Recently I've had questions about my religion, now I've no religion, but I do believe in a spirit something inside us which drives us, and which is sort of beyond the here and now. So, I lost my dog Dude and I chose to believe he's still around, not least because sometimes I don't feel him, but other times I really do, and both the wife and I can say we heard him slouching down after he'd passed away.
Another item is that my Grandad passed away when I was 18, he'd not smoked at the end of his life, but had all this life, all the time of my growing up, and smoked Golden Virginia and he had a very distinctive smell to himself, a unique "That's Grandad smell", when he was on his death bed; dying of smoking related lung cancer; and I hugged him I kept that mental memory of that small... And promised him I'd never ever smoke, and I never ever have.
But sometimes, I smell him, the most common places are when I've had a stressful day, I can open the car and get in and I smell him so strongly. My car usually smells of wet dog, or old MacDonalds, never Golden Virginia, and if I notice the smell I feel he's around and it can go.
So it is that I think we have spirits, but have I ever seen one...
I think I've seen one, once, the day of my aforementioned Grandad's funeral, we were at the house, and from the position of the kettle you can look through an internal door (with frosted glass) out the front door (also with frosted glass), the house has always used the side door. So I'm stood there, my Dad is next to me and we both see a figure coming up the drive, my Dad's doing tea and so he sends me "Go bring them around the side", and I go out the side door next to us...
The shadow figure was at the front door, short, a fat rounded man, indistinct through two frosted panes of glass.
I stepped out onto the drive, no sign of anyone... I go to the front, no sign to the left, they couldn't have gone anywhere else without leaping into the front room or over the fence into the neighbours yard. But I turn around and go look in the back yard, just to see if they did pass in front of me before I opened the back door and went out... Nope... No-one out the back.
I go back in, and my Dad asks "Who is it".... My reply "No-one"... and we just look at one another, the obvious is not said, but I'll say it now... That shadowy figure didn't half look like the Grandad, short, rounded physique.
Another interaction I think I have had with a Spirit was in the Salutation Inn in Nottingham, I was sat with a friend, we were alone in the upstairs bar area, with a round table, up there is a corridor to a lone Gents toilet, or there was in circa 1997, when this happened. So, we're sat talking, the table has only our drinks on it, and suddenly I feel something land into the fold of my trouser bottoms.
It was a 20 pence piece, as if it had fallen off the table... No change, nothing but out drinks had been on that table. But as I touched the money I felt cold.
Later on, we heard Tony Robinson and film crew had been in the building filming a 3 way challenge story to choose the "oldest pub in Nottingham", they came to the wrong conclusion, however, they reported to us that they had suffered cameras being randomly turned off, and one chap said he had found a coil dropped into an open tape door; these stories were added to the end of the episode we later saw aired on Channel 4... The landlord attributed there goings on, at the time, on Rosey, the name of the little girl spirit, whom was supposed to live in the caves below the building. There were three spirits supposedly present in the building, and it was without double the most comfortable Inn in the city.
(Jump to 17m16 for Rosey breaking the camera,
Jump to 26m55 for Rosey the Ghost Comment)
However, once of a busy night the place was packed and myself and four mates found ourselves drinking in the entrance way, where there was a door down to the Caves and little wooden plaques to Rosey and other ghosts in the property, until we'd sort of said hello to Rosey, we felt very uneasy, but once we'd said something about the plaque, acknowledged it, everyone agreed to stay for more drinks... That was a strange feeling, and one we all shared.
The final spirit, one I saw many times, was on the B600. I used to live in Top Valley, but drive up the B600 to Selston everyday; ironically I now only live a stones throw from where this sighting was and can probably explain it; but in 1996-1998 driving my little clapped out Ford Fiesta 1.1 at 6 in the morning and not leaving work til gone 6 at night I had no radio, save medium wave so listened to a badly tuned in Capitol radio and the Chris Evans show, or I had the radio off completely. I only ever saw this spirit on dark mornings, and only after rain, and only without the radio on, as you come out on the straight of the B600 in to Underwood is a dead tree, under that tree, as if sheltering from the rain I saw a man in a long grey great coat, an old style 1940's almost uniform like, grey coat. The coat had mud around the hem as if he'd been bending at the knees to lift other things off the ground.
He stood under the tree and variously looked up over the hedge, or up and down the road, he always acted as if it were raining, pulling the collar up on this coat, but his features; if I saw a picture today I'd recognise him; his hair slick but shaved around the sides... And I'd be past him and gone, never a sign of him, no reason for him to be stood there, it's a large dead tree. And I never had a funny feeling about this, until much later.
I heard that there had been a German Prisoner of War camp in the village of Brinsley, just over the hill behind this tree, and the men had Marched up this area and into the farm lands from the A610 Erewash Valley all the way up the B600 and down into the farm lands around Felley Priory just up the road from Underwood.
That great coat he was wearing, the colour, and his hair... Both strongly suggest he may have been a German POW, waiting not under a dead tree, but sheltering from the once living tree from the rain as he was about to March to his days work in the fields, hence the muddy coat bottom.
I have no proof for this last story, I gain nothing posting it, but I saw this fellow maybe seven or eight times. I mentioned him once to a chap I worked with called Stuart and he told me about the POW camp, today I live in Brinsley and I know the area better, but I now use the B600 after 9am each morning, and I'm yet to see that figure again all these years later... I may have to start heading to the office earlier to see if I do.