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Cryers Hill

Location: Four Ashes Lane, Cryers Hill (Buckinghamshire)  

Date/Time: September 1986. c.12.00 & c. 1978 9.30 p.m.    MAP  MAP (zoom)

The South Bucks Star of 26 September 1986 carried the story of two motorists  who had been startled by a ghostly figure in green as they drove past a crematorium just before midnight.

The incident occurred outside Hughenden Crematorium, Four Ashes Lane, Cryers Hill, along the top of Hughenden Valley, which is nestled in the Chiltern Hills, to the north-east of High Wycombe, Bucks. 

The figure reportedly loomed up at the side of the road, sending shivers down the spines of Mark Nursey and his girlfriend Allyson Bulpett, who was driving the car behind.

Mark, 21, of High Wycombe, said: "The most uncanny thing was the way it stood. It seemed to be wearing what I can only describe as a big green jumper. I couldn't make out the head or hands. It seemed to be stooping but was about 5ft 11ins tall and well built."

What happened after that isn't reported. The newspaper instead turned its attention to various theories to account for the figure, observing that it might have been the Green Man himself, the spirit of the forest, and noting his depiction on a number of pub signs in the Chilterns. Another green man was said to haunt the woods at Fingest.

Two weeks later, the paper printed the account of Phil Mullett, who had read Mark's and Allyson's story, and had written in to claim he had had a very similar experience at the same spot eight years previously.

Phil, a 28-year-old warehouseman, also of High Wycombe, said: "It gave me quite a shock to read it. The account was so close to my own. It was about 9.30pm when I drove into Four Ashes Road and on turning my car lights on full I saw this green person appear from the right hand side of the road. It drifted out to the centre of the road and turned towards me. It waved its arms, not to frighten but as if to warn me to keep back. It drifted into the hedge on the other side of the road but as I got closer it came out again to the centre, turned and lifted its arms. I knew I was going to hit it. I think I cried out or shouted something."

Phil braked, and got out, thinking he must have hit the figure. But there was nothing there. The figure was bright green and seemed to have no legs or hands. The body appeared solid-looking; but where its face should have been was 'a misty grey round shape'. In all, it stood around seven feet tall. 

Source(s): Strange Buckinghamshire: Legends and folklore of  Buckinghamshire, UK (by Alan Cleaver and Lesley Park); South Bucks Star, 26 September 1986 & 17 October 1986.

 

Pentreuchaf

Location: Pentreuchaf, (Gwynedd, N. Wales)  

Date/Time: Dec. 1999 & Dec. 2002.    MAP 

At the end of January 2003, the Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald ran a story describing the experience of Tudor Evans, of Tudweiliog, who had encountered a ghostly figure along a stretch of road at Pentreuchaf. The Herald subsequently received a number of phone calls from people who claimed to have had similar experiences along the same stretch of road. 

Most were unwilling to see their story in print. One who wasn't was Gwilym Thomas of Chwilog, whose experience had taken place on the same stretch of road three years previously, on Boxing Day, not far from the scene of Tudor's encounter (which had also occurred around this time of year).

With his two sons in the car with him, it was after dark and raining when Mr Thomas passed Penrhos farm. He noticed a figure walking in the middle of the road ahead, and immediately hit his brakes, bringing the car to a halt. The figure then melted right in front of him.

The report states that Gwilym Thomas's description differed to that given by Tudor Evans (whose description it sadly omits). To Thomas, it was a young man.

"The person was wearing a white shirt and he had black shoes, which looked like they had been finely polished. 

"The strange thing is, my sons didn't see anything and didn't understand why I had stopped the car so suddenly.

"I repeatedly asked them, but they didn't have a clue what I was talking about."

Predictably, a number of stories arose in attempt at explanation for the figure(s) at this location. The Herald signed off with an appeal for more information.

Source(s):'Haunted highway', by Oswyn Hughes, Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, 13 February 2003; icNorthWalesTM:Weird Wales

Do you have any news regarding similar encounters in the Pentreuchaf area?  Please to email any information to Roadghosts.com.

 

Bolton-le-Sands

Location: Bolton-le-Sands to Nether Kellet road, nr, Bolton-le-Sands, (Lancashire)  

Date/Time: November 1985.    MAP 

Chris's encounter took place on a crisp moonlit night in November 1985. At the time he lived in the village of Slyne-with-Hest, near Bolton-le-Sands, Lancashire, and had been seeing a girl who lived in the village of Nether Kellet, about six miles away. He journeyed to see her on an old Puch 50 moped, which he commented, came equipped with pedals "...so that when the engine gave up on gradients you could help it up by pedalling!"

Chris's usual route would take him north to Bolton-le-Sands, where he would take a right turn at the Blue Anchor Hotel in Main Street, toward Nether Kellet. On this night, the outward journey was uneventful. On his way home, however, as his route took him through farmland, Chris could have hardly have prepared himself for what waited for him along the moonlit road ahead.

As he approached a long right-hand bend, the light on his moped dimmed. Unsuspecting anything untoward, he tapped the headlight thinking it could be a loose connection. When it made no difference, Chris continued on around the corner, passing an old tree on left as the ground began to rise. As he reached the brow of the hill, a figure appeared before him, a woman in Victorian dress. In the moonlight she was starkly clear: she wore a hooped dress with a laced bodice top; her hair was up in a bun, with ringlets hanging down at the back.

"I was travelling at a slow 20 mph so I was gaining on her. I seem to remember that there was no colour to the figure before me, just grey with lots of detail.

"I was scared to death; my eyes transfixed on the figure that was getting closer and closer. I never saw her face. I must have got [to within] about 5-10 feet from her and she turned and went through the hedge."

As he passed the spot, Chris became afraid that she might come back out after him. A few yards later, and already jumpy, he was so startled when his moped lights came back up to full power that he nearly crashed on the hairpin bend coming down the hill.

At the junction at the bottom he stopped under the reassuring glare of streetlights, and took off his helmet to smoke a cigarette to calm himself down. 

Source(s):Road Ghosts: Mysterymag.com

 

Handcross

Location: A23 Handcross, c, 4 miles south of Crawley (W. Sussex) 

Date/Time: Not specified.     MAP

Liz Ball believed in ghosts, but had never seen one. That changed late one night on her way home from Brighton. Liz, 47, of Furnace Green, was driving along the northbound A23 when, at Handcross Hill, she saw '...three bright but hazy spotlights travel across the road and a definite shape of a man stop in the road behind them.'

‘‘After I saw it I couldn’t wait to get home," she said, "because I was getting all shivery and goose bumpy. It was so strange - there were no other cars around so it couldn’t have been car headlights, yet I saw three bright lights and this hazy figure.’’

After her own encounter, Liz heard that other people had reported a ghost on the same stretch of road. "I hope there’s a good reason for the haunting because they are obviously restless spirits.’’

Source(s):Road Ghosts: Mysterymag.com, based on an original (unspecified) article.

See also the Pyecombe, for more accounts for the A23.

 

Greenfield (Maes-Glas)

Location: A548 (?) Greenfield (Maes-Glas), Flintshire (N. Wales)) 

Date/Time: 1961.     MAP

John Evans now lives in Kentville, Canada, but in 1961 he lived in Connah's Quay, Flintshire. He was at the time seeing a girl from Meliden [Gallt Melyd], just 'across the border' in Denbighshire.

One evening they had been out, and he had dropped the girl off home, before heading back to Connah's Quay.

"It was about 1am and I was driving on the bottom road [which I take to be the current A548], just by Courtalds in Greenfield, when the car went suddenly very cold. I looked at the passenger seat and I saw an old man sitting there. He was wearing a cap and carrying a walking stick between his legs. I never spoke to him, nor him to me.

"I stopped my car and got out and ran down the road. I waited for a while but there was no other traffic so I went back to my car, looked inside and he was not there. I got in and drove home. The car stayed cold all the way to Connah's Quay. I told my dad what had happened and he just said 'Rubbish', but it's really true.

"I married that girl over 49 years ago and we now live in Canada."

Source(s):'The Cold Car', BBCi Wales-North East website (Weird/Ghosts)

 


Bitterne

Location: A3024 Northam Bridge, nr. Bitterne (Southampton) 

Date/Time: 1977 or 1978.     MAP

Louise Warr emailed Roadghosts.com to share her grandfather's experience, which had taken place back in 1977 or 1978.

Her grandfather had been working late, and was on his way home via the A3024, which was carried over the River Itchen by the Northam Bridge. It was on the bridge itself, in the middle of the dual-carriageway span, that he noticed a little girl standing there, apparently crying.

Stopping, Lousie's grandfather asked the girl where she lived. She told him, and he offered to take her home, which was in nearby Stuart Road, Bitterne Manor.

When he arrived at the address, the girl had vanished from the back seat of the car. "My grandfather knocked at the front door only to be told that the little girl had drowned a couple of years earlier."

The account was subsequently reported in the newspaper (the Echo), resulting in others coming forward to claim that they had seen the girl too.

The classic Phantom (Vanishing) Hitch-Hiker scenario, save for the age of the girl. Other than that, we have the lone male witness who encounters the ghost-girl at a liminal (boundary) setting - a bridge - with her plight providing the motivation for the motorist to stop and offer the lift home. As prescribed, the girl assumes the back seat of the car, from which she can vanish unobserved (another convention) before arriving at the destination. The driver then fulfills convention by knocking at the door of the house to discover that the girl drowned (presumbly in the Itchen) a few years earlier. 

The conformances with the predictable legendary PHH motif are so clear, we should be naturally suspicious of such a tale. However, in this case, while we do not immediately have the name of the witness himself, this could be obtained with little trouble from the source of the correspondence, or from the contemporary newspaper reports that conveyed the story to the public (which apparently prompted others to come forward with their own ) - which at least demolishes another of the popular conventions - which states that the witness is impossible to trace or identify.

Do you have any news regarding similar encounters in the Bitterne/Northam Bridge area?  Please to email any information to Roadghosts.com.

Source(s):Personal correspondence, submitted to Roadghosts.com.

 

Corbrook Court

Location: Corbrook Court, A529 Audlem Road, nr. Hankelow (Cheshire)

Date/Time: 2001 & 1 October 2002.  12.30 a.m.   MAP MAP (Zoom)

Rare as it is for anyone to have the luck or misfortune to encounter a reputed road ghost, it is even more so to have identical experiences a year apart. But this is just what happened to Barry Cooke, who wrote in to This Is Weird, on the 'This is Warrington' website in 2002 to share his experiences and appeal for others to contact him should they have seen the man, or could help identify him and how he died. 

Barry said: "I was driving home down the Audlem Road from Audlem at about 12.30 a.m. My friend and I were driving up to Corbrook Court [near Hankelow] and saw a man standing in the road on the opposite side to Corbrook. He was staring at us.

"As we got closer we realised that this man was a bit strange looking, and there was a strange feeling. The man started to bend down and really stare into the car as we past. I looked back as the man got to the rear wing of the car but he had gone."

The following day, Barry looked for any way the man could have gone without their seeing him, but he had vanished too quickly to have made a normal escape before they looked back.

"There were no stiles or gates, just the Court across the road. On Thursday, October 1, 2002, I was driving home from Audlem at 1a.m., and saw the same man but this time I was on my own so I turned away as I passed him, as I did not want to see his face at the window.

"I am asking anyone who may have seen this same man or ghost to please contact me. I would like to know who he was and how he died."

Source(s):'Do you know who the roadside figure is?', This is Weird (This is Warrington website, 2002).

Another spooky link to Audlem involves the deaths of 9 young people (2 female, 7 male) in accidents within 10 months. All but one of the victims lived in or near to Audlem (pop.1,797). Eight had attended the same school, and all knew one another. The chain of events began in October 1994. A commentator from Nantwich remarked, "I think there must be a curse on Audlem with all these deaths." Read more.

 

Knutsford to Warrington

Location: A50 Knutsford to Warrington (Cheshire)

Date/Time: May 1995. 10.15 p.m.   MAP  

Neil Stratford wrote to the This is Cheshire website after reading about Barry Cooke's experiences on the A529 near Hankelow, Cheshire (see Corbrook Court). Neil said: "I have had this strange encounter myself, although not on the same stretch of road but not too far away, and would like to know of any reasonable explanation."

Neil was travelling along the A50 (northbound) to Warrington after knocking off from his evening shift at his workplace in Knutsford. Neil doesn't specify exactly where on the A50 his sighting took place, but reported that he saw a man standing in the middle of the road trying to flag him down. He switched his full beam on to get a better view of the man, and swerved around him, doing about 70 mph, and continued his journey.

After approximately three quarters of a mile, Neil decided to turn around and go back to see if the man was still there and find out what the problem was. He pulled over to the roadside, to reverse into the entrance to a field on his right. Engaging his reverse gear, his reversing lights illuminated the road behind.

"I looked into my rear-view mirror and saw, to my horror, the man who I had seen almost a mile back, stood about 10 feet behind my car! He was not out of breath and there was no means of transport around that he could have used to catch me up, and he did not make any attempt to ask me for help. He just stood there in silence.

"He was very pale with silvery-white hair that was slicked back. He had a tight black polar-neck style jumper on and tight black hipster style trousers with a silver belt around his waist.

"As you can imagine I was scared out of my wits but it wasn't the fact that there was no possible way that this man could have caught up with me without transport but it was the feeling I got when I saw him stood there. I felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck and such a dreadful feeling came over me, a feeling of death.

"After seeing this "roadside figure" I did not hang about. I put my car into first gear and sped off home to tell my family what had just happened."

Source(s):'More sightings of a roadside figure', Weird (This is Cheshire website, July 2003).

Neil Stratford's disturbing encounter is all the more so for its uncanny similarity in both description and behaviour to the figure that haunts the A12/B1389 from Essex through Norfolk (see notes to Witham, Essex), and the infamous 'Man-in-the-Mackintosh' of the A38 Willand to Taunton Road, near Wellington (Somerset). I have previously speculated that very similar spectral figures from different locations appear to be patterned on a limited number of recurring archetypes. 

 

Avebury

Location: A361 Avebury to Devizes Road (Wiltshire)

Date/Time: 23 January 2004. 11.00 p.m.   MAP  

A361 near Avebury. Note remnant long barrow to right that lines up on the peak of Silbury Hill, just visible on the horizon. (June 2004)Victoria Scott wrote to Roadghosts.com the day after her experience on the A361 near Avebury. She said: "Last night, me and my friends travelled to Swindon to go to the cinema. On the way home, we had gone through Avebury and were on the A361, where there was just plain road no houses or shops or anything. 

"We were driving along here, when we saw a man wearing a black suit, with a brown/green brief case, and thick wavy grey hair. He was facing the way that we were going so we couldn't see his face, but he was so stiff, not moving at all, just stood on the side of the road. 

"I have tried to find out more about the figure, but all I have found out is that he was driving in one of the directions we saw him, and that his car broke down, and when he went to get out of the car he was knocked down and killed."

When I sought to find out what it was about the figure that suggested to Victoria it was something other than a normal human being, she replied with: "When we saw him, he was still; didn't move. And when I turned around to have a look it was gone."

"I hadn't heard that the road had a reputation. He was not moving or even looking into the road like he was going to cross, so that was what made it seem unusual. The time of the sighting was around 11:00pm.

"I have heard from various other people that they have made the same sighting as me, which is another reason why I am interested in finding out who it is, and why he is there. I will be grateful for any information you might get."

Source(s):Personal correspondence with witness.

Can you add to Victoria's sighting, or perhaps identify the figure of the A361?  Please to email any information to Roadghosts.com.

 

Bromley

Location: Chatttenden Road, Bromley (Kent)

Date/Time: March 1996.  MAP  

The Your County (Kent) website records a sighting in Bromley one night in March 1996 - what might be more properly called a 'pavement ghost', I guess, than a 'road ghost'. 

The witness (unfortunately not named in the account) had been out for a meal with two friends, and was walking in Chattenden Road, midway between Bromley and Bromley Common, when... "I saw a man dressed in a Navy Blue uniform walk towards us on the street. The person didn't seem to look at us at all and when he passed by but I felt very uncomfortable. I was so uneasy I turned my head around as soon as we had passed but he had gone. I was spooked and made my friends stop and look around. They were in conversation and took no notice when he passed us by but they had seen him. I got my leg pulled and I dropped the subject. I know what I saw and the man disappeared into thin air . I wonder could this be linked to the Biggin Hill ghosts; it must only be a few miles from Chattenden Road to Biggin Hill. I never saw anything like this again." 

Source(s):'Bromley Ghost?', in Kent 51 - Unexplained phenomena in Kent, www.yourcounty.co.uk

 

Canterbury

Location: Downs Road, Canterbury (Kent)

Date/Time: 7 September 2001. c.9.45 p.m.  MAP  

Fiona wrote to Mysterymag.com in September of 2001 to report the experience that she, accompanied by her husband, had had the previous week along Downs Road, Canterbury, Kent.

Downs Road passes the site of the old Saint Augustine's Hospital (since closed and now the site for new housing), which may possibly provide a clue as to the cause and identity of the figure Fiona saw that night. 

Anyway, over to Fiona:

"I was returning home last Friday night (7th Sept) at about 9.45pm. It was dark and I had headlights on dipped beam and had not been drinking! My husband was with me in the car at the time although he was looking to the left
when this occurred and not straight ahead, as I was. 

"We came round a bend and started along a straight bit of road on the top of the downs outside Canterbury. On our left were several old workers houses that have been modernised recently and on the right the fields slope steeply downwards. 

"As I looked ahead I saw a tall figure appear on the path (it was suddenly there - [it] didn't seem to have come out of a house or anything). It stepped right out into the road and I shouted out words to the effect of 'What a stupid thing
to do; can't he see my headlights!'. The figure was tall and had a large cloak that went right down to the ground so that I couldn't see his feet at all, and [he] had a hood that hid his face.

"He was walking briskly across and then stopped on the white line and looked towards my approaching car then turned away and hurried across towards the field. I thought it odd that as he turned I didn't see a face as I would have expected to in the headlights, just a dark shape that was moving as a person would. It went into the field, by which time I was level with it and I stopped the car. 

"As my husband ( who had not seen it at all despite me shouting out) and I looked we were amazed to see that the field is separated from the road by double barbed wire fencing and there is no way that one could easily get through at all - this figure hadn't stopped to climb or deviate from his route at all. There was absolutely no sign of anyone there at all - also he had no torch and it was very dark - the route down across the field to other houses some way away is pitch dark. I noticed that there is a footpath several yards further on and will look into the possibility that it may have been moved over the years. I went back to the spot yesterday and checked the fencing - there is no chance that anyone can easily get over or through it  at all.

In a reply to further questions from Martin Jeffrey at Mysterymag.com, Fiona confirmed that there was no ditch on the side of the road into which the figure could have descended, giving the impression that he had vanished. The rod has a path on the left, where the figure was standing when Fiona first spotted him. He then crossed over to the field side, where there is hardly any verge at all, the road immediately meeting the field with its barbed wire fence.

"I would estimate that he was fairly tall," said Fiona, "which is why I presumed he was male although no other features were clear - pretty close to 6' and the cape
seemed vast as it surrounded him completely and seemed to move as he walked.
I saw no feet at all but as I have said, he gave the impression of walking but that was from the shoulder movement and speed etc..

"The car headlights picked out his shape as I rounded the bend and he 'appeared' at side of road. I put them on full beam to warn him, as I was surprised that he had just stepped out into my path. No features were visible
at all - it was almost as if I was seeing him through a foggy curtain - although it was a clear night. He wasn't 'lit' by any other means at all.

"He was several yards before the footpath - which surprised me. The footpath must run down from Downs Road to Mystole. My parish magazine has asked me to write an account of it for them, so maybe I will hear of other people's experiences in that area."

A few weeks later, as a result of her write-up for the magazine, Fiona received a late night phone call from a elderly lady (name withheld here) who had had a near-identical experience a year ago 'to the day' and at approximately the same time. 

"However," said Fiona, "she wasn't alone - her son was in the car with her when this swirling mist appeared and out of it a tall man emerged. He started to cross the road, and she had shouted at him and slowed the car down to avoid hitting him. He then crossed diagonally towards her car, just missing her wing mirror, then veered off sharply to other side of road, where he went straight through barbed wire fence. 

"She got a fairly good look at him and said that he had a rugged face, [a] big man in old fashioned clothes, but no cloak. If he had gone into a local pub he would have looked out of place. Her son leapt out of the car to shout at the man for being so stupid and nearly getting himself run over - but - there was nobody there!

"I felt slightly uneasy hearing all this, but comforted that I wasn't alone in experiencing this."

Source(s): Account courtesy of Martin Jeffrey, Editor of Mysterymag.com.

Do you have any news regarding similar encounters in the Downs Road area of Canterbury?  Please to email any information to Roadghosts.com.

 

West Bromwich

Location: Greswold Street, West Bromwich (Birmingham, W. Midlands)

Date/Time: September 1980. c.11.30 p.m.  MAP MAP (zoom)

In April 2003, I received a fascinating email from a gentleman whom I shall call Gerry. Gerry was prompted to write to Roadghosts.com after stumbling upon the site, whose content resurrected memories of an incident that had taken place late one night in a street in West Bromwich, Birmingham, and which has bugged him ever since.

"In September 1980 my wife and I had just returned from a 4-year stay in the USA where I was working.  At the time we were living with my parents in Perry Barr, Birmingham, while we looked for a house to buy. 

"My wife's parents lived in Gladstone St, West Bromwich. On the night in question I had been to see some friends in Bilston (yes, I'd had a couple of pints but no more, as I was driving and my livelihood depended, as it still does, on my keeping a clean license) while my wife was visiting her parents where I'd dropped her earlier that evening. 

"It would have been a Friday as I was visiting a club that met on Friday evenings.  At around 11.30 p.m. I left Bilston to collect my wife at her parents and I headed for West Bromwich via the Holyhead Road.  I turned off Holyhead Road at, I think, Greswold Street.  There is, or used to be, a pub called The Merry-go-Round either on Greswold Street or just off it (I think this pub has been demolished during the re-development of that area in the 1990s). 

"The street-lighting was not good. Given the late hour there was very little traffic. I was driving slowly, not sure of my bearings, when without warning, within sight of The Merry-go-Round, I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting a woman crossing the road.

"She was tall, youngish, gaunt, and (this I will never forget) carrying a child. It must have been a baby or a very young child as she carried it in her arms as though it was asleep. She seemed to be wearing a long, light-coloured coat, almost reaching her feet.

"I remember seeing her face in my headlights - her expression was ghastly, as anyone's would be if they were about to be hit by a car.  I was certain I had hit her, and got out.  I could smell burning rubber. There was no woman, no child, in fact no-one at all. No pedestrians, nobody. I even looked under my car.  To say I was shaken is an understatement.

"I continued to my wife's parents' house, said nothing, collected my wife and told her what had happened as we drove to Perry Barr.  By the time we reached my parents' house I was in something of a state, and I went into my parents' bedroom to tell them what had happened. Naturally, they thought I was drunk (I was 34 at the time and still their 'young' son) and I received a real piece of you-know-what from my father.  So completely convinced of what I had seen, I contacted the Express & Star newspaper during the next few days, to inquire if there had been any fatal accident in or around Greswold Street at some time in the past, but didn't get very far with my inquiries. They suggested I contact the local police station, but I never did. 

"However, a long time later I happened to mention to someone I knew in West Bromwich what had happened and he said that I wasn't the the first driver to experience what had happened to me on that particular street. He could tell me no more. This has bugged me for 23 years. Can you throw any light on my experience?  I can't say that I've been permanently affected by what happened that night, but I can still see the woman's face quite clearly and I sometimes think I could pick her out on an identification parade! This is my only experience of such things.  I am a rational, hard-headed person with a passing but slightly cynical interest in matters paranormal."

Source(s):Personal correspondence with witness.

After such a dramatic and terrifying experience, many a witness has come away with an overriding question - not so much 'Was it real?, but, 'What does it mean?' 

In a number of cases, the action of a figure walking into the path of a vehicle, giving the driver no chance to avoid the collision, seems more than pure chance, but a contrived happening - particularly in those few cases where the figure's (often a young female) action has been accompanied, incongruously and chillingly, by her locking eyes with and smiling at the driver!

Obviously, most interpretations start with the ghost-as-spirit-of-the-dead case. However, as expounded elsewhere on this site, I believe that's too simplistic an interpretation that simply doesn't meet with all the facts. I can see no sense in deceased road accident victims or whoever the purported spirits may be, repeating the very same action over and over, and in identically the same manner in numerous other cases the world over. Nor did I feel, as some have suggested, that they represent past or future 'timeslips' - momentary crossing of times, in which both parties are startled by the chance encounter. This for the same reasons as mentioned above - the precise timing and scripting of events.

Which all led me to look at the folklore attached to these events, in which I found much more familiarity in the idea of the elemental spirits and their actions of the past. Not to say that these modern apparitions necessarily are the nymphs, banshees, faerie folk, call them what you will - just that their professed habits of misleading and frightening often lonely night travellers (sometimes by the very same methods) bear greater similarity to modern road ghost encounters than we might expect from individual cases of tragedy. In Gerry's case, above, I believe, the horror of a collision with a young woman was heightened further by her clutching a baby, for instance.

What might be the purpose of inducing such horror? A difficult question to answer. A satisfactory one as far as the individual is concerned is probably bound up with their world view and conception of reality. Traditional interpretations relating to the elementals might see this as a hostility toward humankind for the takeover of their world domain; or (from their supposed 'fall' from heaven ('betwixt angels and humans in character and standing') - which would place them in the rebellious demonic realm), an element of a wider and primal spiritual battle.

Less radical views might look on these events as a purely psychological experience akin to Jung's ideas relating to archetypes of the unconscious - figures emerging from our own pysche to impart messages that are not otherwise consciously registered (to my mind, the rape of and disrespect toward the natural environment by our materialistic modern attitudes and way of life). The pattern of events would require repetition to 'sink in'. This was where my research had led me by 1997 or so, when I noticed the correspondence of many road ghost outbreaks with major roadwork projects, which occasionally intersected areas that were in the past centres of reverence or worship (pagan or otherwise).

But these events were patently not confined to the human mind either, there being demonstrable evidence of a real link with our reality. Vehicles have in some case been damaged in such events - rare, but true, and hard to account for otherwise. And of course, the idea of a haunting is that it is
confined to a particular spot or area, representing a different form of mind-matter relatedness - whereby different witnesses through time can experience the same thing in basically the same manner.

My latest ideas see road ghost encounters as demonstrating the connectedness of mind and our physical environment - as within, so without; and vice versa. This is supported by cases which relate heavily to boundary places in the environment (hills, roads, water courses, and so on), some of which are notional rather than physical. Why should a ghost obey such boundaries - as in a recent case I have looked at (see One Tree Hill, Essex, on the site) - to the extent of apparently obeying political or parish boundaries, the invisible lines on the earth that we create largely in agreement in our minds?).

Perhaps part of the answer relates to our true, essential nature, of mind and spirit, as opposed to purely flesh, in which ghost tales (which focus, after all, on the ultimate boundaries of death and dying) inspire the mind, and that interaction of mind in turn inspires and helps propagate renewed
manifestation in the 'physical' world, particularly at locales with emotional/spiritual significance to us?

This is speculation, of course, and how it relates to Gerry's encounter, for instance, without knowing any more about the setting and history attached to the area where the woman was encountered, is still impossible to say. 

Do you have any news regarding similar encounters in the Greswold Street area of West Bromwich?  Please to email any information to Roadghosts.com.

 

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