Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I ain't scared of no ghost!

I had a real chuckle when I heard this story on the radio yesterday, and even now when I think about it, I smile. It's Barnsley in South Yorkshire, where Roger Froggat and his missus, Kathryn, are having a kip in t' bedroom, nae bother, when they hear summat. The Froggats live above the pub they run, (Low Valley Arms), so Mrs Froggat sends him to investigate (what a brave man), and perhaps swing a cricket bat if he can muster the courage. He gets to the pub, only to find that there are no balaclava'd men in dark tights and plimsols filling their bag of swag with reassuringly expensive Stella Artois bottles and Golden Wonder crisps.

Instead, what he saw alarmed him somewhat - all the television screens were on. Of course this is no reason to be alarmed, after all we don't all have satelite television. And with new episodes of Grey's Anatomy showing on Living TV, and Desperate Housewives showing on E4, I can see how one can break into a pub to watch cable. Why all the tellies? Surround sound, you should try it sometime.

But it didn't end there, what Roger saw next scared the freckles off his face. He went to the toilets, only to see a ghost of a woman in a flowing white gown - and get this - with half her face missing! So he did what any self-respecting man would do (regardless of even if he had to impress a wife waiting upstairs for a progress report), he called the police.

Operator: Hello, 999 emergency, ambulance, fire, or police?

Mr Froggat: Well, me heart is now in me mouth, so I need an ambulance. The fire service could probably trap her with that foam jobby, like in Ghostbusters, and a copper could arrest her for scaring me.

Operator: Calm down sir, what exactly happened.

Mr Froggat: I saw a ruddy ghost, with half her face missing, is what happened.

Operator: Sir, I hope you haven't wasted our time and possibly endangered the lives of people in genuine distress trying to get through to the emergencies services. This is 999, we don't do exorcisms. Call your parish priest for that. Sir.

Mr Froggat: I'm right scared, I am. Honest.

Operator: Okay, out of the goodness Her Majesty's constabulary, we'll send a squad car round.

So the policemen arrive at the pub and go to the toilets to seek out Barnsley's very own Carlotta Valdes. And lo, what do they see? Pub toilets flushing of their own accord. Nobody tugging at the flush chains, no lager louts (on the odd occasion that they remember to flush) kicking the cubicle in frustration, just pub toilets peaceably flushing. That in itself is worth ten apparitions. The coppers were obviously scared, but didn't see any immediate threat, and didn't call for back-up. Independently flushing toilets? They'd never live it down back at the nick.

I'm sure the story was actually reported because there were upstanding members of the community to witness the dodgy happenings. If the pub landlord had mentioned it to any of his regulars, he would have been laughed out of his own pub, or even sectioned for being one G&T short of a distillery. But there were witnesses, and these ones were credible witnesses. I know what you're thinking, coppers fiddle evidence all the time. But even a copper as bent as a coat hanger wouldn't make this story up.

It's all rather confusing. I'm thinking, on the one hand, of course ghosts exists you silly bottoms. What do you think we Africans have been saying for centuries? Serves you right for not listening to us. On the other hand, I don't believe in ghosts, so it's just very funny for its silliness. Très amusant.


TMinx said...

I won't doubt it until its proven 100% that there are no ghosts. You hear all sorts of stories growing up! People wondering around cos they have unfinished business. The bogey man camped under my bed for AGESSS I tell you!

Alternatively if you come from where I come from, these could just be real people who fly by night to other realms to terrorize peeps..Take a wild guess

Happy nearly birthday, Star Mate!

Anonymous said...

No - there's a very simple explanation for this sighting: there was a particular sort of electromagnetic field in that pub, which bent the light into the shape of the woman. Shame on you for believing in ghosts!

Ceridwen Devi said...

We had a ghost in my dad's house when I was a little diddy baby. So he tells me. I never met it personally, but dad saw it at the end of the bed once. It was dark, so I guess it was dark matter or something. Can electromagnetism bend darkness?

Anonymous said...

Ghosts are real; it only makes sense - however i've heard that most people tend to see them or witness any paranormal activity after heavy bouts of drugs or drinking. in this case, the dude lives over a pub - alcohol fumes.
So what the tv were on - he's got a short circuit
So what the toilets kept flushing - i'm working on a job right now where the toilets cant stop flushing - its called dodgy plumbing.
However i hasten to add that i do believe in ghosts - otherwise scooby doo whould just be ruined for me.

? said...

What am I supposed to say? I remember a story told me by my partner, which had been told by her mum. Prior to her parent getting married, the father was staying in an old farm house owned by her grandfather and everybody was woken in the middle of the night with crashing and banging coming from the fathers room. When the rest of the family went to investigate the noise and found his (her fathers) bed on two legs and his hair standing on ends screaming like a tazmanian devil, the bed crashing into the floor and lifting up again as though someone had hold of it. The dad screaming that someone had hold of his hair. This continued in front of the family and nobody could do anything as they were all in shock A local vicar had to be called in to do an exorcism. Honestly this is true! This was in west rounton north yorskshire. May be its just that part of the country, what do you think? And that was not the only incident in that farm house. Thgere are stories of doors opening and shutting, pictures falling etc.