Tales of Ghostly Sightings, International

What we fear most
Is fear itself

One way the dead can get a message across to us is through our dreams.
There may be many other ways for the dead to contact us but it is dreams which are by far the most common.

By Joe Kent © AUFORN Queensland

Like an Old Photo
West England

Having lived for over ten years in the same house it came as a shock to find that the garden and the house had suddenly become haunted. Michael and his family had no interest in ghosts or other supernatural goings on. To be confronted by first a wisp of smoke trailing from one side of the garden to the other then taking shape was something one would expect to find in books or films, not in real life. The shape was that of a man dressed in Elizabethan clothes. This man constantly paced back and forth and did not appear to be aware of Michael. Whatever caused him to pace the way he did was also making him very agitated, as he would thump his fist into his palm on and off. Michael saw this gentleman many times over a period of months, yet only once in the house. In the house this gentleman was seen standing at the bottom of the stairs with his head at a slight angle. Whether he was listening or looking at someone can only be guessed at. Most visits were generally during the late afternoon although he had been seen once or twice of a morning.

The house that Michael and his family lived in was predominately Georgian with only one section of the house still Elizabethan, and that was where the stairs were. The odd thing about this gentleman was the lack of colour. He was seen in black and white (just like a photo) plus one could see straight through him. His way of disappearing was as if he was being sucked into something.

A Steady Climb
on and off over the years
Norfolk, England

In the heart of the countryside a plane is seen making a steady climb towards low heavy cloud. Soon it will be out of sight. The silhouette of this plane is enough for those who know their planes to recognize it as one of America's well-known bombers better known as the 'flying fortress'. This plane is not seen often but each time it is seen the weather is always as mentioned above. The one thing that makes this an eerie sighting is the lack of sound. These planes, like all heavy bombers, were far from quiet. They were deafening to say the least. This plane's mission was not only silent for those who watched her, but did make them wonder if this plane and its crew ever made it back safely. If not, then this plane and its ghostly crew are still fighting World War Two.

A Helping Hand
early to late 1960s
Johannesburg, Africa

In Johannesburg a large hospital was visited by an old man who would sit with patients who were dying and when the end came he would vanish. No one knew where or how he went. It was presumed that he had been a patient many years before, possibly during the 1930s. But many people felt that he might have been a doctor because of the way he was dressed.

Deep In Thought
2 June 1953
London, England

Mr Greene, like many people, did not have a television set but did have a radio. While sitting in his armchair and listening to the commentary of the Queen's Coronation, he had a feeling that there was someone in the room besides himself. On looking around and seeing nothing, he put it down to indigestion and continued listening to the radio. Within a few minutes the feeling of not being alone came across much stronger. On looking up, Mr Greene saw a lady standing by the window looking out. Her dress was clear to see and definitely Edwardian in style. Her features however were not so clear making it hard to judge her age. At a guess, Mr Greene thought she may have been in her early to mid thirties. He coughed and was about to get up from his chair when the lady faded away. “She seemed deep in thought,” said Mr Greene later on. Where she came from or whom she was, remained a mystery. The house was Victorian and had been turned into flats. The house does not exist today.

With Out A Trace
South France

When three friends were driving home from a day on the beach, they had no idea what was about to happen to them. On their way home they saw a woman thumbing a lift and because it was dark they stopped. The woman sat in the back of the car and had little to say, except that she was late for an appointment. Just as they were nearing a bend in the road, the woman yelled out, “watch that bend!” The driver took the bend with ease but then had to stop her car because both her friends were screaming and becoming hysterical. The reason? The woman they had given a lift to, had disappeared without a trace right there in the car.

pre 1939
London, England

Before 1939, an elderly lady was seen from time to time visiting dying patients. It was presumed that she was making it easier for those who had little time left. On the other hand, when she was with a child it was certain that the child would be going home. For some reason, she has not been seen since the start of World War Two.

Queen Mary's Ghost
1967 and 1988
California, USA

When the liner Queen Mary was commissioned in 1936, she was to sail the Atlantic Ocean longer than her sister ship the Queen Elizabeth. During World War Two when the Queen Mary became a troop carrier, she would zigzag across the water to avoid being hit by German U-boats. Towards the end of 1942, the Queen Mary hit the cruiser HMS Curaçao, killing over 300 sailors.

In 1967 the Queen Mary was retired at Long Beach in California as a tourist attraction. It was about this time that a workman working inside the ship reported hearing voices and what sounded like water in the bow. This was where the ship had been damaged when she hit the Curaçao. The workman knew nothing about this accident when reporting what he had heard.

Not until 1988 was the story investigated with a special sound-activated tape recorder which was left overnight in the bow area. When the tape was played back it most certainly had recorded voices, but from where and how, could not be answered. There was also the sound of water. This mystery still stands. Reports suggest that this is not the only ghost on board the Queen Mary.

Become Aware
August 1936
Paris, France

John had spent several months travelling around Europe and of course had taken many photos. It was while he, with his mother and sister, were looking at the photos that they became aware of one photo in particular. In this photo, John is seen sitting at a table outside a café with the name of the café clearly seen. Just behind John is his father who is wearing casual clothes and smiling. What made this photo different was the fact that John's father had been killed in 1917 and this was 1936. John had purposely chosen this café because his father, with two mates, had been photographed standing outside the café's door just days before he was killed.

Extra Guests
May 1978
southwest England

When Heather and James married, the little church was full to overflowing with family and friends. Yet it was not until the photos were developed that it was found that there were two extra guests. The ghostly couple was close to Heather and James, as if they too were getting married. Although the photo showed the ghostly couple it was not clear enough to say what era they belonged to. Most people however agreed that the lady's dress looked suspiciously Victorian.

Stopped To Watch
World War One
Northeast Scotland

During World War One, a young couple walking along the beach stopped to watch an old man throw a stick into the water for his little dog to retrieve. Both were enjoying the game with the little dog barking for more. When the couple came face to face with the old man, the young man mentioned that the little dog not being bothered by the cold water. The old man smiled, doffed his hat, and vanished before their eyes. And not only the man, but his little dog too! It was several years later that the young couple, now married, was to learn that both this old man and his little dog were inseparable in life as they were in death. This was the only known sighting.

The Boy Who Sang Softly
May 1936
Paddington, London, England

When I was a child my parents used to rent the first floor of a large Victorian house. One family per floor. Our floor consisted of two bedrooms, sitting room and kitchen with the bathroom on the ground floor. Because my bedroom was long and narrow it contained my bed, a chair, and dressing table. That was all. It was in my room this event took place.

I was lying quietly in my bed thinking of my birthday party and of my presents I had received that very day (this was before World War Two) when I became aware of someone singing. It was very soft and sounded as if some distance away. I listened for a few moments then ignored it and soon fell asleep. The following morning I had forgotten all about the singing until I went to bed that night when the sound of singing started again, only a little louder. As this went on for several days I naturally told my parents. They came to my room and stood listening, but heard nothing. Yet I could.

It was still summer when I first sensed someone in my room apart from myself. I did not see anyone yet the feeling I was not alone was very strong. The funny thing is that I did not feel frightened. I don't know why but I didn't. Within a few days I began to see a small boy sitting in a chair in the corner of my room. They were both see-through. I mean, I could see the wall behind both the boy and the chair he was sitting on. At any rate the boy became more solid looking within a few more days, as did his chair. As was usual he was singing very softly while at the same time playing with his toy horse. His clothing was strange looking and I could not think of anyone I knew wearing such clothes. Whether he could see me I can't say. He certainly did not act as if he could. He seemed content to stay in his chair and just play with his toy horse. On the one occasion when he did get up he limped badly yet managed to go to my bedroom door, open it, peer out, then shut the door and back to his chair where he began singing softly. This was the only time I felt frightened because he not only opened my door, but I could see him opening it while my real door was still closed. Towards autumn the boy began fading away until I could no longer see him or hear him singing.

It was the following summer that I saw the boy again. He still sang and still sat in his chair. He also seemed to have grown up far more quickly than me. He was taller and bigger in build and wore clothes that, although outdated were at least recognizable. In his hands was the toy horse that he kept turning over and over. His singing was more like a hum and perhaps that is what he was doing. There was one day when he did sing a few words, words that I had never heard before. Later on I asked my parents what the words were (I only remembered two) only to be told that they sounded French then was asked where I had heard them. My reply was not about the boy; they would never have believed me. The last time I was to see the boy he was more man than boy and appeared ill. He had his feet on a small stool with a blanket or some type of cover covering his legs and lap. With him was his horse, always his horse, nothing else. His singing was broken by his gasping for breath. By now, I was ten years old.

It was during the late 1950s or early 1960s, when the area I had lived in was being pulled down for redevelopment, that I heard the story of the boy I had seen.

It appears that the boy had [an intellectual disability, which was not obvious to see]. He was kept in the bedroom (which had been mine) and not allowed out. The wealthy kept these types of people out of sight as it was considered an embarrassment. Whether he was born [disabled] or whether it was caused by an accident is not known. His only toy or perhaps his only companion was his toy horse which he would not let anyone, not even his nanny, touch. As far as is known he never spoke, only sang and always in French. His family, being French, came to England from France during the late 1890s.

The boy (whose name was not known) died in his seventeenth year in 1908. The cause of death was not known, at least not outside of the family. Most people thought it was tuberculosis as that was common in those days.

This story was told to me by the owner of the house my parents once lived in and knew the family although not well enough to know all the details surrounding the boy. I was not the first to see him, as the boy seemed to show himself to children only.

This is my only experience of ghosts.

A Family Group
Edgeware, England

Jean* remembers the girl as pretty with blonde hair, the greenest eyes she had ever seen, well spoken and had immaculate manners.

This is her story.

I never knew where the girl came from nor did I ever get to know her name. Somehow we communicated without either one's name being mentioned. What I do remember about her was that she was ten years old and I was nine. Whenever I went into the garden she would be there. How she got there I have no idea. We played games like draughts, hide-and-seek and I spy. We drew pictures, mainly of flowers and animals, of which she was very good at. But mostly we talked about our families and our lives in general. School for her was at home in the nursery so she found it hard to believe that as a girl I was 'sent to school' because it was only boys were were 'sent to school' in her family. I asked her if she could not get a change of dress or if her family was poor. She was quite indignant and made it clear that her family were not poor. When I mentioned her dress as being old and strange-looking she assured me that it was my clothes that were strange because no girl would ever wear dresses as short as mine. No mother would allow it.

As I got older I saw less of her and by the time I had reached thirteen years of age I was to see her one more time. Many years later I was to see a family group painted towards the late 1700s with a small girl wearing a dress, in the same style as the little girl I once knew.

Although I did mention the girl to my parents, they just thought it was an imaginary friend and took no notice. The house I lived in was built during the 1930s so I don't know why the girl was there. I left the house upon my marriage.

After thought: This may not be so much as a ghost story, more of a time warp.
*real name not used

Not Alone
June 1953
Paddington, London, England

Mr Greene, like most people [in 1953], did not have a television set but he did have a radio. While sitting in his armchair and listening to the commentary of the Queen's Coronation he had a feeling that there was someone in the room besides him. On looking around and seeing nothing he put it down to indigestion and continued listening to the radio. Within a few minutes the feeling of not being alone came across much stronger. Looking up Mr Greene saw a lady standing by the window looking out. Her dress was clear to see and definitely Edwardian in style. Her features however were not so clear making it hard to judge her age. At a guess Mr Greene thought she might have been in her early to mid thirties. He coughed and was about to get up from his chair when the lady just faded away. 'She seemed deep in thought,' said Mr Greene later on.

Where she came from or who she was remained a mystery. The house was built during the mid Victorian era although in modern times the house had been turned into flats. However, the house does not exist today.