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A Road Ghost Explained?


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Daniel Parkinson's picture
Daniel Parkinson
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008

Over the Christmas period I happened to be travelling by car along a stretch of where there have been several sightings of a 'ghostly' figure walking across the road. It was late at night and the temperature was well below freezing.
As I passed the stretch where there have been several sightings, I came across an odd phenomena: a river runs nearby and there are drainage grids at the side of the road. Out of one of these was a column of mist at least 6 feet high, probably created by the temperature difference of underground water and the freezing air. There was also some mist from other grids but not as much as this particular one. Could this be an explanation for the sightings.
The usual report is a figure in the road, which cars have driven through, credible witnesses include a police officer. Perhaps in some instances wind could cause this mist to move across the road, and imagination could fill in the rest. Any ideas?

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Re: A Road Ghost Explained?

It would be useful to know to what the weather conditions were like when the 'ghost' was experienced to see if it would work into your theory.  Also, how was the figure described, misty shape or solid looking person?

Daniel Parkinson's picture
Daniel Parkinson
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Re: A Road Ghost Explained?

To add to this I was going quite slow - the road has a national speed limit, but I was doing less than 30 because of the sheet  of ice covering the road. If you were going faster the it would have been more difficult to see exactly what it was - also returning later on there was no sign of the mist.

kate101
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Re: A Road Ghost Explained?

Hi,

I don't mean to hijack your thread, Daniel,  but my best friend described a road-ghost experience to me which I thought I would relate here, albeit it was in a completely different location.

Some 10 years ago or so my friend was living at Elphin, a remote rural area near Ullapool (Scotland). He was travelling in the passenger seat of a car which his mother was driving, late at night. They were travelling back to his house.

Now, I should mention, my friend was slightly the worse for wear, having spent the evening in the local pub. His mother, however, was completely sober.

As they were driving up the single track road towards his house, they BOTH witnessed a tall female figure 20 yards ahead, emerge from a bank of trees on the left, and run across the road. My friend's mother was so surprised that she slammed the brakes on the car, thinking she would collide with the woman. This was despite driving  slowly ,due to it being a single track road.

They watched the figure as it continued running over a bank of stones to the right of the roadside.  It disappeared into the darkness.

I questioned my friend in depth about this sighting.  He confirmed that:

- the figure was definately that of an adult female, dressed in a white dress or cloak-like garment
- the figure seemed to have a demeanour of fear, as if she was running away from something
- the figure appeared to be running faster than normal human speed. It then appeared to "glide" over the stony ground to the right of the road.  My friend, being familiar with the area, could not believe that anyone could move so fast over what was very stony and difficult terrain.

Both my friend and his mother reacted by looking at each other and saying "what was that"? When they reached the house, they both described to the other what they had seen, and both accounts were the same.

This is interesting, especially bearing in mind that this is a remote rural area, and at the time there was only other one person living in the vicinity ( an elderly bed-ridden lady in the cottage near where my friend was living).

What's also remarkable, is that both witnesses very clearly saw a human form, in no way confusable with a column of mist or similar.

My friend metioned this sighting to a work colleague the next day.  The colleague was not surprised, saying that the area was well known for ghostly sightings.

Any comments?

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Re: A Road Ghost Explained?

Hi Kate 101, welcome to the forum.  I used to travel from Ullapool over to Stornoway at least once a year so I have a good idea of what the roads up there are like.  Fantastic part of the country :).  I wonder if anyone else has come across this Road Ghost?

kate101
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Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Re: A Road Ghost Explained?

Hi Ian, thanks.

Yes indeed it would be interesting to hear from anyone with similar experiences in Elphin, or knowledge of local history of that area.

I am sceptical by nature, as is my  friend. Yet he remains convinced that what he witnessed was supernatural. He had no other similar experiences before or after, in fact he left the Elphin area shortly afterwards. 

Can I add that I know my friend's mother very well also, and a more level headed, objective woman you could not meet - not inclined to  flights of fancy by any means.

OldTimeRadio
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Joined: 11 Sep 2010
Re: A Road Ghost Explained?

 
     When I was a schoolchild living in Northern Kentucky (just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio, where I now live) it was very common to see columns of steam rising from the town sewers as I walked to school with my mates on freezing Winter mornings..

     But I don't believe any of us ever associated that steam with ghosts.

     Oddly enough, I do make associations between steam and ghosts today, 55-60 years later.

__________________

 


Mysteryshopper
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Re: A Road Ghost Explained?

The most obvious cause for the Ullapool figure would be a real person. It was dark, presumably, so it would be difficult to properly judge things like speed of travel. Darkness might also hide the feet, if they were wearing dark footwear, so leading to an impression of floating.

I'm always a bit dubious when witnesses say something was 'impossible' or 'unbelievable', like running over rough terrain at night. In my experience, when you try to recreate such incidents, on site, it generally turns out not to be impossible after all.

Why should someone be running in such a remote spot at night? Who knows! Many apparently paranormal sightings are unlikely coincidences rather than impossible events. If they were commonplace, people wouldn't notice them in the first place.



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