Although I write about strange stuff, full of occult magic, the paranormal and eldritch mystery, my thinking and life are grounded firmly in science. I’m not prone to fanciful indulgences, a spade is usually a spade and if it quacks it’s most certainly a duck. However, on occasion, I have witnessed things that have made me wonder if I’m right. I’ve had one, perhaps two, ghostly experiences that I find hard to explain, other than one being a vivid dream and the other an auditory hallucination that would put any cinema surround-sound system to shame. And in nearly forty years of gazing at the wonders of the night sky I have seen many odd things that I’ve later reasoned away to my own satisfaction – except one, and I don’t imagine the pilots that were chasing it could either.
So, what I’m trying to say is that I’m not usually one to let myself get carried away, although I often jump at shadows, I still do know they are only shadows.
However, this Halloween, I saw something strange.
I parked the car in a darkened suburban street, open plan with nice manicured gardens, to drop my son off at a Halloween Party. I decided he could manage his own gear; sleep over paraphernalia, lantern and six foot scythe, but my wife wanted to help (and she wanted a chat with the party hosts). After a short while, she reappeared and I watched her in the side mirror as she walked up the pavement. She was dressed in her own costume and made quite an enchanting sight.
Then a figure, dressed in black jeans and a black hoody, appeared and ran up behind her. For an instant I thought it might be a would-be attacker and I went straight to DEFCON 1, ready to leap into action, but then I realised it was probably my son, running to catch up because he’d no-doubt forgotten something. So I calmed down, and watched the approaching figure for several seconds, still convinced it was my son, and feeling that nothing was unusual.
Then as my wife left the pavement to cross to the passenger side of the car I lost sight of her in the side mirror and switched to the rear view, but the other figure did not appear with her. The side mirror was empty also. I turned around and scanned the street but could see nothing.
When my wife got in the car she was unaware of there being anyone else anywhere near her. In fact, I unnerved her more by telling her what I’d seen.
It could have been someone with malicious intent that reconsidered when they realised she was heading for a car that was already occupied, but as far as I could see, there was nowhere for such a would-be assailant to hide.
I don’t know whether it was my imagination, or we had a lucky escape, or that I saw something truly strange…