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True-life encounters with the paranormal
It Happened To Me!

Spooky stories extracted from the new FT book 'It happened to me!, vol. 2'

SPECTRAL SOCK SWIPER

In 1959, when I was 19 years old, I visited Alnwick in Northumberland to see a friend. One afternoon, at about 2.00pm, I was waiting for a bus in very bad weather, with thick snow everywhere. Standing to my right was an elderly lady. She wore a long black dress and shawl around her shoulders, her hair pulled back in a bun, her face very thin with deep, tired and sunken eyes.


She commented on the cold day and then asked me if she could have a couple of pairs of socks. It was only then that I noticed that her feet were bare. I took off my socks and handed them to her. She thanked me, put them on and as I stood there watching she simply vanished into thin air! Needless to say, my socks went with her.
I presumed she had died in or near that spot and that other people had seen her; perhaps many pairs of socks were now in her spirit possession. I was glad to help this poor unfortunate lady and maybe ease the pain of this earthbound soul. Throughout the encounter, she looked as real and as solid as a living human being.
Mrs VA Martin, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, 1998

WATER PLANT GHOST

Like Andy Hinkinson-Hodnett [It Happened To Me! vol.1, p.129], I encountered a “Cut-Out Man”. When I was about 25, I was hired as a labourer by the city of Dayton, Tennessee. Due to medical problems, I requested a transfer and wound up working at the water plant. This is where water is sucked in through huge pipes from the Tennessee River and treated with chemicals to make it safe for drinking. The plant was rather secluded and far away from any houses. It was lonesome on the graveyard shift, from 11:00pm till 7:00am. Nobody there but me and sometimes my little dog Rastus. But it wasn’t really scary. It was spotlessly clean and well lit, and there were no cobwebs or dark corners. The only place in the plant that made me nervous was the basement. That’s where the huge intake pipes from the river entered the building and the atmosphere down there was creepy – maybe menacing is a better word. A gut feeling told me to stay above ground level.


One night, I went into work at 11:00pm as usual. After saying goodnight to the guy that worked the evening shift, I started the water filters, checked all the chemicals, etc. and then settled into the chair behind the desk in the office with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey.


I was really getting into the story and lost track of time. I looked at the clock and it was 3:00am. Then, slam! Something in the hall had fallen hard onto the tiled floor. Bang! It happened again. But there was nothing in the hall that wasn’t bolted to the floor. I took a deep breath, slowly eased out of my chair and peeked through the doorless opening into the hall. To the left, I saw the closet door at the end of the hall, open slightly. Then I looked to the right, and there, about halfway to the door that led to the basement stairway, were two cabinet doors lying on the floor, the same doors I had closed and latched earlier.


I decided that they weren’t hurting anyone by being there, at least until the Sun came up, so I could just stay in the office in case the phone rang or anything. I returned to my chair and wished that there were a door that I could close. And lock. But there was no door. It had been removed years earlier by Charles, an enterprising ex-employee who never let on where he hid that door after he got fired for trying to disassemble the whole building in eight hours. When quest­ioned by the supervisor, Charles pulled a knife and began to babble about the Bible, the Great Beast, and the Book of Revelation. Charles is still in a mental institution today, 20 odd years later.


I sat back down and tried to read more, but it was impossible. I began to feel that I wasn’t alone. I knew that there was someone else in the building – in the basement, to be precise, and I knew that he/it was not friendly. So I just sat there behind the desk, looking through the doorway, waiting. A terrible air of hatred and evil seemed to settle in like fog in a cemetery. I was really scared. And then the shape drifted into view. It came from the direction of the basement, floating slowly about 6in to 12in (15-30cm) above the floor. It was the shape of a man, solid, but at the same time not solid, and it was totally black, like a human body dipped in tar. I saw the arms, the legs, the head, but no face… no eyes.


When it was exactly in the centre of the open doorway, it seemed to notice me for the first time. It turned in my direction and when we were face to face, with no more than 8ft (2.4m) of open space and one small desk between us, it very nearly scared me to death. It began to scream and reach for me, but for some reason, apparently, it couldn’t cross the threshold from the hall. So it reached and reached, and the arms started to get longer, getting closer with every effort, but never quite touching me. The monster leaned inward through the door and screamed its frustration.


Now let me explain that it never made a sound that I could actually hear. It had no mouth. When I say it “screamed”, I mean that it sent waves of negative energy through me. Hate and fear pulsed through my body with every lunge of that black demon. I truly thought that I was going to die from the fear. I sat there for the duration of the attack, about 30 seconds, although it seemed to be considerably longer. Finally, the thing turned its head to its left, as if it had heard something. It then glanced eyelessly back at me, turned away and floated back towards the basement.


It was several seconds before I could breathe again. When I regained my senses I was in a fœtal position in the chair, with my legs in front of me for protection. Only my bugged-out eyes were above my knees as I watched for any reappearance of the spirit. As soon as I was able to speak again, I was on the telephone, calling everybody, anybody, just to hear a human voice. I finished my shift and didn’t say anything to the day-shift guy when he got there at 7:00am. I immed­iately applied for a transfer and was granted it. I never went back to the water plant.


I now think I know the reason why Charles lost his mind. He thought his religion would protect him, but somehow the evil got through. And I know why the people who work there now carry handguns at all times. They’re scared, but they don’t know what they are scared of.

In the 20 years since this happened, I have done a little research and talked to several psychics and have learned that other people have seen these black spirits in various places and that they are indeed dangerous. So if you go out ghost-hunting (and I still do)… watch yourself. These spirits are real and they are not to be trifled with.
Jeff Revis, Dayton, Tennessee, 2005


NIGHT BOMBERS


The following happened when I had recently arrived back in the UK from New Zealand, so I estimate it took place about 1971. I was working as a chef in the vill­age of Clare, Suffolk. Travelling home one night between 11.30pm and midnight, on the back road from Cavendish to Foxearth, (a very rural location), I became aware of a low droning sound. I stopped the car on a right hand curve, by a field, got out and stood on the edge of the field.


The night sky was filled with World War II bombers, I would guess I could see more than 30, flying spaced out, (I was not!) in the same direction and it was their prop engines producing the noise. I don’t recall whether or not they showed any lights.
During World War II, this part of eastern England was peppered with airfields from where the bombing raids against Germany were launched. I believe what I saw was maybe one of the 1,000 bomber raids forming, which would have taken place maybe 30 or so years prior to my sighting. It goes without saying that by the 1970s there would only have been a handful of these planes still airworthy, and they would have been spread about around the world.


The fear of ridicule has meant that I have kept this largely to myself, but the utter strangeness of it has never left me, and I am now considering trying to recover this memory by consulting a medically qualified hypnotherapist, but they are thin on the ground here in Dubai where I live.

Finally, I was neither under the influence of alcohol or drugs, I am pretty level-headed and have not had any other inexplicable sightings before or since.
Glyn Jones, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2008 


For more real-life stories, It happened to me!, vol. 2 is now on sale. To order your copy please call 0844 8440053 or order online.

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