Police Story

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#1
Now this didn't actually happen to me, but my Uncle. I've been a bit of a lurker here, but heard this great story at the weekend, and thought you might be interested to hear it. So here it is posted with my Uncle's permission (albeit with names removed).

My Uncle was a Special Constable (volunteer policeman) for most of the '90s, and this happened in 1995. Him and his partner received a call to a quiet, middle class housing scheme of modern (1970s built) houses. It was early summer and late in the afternoon so still daylight. The report was that a woman had been found dead in her home; it's common in Scotland that the police are called to all "unexplained" deaths and will make a report on the death. Only a tiny fraction of these deaths become classified as "suspicious" and merit any further police investigation.

On arriving at the house they met the paramedics who were just getting ready to leave. The paramedics told my uncle and his partner that the death was of a 62 year old woman, who was found dead in the upstairs bedroom. The paramedics thought that it had been some form of embolism or haemorrhage but that the duty doctor had been called to formally confirm death. The paramedics told my Uncle and his partner that the family were downstairs in the lounge, and now that my Uncle and his partner had arrived they would go.

My Uncle and his partner then went into the house, which my uncle described as a normal semi detached suburban home. They went and spoke to the family and established that the woman lived alone (her two sons were grown up but lived nearby) and had been due to return from holiday late the previous night. Both her sons and her neice (who my Uncle thought looked about 17/18) had called the woman a number of times during the day, and having had no answer had gone round that afternoon and let themselves in. They had discovered the woman dead and phoned the ambulance.

My Uncle's partner stayed downstairs with the family, while my Uncle went upstairs to investigate the scene further. There were three bedrooms upstairs, the first had the door open and contained nothing of much interest. My Uncle noted that the house was very clean and well maintained; the woman was obviously houseproud. He then opened the door to the smallest bedroom, inside were two packed suitcases. He assumed that the woman arrived home late the previous night and left the suitcases in the spare bedroom intending to unpack them the next day.

Leaving the spare room he was startled to see a woman standing by the (closed) master bedroom door on the other side of the landing looking at him. He described the woman as older, grey haired, tall and well dressed in a grey wool jacket and skirt. She was looking at him with an expression of confusion on her face. My Uncle didn't think anyone else was up the stairs and was initially startled but naturally assumed this was a relative. He said something along the lines of "Sorry to have disturbed you, I didn't realise there was anyone else up here". The woman continued to look at him with a confused expression, but he assumed that as a relative she would naturally be confused by a sudden death. At that point the doorbell wrang and assuming (correctly) it was the duty doctor he said "I'll have to go get that", the woman continued to look at him but slowly nodded.

My Uncle answered the door to the duty doctor (a young man he has met before), after bringing him into the lounge for introductions he took him upstairs to the master bedroom while the partner continued to wait with the family downstairs. As my Uncle went up the stairs with the doctor he noted that the landing was now empty and assumed that the woman must have gone downstairs. Upon entering the master bedroom, however, he was shocked to see that the dead woman in the bed was the same woman he had just seen on the landing! Fortunately he was standing behind the doctor who didn't see the look of shock on his face.

While the doctor was doing the examination he managed to compose himself and told himself that they couldn't possibly be the same woman and that he must have seen a sister or a cousin who bore a strong resemblance.

The doctor officially pronounced death, and stated that it did indeed seem to be a haemorrhage or embolism, but this would be cofirmed by an autopsy. They then both went downstairs and the doctor discussed the arrangements for the body being collected before leaving.

My Uncle didn't see anyone in the lounge who looked like the woman he saw on the landing and asked the family where the older woman that was upstairs was. The family looked confused and said that there was no older woman there and that none of the friends or family had been upstairs since the police arrived. Very shocked, but with nothing else to do, my Uncle then left with his partner.

In the car my Uncle's partner asked why he had been asking about an older woman -reluctantly my Uncle explained. His partner at this time was an older, very serious, career officer and he expected to be the butt of every joke in the station for weeks to come. The partner though just slowly nodded his head and said "Aye, you see some weird sh*t in this job". He never mentioned it again to my Uncle or (to the best of his knowledge) anybody else.

After this story I asked my Uncle what had happened afterwards. He said that the autopsy has confirmed the woman died of natural causes and that their police report simply stated that there appeared to be no signs of any disturbance, and no evidence that anyone else had been present at the time of death.

I've tried to summarise my Uncle's story here. I did ask him more about his sighting of the woman and he said that she just seemed like a "normal" person - she wasn't transparent or blurry or anything and he felt no cold spots or feeling of unease.
 
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#2
Great story. And welcome, ScottishAndy. I've often thought that there must be a rich vein of police related stories out there to be mined - all those dark nights on patrol, the odd dead body, and a fair dollop of weird people to deal with.

Edit: The most obvious one I can think of is related to the Stocksbridge bypass haunting. There must be loads more.
 

AnonyJoolz

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#4
Hello ScottishAndy, and welcome! What a corker of a story to introduce yourself with - thank you for posting it and sharing.

A friend I had years ago, who I was close to at the time, was relating to me a similar experience (which, thinking about it would also have been around 1995-7 ish). Her uncle was in the local hospital after his wife had just died there, and took some time out in the hospital chapel whilst awaiting paperwork to be completed. He looked to his side and he saw his wife sitting next to him, with a quizzical look on her face. He was overjoyed and yet utterly perplexed, his brain trying to make sense of it. After about 20-30 seconds or so he closed his eyes momentarily and then she was gone. He reported she looked 'solid' and real, dressed in the clothes she'd worn to the hospital.

He told some of his family about it and most of them tried to blame his experience on distress, stress, grief. Luckily my friend didn't try to explain it away to her uncle and just told him she thought it was lovely he saw her aunt alive for one last time.
 
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#5
ScottishAndy, thanks for your uncle's story. You told it very well. It was so matter-of-fact, which somehow made the chill go down my spine more effectively!

And AnonyJoolz, I love your story, too. It's bittersweet and touching. I imagine your friend's uncle, as time went by, being very grateful for those special 20 to 30 seconds.
 

Comfortably Numb

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#6
Now this didn't actually happen to me, but my Uncle. I've been a bit of a lurker here, but heard this great story at the weekend, and thought you might be interested to hear it. So here it is posted with my Uncle's permission (albeit with names removed).
Superbly articulated and noted you posted same with permission.

So... that's one helluva ghost story then... and took quite some considered time to write.

Magnificent, in my humble opinion, because I'm from Glasgow and absolutely get the... 'presence' portrayed, if that makes sense...?

Aside for now (no way, we done with this yet!)

Fàilte Ceud mìle fàilte..

201958_64134503_compress85.jpg
 

Zeke Newbold

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#7
Yes, superb first post!

Unless (no offence) your uncle was telling tal tales, then it's difficult to arrive at a mundane explanation for this one - and I invite our resident skeptics to have a go.

`Ghost` though? I am struck by the fact that the appartion was fully dressed - to the point where the witness could provide details as to the clothing. Now if `ghosts` are disembodied spirits then one might well expect them to appear in a more ethereal form - swirling mists and orbs and that sort of thing. (The usual answer to this is that the deceased wishes to observe the proprieties and the `spirirt world` duly arranges for them to do so. Nobody wants to see Auntie Blenkinsop in her birthday suit - so she appears to her nearest and dearest in her usual tweed twinset and pearls. That explanation would hardly apply here however - as your uncle was no relation to the dead woman - and in fact assumed that she was a flesh and blood person on seeing her).

Something like a timeslip is suggested. Perhaps on the day before her death, the woman was standing at her door wondering why a copper was walking around in her house.

Then there's always paralell universes (although I've got a real downwer on this overused catch-all hypothesis). So there's a world where the poor woman didn't die right then - and it somehow intertwined with the world where she did.

Plenty to chew over here - but is anyone going to have a go at a `rational` explanation (an unknown twin sister who brolke into the house and then scarpered?)
 

Yithian

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#8
Now this didn't actually happen to me, but my Uncle. I've been a bit of a lurker here, but heard this great story at the weekend, and thought you might be interested to hear it. So here it is posted with my Uncle's permission (albeit with names removed).

My Uncle was a Special Constable (volunteer policeman) for most of the '90s, and this happened in 1995. Him and his partner received a call to a quiet, middle class housing scheme of modern (1970s built) houses. It was early summer and late in the afternoon so still daylight. The report was that a woman had been found dead in her home; it's common in Scotland that the police are called to all "unexplained" deaths and will make a report on the death. Only a tiny fraction of these deaths become classified as "suspicious" and merit any further police investigation.

On arriving at the house they met the paramedics who were just getting ready to leave. The paramedics told my uncle and his partner that the death was of a 62 year old woman, who was found dead in the upstairs bedroom. The paramedics thought that it had been some form of embolism or haemorrhage but that the duty doctor had been called to formally confirm death. The paramedics told my Uncle and his partner that the family were downstairs in the lounge, and now that my Uncle and his partner had arrived they would go.

My Uncle and his partner then went into the house, which my uncle described as a normal semi detached suburban home. They went and spoke to the family and established that the woman lived alone (her two sons were grown up but lived nearby) and had been due to return from holiday late the previous night. Both her sons and her neice (who my Uncle thought looked about 17/18) had called the woman a number of times during the day, and having had no answer had gone round that afternoon and let themselves in. They had discovered the woman dead and phoned the ambulance.

My Uncle's partner stayed downstairs with the family, while my Uncle went upstairs to investigate the scene further. There were three bedrooms upstairs, the first had the door open and contained nothing of much interest. My Uncle noted that the house was very clean and well maintained; the woman was obviously houseproud. He then opened the door to the smallest bedroom, inside were two packed suitcases. He assumed that the woman arrived home late the previous night and left the suitcases in the spare bedroom intending to unpack them the next day.

Leaving the spare room he was startled to see a woman standing by the (closed) master bedroom door on the other side of the landing looking at him. He described the woman as older, grey haired, tall and well dressed in a grey wool jacket and skirt. She was looking at him with an expression of confusion on her face. My Uncle didn't think anyone else was up the stairs and was initially startled but naturally assumed this was a relative. He said something along the lines of "Sorry to have disturbed you, I didn't realise there was anyone else up here". The woman continued to look at him with a confused expression, but he assumed that as a relative she would naturally be confused by a sudden death. At that point the doorbell wrang and assuming (correctly) it was the duty doctor he said "I'll have to go get that", the woman continued to look at him but slowly nodded.

My Uncle answered the door to the duty doctor (a young man he has met before), after bringing him into the lounge for introductions he took him upstairs to the master bedroom while the partner continued to wait with the family downstairs. As my Uncle went up the stairs with the doctor he noted that the landing was now empty and assumed that the woman must have gone downstairs. Upon entering the master bedroom, however, he was shocked to see that the dead woman in the bed was the same woman he had just seen on the landing! Fortunately he was standing behind the doctor who didn't see the look of shock on his face.

While the doctor was doing the examination he managed to compose himself and told himself that they couldn't possibly be the same woman and that he must have seen a sister or a cousin who bore a strong resemblance.

The doctor officially pronounced death, and stated that it did indeed seem to be a haemorrhage or embolism, but this would be cofirmed by an autopsy. They then both went downstairs and the doctor discussed the arrangements for the body being collected before leaving.

My Uncle didn't see anyone in the lounge who looked like the woman he saw on the landing and asked the family where the older woman that was upstairs was. The family looked confused and said that there was no older woman there and that none of the friends or family had been upstairs since the police arrived. Very shocked, but with nothing else to do, my Uncle then left with his partner.

In the car my Uncle's partner asked why he had been asking about an older woman -reluctantly my Uncle explained. His partner at this time was an older, very serious, career officer and he expected to be the butt of every joke in the station for weeks to come. The partner though just slowly nodded his head and said "Aye, you see some weird sh*t in this job". He never mentioned it again to my Uncle or (to the best of his knowledge) anybody else.

After this story I asked my Uncle what had happened afterwards. He said that the autopsy has confirmed the woman died of natural causes and that their police report simply stated that there appeared to be no signs of any disturbance, and no evidence that anyone else had been present at the time of death.

I've tried to summarise my Uncle's story here. I did ask him more about his sighting of the woman and he said that she just seemed like a "normal" person - she wasn't transparent or blurry or anything and he felt no cold spots or feeling of unease.
A very interesting story well told (you uncle has an admirable eye for detail).

For me, the most interesting fact is that the figure nodded in response to your uncle's explanation.
That suggests a consciousness of surroundings, aural capacity (or lip-reading skills!) and an understanding of cause and effect--all of which point at sentience.

If the nod really occurred (caveat: people have a tendency to retro-fit memories to support conclusions or facts that subsequently transpire), it would be evidence against (but wouldn't rule out) the 'trick of the light meets current mental concern' experience that many have had. Such experiences also tend to be fleeting as the mind catches up and reinterprets the stimulus or the stimulus itself changes.

I will, however, be moving this story from It Happened To Me to the Ghosts section as IHTM is strictly reserved for first-hand accounts by posters that may be further questioned.
 
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maximus otter

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#9
An excellent account by ScottishAndy. Welcome on board.

Regrettably, I can't recall a single supernatural incident that occurred during my service (1974-2004), either to me or to a colleague.

We saw plenty of strange stuff, no doubt, much of it related to either death or sex (or both...), but nothing truly woo.

As we're on police stories related to death, I'll give you one that happened to me:

I was called to an address in Bigtown. The message I received was an all too familiar one: "Elderly infirm man, not seen for several weeks. Welfare check."

I arrived at the address, a flat in a decent block. From memory the letter box was stuffed with mail. I will have performed the usual simple checks that experienced officers make when attending this type of call: Sniff at the letter box, then examine any visible internal window sills. If you smell Febreze and see no deposits, that's a good sign. If you smell "fridge full of tripe after the power went off for a week in mid-summer", and the ledges are black with drifts of dead flies, not so much.

The smell was a 5 on my patent scale, where 1 = Scarlett Johansson's hair on a Spring morning, and 10 = a fresh gust from Satan's fundament after a night on Guinness and egg curry. A few dried fly corpses. It wasn't looking good.

After several attempts I managed to effect entry. The fact that the occupier hadn't been alerted by splintering wood and my sotto voce grumbles was not an encouraging sign.

If I remember correctly, the power was off, so I had to search the flat by torchlight. Darkness, and the knowledge of what I was expecting to find, were not boosting my mood.

I finally nerved myself to search the bedroom. I opened the door, calling out that I was a police officer. No response.

There he was, stiff and stark on the bed in the semi-darkness, displaying the typical "tallow and slate" colouration of the dead. Fuck: more paperwork. I approached to make a cursory inspection confirming death. In the beam from my 4-cell Maglite he wasn't a pretty sight.

I leaned over him and reached out to check for a carotid pulse...

... and he sprang bolt upright in the bed, shrieking in my face.

Dear Reader, I nearly fudged my frillies.

Images from Tom and Jerry cartoons, where Tom ends up hanging from the ceiling by his claws, would give you an approximation of how I reacted.

Long story short: He was diabetic and had gone into a hypoglycaemic coma, from which I had the...privilege...of awakening him. As far as I remember, he survived.

Impressing even myself, I did not return surreptitiously and strangle the old bastard for what he'd done to my blood pressure.

maximus otter
 
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#10
Thanks guys, very kind words I'll pass them on. My Uncle is very "matter of fact" and the story was told to me that way, so I'm glad that came across.

Comfortably numb: yes, I think if you're from Glasgow you would very easily be able to picture exactly the kind of house and person.

For what it's worth personally I think something did happen to him that day (he's about the least likely person to make something up) I have two theories of my own about what might have happened:

1) The situation at the time caused him to think he saw something. In the years since the brain has tried to (unconsciously) fill in the gaps. This is now what he genuinely remembers happening, even if it didn't actually happen quite like this.

2) The woman had yet to "pass over" and was still present in the house wondering why the police were there. I suppose what confuses me about this though, is why she only apparently appeared to one completely unrelated person for a brief period of time.
 

IbisNibs

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#12
Last night I read this thread and today I heard this news story on the radio (NPR), a coincidence worthy of the "Minor Strangeness" thread.
Here are the details of the story that made me want to share them on this thread:

A man was visiting NY with his 2 year old daughter, Greta, when she was killed in a freak accident. He was so devastated, he couldn't comprehend how he could go on living. Then one day he "had to get out of the house. He went for a run, and as he entered a nearby park, something happened that even now he cannot really explain: He saw Greta.

'She stepped out from behind a tree,' he says, 'and I was deeply aware that no one else could see her but me, but yet I ran over to her because it was so overwhelmingly real, and I picked her up, and she told me to go for my run. And so I ran into the park and tears were just coming down my face, and I got to the edge of the park, and that is where I wrote down this sentence: There will be more light upon this earth for me.'
 

Yithian

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#13
An excellent account by ScottishAndy. Welcome on board.

Regrettably, I can't recall a single supernatural incident that occurred during my service (1974-2004), either to me or to a colleague.

We saw plenty of strange stuff, no doubt, much of it related to either death or sex (or both...), but nothing truly woo.

As we're on police stories related to death, I'll give you one that happened to me:

I was called to an address in Bigtown. The message I received was an all too familiar one: "Elderly infirm man, not seen for several weeks. Welfare check."

I arrived at the address, a flat in a decent block. From memory the letter box was stuffed with mail. I will have performed the usual simple checks that experienced officers make when attending this type of call: Sniff at the letter box, then examine any visible internal window sills. If you smell Febreze and see no deposits, that's a good sign. If you smell "fridge full of tripe after the power went off for a week in mid-summer", and the ledges are black with drifts of dead flies, not so much.

The smell was a 5 on my patent scale, where 1 = Scarlett Johansson's hair on a Spring morning, and 10 = a fresh gust from Satan's fundament after a night on Guinness and egg curry. A few dried fly corpses. It wasn't looking good.

After several attempts I managed to effect entry. The fact that the occupier hadn't been alerted by splintering wood and my sotto voce grumbles was not an encouraging sign.

If I remember correctly, the power was off, so I had to search the flat by torchlight. Darkness, and the knowledge of what I was expecting to find, were not boosting my mood.

I finally nerved myself to search the bedroom. I opened the door, calling out that I was a police officer. No response.

There he was, stiff and stark on the bed in the semi-darkness, displaying the typical "tallow and slate" colouration of the dead. Fuck: more paperwork. I approached to make a cursory inspection confirming death. In the beam from my 4-cell Maglite he wasn't a pretty sight.

I leaned over him and reached out to check for a carotid pulse...

... and he sprang bolt upright in the bed, shrieking in my face.

Dear Reader, I nearly fudged my frillies.

Images from Tom and Jerry cartoons, where Tom ends up hanging from the ceiling by his claws, would give you an approximation of how I reacted.

Long story short: He was diabetic and had gone into a hypoglycaemic coma, from which I had the...privilege...of awakening him. As far as I remember, he survived.

Impressing even myself, I did not return surreptitiously and strangle the old bastard for what he'd done to my blood pressure.

maximus otter
Bonus LIKE for the use of sotto voce.

At least half the time, it seems, reading that word suggests that the writer is a fellow John le Carré reader.
 
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#15
This thread has reminded me of a book that's been sitting on my 'Mmm, possibly' Kindle wishlist for a while: Credible Witness: Paranormal Police Stories by Andy Gilbert. As I was off for one of my very rare doctors appointments this morning, knew I'd probably be sitting around for a while, and it's cheap as chips up the Amazon, I thought I'd indulge.

I've only dipped into some of the witness acounts, but so far, this actually looks quite good. Police stories going back to the 1950's, possibly weighted towards the West Midlands by the look of it (maybe that's where the author - a peeler himself - was based).

Like many books of this kind, the stories I've read leave you wishing there was just a little bit more, but are still satisfying, and have the ring of genuine experience about them.

There is a lot of dross in the allegedly true ghost story genre - a fact I'm sure everybody here is already aware of - but this looks like a good one so far.
 
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#16
I've always thought that security guards must be another great source for stories of the uncanny - and, by coincidence, one of the first stories in the book - told in the prologue - regards the author responding to an apparent break-in at a newly built, and as yet unoccupied, retirement home complex.

The guard had first experienced the lights going on and off continuously. Okay, you might say, electrical faults in a new installation, maybe unfinished and not yet signed off.

But dodgy wiring wouldn't then explain the elderly couple the lone security guard had then witnessed ballroom dancing in the communal sitting room.

Yep - that would put the wind up. Right up, in fact.
 

Shady

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#18
I am losing it, i cannot remember posting the post above
 

Shady

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#20
I just come home from work, not tired yet
 
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#21
This thread has reminded me of a book that's been sitting on my 'Mmm, possibly' Kindle wishlist for a while: Credible Witness: Paranormal Police Stories by Andy Gilbert. As I was off for one of my very rare doctors appointments this morning, knew I'd probably be sitting around for a while, and it's cheap as chips up the Amazon, I thought I'd indulge...
Finished this in a couple of gulps yesterday. It's not long (unfortunately), but the stories are really rather good, well written, and all (mmm, apart from maybe one) have the immediate ring of real experience.

The book is well organised, being split into sections: Foot Patrol; Mobile Patrol; Incidents Attended etc. I found the Haunted Stations chapter particularly atmospheric - you get a real sense of place, and what it was like to be alone overnight in one of those old Victorian/Edwardian blocks.

Gets a thumbs up from me. It's only around 95 pages long - I'm hoping it'll be an ongoing project for Mr Gilbert.
 

titch

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#23
Finished this in a couple of gulps yesterday. It's not long (unfortunately), but the stories are really rather good, well written, and all (mmm, apart from maybe one) have the immediate ring of real experience.

The book is well organised, being split into sections: Foot Patrol; Mobile Patrol; Incidents Attended etc. I found the Haunted Stations chapter particularly atmospheric - you get a real sense of place, and what it was like to be alone overnight in one of those old Victorian/Edwardian blocks.

Gets a thumbs up from me. It's only around 95 pages long - I'm hoping it'll be an ongoing project for Mr Gilbert.
On that recommendation I have ordered it (proper book though , stuff yer bloody kindle)
 

Shady

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#24
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