When I was a kid, my late Granddad Muir gave me a book about paranormal experiences. It had some of the most famous ghost stories and ghost photos of all time, including The Spectre of Newby Church. I found it fascinating as a kid, and spooky.
I'll admit that I also loved watching the TV series Strange But True? that if you want you can find on YouTube. It plays now almost as a parody, but at the time I found it to be conclusive proof of the afterlife or ghosts.
Of course I'm not a child anymore. I don't believe in ghosts. I mean, I like the idea of them but obviously, rationally, they don't exist. Time doesn't work like that - there is no eternal soul either. It's bollocks, basically, and either products of an over active imagination or seeing something in something that simply isn't there. In today's age, with cameras in literally everyone's pockets, the lack of HD 1080p proof is damning.
And then something like what happened this weekend happens to me, and I can't explain it.
I was walking my dog, Frank, late last night, near to midnight. We were walking back home along the main road near to our house. It was misty, and raining lightly, and Frank was being a bit of a dick, stopping at every lamp post and wall to sniff whatever he could get his nose on.
We were about 20 yards away from a nearby concrete bus shelter. In the bus shelter there’s a few notices from the local parish council, so on the way out I’d popped my head in to read to see if there were any new notices. After walking down the road and turning around, we are slightly downhill, looking up at the crest of the hill where the bus shelter is on the right.
As we are walking, I glance up at the road ahead and I see a greyish man in a long coat and flat cap standing in the middle of the road. I see him for about a few seconds as I’m walking, and the suddenly Frank’s extended lead snaps at the limit of the tether, so I turn around and shout “Come on” to him. After he picks up the pace, I look back to see the man walking into the bus shelter. Now 15 yards away I pull Frank close to the lead to stop him jumping on the guy in the shelter, and start to walk past the shelter.
There was no one there.
I looked around to see if they had walked down the little pathway to the left of the shelter, or maybe to the drive way area to the other side, but was convinced that they’d walked into the bus shelter. With no sight of the man, I suddenly feel the hairs on my neck stand up. Frank is standing perfectly still, looking at me, his ears dropped the same way that he does when he’s hearing someone opening the lock on our front door but everyone’s in the house.
I mutter under my breath “What in the fuck?” and then power walk it back home.
I can't explain it. I know I sound crazy. I can only rationalise that I saw something reflected in the mist, a dog or animal of something that just happened to trick my brain into seeing a hunched over grey silhouette of a man, but boy does my brain get confused when try to line up the explanation with what it saw.
So yeah, explain this to me. I'd like to have it explained away, thank you very much.