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A Manx Ghost

Michael, Lancashire, UK
December 2002

This story is true, whether you believe it or not.

I was dating a girl, Alice, while I was on holiday in the Isle of Man some 25 years ago. She told me she always avoided a particular church graveyard. Not too long before, she explained, while on her way home from a dance, she happened to be walking past the churchyard when she saw her elderly grandfather standing among the tombstones. Her grandfather was still then very much alive (although frail in health) and she wondered why he should be wandering around in such a place at such an hour. When he saw his granddaughter, he beckoned her using both arms at the same time, and his face had a strangely glazed expression. This spooked her and she ran home in some distress.

On arriving home she hung up her coat in the lobby and chanced to look in the mirror. You guessed it - there was her grandfather, in the mirror, beckoning to her just like he did in the churchyard. This really freaked her out and she ran upstairs to her room.

A minute or two later the door to her room opened and her mother came in, having heard the commotion in the hallway. "I'm glad you're back, Alice", she said, "your grandfather's suddenly been taken ill. It's bad news I'm afraid, so we're all going round to see him. Get your coat on again!"

Reluctantly, she dutifully followed as the whole family walked the couple of blocks to her grandfather's house. On arrival, they were immediately urged to go upstairs to the bedroom where the old man lay ill in bed. He was propped up by many pillows in a half upright position. When he saw Alice he beckoned to her using both arms, just like she'd already seen him do in the churchyard and in the lobby mirror. Terrified, she just froze, and remained in a corner of the room while her mother leaned over to hear the old man's last whispered words before he died.

As the family returned home, Alice's mother expressed annoyance that her daughter should have behaved so icily to her grandfather, "And on his death bed too - I'm surprised at you, Alice. But something puzzles me. As he was dying, he whispered in my ear that he wanted you to know something."

"What was that?" enquired Alice.

"Well, I don't really understand what he was talking about, but what he said was, 'As Alice won't come near me will you tell her I'm sorry for frightening her in the churchyard and in the mirror.'"

Michael, Lancashire, UK
00:00 / 01:04
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