In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would write about a topic that has always stumped me: ghosts.
Now, I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts. Why? Because I’ve never seen one. I don’t tend to believe in something that I haven’t seen with my own eyes but that’s not to say that they don’t exist. There are plenty of ghost stories out there and I am always fascinated to read them.
One of the best documentaries I’ve watched is Ghosts on the Underground. Focusing on the London Underground, it presents us ghost stories from a number of people including passengers and members of staff. Each one of them has a chilling, real-life ghost story to tell but one that has always stuck with me is Steve Coles’. In 2000, a line controller was watching the night-time CCTV cameras, he noticed a man in white overalls standing on one of the platforms at 2am. He rang Steve and asked him to go down to the platform and investigate. When Steve got there, he could not see anyone around. He looked in the surrounding area, even down the tunnel but there was definitely nobody there. He used one of the platform telephones to call the line controller and explain that there was nobody there. The line controller replied “He was standing right beside you, how could you not see him?” Creeped out yet!? Well it gets better! Steve went to have a second look and again, saw nobody, and relayed this to the line controller who repeated “But he was standing right next to you!” Steve promised him that there was nobody there so they left it. He turned around and on the bench lay some white overalls…are the hairs standing on the back of your neck!? Steve insists that if anyone had walked away from the platform, they would have had to walk right by him.
Its stories like that which make me think, surely ghosts are real? I can’t think of an explanation for that one. It could have been that the line controller was just seeing things on his monitor but then why would the white overalls suddenly appear on the bench? Could it have been a prank?
My parents have had a ghostly sighting. It was when they were driving home from their first date! Late at night, they were driving across Dartmoor, near Sticklepath, along a pitch black lane. In the headlights, very clearly, they both saw a woman in a long, flowing white dress. She was holding a piece of string and on the end of this string, there was a white rabbit. As you can imagine, both of them thought that was a very funny sight to see but when they looked in the rear-view mirror, there was nobody there. How can anyone possibly explain that? If only one of them saw the woman, you would just put it down to hallucination but two pairs of eyes saw the same thing!
The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor is another legend from the area. According to the story, some motorists who have travelled along the road known as the B3212 have reported that a set of disembodied hands have grabbed their steering wheel or motorbike handles, violently swerved them, causing them to have an accident. The legend has been around since 1910 with frequent incidents happening in the 1920’s causing the story to be picked up by newspapers nationwide. Sceptics believe that the accidents were caused due to people being unfamiliar with the road and the roads uneven surface.
The only ghostly experience I’ve had happened in the middle of the night. A few years ago, I woke up and saw a woman standing in my room. She was dressed in a long, Victorian dress, similar to the outfits the women wear in Downton Abbey. Weirdly, I got out of my bed and followed her out onto the landing and as she started to walk down the stairs, she disappeared. Now I don’t believe this actually happened. My theory is that because it was in the middle of the night, I was having a dream and as I was returning to consciousness, my dream carried on into the real world…if that makes any sense at all! I think the woman was just a hallucination.
In my opinion, ghost stories are most convincing when the same incident has happened to multiple people or, like in my parent’s case, two pairs of eyes see exactly the same thing. There’s not really an explanation for that! How can two people see exactly the same thing?
I definitely believe in energy. When somebody dies, I don’t believe that they just get buried in the ground and then that’s it, that’s the end of their existence. I definitely think there energy gets released in the atmosphere and their spirit lives on in other things. However, I don’t believe in ghosts or poltergeists, purely because I’ve never experienced one. As I’m writing this, I’m crossing my fingers that nothing spooky happens to me now that I’ve put my beliefs out there!
Before I go, I just wanted to share this photo with you kindly passed to me by my friend Emma. She captured this photo whilst touring a house in Devon. Can you see the ghost of a girl up against the wall?
Have you had a ghostly experience? Please share them with me by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @SheWhoLives1. I would love to hear them as they just fascinate me!