Sunday, January 22, 2012

The night I saw a ghost

I didn't believe in ghosts. I'd always told myself, 'There's always some sort of explanation.'  Either it would be an over-active imagination, something misinterpreted or just the words of a liar trying to sound interesting. Graveyards at night held no horrors and ruined houses? Only a fool would enter in poor light where they might easily hurt themselves. Ghosts? No such thing!

At least that's what I thought until the night I saw one.

I was driving in Northern England at about ten at night. There were no street lights and few cars sharing the road from Allendale to Hexham. I was on my way to Hexham, the site of a famous abbey. There was no Moon, an overcast sky and a slight mist. The road was mostly downhill though, fairly straight and the sort that it's easy to speed on. The council had even improved the road by taking out the sudden rise and dip which left your stomach behind near the racecourse turnoff. As I came round the corner near the turnoff just before I dropped down to the long straight stretch to Low Gate I saw it. A vaporous cowled figure with outstreched arms and two glowing red eyes. It was approaching rapidly and I was going too fast to stop!

Icicles ran down my back. I could feel my hair rising and with awful dread at that moment I BELIEVED IN GHOSTS!

Then I figured out what it was. The road although straight, had a sharp rise and fall in it. A car, hidden from me behind that rise, was lighting up the mist with it's headlights and the trees on either side of the road were the exact shape to frame the mist into the cowled figure. The two glowing eyes were the tail lights of a car in the distance braking to turn the corner at Low Gate.

The effect had only lasted a second or so but in that second I didn't know what I was looking at and jumped to the wrong conclusion.

I still don't believe in ghosts but I can now understand why some people do.
The ghost road in daylight (Google Earth image) Even in daylight you can't see the hidden dips in the road.

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