Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Stocksbridge Haunting

The story of this haunting is one of the scariest I have ever heard …

It took place in the north of England in Yorkshire in the late 1980s. The witnesses that described what happened were very reliable. Two of these witnesses were constables connected to the local police station who did not believe that ghosts exist. What they saw and heard changed their minds.

Many feel that when environments undergo change, such as renovations, it stirs up paranormal activity. This is what most likely happened in the fall of 1987 when construction was started on the A616 bypass near Stocksbridge. It quickly became apparent that someone or something was not happy about this change.

On September 8, 1987 two big burly security guards hired by the McAlpine Construction Company to watch the construction materials overnight were making their usual rounds. Both these men had been hired for their size in hopes that it would deter others from stealing company property. At 12:30 a.m. one of these men called their boss, Mick Lee, in a frantic state. He told Lee what they had seen and heard.

The two security guards driving a Land Rover had stopped their vehicle in surprise when they spotted a group of children playing near the half completed bridge. They parked and watched these children skipping about. They noticed these children were wearing clothing from an earlier era and the guards wondered at the fact they were out playing so late at night in an area where there where few homes nearby.

The two men then drove their rover closer to where they had seen the children. Confused, they got out because the children where nowhere to be seen. As they inspected the area they were stunned to find there were no footprints in the mud. Lee concerned about the man’s “confused state of panic” rushed to the site. The guards then told him what they had seen next.

Driving back along Pearoyd Lane they saw a large, dark monk standing atop the unfinished bridge. They told Lee that as their headlights swept the figure it just disappeared. After this, something took hold of their heavy Land Rover and shook it violently like it was just a child's toy while they sat in it. Lee believing the two men, called the local Police. 

The constable who took the call, PC Dick Ellis, laughed at Lees' concerns and told him that he should call a priest instead because it didn’t sound like a matter for the police.

But to PC Ellis’s surprise a priest called him the following afternoon to request he send someone to help him with two security guards at the church. The vicar explained that these two men were insisting an exorcism be performed at the Stocksbridge bypass site. He told Ellis that he was very concerned about the men’s “state of distress.”

At this point the police had no choice but to investigate the guards story. PC Dick Ellis and Special Constable John Beet found themselves later that evening chuckling as they drove toward the site. Both were very skeptical about what they felt was a false report. They both found the two securities guards “state of panic” very amusing.

The evening of September 11, 1987 was warm so Ellis and Beet had their car windows down as they sat surveying the construction site. It wasn’t long before they saw something moving on the bridge. Both men left the car to investigate. They found a piece of tarp flapping around in the wind. When they returned to the car both men decided they would give it a few more minutes and then leave for the night.

In the next moment an odd sensation overtook Ellis. He turned very cold and was unable to speak. He finally turned to Beet and asked if he had felt anything. When Beet looked confused by his question he explained that he had felt as if someone had walked over his grave.

 Startled Ellis turned his head quickly feeling a presence at his side. Shocked he saw a dark torso pushed right through the cars' window. Ellis noted the cloak the figure wore had a v shaped piece of cloth running down its chest. Terrified, Ellis saw the apparition pass right through his elbow that rested upon the window frame.

Within seconds this apparition disappeared and reappeared on Beet’s side of the car. Beet screamed as again the figure pressed closely against his door. As Ellis quickly stepped out of the car the figure vanished once more. He circled the car and checked underneath but nothing was there. Puzzled he found no footprints in the mud except for his own and Beets.

Ellis got back in the car and turned the ignition key but nothing happened. He tried again but the car would not start. On his third attempt the car started. Ellis drove back toward where the construction material was stored and stopped to radio their location to the station. Suddenly, there was a very loud bang on the back of the car. Later, Ellis reported it sounded like a baseball bat or pick axe handle was being used to hit the car.

Beet at this point was frozen to his seat. Ellis climbed out of the car once more. Again he found nothing-- he didn’t see or hear anything. As Ellis jumped back in the car it was struck again violently. The loud sound vibrated but curiously the car didn’t move with the impact. As the car was hit once more Ellis started the car and floored the accelerator.

Back at the station both men were visably shaken up as they told their shocked colleagues what had happened. In their written reports both Ellis and Beet describe feelings of “intense fear”.

“It was not that which one has when you are about to encounter danger—but worse, it was the kind where you have absolutely no control over… a feeling of dread.”

Many sightings of phantom children have been reported around this area over the years. At the time the two security guards spotted them other construction workers that were being housed in trailers on site reported hearing children near the construction area late at night.

It is known that the area where the bypass was built, over a hundred years ago, was once used by a monastery, which farmed the land in the vicinity. One legend, states that a monk at this monastery went to work elsewhere. This was not allowed, so when this monk died the other monks refused to bury him in consecrated ground. They felt he should not have defied the rules.

As for the ghost children it is stated in the past children were used to work in the areas "pits” or coal mines. One theory is that their was a mining disaster that killed many of these children.

Here is a video produced by the British television series, Strange But True? that re-enacts this story. Other witness accounts are included. This story is told in the first 12 minutes of this show. It is followed by a story about people who believe they have been saved by guardian angels.

No comments: