Do You Believe in Ghosts?

I have never been able to make my mind up about Ghosts and as a writer of spooky stories and things that go bump in the night this may seem a little odd, (but then I am a little odd). I think I may have had a few supernatural experiences; sometimes a place or building seems to me to resonate with times and people of the past – the battlefield at Culloden in Scotland was one such place; other times I have thought I saw someone or something out of the corner of my eye that just shouldn’t and couldn’t be there. Maybe there is a rational explanation:

1. Over-enthusiastic imbibing of alcohol
2. Over-heated imagination
3. Fatigue

There is just one experience where my rational jury is still out.

I was fifteen at the time and on an exchange holiday in France. I was thoroughly miserable at the time suffering an outbreak of teenage angst. After another day of trying and failing dismally to “fit in” with the crowd of posh teenagers on the beach who formed the circle of friends of my exchange family, I went to bed sore, sunburned and sniffing snuffles of self-pity. I shared my bedroom with Arianne, the seven year old daughter of the family with whom I was staying.

Sometime during the night I woke up. In the corner of the room was a huge ‘peacock’ chair, one of those woven basket-work affairs like a throne, and sitting in the chair was my Gran of whom I was very fond and who had died earlier in the year. She looked at me, smiled and said “don’t worry love, it’ll be alright, just be yourself.” Then she seemed to fade away. It was all very calm and not a bit scary.

I would probably have put this down to a half-waking dream or subconscious thoughts of my Gran were it not for the fact that my roommate, little Arianne asked me in the morning who the nice lady was that I was talking to in the night – the one sitting in the chair. “She had a kind face.”

My Grandmother

My Grandmother

Now umpty years later as I am writing spooky stories I still wonder – was it a ghost who came to comfort me? I don’t know but whatever it or who it was, my French exchange holiday took a turn for the better.

What about you? Do you believe in or are you a sceptic?

7 thoughts on “Do You Believe in Ghosts?

  1. I, like you, am generally sceptical. However, a few years ago (blimey – it must actually be about 22) I was driving back from an evening in Woodcote which necessitated passing Elvendon Priory in Goring. I saw a ghost by the road. Wearing a cape with the hood up when it looked full at me I could not discern a face. It was not the grim reaper – the garment was wrong and it had no scythe but it certainly scared me half to death. Buildings and places also give me the heebies. One of the worst for me is Wast Water. I visited as a child, as a 20 something and a 40 something and I could not bear the sensation it gave me. That and those Mary’s in high places in France!

  2. Oooh! A hooded figure at night, that is definitely spooky. Wast Water I’ve never visited but where I used to live on the east Yorkshire coast, there was a part of the coastline, remote and difficult to access that certainly gave me and my dog at the time, the willies. I find it all fascinating.

  3. How lovely that it was a positive encounter.
    I’ve had several experiences of unexplained noises in empty houses. I’ve never seen anything, and perhaps there were rational explanations, but they certainly made my heart beat faster.

  4. …..rolling mists at Culloden and Thiepval on the Somme certainly fire the imagination. I spent a lot of my childhood holidays near Spurn point (Easington & Kilnsea) and have regularly returned over the years to photograph the receding shore line of lost lifeboat stations etc. Enjoyed your posts.

      • You’ll be familiar with the bomb haul there from the collapsing cliffs in the last few years ….? I used to spend hours fossicking & beachcombing below Spurn as a child. That coast almost seems to vanish under your feet!

  5. Yes indeed. During the time I was there, there were frequent finds and controlled explosions. I used to fossil hunt after a cliff fall – in fact I brought some of them with me to France to remind me of old times there. When I was researching for my book about the coast I couldn’t believe at first how much coastline and villages had been lost until I actually saw erosion in action for myself.

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