Friday, April 10, 2009

One Thing Leeds to Another

Sisters Find Themselves Out of Phase in a U.K. Newspaper Shop
 (This was originally posted on a forum on a US web site that no longer exists. You can learn more about the original poster here:

It was 1998 on a summer's morning in Leeds. My sister and I were on our way to work and decided to pop into the paper shop. (Whether this is relevant I don't know, but the shop is situated in a building built around 1899). My sister was in front of me as we approached the shop door, and through the glass panel I saw a woman browsing at the magazine section, immediately to the left of the door entrance.

It looked as though this woman would be in our way as we entered the shop but as we did my sister didn't seem to be aware of her. I [told my sister], "Mind that woman," but she carried on walking and went right through her and the woman faded away. [Only then did] my sister stop and ask, "What woman?"

I walked ahead of my sister a little further into the shop and turned to her and told her, "I think I've just seen a spirit -- you just walked through this woman." My sister was adamant she saw no one. We both looked around the shop. The lights were off, which I thought was odd; it seemed very gray and eerie. It was the kind of atmosphere you'd expect in the early hours of a winter morning -- but this was summertime during business hours. Though all the shelves were stocked like they should have been, we were the only people there. My sister mentioned it was cold, and she said she felt something funny was going on. I felt this too. I said, "We need to get out of here."

We left the shop but lingered outside the door. I described the woman, who had been in modern-day dress, to my sister, and she asserted, "There was no one there -- the shop was empty." (Upon later comparison, I found that my sister saw everything I saw apart from the woman.) We were outside the shop door for all of a minute when I asked my sister to come back in with me. When we entered the shop, the lights were on and it was full of customers -- school kids, people on their way to work, etc. Had I looked more carefully at the people in the store the second time we entered, I feel I would have seen [the woman my sister walked through].

The usual woman was behind the till, but she was staring at us with her mouth open. My sister said, "What the hell is going on? Where did all these people come from?" I was just in total shock. I walked to the till with my sister and bought some cigarettes; as the woman served us, she looked quite terrified. I'll never forget the look on her face. We left the shop and to this day still can't get our heads round it. We did go back around a month later to ask the woman if she noticed anything odd, but there was a man serving. My sister said she'd been back a few times and has never seen her again. We did ask the man if anyone had ever mentioned anything about the shop, but I think he thought we were loons.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Whar Stories

Whar Stories
Student Sees Author Edith Wharton and Associates

--From "The Ghostly Register" by Arthur Myers, published 1986

[The Mount is] a neo-Georgian mansion built between 1900 and 1902 by Edith Wharton, one of America's great literary figures, as a country retreat in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts. In 1978, a very high-powered acting troupe called Shakespeare & Company moved into The Mount. [Following is an account by one of its tenants,] Andrea Haring, an actress and voice teacher.

"It was in the winter, about 1979. We had had a meeting, and a lot of feelings had come up, and people were really excited and disturbed. I went up to Edith Wharton's writing room because a couple of people were having a discussion in my bedroom. There was an extra mattress in Edith Wharton's room, and I thought I'd just lie down till they were done. I stoked up the wood stove in the room so that it would have stayed warm until about noon the next day. This was around midnight. I slept till about four in the morning. Then I drifted awake because it was very cold in the room. My eyes were still closed, but I was awake, and I sensed there was someone in the room. I opened my eyes and saw three figures in the room, and where the room had been bare of furniture there was now a small divan and a desk with a chair. I thought I must be dreaming, but I sort of pinched myself and slapped myself, and I thought, No, I'm awake; I must be seeing ghosts..."

Read the rest here:

We'll Leave the Speed of Light on for You

We'll Leave the Speed of Light on For You
20th-Century Guests Stay in 19th-Century Hotel

From "World of Strange Phenomena" by Charles Berlitz, published 1988 by Wynwood Press.

It all began innocently enough in October 1979, when two couples in Dover, England, set off on a vacation together, intending to travel through France and Spain. It ended in a journey that took them to another world.

Geoff and Pauline Simpson and their friends Len and Cynthia Gisby boarded a boat that took them across the English Channel to the coast of France. There, they rented a car and proceeded to drive north. Around 9:30 that evening, October 3, they began to tire and looked for a place to stay. They pulled off the autoroute when they saw a plush-looking motel.

Len went inside and in the lobby encountered a man dress in an odd plum-colored uniform. The man said there was no room in the motel but there was a small hotel south along the road. Len thanked him and he and his companions went on.

Along the way, they were struck by the oddness of the cobbled, narrow road and the buildings they passed. They also saw posters advertising a circus. "It was a very old-fashioned circus," Pauline would remember. "That's why we took so much interest."

Finally, the travelers saw a long, low building with a row of brightly lit windows. Some men were standing in front of it and when Cynthia spoke with them, they told her the place was an inn, not a hotel. They drove further down the road until they saw two buildings: one a police station, the other an old-fashioned two-story building bearing a sign marked "Hotel." Inside, everything was made of heavy wood. There were no tablecloths on the tables, nor was there any evidence of such modern conveniences as telephones or elevators.

The rooms were no less strange. The beds had heavy sheets and no pillows. There were no locks on the doors, only wooden catches. The bathroom the couples had to share had old-fashioned plumbing.

After they ate, they returned to their rooms and fell asleep. They were awakened when sunlight filtered through the windows, which consisted only of wooden shutters -- no glass. They went back to the dining room and ate a simple breakfast with "black and horrible" coffee, Geoff recalled.

As they were sitting there, a woman wearing a silk evening gown and carrying a dog under her arm sat opposite them. "It was strange," Pauline said. "It looked like she had just come in from a ball but it was seven in the morning. I couldn't take my eyes off her."

At that point, two gendarmes entered the room. "They were nothing like the gendarmes we saw anywhere else in France," according to Geoff. "Their uniforms seemed to be very old." The uniforms were deep blue and the officers were wearing capes over their shoulders. Their hats were large and peaked.

Despite the oddities, the couples enjoyed themselves and, when they returned to their rooms, the two husbands separately took pictures of their wives standing by the shuttered windows.

On their way out, Len and Geoff talked with the gendarmes about the best way to take the autoroute to Avignon and the Spanish border. The officers didn't seem to understand the word "autoroute," and the travelers assumed they hadn't pronounced the French word properly. The directions they were given were quite poor; they took the friends to an old road some miles out of the way. They decided to use the map instead and take a more direct route along the highway.

After the car was packed, Len went to pay his bill and was astonished when the manager asked only for 19 francs. Assuming there was some misunderstanding, Len explained that there were four of them and they had eaten a meal. The manager only nodded. Len showed the bill to the gendarmes, who smilingly indicated there was nothing amiss. He paid in cash and left before they could change their minds.

On their way back from two weeks in Spain, the two couples decided to stop at the hotel again. They had had a pleasant, interesting time there and the prices certainly couldn't be beat. The night was rainy and cold and visibility poor, but they found the turnoff and noticed the circus signs they had seen before.

"This is definitely the right road," Pauline declared.

It was, but there was no hotel alongside it. Thinking that somehow they had missed it, they went back to the motel where the man in the plum-colored suit had given them directions. That motel was there, but there was no man in the unusual suit and the clerk denied such an individual working there.

The couples drove three times up and down the road looking for something that, they were now beginning to realize, was no longer there.

They drove north and spent the night in a hotel in Lyons. Room with modern facilities, breakfast and dinner cost them 247 francs.

Upon their return to Dover, Geoff and Len had their respective rolls of film processed. In each case, the pictures of the hotel (one by Geoff, two by Len) were in the middle of the roll. But when they got the pictures back, the ones taken inside the hotel were missing. There were no spoiled negatives. Each film had its full quota of pictures. It was as if the pictures had never been taken -- except for one small detail that a reporter for Yorkshire television would notice: "There was evidence that the camera had tried to wind on in the middle of the film. Sprocket holes on the negatives showed damage."

The couples kept quiet about their experience for three years, telling it only to friends and family. One friend found a book in which it was revealed that gendarmes wore the uniforms described prior to 1905. Eventually, a reporter for the Dover newspaper heard [the story] and published an account. Later, a television dramatization of the experience was produced by a local station.

In 1985, Manchester psychiatrist Albert Keller hypnotized Geoff Simpson to see if he could recall any more of the peculiar event. Under hypnosis he added nothing new to what he consciously remembered.

Jenny Randles, a British writer who investigated this bizarre episode, wonders, "What really happened to the four travelers in rural France? Was this a timeslip? If so, one wonders why the hotel manager was apparently not surprised by their futuristic vehicle and clothing, and why he accepted their 1979 currency, which certainly would have appeared odd to anybody living that far back in the past."

The travelers -- perhaps time-travelers -- have no explanation. "We only know what happened," says Geoff.

Versailles Timeslip

Tip Off

Tip Off
New Zealand River Tip Head Has Anomalous Aura

--From Joel Murdoch,

Almost five years ago [circa 1997] when I lived in Blaketown, a suburb of Greymouth, a town on the South Island of New Zealand, my friend and I were down at the "tip head." A tip head in New Zealand speak is a man-made bank that extends a river bank where it meets the sea. In the case of Blaketown, it's used to control the flow of the river.

I'm not entirely sure which of us came up with the bright idea to go on this night; it was very windy, the waves were big and breaking on the tip (not strong enough to wash us off though -- they rarely are) and the dark clouds suggested rain very soon. The tip has a ramp leading to a lower platform on the riverside where ships used to load and unload cargo. My friend was looking down at this platform when I noticed a very big wave approaching. I told him it was time to move but he didn't respond. Something seemed very wrong -- it's like he wasn't even there. He snapped out of it after I screamed at him a few times and we got out of the way. He was completely freaking out. I asked him why he didn't respond and he said he'd seen a vision of ship. It was daytime in this vision and lots of people were about, loading up this old-fashioned steam ship. It was an ordinary, simple scene, which discounts both a past life recollection (ones not prompted by hypnosis are nearly always the death of the life in question) and an atmospheric photograph ghost (assuming strong emotions are the key to such things).

We went back the next day and his description of the tip in his vision squared with what's there today to a T. He said the ramp had a cart on it, mounted on train rails. While there are no rails there today, there are further towards land and the concrete on the ramp is of a noticeably different grain to the rest of the platform. He said that the tip seemed shorter and, again, a different grain of concrete towards the end suggests this is true. He said that there were streams of water pouring off the sides of the tip, and there are remnants of wooden channels on the surface. These were obviously intended to siphon water from breaking waves off quicker. I asked him how he felt during the vision and he said, "I felt like I was there, but shouldn't have been." The people in this vision gave no indication they knew of his "presence," but this is hardly a relevant detail as it can't have lasted more than 10 seconds.

This person in question was and still is one of my best friends: an observant, intelligent and logical but still open-minded man who is currently in the Air Force. We'd been down to the tip at night a hundred times before and a hundred since and nothing like it has ever happened again.

The sea around the tiphead is very rough, and the entry to the river is very hazardous at times. Many ships have gone down in the area, and I'd be surprised if the place hasn't seen at least one suicide. There's a monument down there to the people who've drowned in the area over the years. It's got about a dozen plaques on it, and if anything it's underused. When I head down there at night, even when I think about all this stuff, it doesn't bug me. But some nights there's just...something about the place. One night it was a beautifully clear and calm night, New Year's about 1999 if I'm not mistaken. The view from the end would've been something special, but my friend (a different one) and I both agreed: Something wasn't right. Another time I was down there with the friend who had the timeslip; we got halfway down the road and I couldn't get away fast enough.

I've often wondered if the emotional imprint/atmospheric photograph-type ghosts aren't just timeslips manifesting to a weaker level. There are too many ghosts who obviously are not sentient but also aren't doing anything that would suggest a strong emotional situation is the trigger. You also have to factor in the surroundings -- some places haven't changed much over the years to the casual observer. Also, if the experience features people, then the person viewing the thing might be so caught up (e.g.: "Holy shit, there's a dude in a suit of armor!") in what's going on to really take in the fact that the scenery's changed as well. Basically, I think timeslips are probably more common than they at first appear.

Joel Murdoch

A Diamond is Forever

A Diamond is Forever
Jewels Trigger a Timeslip Into a High-Society Soirée


This happened in 1974 when I had just come back from overseas and was boarding with friends. I was 30 years old. One of the owners of the house, a young man in his middle 20s, was a credible piano player and I loved to hear him play.

This particular morning we went into the room where he had a piano and I sat down with my Siamese cat on my lap, preparing to hear him play. He did, and I slowly stroked the cat as I enjoyed the music. I looked down at the cat and also glanced at my hand, which had some diamond rings sparkling and winking on my fingers.

Then, suddenly, I was somewhere else -- a sort of shift of place and time -- instantly! I was instead sitting on a gilt chair in a large, large hall -- I somehow knew where I was. I was in one of England's old stately homes -- a country estate. My fingers and arms and chest and throat were covered with sparkling large and beautiful diamonds. I was basically in the same position as I was formerly, looking down at my glittering hand stroking a very large dog, sitting down beside me. This was a huge dog -- I don't know the breed, but like a Great Dane. It was light gold in color and it was my dog. On my right was a huge fireplace of pale stone, very old and unadorned. It was high enough for a tall man to walk inside it and not bow his head. The fire was not lit.

Around me was a small crowd of other people sitting on chairs, and we were listening to a man play a recital on a grand piano. This was after dinner and many women were also glittering with jewels. [This] I knew [was] the set of friends we moved in. We wore long dresses and I "feel" the time was the 1880s or thereabout, but not earlier.

Very strangely I remember no sound at all -- the whole scene played out in utter silence.

A man was standing by the fireplace -- who he was I do not know -- and also another dog was sitting down there in a relaxed position.

It was a relaxed atmosphere, rich and amiable, solid and secure, and I was enjoying myself. I "knew" I was the wife in this important country house, totally at home and enjoying my position. I would guess I was the same age as I was in real life.

Then...I was back in the real world -- like someone had shifted the scene -- instantly. There was no fading, just like a 'snap,' and I was back.

The present-time piano player was not aware of anything and I continued to sit there and listen until he finished, with no further strange "visions." The whole experience could not have taken more than a few seconds.

I had never experienced such a thing [and] was totally unprepared for it and quite shocked. I did not tell anyone about it for years, and then I found that no one was very interested anyway. All I got were jokes about drinking too much, so I kept it to myself.

This was nearly 30 years ago, and I still remember it most vividly. In fact, I can conjure up the scene if I close my eyes. I have since tried to make sense of it. To this end, I read many books on strange experiences. I have come to think it was what they call a "time-slip." It really does feel like a "shift".

Since then I have had weaker experiences of the same nature, years apart. It's like a "shift" is about to happen and then it does not, just a strange feeling.

I feel quite relieved to write it down after all this time.

--Anna Emanuel