"The strangest thing of all is that it would continually change its shape. It was like a large floatinglight bulb: it certainly was not a cloud..."

"I felt someone sit on the end of my side of the bed -1 even moved my feet away so they could sit down. Realising what I was doing, I quickly sat up - to see nobody there once again/'

saw it at close quarters. He lived somewhere on the outskirts of Hull and had been working in the garage when he turned round to be confronted by this thing in the sky, which i have dubbed the 'Sky Slug'. It is a pity that I never kept the newspaper clippings.

Several years later I happened to be talking to a colleague at work when we began chatting about UFO's, and it turned out he also saw this object and happened to be on the top deck of a bus on Noddle Hill Way at the time. He also describes it as being an orangey-red colour and with the same ability to change shape. But he adds that all at once it accelerated to an incredible speed and disappeared from his view in seconds.

Mark Fraser, Kilmarnock

Ourinvisible lodger

Since we first moved in our home, I have felt a presence there. I have felt a gentle hand placed on my back as though to move me out of the way, which has made me step to one side to let them past. I had been shocked at this at first, as I would turn thinking it was my hubby to find nothing there. 1 also see a shape on the stairs and look -to see nothing.

My husband and I had an argument, something really silly, and he couldn't sleep. He went downstairs and was sitting at the table having a cup of tea when he felt a swipe at his face, a kind of wafting wind past it, as though something went quickly past his face. He thought he had imagined it but it happened again a minute or so later.

On another occasion we were both lying in bed just nodding off when be jumped up in alarm, and said a hand had moved over his tummy and then come to rest on him. I was half asleep and told him he was dreaming but as we settled back down, I felt someone sit on the end of my side of the bed -1 even moved my feet away so they could sit down. Realising what I was doing, I quickly sat up - to see nobody there once again. I don't know if it's related but a lew nights before the bed incident, I apparently had a fight with 'nobody' while in my sleep and had to be restrained by my husband. 1 don't recall any of it.

Kim, Whitby

Ghost light encounters

I have been a paranormal researcher and field investigator (primarily of UFOs and Bigfoot) in Northern California since 1968. Back in the early 1990s, when I was considerably more public and active (I have since trimmed back on my activities), I had some personal experiences of ghost lights/orbs that might add to your knowledge base.

I have had several occasions when these little critters have been observed sometimes very close with the naked eye. Once, a group of six was observing the night lights and during the night we observed small faint red lights flickering around on the hillside below us. These moved quite rapidly and only occasionally 'flared' to the point that they were visible. They appeared to be interested in us and were moving quite rapidly up the side of the hill to our position on a road.

Several of us had them come up around the ground level quite near and once I turned just in time to see one 'bloom' (becoming rapidly brighter and becoming white like a quick but faint flash bulb). This phenomenon was repeated on several subsequent night wratches, and they always appeared the same. We found that one thing affected our ability to observe them and that was the degree of moonlight. If it was too light, wre could not see them. This is why we surmised that they were in the infared range. Subsequent events would bear this out.

On several occasions we had reports oflocals seeing translucent orbs. Once I spoke to a man and his teenage son who had seen l-meter in diameter translucent orbs 'floating' along a riverbed. Once, while on a night stand just behind Beale Air Force Base (the home of the Blackbird here in Northern California), my close associate and I had two translucent orbs 'float up' to within about 20 feet from us. These were very similar to the ones observed by researchers in the Pine Bush area ofNewr York state, including the late Ellen Cry stall (who successfully photographed them). It should be noted that recent research has found a very strong magnetic area very close by. I feel that this is a clue.

It should be noted that none of these occurrences involved the use of cameras, either old style or digital. In the early 1990s I CdlT"

did come across an interesting video that was made right after one of the early Rachael Nevada conferences. It did involve both digital and night vision equipment, but the results indicate that the observed orbs were not reflections or residual effects from the camera or the night vision gear.

These are the circumstances: The people who were present had set up a night watch stand as is normal at the mailbox at the entrance to the Groom Road. It was about u in the evening. The camera was set up on a tripod and aimed at the Jumbled Hills beyond which is the Groom Base. It was an early model VHS camcorder which had attached to the front of it a first generation night vision scope (the kind which shows a circular opening and the normal green image). The time and date counter was running in real time and the image was dead steady. You could occasionally hear the people watching in the back of this set-up.

In my observation, the events that were about to unfold were not seen by the people in their cars and standing behind the camera. At about 12:11, from the lower right zoomed what appeared to be a fuzzy plasma ball about .25 meters in diameter. It zoomed between the sagebrush bushes at about .5 meters off the ground, weaving around the individual bushes. This critter was moving very fast. I estimate the speed at about 50 meters per second. This object moved out into the field in front of the camera, about 100 meters away and was joined by another one which came from the left. They rapidly moved back and forth for about 10 seconds and then one came right up in front of the camera and stopped. It then split into two parts momentarily then recombined and then zoomed off ; to the left. The length of the event was less then about 2 minutes, and there was absolutely no reaction from the people behind the camera. The event was observed after the video was analyzed later. It was also enhanced to get a closer view of the'split'.

It is my opinion these are naturally occurring effects. They exhibit intelligence, based on their actions. They also appear to be occurring very close to where UFO craft have been observed. Large magnetic fields are also observed in relation to their appearance, being very close by. Some of these are very strong magnetic fields, some of which have attracted official attention.

Steven Jones, Sacramento, California

\ 'Evil'church cast its I eerie spell

; I was interested to read Damien O'Dell's article 'Unquiet Beds' and especially his comment that Clophill church is 'the most evil place in the county', because T experienced the full force of its I malevolence way back in 1972.

Intrigued by its reputation for black magic, my husband and : co-author Colin and I decided to take a look for ourselves, and see if there was anything worth photographing. I admit it was a gloomyjanuary day, and the

church's reputation was well known to me, so I was probably already in a heightened state of tension as we stepped through the lych gate. But I was not prepared : for the feelings that overwhelmed me. Over the last 40 years I have ; visited more ruined churches and graveyards than most people, but i I can safely say that this was the spookiest place I have ever been to.

As I walked round as fast as I could, looking for good camera angles, I constantly had the feeling I should look over my shoulder, ; and there was a powerful sense of oppression overwhelming me. I felt very panicky and only managed to grab one quick shot of | the church before I had to retreat, i Going through the lychgate, I

'The church's reputation was well known to me, so I was probably already in a heightened state of tension as we stepped through the lych gate. But I was not prepared for the feelings that overwhelmed me/'

turned and quickly took a second photograph. It was a great relief to jump in the car and drive away from that evil place.

Needless to say, I have never been back. I recall the visit clearly, 37 years later, and Colin can recall it, too, though he did not experience the evil sensation as strongly as I did. A final puzzle arose when he developed the black and white film and found that the negative taken through the lychgate was streaked with brown stains which cause white patches when the negative is printed. It may simply be something that happened in the process of development, but none of the other negatives on the film was affected in any way, and Colin, who is an expert photographer with more than 60 years' experience, still can't explain it.

Janet Bord, Denbighshire

The thing in the woods

Back in the early 1990s I was a student at Saint David's University College, Lampeter (now University of Wales, Lampeter) in mid Wales. I often used to go for very late night walks (as you do when you're a student) up past the Falcondale Hotel along an access road that ran past Falcondale Farm and through a patch of woodland to reach a crossroads then onto the Falcondale Lake, a mile or two from the town. I often heard crunching sounds in the woodland, as if someone or something very large was walking along slowly and carefully, breaking twigs as it went.

This stretch of woodland was very dense, many of the trees growing closely together and lining the side of the road to the point that the trees sometimes formed a dense canopy overhead

"It seemed that the steps matched my own - it was a slow, deliberate, heavy tread - and I often nervously stopped to listen. Once or twice I heard a footfall after I had stopped.'

blocking out the moonlight. At times it was difficult to see my hand in front of my face and 1 often used a cigarette lighter or match to light the way. It would have been nigh on impossible for a person to have picked his way through the woods without the aid of a torch and certainly not to have walked in a straight line. The sounds were usually to my left, sometimes on my right but only for a certain distance.

It seemed that the steps matched my own - it was a slow, deliberate, heavy tread - and I often nervously stopped to listen. Once or twice I heard a footfall after J had stopped. There was no chance that this was an echo, or that it was my over-active imagination. I am quite level-headed by

nature and would not jump to conclusions that easily, so I found it exceedingly odd. I never thought that a person was moving about and I never felt fear, just a general feeling of unease. It felt like I was being 'stalked'. 1 often used to call out to it: 'Hello ghoul, hello goblin. How are you doing?'

It was an odd patch of woodland, alas felled long ago. T remember the burning tree stumps and the depressing sight of the cleared land. A lot of people were angered by this. It used to be a lovely walk in the summer. I knew pagans who thought that this patch of woodland was spiritually significant and 1 occasionally saw pagan types there or thereabouts.

It is a quite curious spot - in order to enter the wood you have to cross a small bridge over running stream water and to leave the wood you have to cross another small bridge over another stream. The road was also quite low down, situated between two hills and woods - Ty Hen Wood and Hen-feddau Wood. I know there is a long standing historical connection between bridges, water and the supernatural (think of Celtic mythology, black dogs, vampires, etc) so perhaps this is significant? Perhaps natural 'earth energies' are concentrated between these two points, forming a gateway between this world and another? The hills and wood s on either side may magnify this. I certainly think it is a very ancient place with an interesting past.

Interestingly, there are parallels with US and AUS encounters with bigfoot. Hearing footfalls, the feeling of being watching or stalked i and in the AUS experience between ; water and the Yowie - Yowie's are often associated with streams, | creeks and rivers - is suggestive. Healy and Cropper's book on the Yowie provides a number of interesting eye-witness reports. I'm not suggesting for one moment that a real life 'hairy man' exists in mid Wales, but there's a possibility that it may be something more supernatural or paranormal in origin. Nick Redfern's book Man Monkey is an interesting study of this kind of phenomenon. As I say, all I heard were heavy footfalls - T never saw eyes shine or a fleeting figure disappearing in the woods. But I found it very odd all the same.

MrS. Buckinghamshire (full name and address supplied) \

EDITOR'S NOTE; It is interesting to nn'e that 'Hen-feddau'is Welsh for 'old burials', which Implies that prehistoric burial mounds ! might once have been visible In thearea. The location of this experience can be viewed on online mapsatgrid reference SA48 7ED.

Great balls of fire

I have just been reading the UFO sightings in the back of this month's mag and there are 1 concerning balls of fire. I too have seen these recently.

The first time was at 6pm on

Saturday 14th February, 2009.1 live in a town called Fareham on the south coast of England. It was in the west about the height of a plane that has either taken off or is going in to land at Southampton airport. It looked like a ball of flames.

I commented on it to my mum who was with me and she saw it too and at the time we both thought a plane tragedy had happened and we were witnessing a plane on fire but it didn't move. It never dropped, it never traveled and stayed in the same spot for a good five minutes before it just vanished. There was no cloud in the sky and as soon as 1 got home I checked the news to see if there had been a plane accident but there was nothing reported.

The second time was Tuesday 24th February, 2009, at 8.10pm. I saw exactly the same thing in a similar part of the sky to before, but this time it was slowly moving from west to east. I was alone this time round but it was exactly the same thing I had seen before. Had I not seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it and would never have said anything or told anyone if I had not read the two reports in your mag.

Sarah, via email

Robots or angels?

After reading your editorial in Issue 33 on the strange activities of floating down the stairs, I can confirm that I also had this weird and wonderful experience in 196364.1 was only4 or 5 years old and it was a really harsh winter. I can remember the event so clearly, like a film running in your head.

I can remember in vivid colour floating down the stairsin our council house on the Norton Estate in Stourbridge, West Midlands. As I floated down the stairs, I can remember the front door of the house opening and I could see the front garden covered in glittering and sparkling pale blue snow just like it looks when moonlight shines on it. The oddest thing was that at the bottom of the stairs were two or three little robotic looking humanoid forms and their arms tried to either catch me or maybe they were helping me to levitate above their heads.

I can't remember anything else after that until I woke up in the early hours of the morning on a park bench at least a mile away from home. The only thing that woke me was the milk bottles rattling in a passing milk float. I was freezing cold and frightened and ran all the way home. So what does this mean and how can so many people seem to have the same thing happen to them?

There could be many reasons for this strange phenomenon. I am a level-headed man of 50 years this year and I still wonder to this day why this happened and what it means. Perhaps it was a dream and I sleepwalked down to the park in the worst weather we have ever had but if this is the case, why did I not die of hypothermia and also why did I see robotic humanoids when I had never seen anything like this in any sort of film?

Another thought is one of my own that may be controversial. What if - and this is if you believe in God

'The oddest thin^ was that at the bottom of the stairs were two or three little robotic looking humanoid forms and their arms triedto either catch me or maybe they were helping me to levitate above their heads/'

"Twenty to thirty people came outside to have a look at the UFO, which looked like a giant railway carriage and was just missing the chimney pots/'

some company and a stiff drink. Twenty to thirty people came outside to have a look at the UFO, which looked like a giant railway carriage and was just missing the chimney pots.

They all took cover inside and the landlord called the police. The focal bobby rode his bike to Barrington Hill where he kept look-out for the rest of the night, but saw nothing. I think they were told that it was reflection from the clouds of the railway train, even though the nearest railway was a couple of miles away. This was in the 1970s.

Terry Dye, via email and angels - we have a connection to those angels? What if we are the offspring genetically to what we call angels, otherwise why would human children have dreams of flying? Were we abducted by an outside influence?

I had epilepsy from the age of 13 till I was 22 years old. Now I have severe migraines which doctors can't find out anything to help. It would be interesting to find out how many children had this experience, what age they were and in what timeline in our history. There has to be a pattern to what happened to children like Mark Salmon and myself. Could there be a clue to the areas, ages and dates that they have occurred in? This is a big mystery that needs to be researched. Who knows where it will end?

C. Armfield, via email

The roads round Borley

Following on from Janet Bord's letter about Clop hi 11 church, I recall visiting Borley church in about the year 1966. Supposedly there are 'fireflies' on the pews and a banging door which resembles no other door in the building. Not much happened when I was there and I saw nothing unusual. But a friend who used to cycle past there everyday said there was usually a mist hanging around the area of the church and it would suddenly appear behind him even though he hadn't passed through it. Sadly he died in the 70s.

Another friend was on his motor scooter near the church when he

Pandemonium in the lavatory

At the age of 191 was living in an old house in Rock Park, Runcorn, in what was then north Cheshire and now part of the borough ofHalton. Rock Park was a large gated park with huge Victorian houses around the perimeter. Once they had been noticed a man on his left side going at 45 mph beside him. As he called to his girlfriend on the pillion, the man just pulled in front and disappeared into the hedge on the right. They both saw this. They said that the man wasn't running or anything, he was just 'there'. There are other tales/rumours of a coach with a headless driver and even headless horses galloping around the area. Perhaps it's time I made another visit.

Another incident: A couple were crossing the railway line in their car one late evening at Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, when they saw a UFO. Somewhat shaken they stopped at the Old English Gentleman pub to get very desirable places to live, and were still quite beautiful when I lived there, but most of them had been turned into Hats. The one I lived in was right on the banks of the River Mersey. I occupied a very small flat in one of the outbuildings; it had a slate floor and had probably been a stable block.

Every morning I walked along the cobbled lane of Rock Park, under ancient branches of Scots pine and past regal houses and a nunnery, down to Rock Ferry Railway Station where I caught the train to James Street along with other commuters to Liverpool.

It was the Swinging Sixties and I loved buying clothes and wore a wild array of coloured dresses and mini skirts, mostly in clashing colours like orange and pink and purple, usually worn with boots up to the knees or chunky high shoes. To fund my wardrobe I worked in the city. Jobs were easy to find then: you could give up one job on a Friday and find another by the following Monday.

I went to work for a firm of Chartered Accountants called Charles E. Dolby with offices in an old chambers in Dale Street. This was a decrepit building which would have been perfect for a film set of a Dickens drama. I guess nothing had changed since the 18th century. I seem to remember the date above the door was 1779.

A few other businesses occupied this building. I worked on the ground floor in a tiny office with two other girls. About six article clerks had the next office; they were paid buttons because they were training to be accountants, but actually did most of the work.

Presumably, when this building was first built it must have had some sort of water closet, but not a type we would recognise. There mustn't have been a room especially for that purpose because the office toilets were located on the top floor up four flights of stairs and were inside a very large room. This was definitely not originally designed for toilet facilities such a waste of space, especially as most of the offices were pokey little rooms. This huge room at the top of the building had about eight toilets in cubicles ; in a line opposite the only door. I They were on a higher level and you | had to climb up a step. The whole I area was floored with old wooden ; boards, not polished but in a dry, i dusty, untreated condition.

All the offices had their own key ; to this room and the door was a very I heavy old-fashioned one of solid oak, j with a new Yale lock fitted so that | when you closed it, it locked behind i you. Outside, the steps leading up I to this door were made of concrete, j obviously a later addition to this | building, with no wood in sight. I [ suspect there were original back ; stairs somewhere.

Now, I've been in many haunted ; places, including pubs and stately \ homes, and I have never felt a thing. Not the slightest vibe. I would stay the night in them, no problem. I even went on a ghost walk once when one of the group was totally spooked because she felt a little invisible hand hold her hand. The rest of the group were frightened. I didn't feel a thing. So it is really amazing that whenever I entered this room at the top of the offices, I could feel an atmosphere immediately - so much so that I would only use those toilets if I was absolutely desperate.

The minute I entered there was a total quietness, it was freezing and I could feel I was being watched. It was terrifying. T never mentioned this to anyone. I don't know why, perhaps because I thought they would think me odd. No-one else seemed to be bothered about it and all the staff used the toilets whenever they needed to with no comment about them.

One morning I decided to get in early because I had stacks of work to dor all the end of year accounts had to be typed. I wanted to get a head start, so I caught an earlier train from Rock Ferry to James Street Station. I picked up the mail on the way into the building but then, instead of opening up our office, I found I needed the loo, so without thinking I got the key off the hook in the outer office and ran up all the flights of stairs, opened the big old door and dropped the mail onto a sink before going into the loo.

As soon as I locked the door, the whole room erupted into bedlam. The room outside my cubicle was filled with the sound of wooden clogs running and jumping on the bare boarded floor. Outside the room, the floor and stairs were concrete, so I knew this was all happening inside on the wooden floorboards. Voices raised and high

"Voices raised and high pitched were making sounds so terrible I felt that if I opened the door I would be faced with mad lunatics all in an uncontrollable frenzy/'

'The minute I entered there was a total quietness, it was freezing and I could feel I was being watched. It was terrifying. I never mentioned this to anyone. I don't know why, perhaps because I thought they would think me odd/'

pitched were making sounds so terrible I felt that if I opened the door I would be faced with mad lunatics all in an uncontrollable frenzy.

This went on for ages - and T really mean ages. I stood behind that door unable to move for 15 to 20 minutes, and all the while pandemonium was on the other side of a thin wooden door with gaps above and below. I went into a state of total shock, so petrified that I couldn't move a muscle. Even writing this now my heart is racing - I have never known fear like it.

Somehow 1 managed to get my brain to work. I realised I had to get out of there, I had to make a run for it, through a crowd of crazed ghosts. How do you get up the courage to do that? I was all too aware that whatever was making all that noise was not of this earth. They were spirits of some sort and definitely not friendly. After a few false starts and shaking with fear, 1 opened the door.

Silence hit me, total and absolute silence. I was faced with an empty room, freezing cold, and almost humming with silence. It was as if someone had just flicked a switch and turned off a blaring radio. I ran for the door, forgetting the post and in a fumbling panic got out of there.

I was shaking, almost hysterical when I got back to my office. So much time had passed that everyone were at their desks working.

I never went into that room again, nothing would induce me to enter it. If ever 1 needed the loo, 1

would leave the office and use the facilities of Exchange Station. Soon afterwards I left that company and went to live in Portugal.

Years later I found myself in Liverpool and discovered that the old chambers had gone - been pulled down to make way for a new building. 1 wonder if the ghosts went with it, or have they somehow found their way into the new building?

Sandra Johnson, Mouldsworth, Cheshire

Gliding down stairs

In common with other readers, I too have a vivid memory of floating down the stairs as a child. I must have been 6-8 years old. I remember standing at the top of the stairs before gently gliding down.

C Annfiefd's point of view that it may be due to sleepwalking is interesting, as I do sleepwalk, but this was in daylight. I remember being slightly bemused afterwards, but just carried on with what I was doing. I didn't see anything unusual, although, many years later, I and a sibling heard 'ghostly' footsteps on the stairs.

I wonder whether I was daydreaming or had 'switched off and imagined it. About ten years ago T crossed a very busy main road with no recollection of doing so. One minute I was on one side, the next I was on the other. I even checked to see whether I'd been knocked down by looking for bruises or cuts but found none. I do have a tendency to 'switch off if I am bored, and have many a time spent a bus journey in this state only to have no recollection of passing through areas even though I've been looking through the window the entire time.

My episode of floating down the stairs would have occurred in about 1980-82 and in North Wales. I am not epileptic and can't explain the incident in any other way than overactive imagination - that's if I have to explain it. I'd like to think it happened but have no witnesses. I don't remember it was unusual at all, just 'funny'. It certainly didn't warrant telling anyone.

Wouldn't it be fabulous if we all had this ability? It'd certainly make living in a flat easier. Out of interest, does anyone remember floating upstairs?

(Name and address supplied), Manchester

The column of smoke

I had a very weird experience that only happened once shortly after I moved into the house I've been living in now for the past eight years or so.

I'd just put my little one to bed -she'd have been only about a year old then ■ and was getring my shoes, which were on the floor. My dog Bobby kept snarling and making a fuss for some reason I couldn't understand. He kept pushing himself between my legs and being generally irritating, so I picked him up and took him downstairs. I realise now he was aware of something strange going on.

Soon afterwards I was in the kitchen doing the washing up when I suddenly felt this cold breeze on the back of my neck. It was just as if someone had walked behind me with an electric fan blowing. I went into the living room expecting to find a window had blown open or something but didn't find anything, so I went back into the kitchen. And there I saw this weird thing.

It was tall, about as tall as me, and really thin, no more than three inches wide. It was a rectangle of fog or smoke, and I mean a perfect rectangle like it was held in a glass box. It was floating about 2ft off the ground. I stood there, stock still, and watched it as it went through the back door and out into the back garden. It went to the back of the garden and disappeared. It was daylight, so I could see it clearly.

Then I sort of came to myself and realised my baby was screaming her head off upstairs. I rushed to her but she was hysterical, it took me ages to get her to sleep, and even then she was making these kind of scared sobbing noises while she slept. I'm sure she saw something I couldn't, being a growm-up, and maybe the dog did, too. If someone had told me that morning that I was going to see that thing, I'd have picked up the baby and the dog and everything and got out of there, but at the time I wrasn't scared. Only afterwards -I didn't get to sleep till 4am!

There was one other weird thing. Just after I saw' the fog and for several hours afterwards, the house was all echoey - the way an empty house sounds when it doesn't have any furniture in it. I could hear it when I spoke or when the baby was crying. It was very strange. Anyway, I've never

"It was tall, about as tall as me, and really thin, no more than three inches wide. It was a rectangle of fog or smoke, and I mean a perfect rectangle like it was held in a glass box."

seen it again and nothing weird has happened here since.

Talking to my mum about ghost stories, it turns out my greatgrandfather saw one of those big, black dog things. I le was rabbiting in the field near Milford Street one night when him and his mates saw this huge black dog. Its eyes were bulging out of its head, it was drooling and snarling and it had great big teeth. It jumped on them, and they all dropped to the ground. It jumped right over them - and disappeared!

My mum's best friend, Collette, saw it as well some years later. It walked along beside her but when she reached out to pat it, it vanished. Apparently, a big black carriage has been seen rattling down that street, too.

Leame Mitchell, Mold, Flintshire

Strolling round the church

Myself and three friends from school (about 30 years ago now) decided to take a week's camping one summer holiday in the village of Pluckley in Kent. Having already heard of its supposed ghostly reputation as Britain's most haunted village, we decided to do a bit of ghost hunting ourselves.

After a couple of nights and days in the 'screaming woods' and the site of the old brickworks (well-known Pluckley haunts) with nothing at all, it was decided we would investigate the church the next day. We got to the church at about 12.30pm on a beautiful summer's day. After having a good look around the church to make sure we were the only people about, we left a tape recorder about 10 feet away from the front door (a typically thick church door) on the last pew and set it to record. We then waited outside the church door, leaving it open about a foot.

After about 10 minutes the great door slammed closed - and without wind this took some doing. Two minutes later the automated church clock chimed the hour at one o'clock, and five minutes later we re-entered the building, immediately turning off the tape recorder.

Upon leaving the church, we listened to our tape and wdiat we heard amazed us all. Firstly we heard ourselves leave the church, then after five minutes we heard heavy footsteps {possibly wearing clogs) walking dowll a stone-clad aisle, although the aisle was carpeted. They reached our recorder, which sent loud static for a couple of seconds, and then the door slammed shut. The steps then moved awray and we heard the belfry door open and then the bell rang. The belfry door then closed and the heavy footsteps continued back up the now' carpeted but once stone aisle, this time not bothering our recorder. The next sound was us entering the church and switching it off.

This phenomenon was recorded three more times on the hour.

OUT OF TIME: Youthful ghost hunters recorded the sou rids of ghostly footste ps in PI uck ley Ch urch, Ke n tt three times, bang on the hour. ©Heart of Kent to the ravages of time, I often wonder, was it the old parson or church warden, not realising the bells are now automated and continuing on his ghostly duty?

Mick Crispin, via email

Only Haifa man

My dad used to work for Ford's motor company in Dagenham, manufacturing moulds for engine parts, and building various bits and pieces for the casting processes in the foundry. He often worked a night-shift, and so as I would be getting up for school, he was already having his breakfast, having just arrived home.

One Tuesday morning - about 8 o'clock -1 came down the stairs half-asleep, but could see that my dad was visibly agitated. He told me and my mum that while he and his workmates were cleaning up in preparation for the 3am lunch break, they had heard terrible screams coming from the canteen, which was just around the corner. Running around to see what was wrong, they were shocked to find one of the canteen women unconscious on the floor, and the other one backed into a corner screaming her head off, her hands held in front of her, as if being attacked by something invisible.

One of the men ran off to get the doctor, while my dad and another chap tried to revive the unconscious woman who, according to my dad, was 'out like a light'. When the doctor arrived, the woman had to be taken out on a stretcher, while the other lady, who was still screaming uncontrollably, had to be sedated.

The doctor managed to calm her down, and when she had regained her composure somewhat, she said that while she and the other lady had been getting the meals ready for the 3 o'clock lunch hour, a man had walked into the canteen. Initially, they had only seen him in their peripheral vision, but as they turned to speak to him, they realised, to their horror, that he was invisible from the waist down, as though he had been chopped in half. There was no sign of blood or torn clothing, it was just as if he only existed above the waistline.

He seemed to float towards them, and as he did so, one of the women - understandably perhaps - fainted dead away, and the other became hysterical. The woman who had passed out did not regain full consciousness for about 15 minutes, but when she recovered, she reported exactly the same details of the legless ghost.

Of course, my dad saw none of this, but he felt something in the atmosphere, something cold and sinister. The other blokes said that they felt the same thing, and my dad was completely sure in his mind that the ladies had really seen something terrifying.

This would have happened in the mid-1970's, and I can remember the details as clearly today as when my dad first told them to me. As far as my dad knew, there was no record of anyone being killed in that horrible way, although there were plenty of other terrible accidents that had happened through the years.

When I first heard this story, the incident was only about five hours old, and it scared the absolute crap out of me, mainly because my dad, who was fairly unflappable, was obviously affected by the experience. My dad passed away a few years ago, and so I have no real proof of what happened. I don't know anyone else involved in the incident, but I have a clear memory - as does my mum - of the story my dad told, and I have no doubt whatsoever that it actually happened.

Alan Friswell, Dagenham

Experiences are continued on page 66

"About three nights into the stay I became restless during my sleep. When I woke and raised my head I could clearly see the silhouette of a lady standing at the window in our room looking out into the garden/'

In the last three decades of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth, so-cal led 'spirit photograph/ was all the rage.Alivingsitterwouldgo to the studio of a medium with a gift for spirit photography and sit for a photograph; if he/she was lucky, there would also beanotherfigure on the print, allegedly someone who was dead, possibly a family member. It was sometimes said that the image of the dead person did not resemble any known photograph.

Of course trickery was often suspected and sometimes proved. The usual procedure was for the photographer to use a glass plate (which was used instead of flexible film in those days) onto which the spirit image had already been exposed. For this reason, sceptical sitters would take their own plates and try to ensure that the photographer did not switch them for ones he had prepared earlier.

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A glimpse of the future?

One wonders why Edward Volpi, a captain in the Italian armv, was photographed sitting beside an empty chair in December 1879. Maybe he hoped that a spirit would be found to be sitting there? The spirit apparently leaning on the back of the chair was called Rena, or so Captain Volpi's dead wife told him through a medium. She also said that he had known Rena in a previous existence, and she was connected with his future.

Two years later he married a woman called Irene, and later realised that the spirit looked like her. When told the story, she said that she used to be known as Rena. If all this is true, then it is clear that the 'spirits' which appeared on these photographs were not necessarily all dead people, but included living people too!

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