(A shorter version of this article was first published in my ‘Tales from the Other Side’ column in Glastonbury’s Oracle Magazine, October 2017)
Surrounding and permeating the world we can see is a greater reality that is usually invisible to us. However, most people get a sense of the realms beyond the veil at least once in their lives.
Ghost sightings are especially common. There are so many reports, and of so many different kinds, that this article is about one type only – haunted roadways near where I live in Glastonbury, in the South West of England.
Ghosts of the road are usually about emotionally charged events that happened at those places. The drama seems to leave an imprint on the atmosphere, so the peak moment keeps replaying on an endless time-loop. This can go on for hundreds of years before eventually fading away.
A good example of this type is the phantom coach and horses of Bath’s Royal Crescent. It continually re-enacts the drama of the playwright Richard Sheridan eloping with Elizabeth Linley. He’d already fought two duels over her honour, so their flight was electric with excitement and danger.
GHOSTS AND ROAD ACCIDENTS
Tales of ghost hitchhikers abound all over the world. On the Frome to Nunney road, motorists sometimes see a hitchhiker in a flannel shirt standing in the middle of the road. He then appears briefly in the back of the car before vanishing. Perhaps a car killed him on that spot. Suddenly catapulted out of his body, he may not have realised what happened at first. His spirit entered the car as if he’d been given a lift – and has continued replaying that experience ever since.
Phantom highwaymen haunt many British roads. Hundreds of years ago, Pocock the highwayman died of wounds after a fight near what is now the A39, between Street and Bridgwater. People see him on his horse, which is always rather oddly galloping on the spot. The shock of this sight has apparently caused several road accidents there.
On the Brockley Road, a coach and four horses sometimes charges at oncoming traffic, creating predictable havoc and inevitable collisions. At midnight on moonless nights, a ghostly horseman also appears on this road.
Another crash-causing apparition sometimes manifests in the middle of a little road in the ancient village of North Petherton. It’s a coffin with a spectral man sitting on it. This not only startles motorists, for some strange reason it also gives cars mechanical problems.
Ghosts are not always silent. In 1857, two steam engines collided on the old Kentsford railway line. Several people died and many were badly injured. People still hear that crash and sometimes see a ghostly train go by.
On the road between Bridgwater and Western Zoyland, several people have heard the doleful hymns the Duke of Monmouth’s rebel band of men sang as they went home after the king’s army defeated them at the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685.
This type of haunting is like a recorded hologram from the past. It doesn’t interact with us. However, there are many different kinds of ghosts, and some are more aware than others are.
EARTH BOUND SPIRITS
The ghost of Molly the tea lady still haunts Yeovil Train Station. Although she died on the platform in the 1960s, she continues to potter around, turning things on and off, and moving cutlery around. If anyone asks her to stop that, she does.
Molly sounds like an earth-bound spirit. This type of ghost is more conscious than the holograms. In limited ways, they can interact with us and our world. They haunt places because they don’t realise that they have passed on. This is why they behave as if they are still in their physical life.
When earth-bound spirits realise they have passed on, they are then able to see the guides or loved ones who have been trying to get their attention all that time. Usually with great emotion, they are then able to accept that help and move on to the spirit world.
A STRANGE LIGHT
On the A39 between Street and the M5 is a deeply wooded area where a strange white light sometimes follows cars. As soon as anyone turns round to look at it, it vanishes. Maybe it’s something that lives in the woods, which is curious about people, but shy of making contact.
Countless numbers of strange mysteries are out there – many that we’ve heard about, and probably scores more that we haven’t. As Hamlet said, “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy”.
Have you ever had a ghostly experience? If you’d like to share it in confidentiality, you can contact me through my website: www.pastlifesglastonbury.co.uk
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