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Grandpa's Spirit of Christmas - A True Ghost Story

Michael Foote, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
December 2009

This event happened on Christmas Eve in 1990 in West Yorkshire in a village called Upperthong. My in-laws were from Leeds.

My mother & father in-law always stayed with us at Christmas time. We had 3 children - Caroline 10, Robert 8, and Matthew 6. Christmas with the children and Grandparents was a special time for all of us.

My father in-law had bought Caroline a pony earlier that year and this was stabled up near to the old village school house which was now the village hall.

On Christmas Eve morning he took Caroline up to the stables to watch her tack up and ride Alice, the pony, whilst he was waiting around he wandered over to the old school house and had a closer look at the building. He was a slater & tiler by profession and always took an interest in old buildings especially the roofs. Later back home that evening he remarked on the age of the building (1800) and the style of the slate roof and the fact that it once was the village school.

After the evening meal we played a few Christmas games and enjoyed the children's mounting excitement as they went to bed. We had a few drinks and then for some reason my father in-law said he would sleep on the large sofa downstairs, my mother in-law had developed rather a loud snore at this time so it was not too surprising I suppose.

Christmas morning came and we went into the lounge with 3 excited children Grandpa was awake. "Did you sleep ok?" I asked.

"I did after that bloke went," he replied.

"What bloke?" I asked .

"The one who appeared standing by your fire place staring at me all night. It's ok, I recognized him. He drinks in my local pub." So we all just looked a bit perplexed and put it down to too much Christmas spirit the previous evening.

Much later in the new year my father in-law was back in Leeds some 40 miles away from where we lived. I was with him in his local pub when suddenly he said, "That's him over there."

"Who?" I replied.

"That is the bloke who appeared to me in your house at Christmas."

"Oh," I said, "okay."

Then without another word he walked over to him and with no introduction, announced with a jabbing finger, "What were you doing appearing to me in my daughter's house as a ghost last Christmas Eve?"

I stood there next to him firstly amazed that he would have approached this chap and just come out with what could only be described as a most bizarre statement and then secondly I froze on hearing his reply.

"Where does your daughter live?" he asked.

"Upperthong," replied my father in-law.

Now most people in Leeds have never and would never of heard of such a place on the other side of the County tucked away on top of the Holm valley near Huddersfield.

But this chap had. "Oh, that wasn't me," he said. "That will have been my dad. We did look very much alike. He is dead now, but he went to school in Upperthong, a little village school on top of the valley near some stables. He lived in Upperthong all his life."

A few things struck about this one. The first was my father in-law simply approaching the chap and almost demanding to know why he had appeared to him; the second was the man's matter-of-fact reaction to the question as if he always got asked that; the third was my father had made a point of looking at the old school that Christmas Eve this and the fact that his father was from Upperthong just made it so very spooky.

Michael Foote, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
00:00 / 01:04
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