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Sprinting Spooks? (Swift-Running Ghosts / Entities / Figures)

Spookdaddy

Cuckoo
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Location
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One of the TV reports I saw concerning the Stocksbridge bypass ghost, sometime in the late 90’s, contained the evidence of a witness who claimed that they had seen a ghostly figure running towards their vehicle at an impossibly high speed. Originally I put the element of exaggerated pace down to a one-off whim of the cosmic joker, bored with his/her usual repertoire of white sheets, clanking chains and mournful screeching. However flicking through a copy of Fortean Times I found another report of a strange figure running at an unfeasibly rapid rate witnessed somewhere in the Lammermuir area of Scotland.

I’ve always loved these kind of unclassifiable reports. Or at least if not unclassifiable, reports in which a new and seemingly incongruous element is attached to a phenomenon in which all the other ingredients are relatively familiar.

Does anyone know of any other similar sightings? And can anyone tell me in which FT I saw the report from Scotland as I can’t seem to find it now? (It's at least a couple of years old I think)
 
Spook said:
I’ve always loved these kind of unclassifiable reports. Or at least if not unclassifiable, reports in which a new and seemingly incongruous element is attached to a phenomenon in which all the other ingredients are relatively familiar.
Same here. The more difficult to classify, or the more quirkiness about it, the more fascinating it is for me.
 
I was sure I'd read or heard of similar phenomena to the couple I originally mentioned way back in 2003 but judging by the ensuing deafening silence I then assumed I must be wrong.

However, if you look at this site and scroll down to Site 12 you'll find mention of a "disproportionate, fast moving figure - said to exude 'evil' presence - witnessed by four friends in March 1999." As I said this kind of story fascinates me because it takes something strange and then adds another layer of strangeness to it, creating something that is kind of uberstrange. Ghosts I can deal with - running ghosts are just too weird. I mean why do the dead have to run anywhere - its not as if they're short of time.

I’m almost positive there are more reports of this strange little sub-phenomenon out there.
 
Vaguely relevant may be the silver-suited humanoid spotted by Police officer Jeff Greenshaw in Alabama in 1973 which outran his patrol car when he gave chase. Common consensus seems to be that it was merely a practical joker dressed in tinfoil - all I can say is that must have been one slow cop car!
 
More Sprinting Spooks!

Hiya all,

Spook has asked me to share a few details with you re. a case I've been working on for a while now.....

During the late 90's, a group of people had a rather bizarre experience with a 'fast moving' apparition in Norton Canes, South Staffordshire. They were returning home along a fairly secluded country lane - during the early hours of the morning - when they claim to have been 'chased' at high speed by a disproportionately large, black clad figure.

They described the figure as moving much faster than anyone could physically travel unaided, covering the distance between itself and the group - at least 200 yards - in a matter of seconds.

Peculiarly, while the figure appeared to be moving it's arms in a running motion, there was no other indication that it was actually running; it did not 'bob' as it moved and it appeared to 'glide' smoothly over the road surface. Another peculiar aspect of the experience was that it appeared to have a mass of long hair blowing out to one side of the figure, as if in a strong wind.

It's movements were described as 'angry'. The witness had considerable problem putting this particular aspect of her description into words and could only draw a comparison by refering to the CGI type effects seen in fight scenes in films like 'Blade', etc.

Just as a matter of interest, I did actually witness (what appeared to be) a male figure sprinting at incredible speed on Cannock Chase one night many years ago. I'm not saying that this was anything paranormal, but (cutting a long story short) we had cause to chase this figure in a car and it easily out ran us, despite our driver 'putting his foot down'!!

Strangely, the only thing I can recall about this figure was the fact that it appeared to be wearing one of those horrible brown rally jackets - the ones with a John Players Special patch on the sleeve or pocket - that were somewhat 'trendy' in the late 70's / early 80's..... (Well, I say 'trendy' - but I had one, so they probably weren't really!?!?)

All the best,

Nick Duffy
West Midlands Ghost Club
www.cyberpunks.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
 
Duffy said:
It's movements were described as 'angry'.

There was a TV interview with a couple who had witnessed a strange running figure on the Stocksbridge bypass in the early 90’s. If I recall the interview correctly "angry" is exactly the word one of the witnesses used to describe the figure. They had first noticed it in a field at the side of the road, running in a disjointed manner on a course which would have brought it crashing into their car - I seem to recall it disappeared at the point it should have made contact. David Clarke mentions the incident in his book Supernatural Peak District, there is also a mention here.

There were quite a few dramatic occurences associated with the bypass, but for my money the most frightening were those that occurred to two security guards, and later two policemen, while the road was being constructed in the late 80’s. These are well documented and its worth digging out David Clarke’s book or having a quick trawl of the net to see if you can find them. Talking of movement at high speed the following is lifted from the book, part of the sequence of events experienced by two coppers who had been detailed to watch the bridge after reports of strange disturbances from two very scared secuity guards -

“Suddenly I had a peculiar feeling - not like I’ve ever had before, because we have been working nights for a long time…What was so odd was I went cold without knowing what was the matter. Then a few seconds after I had another feeling that someone was stood at the side of me and I turned my head slowly and could see that there was something stood by the side of the car. But as I turned quickly there was nothing there. And at that very moment John let out such a scream and hit me with his arm and I looked around and could see there was someone stood next to the car!”

PC Ellis said all he saw was the torso of a man pressed up against the passenger window, but his colleague…was able to describe the figure in more detail.

“It virtually went from my side of the car to Dick’s in an instant. As Dick was looking out of his window I was just gazing up the banking, and I just turned to Dick and shouted and there was this chap just stood there, next to the car…”

Still gives me the shivers.
 
One of the city parks in Lincoln, Nebraska also has a
ghostly form that is seen crossing the grassy lawns at a high
rate of speed. IIRC this has been witnessed repeatedly for
at least a hundred years.

I lived near that park at one time so I very eagerly read the
accounts in "The Ghosts of Lincoln", a locally published
book with many fascinating stories. (Including the Wesleyan
University time-slip story!)

TVgeek
 
Re: More Sprinting Spooks!

Duffy said:
It's movements were described as 'angry'. The witness had considerable problem putting this particular aspect of her description into words and could only draw a comparison by refering to the CGI type effects seen in fight scenes in films like 'Blade', etc.
So the figure wasn't moving in real-time but more like a cartoon or digital image?
 
Here's the description of the movements of an entity called a Window Peeper or Yneep Yneep:
A point of information here about their out of sync with time movements only recently have I been able to see something that I can compare their movements and speed to.
It is computer generated images how they though excellently blended with live action move to fast for the actions of the scene about them.
They move as if gravity inertia and air mass has no effect on them.
Before it is said, or sent to me in a letter, no I do not believe they are holographs or computer generated images.
I know they are real and quite physical, I only say this so that those that have never seen them in real life can get an idea of their way of moving.
The movement of the hated Jaja Binks in the latest Star Wars movie or that monkey thing in the Lost In Space movie both are perfect examples of what I mean.
It falls too hard and moves too fast in too short a time than do the real time characters.
The Window Peepers actions are very similar to that.
In only a few steps they can cross a room and be upon you though their legs are shorter than yours.
I know for I have had at time tried to escape them to no avail.
Source: http://templeoftheinfidel.com/Attack.html

Duffy's post I quoted above and the page I just quoted from are the only two times I came across a description of an entity whose movements were compared to those of CGIs and described as impossibly fast.
 
It's intriguing that the Stockbridge apparation was linked to UFO sightings in the area. There seem to be a handful of cases which - depending on the prejudices of the original witness and of subsequent researchers - might equally well be described as road ghosts or as UFO entities. It's as if the entities themselves are as formless as Rorschach inkblots: to one person they might look like a glowing white monk, while another would look at the same apparition and see a silver-suited humanoid.

For examples from the UFO literature of road-ghost-like entities, see the cases of Hideichi Amano (entity appears by side of car) Dewayne Donathan (silvery entities appear in road) and - less ambivalently -Joyce Bowles (entity appears by the side of car, later followed by a dream-like abduction experience).
 
graylien said:
Vaguely relevant may be the silver-suited humanoid spotted by Police officer Jeff Greenshaw in Alabama in 1973 which outran his patrol car when he gave chase. Common consensus seems to be that it was merely a practical joker dressed in tinfoil - all I can say is that must have been one slow cop car!

A friend's father claimed to have seen something similar in the early 1990s in the High Peak area of England. The rural area is bit of a hotspot for UFO activity. He's a fairly straight-up, conservative guy and not given to flights of fancy. He told his family about it once, when the incident happened, and won't talk about it now.
 
Spookdaddy said:
However flicking through a copy of Fortean Times I found another report of a strange figure running at an unfeasibly rapid rate witnessed somewhere in the Lammermuir area of Scotland.

And can anyone tell me in which FT I saw the report from Scotland as I can’t seem to find it now? (It's at least a couple of years old I think)

I remember that little snippet, just a paragraph, but it chilled me at the time, and still does now, for some unknown reason. Out of all the years I have been reading FT, it's probably the most memorable (and disturbing) thing I have read. (Closely followed by the tiny paragraph about the lost child in the woods kept company by the family dog, which barked at a glowing thing that settled in a nearby tree)
Strange the things that strike a chord,innit?
 
It has been long speculated that pedestrians, vehicles and even animals regularly traversing a given stretch of roadway may create some type of "track-memory," akin to the Scandinavian vardoger, which can by some presently-unknown method be afterwards "played back" as a "road ghost." [This has also been suggested as a possible explanation for ghost ships.]

If the above has any validity, need those recordings be always played back in real time? Mightn't they at least sometimes be played back fast?
 
LordRsmacker said:
Spookdaddy said:
However flicking through a copy of Fortean Times I found another report of a strange figure running at an unfeasibly rapid rate witnessed somewhere in the Lammermuir area of Scotland....

I remember that little snippet, just a paragraph, but it chilled me at the time, and still does now, for some unknown reason. Out of all the years I have been reading FT, it's probably the most memorable (and disturbing) thing I have read.

Yes. And I still can't find the original story. I know I've still got it - I just can't find it. Very frustrating.
 
Found it! How bizarre is that? I must have looked for this story three or four times without success but today I got it almost straight away. I just love it when that happens.

From FT 86 May 1996 -

David Coleman was driving down a country lane in West Lothian, Scotland, with his wife and three children when he saw what appeared to be a distinctly humanoid figure running down a forest path at what seemed like 70mph. This encounter with the “Quickfoot” happened in the Bathgate Hills, in an area known as Knock Forest.

When the mysterious fleet of foot creature realised that it was being observed, it turned on Coleman and his family and snarled. “It was about six feet tall with a human-like face,” he said, “and it seemed angry that we had disturbed it.

“My wife said, ‘Did you see what I saw?” The date of the event is not given, but Mr Coleman admitted to his interviewer: “It has taken me a long time to speak about this.”

Not sure where I got Lammermuir Hills from. The story is lifted from The People, 12 November 1995. Theres the obvious speed related connection, but I'd completely forgotten the "angry" element which also ties in with some of the other stories mentioned.
 
Re: the Stocksbridge incident with the 2 policemen in the car, need that have been the same thing moving from one side of the car to the other... I mean, could there have been two, uh, things there? One on either side, and they both disappeared within a second or two of each other?
 
HenryFort said:
Re: the Stocksbridge incident with the 2 policemen in the car, need that have been the same thing moving from one side of the car to the other... I mean, could there have been two, uh, things there? One on either side, and they both disappeared within a second or two of each other?

Could be. But one of the witnesses does specifically mention the impression of rapid movement. Although I suppose that could be a misunderstanding created by the sudden appearance of a second figure.

There's a somewhat more padded account of the Knock Forest sighting here although there's no source given which might explain the slightly better detail.
 
I've just noticed the following, in amarok2005's first posting on the Outlining "Things" thread -

Phenomena: Cold presence; “hand” touching daughter Ada (Lucille’s mother) on cheek; “stuck” double doors on house open by themselves several times; heavy footsteps on porch.
Oddities: Fuzzy, humanoid blob of light runs after witnesses (Ada and sister) with superhuman speed. Later coalesces into a boy with oversized boots and no head before oldest daughter Bertha – and runs at her inhumanly fast. At a large gathering (choir practice), as many as thirty people see the headless boy enter the house and “waft” up the stairs (“not walking, simply moving soundlessly”).

As I've said before, I find this little sub-genre of spook-related activity fascinating, not to mention truly bizarre, but I was beginning to wonder if instances of it were so rare that it hardly constituted one. Seems there are more examples out there to be tripped over
 
Hi,

Regarding the initial post that started this thred; for reports of running figures, I was sure that there was one that I could almost recall from the back of my mind.
Finally, I remembered the story of the two brothers travelling along the A75 Dumfries to Annan road, that I first read about in one of the "Weekend" books of ghosts. The account in the book was very complete, but all I've been able to find on the web is the following:

1962
Derek and Norman Ferguson were driving along the A75 near Kinmount, around midnight, when a large hen flew towards their window screen, but vanished on the point of impact. The hen was followed by an old lady who ran towards the car waving her outstretched arms. She was followed by a screaming man with long hair and further animals, including 'great cats, wild dogs, goats, more hens and other fowl, and stranger creatures', who all disappeared. The temperature then dropped, and when the brothers stopped the car, it began to sway violently back and forth. Derek got out of the car and the movement stopped. He climbed back in and then, finally, a vision of a furniture van came towards them before disappearing.


(Taken from an article on this site).

The only thing that I would add to the above is that according to the first account I read, the figure of the man ran after the car and pursued them down the road, and the furniture van was in front of the brothers on the road (they could see it's tail-lights), but when the one who was driving tried to slow down or stop he couldn't. The vehicle disappeared just before they hit it.

The A75 was named as the most haunted stretch of road in the UK in a survey a while ago. But the stretch of road that won this accolade is the one from Annan to Gretna - not the stretch that the Furgusons (more likely Fergusons) were on.

The other ghost that the request above brought to mind is the 'Big Grey Man' of Beinn MacDhui in the Cairngorms. That involves people who have experienced the phenomena feeling threatened, being pursued, and seeing (or imagining they're seeing) an oversized figure that runs at them. I'm fairly sure (though I can't find a website to confirm it) that one person who claimed to see the figure was Dr A.M.Kellas (on a side note: did he give his name to the Kellas cat of the Cairngorms?) who along with his brother said that, while travelling in a pony and trap, they were pursued by a running figure on the lower slopes of the mountain,

Don't know if the above two cases fit your criteria, but I thought that they might add to the debate.

CAL.
 
FT readers may recall a recent(ish) account of young people in a car in rural Ireland being pursued by a tall Pan-like entity that kept pace with the vehicle at the other side of the hedge before veering away.
 
Just found this little doc on the subject of he Stocksbridge by-pass incidents on YouTube.

I hadn't seen it before, although I was aware of the incidents related by Dick Ellis, who I have to say makes a very convincing witness (as, it's fair to say, do all the other witnesses in this particular programme).

Apart from the apparently impossible rapidity of movement mentioned in the coppers and security guards experiences there are a couple of stories in the second half of the doc which are also relevant to the sprinting spook motif (one of which - the bus driver's - I'd never heard before).
 
I've just read this thread for the first time and I was interested to note that Bathgate Hills/Knock Woods is but a stonesthrow from Dechmont Law, site of the Bob Taylor UFO encounter, while Kinmount in Dumfries and Galloway is only a few miles as the crow flies from Burgh Marsh, where the famous (and much debated on this board) Cumberland Spaceman photo was taken..

I'm a hopeless map addict and whenever I read about something, I am compelled to look it up to see exactly where it is. I'm aware that everywhere in the UK is close - in relative terms - to everywhere else, but there two examples intrigue me.
 
I've been trying to "chart" fortean reports on a "where, when, who" etc. framework for some time now. I'm up to thirty plus outlines now. Here's one, along with the headless boy story quoted above, that might fit this thread:

“Quick-Foot”

Category: Cryptozoology

From: Green, pp. 214-215

Where: Dothan, Alabama

When: the evening of May 23, 1976

Who: A Baptist minister of Dothan who preferred to remain anonymous

How close to source: A notary public, a friend of the minister’s, took down his account and sent it to cryptozoological researcher Don Worley

Phenomena: On that night in 1976 the minister was driving along Old Taylor Road through a wooded area (but still within the Dothan city limits). Just as he passed over a stream, something jumped out of the trees onto the roadway. The clergyman’s headlights outlined it clearly: It was “a creature slightly under six feet tall, very heavily built and covered with dark hair. The face resembled that of a human, but the eyes were red.”

The entity lurched toward the minister’s car, and the startled man sped away. The creature ran along the shoulder, keeping up with the vehicle for about a mile even when it reached seventy miles per hour (112 kph). The minister passed Hatton Road and approached a second stream, but before reaching the water the speedy man-beast dropped behind, leapt entirely across the road, and disappeared into the trees.

Oddities: Some Sasquatch reports mention the hairy hominids running faster than human beings, but seventy mph puts this medium-sized creature in the cheetah category – and cheetahs have to stop and rest after only a few hundred yards.

Ending: The letter writer mentioned that he had heard others speak of such a creature in the Dothan area, but he gave no further information.

Legend: Sasquatch hunter John Green comments that Bigfoot tales from Alabama are few, but he collected some himself from eye-witnesses. Such creatures are apparently called “Boogers” in this part of the country, but no other tale mentions such phenomenal speed.

Explanation: There is a traveling game in which one watches passing scenery and “assembles” a running figure out of trees, hedges, fence posts and the like, and some people report “seeing” the running character even when they no longer wish to – it has essentially become a hallucination. The “Quick-Foot” story reminded me of that, although such an idle amusement seems out of character for a minister from Alabama (who was driving at the time).

Comments: “Quick-Foot” appeared just after the minister crossed one stream and vanished as he approached a second. This puts one in mind of the old adage that many spirits and supernatural beings cannot cross running water.
It is unfortunate that the minister only described the fleet-footed creature as “very heavily built.” The classic Sasquatch-type build (apish arms, no neck, thick torso) makes it a less efficient runner than a human being. In fact, biologist Dennis Bramble and paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman have recently put forward the theory that the human body is the perfect running machine, as reported by science writer Ingfei Chen in her article “Born to Run” (Discover magazine, May 2006). “Humans have shorter forearms than other primates, which reduces the energy required to keep the arms flexed while running,” reports Chen (p. 66). Also, a noticeable neck (absent in most Sasquatch descriptions) is an important aid in running: “it allows the shoulders to twist freely of the head as we gaze forward” (p. 65). I’m just sayin’.

Chen, Ingfei, “Born to Run.” Discover (May 2006), pp. 62-67.

Green, John. Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us (Seattle, WA: Hancock House, 1978).
 
Alan Murdie's Ghostwatch column in this months FT (328) flags up three more specimens to add to the sub-genre.

The following quotes are actually from this article - but apart from a little confusion about the timing of the first incident, the details seem to be about the same. The incidents all occured on the A4076 between Milford Haven to Haverfordwest.

...The first report of strange activity came from two ladies who were travelling towards Haverfordwest on February 5 at approximately 7.30pm.

The driver said they were heading towards Dredgemans Hill when a dark shadow ran in front of the car.

“The lady described the figure as a shadowy, human shape with long arms and legs,” said Mr Davies.

“She said that it was so sudden and she was so shocked that she slammed on the brakes thinking she was going to run over a person. But then she said the shadowy shape vanished.

“She believes that the figure had not made it to the other side of the road and was a 'blink and miss it' experience."...

...four days later two women were travelling to work in Haverfordwest from Milford when they had a similar experience.

“This time this was outside of Steynton, Milford haven, just after 6am. Both ladies wish to remain anonymous due to their profession, claim that after the traffic lights and past a well known pub in the area that they saw a tall shadowy figure on the right hand side of the road as you travel to Haverfordwest.

“They said it is not uncommon to see people on the side of the road as there are many workers up at that time of day waiting for lifts and they took no further notice other than how tall the figure was. As they continued their drive they claim the tall figure 'darted' across the road at astonishing speed and disappeared into the road...

...Luke Mayhew was driving the area on the evening of Wednesday, February 11, when he had his own experience on the same part of the road as seen by the morning workers.

He said: “I’m 100% certain I saw what I believe was a ghost or apparition driving home from Milford on the Steynton road I saw it run right in front of me from one side of the road to another...

To be fair, although the witnesses to all three incidents mention the speed of the alleged apparition, it's only in the first two episodes that what might be described as unusual speed is specifically mentioned.
 
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It does sound like a dog chasing (or "worrying") a car if it hadn't been for the "long limbs" bit. Do dogs still chase cars, or is that all in the past?
 
Not a U.K. case, but something that happened to my husband in Victoria, Texas, in 1993 (before we'd met.)

He was driving along, he says, going about 35 MPH, past the Casa Del Rio apartment complex. As he was passing the front parking lot, a girl appeared just at the edge of the curb, running straight for his car. He barely had time to register this and started to hit his brakes, when she appeared to run straight into the passenger side window. Then - nothing. She was just gone. He turned the car around and drove back to check, but there was no sign of the girl or anyone.

He says she was a tall, thin hispanic girl, and he just had time to register what looked like an injury to her face, as if she was bleeding. For that reason, in that instant, he'd thought it was someone running for help. He checked the area over thoroughly before moving on, because she had seemed so real, he had a hard time believing he hadn't hit this poor girl who'd seemed to run right into the side of his car.

Despite living in the area for years, and collecting numerous weird stories, we never heard another story like this one, about this particular place, so he hesitates to call it a "ghost". It is an eerie story though.

I'm no good at taking screen shots, so this is a link to the location on Google maps (the street appears curved on the streetview, but it is actually straight) The girl ran from the small parking lot located in the front/center of the apartment complex.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/2902 N Ben Wilson St, Victoria, TX 77901/@28.815704,-96.974282,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x864266fccdfcf701:0x4f90f18255d054f
 
It does sound like a dog chasing (or "worrying") a car if it hadn't been for the "long limbs" bit. Do dogs still chase cars, or is that all in the past?

Could be. However a lot of the car related stories appear to be describing something running at high speed across the path of the oncoming car, rather than after it (this seems to be the case in at least two of the recent reports from Wales). Which, of course, doesn't stop it being animal related.

There are also the reports where the thing appears to run directly at the vehicle, as in Ulalume's above. I always found the incident where the alleged Stocksbridge apparition seemed to run directly at and into the vehicle, before disappearing (in broad daylight with multiple witness, if i recall correctly). Now that would be a real collywobbler and no mistake.
 
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