Today a work colleague shared a spooky experience he had in Crewe, in October 1968.
He had just walked a young lady home who had to be in for 10pm. This is important, because the couple were young enough not to be getting drunk!
So after delivering her safely to her door he set off home along Rigby Avenue and suddenly heard a church-type bell ringing the hour. Ah, he thought, only just ten o'clock! Her Dad must be pleased!
However, there's no church clock nearby and the local town clock, Big Bill, does the introductory chiming thing before giving the time. When that occurred to him he was looking down and noticed that the road was now a dirt track. He looked up and saw a man approaching, in full Royalist rig - tall hat, ruff etc. As he gaped in shock, the man, who was ignoring him, crossed the road and walked through a tall hedge. Everything then reverted to normal and my friend wandered home in shock.
He told us another story too. Back in the '70s when he was a railway guard, he was sitting at a ta able on a train chatting to a train driver called Edgar. Then suddenly Edgar was gone, vanished. My friend was a little puzzled but thought perhaps Edgar'd popped to the bog without him noticing. Then Edgar was back, just as abruptly.
My friend asked 'Where did you go to?' but Edgar said he'd been there all along.
Shortly afterwards, say a week or two, Edgar was accidentally run down and killed by a train while crossing tracks.
This is rare, but it happens when railway staff aren't on their guard. There was no suggestion of suicide.
And, AND, another colleague told us about The Noises From The Wall.
There are tunnels under Crewe Station which were used by the Post Office for moving wagons with sacks of mail between platforms. (I did that work and it was very physical and strenuous!)
These days some of the old GPO tunnels have been converted for use as passenger walkways, and very smart they are too.
One is thoughtfully preserved in its original condition - peeling ancient paint on bare brickwork, crumbly concrete floor, buzzing overhead lights, ferns growing out of walls, water dripping, rumbling of trains overhead, etc - as a staff-only passage. Possibly the most Gothic place in Crewe.
When the tunnels were being tidied up and incorporated into the new station entrance, a brick wall at one end had to be taken down and the ground behind it excavated. The workmen set onto it heard weird noises all the time they were there, like moaning and groaning, maybe a bit of screaming. It rattled them enough for some to walk off the job and they still won't walk through there.
Most excitingly, I'm told that a recording of the sounds exists, and is available on YouTube!
It does sound almost human. But the regularity and consistency of the sound leads me to think that it's something to do with the structure of the tunnel and the (apparent) flooding. I'm going to suggest that it's a siphoning effect, with water draining away and air coming out of a pipe.