Here are a couple of strange stories from two of our old stalwarts who have contributed to our tales in the past: Roy Marriott and Stan Pickles. You will have to make your own minds up


Roy asks me to explain that this tale The Passing was told to him by a friend and while it has gathered a little ‘atmosphere’ for affect in essence this is how the tale was told to him as being the truth.


Stan who alas is no longer with us but we rejoice in the fact that he lived to be a hundred, has a Italian adventure to relate.

And have a look at the end the good works that Audrey Sanderson our favourite Aussie Pom, is getting up to down there in OZ.



The night was cold, the clinging cold that fog brings with it. Flickering fingers of light from the gas lamps were unsuccessfully trying to penetrate the gloom. Hardly a soul stirred – sounds however small were magnified to phantom proportions. Two figures moved slowly, holding onto each other as though loss of contact would lead to loss of each other.

Hilda and Jane wished that the arrangements that they had made earlier in the week to call on their dear old friend, Mrs Briar (she preferred to be called Gertie) had been made for the weekend, during the day and not on this particular Thursday evening. The fog had thickened to such extent that all the tram cars had stopped running as they made their way to Gertie’s house that was located in one of the streets that backed off Dial Street. One thing was certain, whatever the weather these two ladies had no intention of worrying Gertie by not turning up as planned, but they could not have chosen a worse night. Their route took them along many cobbled streets, over the canal bridge and through a labyrinth of back to back houses and ally-ways the uneven cobbles caused them to stumble as they picked their way along. A sleek shadow, hardly recognisable as a cat startled them as they passed the narrow entrance leading to the rag merchant’s yard – its cry that of a lost soul hung in the still air. The women clung to each other, only a few more steps and they would be clear of the dingy back streets and into the avenue which took them past Zion Chapel

The day previous old Mrs Briar had mentioned to her widowed daughter, that she would be having visitors the next day from a couple of ladies who lived on the other side of the city.

‘There’s one thing you can be sure of Iris,’ she had said, ‘if they say they will come – they will come!’ Gertie was looking forward to the impending visit she thoroughly enjoyed their company, reminiscing – going over happy times they had enjoyed together in the past, often laughing out loud when one of them touched on a particularly humorous event. That is not to say that Mrs Brier didn’t enjoy having her daughter and grandson living with her since the sudden death of her son in law five years earlier but having her friends to visit was something special.

‘I think I will wear my black lace dress,’ Mrs Briar had said, ‘while it still fits me.’ She giggled.

‘Shall I get it down for you so that you can try it on and I can brush it off for you?’ Iris looked warmly at her mother who in turn smiled and nodded.

A short time later, having had her dress brushed down, she bade her daughter and grandson goodnight and made her way upstairs laying her dress across the bottom of her bed

During the night Mrs Briar passed away, her grandson found her smiling blissfully on the Thursday morning. He hurried to his mother’s room.

‘Its Gran,’ he said ‘she won’t wake up.’

Iris wrapping a dressing- gown around her hurried to her mother’s bedside.

‘Oh Edward she looks so peaceful now, leave the curtains drawn,’ she said, tears welling up in her eyes and streaking her cheeks. ‘Grandma has gone to heaven.’ Edward threw his arms around his mother and he too cried uncontrollably.

Later in the day the old lady was laid out in her black velvet dress. The events of the day blotted out all thoughts of the two ladies who were due to visit that evening. The fog came down that night and the curtains which had been drawn all day now carried dancing shadows from the coal fire. Both mother and son sat quietly thinking about their sudden loss. Iris looked about the room her eyes resting momentarily on various objects collected over the years. The fire suddenly crackled, startling Iris and bring her out of her reverie and then another sound or was it imagination? Both mother and son looked at each other – had they heard something or was it really their imagination and yet both felt it was not – they had heard the bed creak or was it the floorboards upstairs?

While they were still pondering they heard a sound outside and then a knock on the door. Edward’s mother stood and draped a cardigan around her shoulders – she walked hesitantly to the door and opened it to limits of the chain. ‘Who’s there,’ she called.

‘It’s Jane and Hilda,’ replied a voice. We’ve come to see your mother.’

‘Oh dear,’ said Iris. ‘Oh I’m so sorry, I should have let you know.’ As she spoke she drew back the heavy curtain from behind the door, removing the chain and pulling open the door. The two middle aged ladies bathed in fog were standing on the doorstep now and illuminated by the light from the fire-lit room.

‘I should have let you know,’ Iris said again – ‘I’m sorry you have had such a cold wasted journey. My mother told me you were coming to pay her a visit, but…’ she sobbed holding a handkerchief to her lips. ‘My mother passed away last night – she’s laid out upstairs in her favourite black lace dress.’

Hilda and Jane looked at each other and then at Iris.

‘But we’ve just seen her at the window upstairs!’ they said.

Imagination or not they all heard the sound of laboured footsteps dragging across the upstairs floor…


By Stan Pickles

Whilst on a tour of Italy in 1968 we had a remarkable experience. My wife and I were completing our thirds day’s travel and we were staying overnight at The Hotel Posta in the small town of Reggio Emilia, in northern Italy. Leaving the lounge for our bedroom after having a lovely meal an old lady in black stopped me and said, ‘I hope you enjoy your stay here.’ I took it she was the proprietor and with a smile I departed.

Our bedroom was large with antique furniture and had twin beds set against the centre wall. We turned off our bedside lamps and being ‘deadbeat I was almost asleep when my wife said. ‘Hey, did your bed move?’ In fact I had felt my bed move but thought it was my imagination. My wife asked me to put on the main lights so I got out of bed and found nothing wrong

After changing beds with her I was soon off to sleep. Then I had a most lovely dream (so I thought). At the foot of our beds a long table was laid out with everything in food and wine you could imagine. The room was full of ladies and gentlemen dressed in old time finery – the women in crinolines were dancing and dining to gentle music. The lady we had seen on the way to our bedroom came to my bedside and said, ‘I hope you are resting and we are not disturbing you.’ I assured her we were enjoying it all and the merrymaking went on.

The next morning my wife asked me if I had heard a band playing during the night and the sound of laughter. I then told her about my dream. That had me wondering, was it a dream at all? Were the beds being moved around to make way for the party?

However, I will leave it to you, was it dream or wasn’t it?

italian pic for blog

And finally a poem from Roy /Ronald

 looking back to tomorrow

audreys pearly

Please remember to ‘click’ to enlarge pictures.

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4 Responses to “GHOSTS”

  1. Eric Says:

    Two nicely told, atmospheric tales – enough to make the hairs on the back of the neck stand out. I guess we’ve all experienced strange happenings & a similar stirring of primeval instincts on occasion, it might be an interesting theme to continue.
    Also, well done to Audrey & her lady friends

  2. Doug Says:

    I believe both stories. Maybe there can be a lot of doubt about invoking the supernatural to explain the events, but the folk who experienced these phenomena are likely to be telling the truth rather than making it up. If, on a dark foggy night you have been eagerly expecting to see someone, a flicker of firelight on a curtain or a waft of warm air moving a curtain could easily be perceived to fulfil your expectation. And, if carousers hold a party in your bedroom, I hope they cleaned up and removed the empties afterwards. Two lovely stories, and a lovely newspaper clipping from Audrey. I wish more people knew what treats were on this site at the beginning of each month, thank you Peter.

  3. peterwwood Says:

    I had a strange experience in a long narrow meadow near Royd’s School in Rothwell. The meadow was about 400 yds long but only about 40yards wide, it just had string wire fences on each side and the adjacent fields were newly ploughed there was no cover either within the meadow or on either side you had an clear view for miles on either side. As I entered the meadow from one end I saw a guy enter from the other end and walk towards me. I had two dogs with me, when we were within about fifty yards of meeting in the middle I bent down to put the dogs on a lead, when I looked up again he had completely disappeared. I could see for 360degrees all round – where had he gone?
    Wordpress can you please get sitemeter back for me

  4. aussiepom Says:

    Spine tingling stories do make you think ‘ Is there really something out there?’
    Animals seem to know when something not quite normal is going to happen. My experience of pending doom was our pet dog followed me around and would never leave my side for days until whatever it was happened.
    I didn’t know you was going to put my group of girls ( old girls ) on the blog Pete. Now you know why I don’t get much time to write as much as I’d like to. Retirement! There aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything that needs to be done. Thank goodness all 40 of my ladies have a sense of humour and as daft as I am. Long live the power of the press. The response from the newspaper article has been terrific.

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