Friday, April 10, 2009

One Thing Leeds to Another

Sisters Find Themselves Out of Phase in a U.K. Newspaper Shop


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.

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