Posts Tagged ‘phantom’

It’s no secret that England is considered an old historical place and has a fair share of ghost stories, from headless horsemen to the ghosts of animals on the moors and Sussex, England may be subject to a road with an interesting haunting but also a potentially dangerous one. (Starting source BBC Website)

In November 1992, a unsuspecting Ian Sharpe was driving along the road from Sussex to Kent. A girl in white, with what he described as “beautiful eyes”, stepped in front of his car without warning and she disappeared under the front wheels. Shocked and distraught he stopped the car, he was sure he had killed her or at the very least caused her some serious injury. He got out and made a search to find no body, human or animal and not even a sign of impact, other than the frantic beating of his heart.

Two weeks later another report of a man experiencing a similar event came in, again he rushed out expecting a tragedy to find zero evidence of the event.

There is another nearby road where another unexplained happening has been reported, this time a little less worrying as people are not slamming on their brakes but there is a phantom hitch-hiker near the Lower Bell public house on the same road, the mysterious entity spends a ride towards Maidstone putting the worlds to right with their drive before vanishing right out of the seat.

So what is the speculation behind this? Some believe that it is of a woman called Judith Langham who was knocked down in 1965, she was wearing her white bridal gown on the way to her wedding, Has the poor victim now become a white lady?

There is another report earlier than that of 1992 with Ian Sharpe too, in 1974 a man named Maurice Goodenaugh came to the local police to say that he had left a blanket on a woman he had hit and had begged for help. When he came back with the police there was no sign of the seriously hurt woman and again nothing to suggest what had happened to her if she had been there in the first place.

After this there are two other people that stepped forward to report it, this was listed in the tabloid “The Sun” and Joseph Chester and Tracy Boon said they had seen a woman wearing a nightgown on the road, in 1968 and in 1999. They also report a man called Bob Vandeeper gave a woman a lift in 1962 but this is before the crash and so could not be the bride surely?

So is this all correct? Well it seems not, there is more information about this, Judith Langham was not the bride but there was a bride that died. 19th November 1965, a Friday and the eve of her wedding, at Blue Bell Hill. A Jaguar, driven by Harry Backhouse, collided with a Ford Cortina and killed three of the four woman, one of which was 22-year-old Susan Browne, who was due to marry RAF technician Brian Wettton, she died five days after the accident in the hospital. There were two other women, Judith Lingham and Patricia Ferguson, and Patricia died at the site, but Judith died later on, which is probably where the initial rumour about the bride began.

So is this road haunted or is it just that there’s a tragedy there and unusual events have transposed themselves around to fit it? Or is there really the ghost of a young woman killed at the scene, bride or not? And if so who was the other mystery person in 1962?

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7.50 am 21st December 1910, there was an underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery No 3, in Lancashire. Lancashire is the North West of England and the place I call home (see my Pendle Post for more intriguing tales!)

On the day of the explosion there were around 900 workers on the site of five coal seams. 345 of those workers went to pit shaft three to work, four of those survived, one died immediately and one the next day. The two survivors from that were Joseph Stavely and William Davenport. One man died in the Arley Mine at pit 4 and a rescuer died in pit 3. This meant there were 344 fatalities from the disaster.

Which also leads into the reason I picked this one, Platt Lane in Westhoughton, Lancashire. The road passes close to where the miners died. Reports have come in that says that there are eyes in the hedges, miners walking along the road and an eerie mist that comes down even on the sunniest of days. There are however reports before the disaster that stated the noises of running horses would pass alongside people.

A short film on this can be located here – Link

There are reports of other haunted Colliers too.

Just across in the County of Yorkshire the Barnsley area suffered nine deaths in the 1850’s. The reports of their sightings continued until the 20th Century as the mine continued to be in operation.

Also in Yorkshire, Maltby had a report that two lads walking around the local quarry found a half-naked man drinking from a bottle of cider. The figure disappeared into the shaft, and one of the witnesses later learnt that a former miner with a drinking problem had been found dead in the area, at the slurry pit.

Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, has a slightly different legend around its pits. A tin mine shaft was named Roaring Shaft as bangs and thuds were heard from it. Not placing the matter in the hands of ghosts the noises were given to be made by Kobolds or Bucca.

Castleton in Derby had another problem in their pits; Odin Mine was supposedly traversed by Shuck. This phantom black hound might well have come in to play as the hunting hounds linked to the name of the Mine’s Norse god, Odin. Shuck appears to like travelling as he has also been reported at Matlock Bath area in Derbyshire too.

Down the road we used to have Cotgrave Colliery in Nottingham, around 1987 there was a report of a man dressed in black wearing a helmet who walked through the wall. The miner/stranger was said to have no face. Unfortunately the Colliery no longer stands and I haven’t found any other notes about it. Correct me if you have!

She was a schooner (the ones with masts and sails) that was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands off the Kent coast on 13th February 1748. She is said appear every fifty years as a ghost ship.

She was sent out to see on 13th February because Simon Reed (captain) had been recently married and was celebrating with a cruise. The ship was bound for Portugal and despite the tradition of it being bad luck to have a woman aboard his wife Annetta was there too.

Legend has it that the first mate (John Rivers) was pacing the deck in anger, he was a rival for the hand of captain’s new wife. The captain, Annetta and guests were below deck celebrating but John Rivers was in a jealous fit and took a heavy object to the head of the crew member at the wheel. Rivers then seized control of the wheel and steered the ship to the Goodwin Sands, killing everyone onboard.

The first sighting of the ship surfaced 1798 on the same day and month, she was spotted by two ships. In 1848 a local seaman was convinced the ship was in trouble and sent lifeboats from Deal. In 1948 she was spotted by Captain Bull Prestwick and reported that although she appeared real she gave off a strange and eerie green glow. No report came in for 1998.

It seems that the Goodwin Sands have a history of claiming lives and The Great Storm of 1703 seems to have provided a good example of this.  13 men-of-war and 40 merchant vessels were claimed. The loss of lives totalled 2,168 but the Deal Boatmen of the area were a credit to their service by rescuing 200 men.  Naval Vessels include – HMS Northumberland, HMS Restoration, HMS Stirling Castle, HMS Mary and HMS Mortar.

Roads, streets and highways are all subject to the lore of a phantom vehicle and other strange phenomena. I’ve already touched on phantom hitchhikers but what about other myths and legends?

America

Annie’s Road in New Jersery, USA is the the site of local haunted legends. A woman supposedly killed on the road continues to haunt it. The area is located in Totowa, NJ and on the first half of River View Drive. A quick internet search will show you that there are several local myths about this one, including a need to put on old music to draw her out as you drive down but you will also find just as many comments about how this is nothing more than another Urban Legend.

Boy Scout Lane, is located in Wisconsin and it a dead-end road with no outlet. This appears to be an urban legend or something taken from pure fiction and lifted into semi-myth fact. Basically they say that there was the death of a fictional troop of Boy Scouts. There are however no records of either fatalities or mystery disappearances but despite this is remains an area where people try to conduct paranormal investigations.

Clinton Road, United States is another one of those with a tale that I find a little more like an old myth or urban legend that includes alleged sightings of ghosts, strange creates, witches, Satanists and even the Ku Klux Klan? If you go to the bridge at the reservoir at midnight and throw a penny (or maybe a cent who knows) into the water it will then be thrown back by the ghost of a boy who drowned there. Not content with one ghost there is a possibility of running into a Camaro being driven by a girl who crashed it in 1988 (and if you mention that event she is more likely to appear). Of course if two ghosts isn’t enough how about two more? There are also supposedly two park rangers that haunt the Terrace Pond area.

England

A616 road or Stockbridge Bypass connects Newark-On-Trent to the M1. When it was being constructed staff reported encounters with a ghostly monk who may have been from the nearby Hunshelf Priory. However I could not find any recent records about it. Harry Unsworth was a lorry driver in 1958 who reported that he gave a lift to a Hitchhiker. He dropped the man off and then he re-appeared again without explanation some miles down the road… This was reported more than once in the 50’s.

Coulds Hill near Wareham in Dorset has worried some drivers, hearing the sound of a powerful engine (more exactly it suggests a 1920’s Brough Superior Motorcycle) that sped around followed by sounds of screeching tyres and then an eerie silence. Nobody has seen the rider but it’s been theorised it was World War One hero Lawrence of Arabia who was killed in a spot nearby in a similar accident.

The “Phantom Lorry of Cheshire” has been reported stalks the Hyde to Mottram  road. As far back as February 1930 the shadowy truck has been blamed for causing drivers to crash when they serve to avoid a suddenly appearing vehicle coming out of a side road that is not there upon inspection.

Between Blanford and Salisbury (Wiltshire) motorists are often shocked by a phantom wreckage by the side of the road with screams and groans of the crash victims. Other have said they have seen a ghostly-face of a man, felt the icy touch of a hand and even to have seen a severed bloody hand on the floor!

Elsewhere!

E8 Expressway, or the Karak Expressway in Kuala Lumpur suffers the report of being one of the most haunted roads in Malaysia. Many people report seeing strange creatures and Pontianak on the road.

“Uniondale Phantom Hitchhiker” is on the N9 Road in South Africa on the road between Uniondale and Willowmore, in the semi-desert of Karoo. A girl named Marie Charlotte Roux died in a road accident on that stretch of the N9, April 12th, 1968 (Good Friday)

I discovered her story whilst reading Haunted Heartland by Beth Scott and Michael Norman. The book is a collective of US hauntings and this is the first entry, so it seemed apt to let it be my first haunting subject here. Richard Crowe supposedly collected over three dozen reports that he thought fitted the description pretty well and they apparently continue to do so.

The story goes that Mary had supposedly spent the evening at the ballroom with her boyfriend, at the Oh Henry Ballroom, and they got into an argument so she stormed off. Determined to avoid the boyfriend she decided to take a cold evening walk home rather than suffer his company any further. She went up Archer Avenue and was struck down by a hit and run, the driver was never found. Her parents were the ones that came across her body, she was buried in Resurrection Cemetery in her white dancing dress with matching shoes.

There have been attempts to find a possible basis for the tale, one of which was a burial for Mary Bregovy who died in 1934, her death was an auto mobile accident on the Chicago Loop. Another theory was that it might be Anna “Marija” Norkus who died in 1927, another accident with a car when she was on her way home from the ballroom. Of the two this one appears to be a more solid theory as it was at least linking up the two areas together.

Since the 1930’s reports of this nature continue around the area, the cemetery is located in Justice, Illinois and often report the event between that of Archer Avenue or Willowbrook Ballroom, hence the continued connection. Interestingly the reports continue to present day, so I wonder if anyone that stumbles across this will contact me to tell me that they too have had a brush with the paranormal. (Of course I don’t wonder if some of them are pranks with people in white dresses running up the road, just stir it up.)

It seems like any good ghost story there’s not enough detail to work out who she is, despite the theories. She fits the classic vanishing hitchhiker story which is in my opinion possibly one to file under Urban Legends, then again with eye witness accounts not “friend of a friend” who can say. Of course no ghost story would be complete without a cheesy horror film to go with it.
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