheshire)
Date/Time: Sunday 20 October 1996. Morning. MAP
Derby man Trevor Madline stopped on to pick up a hitch-hiker dressed in vintage motorcycle leathers. Reaching the Staffordshire border, realized his passenger had vanished, even though the car door had remained locked and the seat belt was still fastened. Mr Madline was so shocked he called the police, but they could find no trace of his ghostly passenger.
The spot was close to an accident black spot where several motorcyclists had been killed over the years. The encounter apparently also coincided with a vintage motorcycle show that was being held in Crewe by the Edge and District Motorcycle Club.
Source(s): Nantwich Chronicle, 23 October 1996.
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