Monday, 19 August 2013

Followed by a van riding ghost?

 Haunted pathWalking down a quiet street recently, I noticed a van stop behind me to let a man out. He started walking in the same direction as me, just a few paces behind. Hearing him so close, my unusually intense sense of curiosity caused me to casually half turn round a couple of times to get a better look. But having twice turned round, I walked on and turned no more my head.

Then a thought struck - my unseen companion and I had walked a long way along the road by now. If the man wanted to go so far down the road, why hadn't the van dropped him further along it in the first place? Puzzled, I stopped and turned around for another look. The street was empty! Even though I had heard the man walking behind me for the entire time! So was the man actually a ghost? If so, it would be the first case I'd come across of a van riding ghost!

The only reason for thinking the man might be a ghost was that I could hear him walking even though he was clearly no longer visible. So could there be any alternative explanations for this incident?

One clue was that the sound of the man/ghost stopped at exactly the same time that I stopped! I have noticed this phenomenon before, a few times. I described a similar incident here. It happens like this. I hear someone walking behind me, even though there is no one visible. But they always 'stop' at precisely the same moment that I do. A plausible explanation is that what I am hearing is actually an echo of myself walking. These incidents usually occur in areas with walls or fences which can reflect sound well. But why would I not realise that the sound was actually me?

These incidents usually happen when I am carrying noisy bags. In such situations I may not be entirely familiar with all the possible sounds the noisy bags make. So, if the sounds are reflected back to me by a nearby wall, I may occasionally mistake their source as something else. And since they following the rhythm of someone walking, the obvious source is another person nearby.

The difference on this occasion was that there was a real person present to initiate the incident. I strongly suspect that without that person I would never have heard the sound of someone apparently following me. It would appear to be a case of a real sound of a human walking being 'taken over' by something else (the bags I was carrying). I have come across similar examples before of real sounds being 'carried on' as a misperception by another sound source nearby. Recently, for instance, the sound of foxes outside a building was apparently continued in the white noise of a fan inside. It is clearly a phenomenon that would be well worth researching. I suspect it could be reproduced fairly easily. I think it may well occur in reported experiences of anomalous phenomena sometimes.

PS: Referring to 14 August post, it would be interesting to see if people who feel a sense of presence have also had OBEs to see if there is any connection.

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