Strange Days Indeed!

Fairlight

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A few recent strange events have conspired to lead me to overcome my inherent laziness and actually get round to posting this stuff.
It starts with a minor plumbing issue shortly before the Covid lockdown, first the cold, then the hot water washbasin taps in the bathroom developing intermittent, but persistent dripping, which I could temporarily remedy by stripping and cleaning the tap assembly, but after a few days the dripping would start again. Sourcing replacement washers etc was beginning to become a bit more problematic with all the DIY shops, plumbers suppliers etc closing down but I guessed I could live with the inconvenience of a minor leak as long as it didn’t develop into something more serious, also somewhere around the house (attic, garden shed) I knew I had a spare couple of taps which I could cannibalise for parts, I just couldn’t locate them at the time.
One of my brothers had just moved in to the house next door, having bought it only a month or so before the lockdown commenced and in his explorations of the place had discovered a dull and dust covered post-horn in the attic, which he duly cleaned then proceeded to endear himself to his new neighbours by “playing” from quite an early hour, typically at about 8.00 am most mornings. The early results were not particularly musical but the sounds had a suitably apocalyptic quality (some very reminiscent of the strange trumpet/horn like sounds apparently being heard around the world and posted on You Tube) and particularly prescient with the escalating pandemic.
Bizarrely our leaky plumbing then began to produce similar noises as though in some kind of sympathy to the horn sounds and I can honestly say that at times it was difficult to be sure from which source the sound was coming! I should mention at this point that there had been no sound from the plumbing until several days after the horn had begun to be “played” but thereafter the sounds developed both in scope and frequency to the point where every time a tap was turned on anywhere in the house, or the loo was flushed, a variety of sounds could be expected ranging from the horn like sounds to pulsing “coughing” sounds or sounds like a braying donkey, loud and reverberating through the whole house! I had assumed, wrongly as it turned out, that the hot water system might be the culprit because of the “pulsing” nature of some of the sounds (possibly emanating from a pressurised central heating system) but when I isolated the bathroom basin cold tap the noises stopped, and after I had replaced the internal valve they never returned so, as alluded to in the June issue of FT, dodgy plumbing not poltergeists. So nothing supernatural but an interesting and strange coincidence, but there was more strangeness to come.
The spell of fine April weather continued into early May and whilst sitting outside in the garden to the front of the house I became aware of a strange “apparition” imprinted onto the living room window, the unmistakable form of an owl in flight.... at the moment of impact with the window (I will try to post photo’s along with this account) The appearance is of a Barn Owl, but it might also have been a Tawny Owl, neither are uncommon in the area (maybe someone more knowledgeable than I on the subject might have some suggestions if I am allowed to post the photo’s.) Again nothing supernatural but strange and somewhat eerie given the mythology surrounding owls as portents of death/transition, ill or good luck..... depending on ones preferred interpretation, and certainly something I have never before witnessed in this (or any) house previously.
And here’s where it does get a bit weird.
Last week I went with my partner to a nearby pub for a couple of drinks. Earlier in the day I had been next door helping my brother move some furniture and I happened to take a snap of the post horn (of doom!) on my 'phone. We were discussing these things and I passed her my 'phone displaying the photo on the screen....as I did this I picked up my pint which was about one third full and the glass slipped out of my hand and broke on the table, maybe not that strange and maybe not that unusual, although I don’t recall spilling ale like this before...perhaps I was just a bit careless....but what happened next was. I stood the glass back up on its base (it was a tulip glass) and we began mopping up the spilt ale as best we could when the already cracked glass “exploded” into fragments, showering the table top with shards of glass.
I went to speak to one of the bar staff, the broken glass presenting a serious hazard to any customer using that particular table. When I mentioned how the glass exploded she responded “Oh yes that happens a lot in this pub!” she went on to say that empty glasses regularly exploded behind the bar theorising that the high temperatures used in the glass washing appliances might be to blame. I replied with words to the effect of “but doesn’t it strike you as a bit odd?” and she immediately replied with words to the effect of “I’m sure this pub is haunted, there’s definitely a ghost here!”
And that’s about it...so far!
 

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IbisNibs

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Wait . . . did the owl hit the window and leave an imprint? Or . . . what? I've never heard of that before. I've seen bits of fluff where a gold finch has flown into the window, but never a full body imprint of one. :eek:

I think there is an exploding glass thread somewhere around here. It covers logical, non-poltergeisty reasons why glasses explode.

And please go back to the pub and collect some ghost stories and post them, please, please, please!
 

gordonrutter

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Wait . . . did the owl hit the window and leave an imprint? Or . . . what? I've never heard of that before. I've seen bits of fluff where a gold finch has flown into the window, but never a full body imprint of one. :eek:

I think there is an exploding glass thread somewhere around here. It covers logical, non-poltergeisty reasons why glasses explode.

And please go back to the pub and collect some ghost stories and post them, please, please, please!
I have a pigeon imprint from one flying into a window of a corridor with glass at both sides.
09276F05-4302-4EB7-BBAC-97C4F8D586DC.jpeg
 

Spookdaddy

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Wait . . . did the owl hit the window and leave an imprint? Or . . . what? I've never heard of that before. I've seen bits of fluff where a gold finch has flown into the window, but never a full body imprint of one...
The imprint is caused by the fine dust that covers bird feathers - it's a product of the breaking down of feather waste that occurs during preening and I seem to recall that it's thought to help with weatherproofing the birds live feathers.
 

Swifty

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I have a pigeon imprint from one flying into a window of a corridor with glass at both sides.
View attachment 28344
I remember seeing an almost identical full body pigeon imprint as yours above on my parent's bedroom window when I was very young .. my Dad explained that the bird had probably mistaken its own reflection for another attacking bird .. the fact that it had left an imprint on the glass was explained to me as a sort of dust that coats some birds feathers for water proofing but I can't remember the specifics of that theory.
 

Swifty

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The imprint is caused by the fine dust that covers bird feathers - it's a product of the breaking down of feather waste that occurs during preening and I seem to recall that it's thought to help with weatherproofing the birds live feathers.
Aaah .. thank you, my memory's better than I though it was :)
 

Spookdaddy

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I remember seeing an almost identical full body pigeon imprint as yours above on my parent's bedroom window when I was very young .. my Dad explained that the bird had probably mistaken its own reflection for another attacking bird..
I think the theory now is that birds simply don't register glass as a thing, and see a window as an open route to be flown through. Thus, they tend to fly into the windows of clearly lit rooms, and not those with blinds or curtains closed, or where the room is very dark (making the glass look opaque). Also, larger areas of glass tend to be more of a problem - especially if the bird can see through to a clear window on the other side of the building.

As long as they are positioned correctly, window bird feeders are actually considered safe - even the RSPB sell them these days - which probably wouldn't be the case if birds went mental at their own reflections as a matter of course. (I think some species do get aggressive, especially during mating season - it happens, but it's not that common; birds tend to tweet the buggery out of each other, rather than get punchy.)
 

Trevp666

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dodgy plumbing not poltergeists
More "water hammer" than "Hammer Horror".

The bird imprint on the window - for several years I worked as a caretaker at very large secondary school. It had continuous large areas of windows around the site, and the vision of a bird imprint somewhere around the place was very common. And the detail you could see on them sometimes was incredible.

We even had several appear one day on the inside as a pigeon had found its way into the building and ended up in the main canteen area, then tried unsuccessfully to fly out through the many windows, getting quite distressed and crapping everywhere! I eventually managed to catch it in a large bin bag and then safely release it outside.
 

michael59

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A few recent strange events have conspired to lead me to overcome my inherent laziness and actually get round to posting this stuff.
It starts with a minor plumbing issue shortly before the Covid lockdown, first the cold, then the hot water washbasin taps in the bathroom developing intermittent, but persistent dripping, which I could temporarily remedy by stripping and cleaning the tap assembly, but after a few days the dripping would start again. Sourcing replacement washers etc was beginning to become a bit more problematic with all the DIY shops, plumbers suppliers etc closing down but I guessed I could live with the inconvenience of a minor leak as long as it didn’t develop into something more serious, also somewhere around the house (attic, garden shed) I knew I had a spare couple of taps which I could cannibalise for parts, I just couldn’t locate them at the time.
One of my brothers had just moved in to the house next door, having bought it only a month or so before the lockdown commenced and in his explorations of the place had discovered a dull and dust covered post-horn in the attic, which he duly cleaned then proceeded to endear himself to his new neighbours by “playing” from quite an early hour, typically at about 8.00 am most mornings. The early results were not particularly musical but the sounds had a suitably apocalyptic quality (some very reminiscent of the strange trumpet/horn like sounds apparently being heard around the world and posted on You Tube) and particularly prescient with the escalating pandemic.
Bizarrely our leaky plumbing then began to produce similar noises as though in some kind of sympathy to the horn sounds and I can honestly say that at times it was difficult to be sure from which source the sound was coming! I should mention at this point that there had been no sound from the plumbing until several days after the horn had begun to be “played” but thereafter the sounds developed both in scope and frequency to the point where every time a tap was turned on anywhere in the house, or the loo was flushed, a variety of sounds could be expected ranging from the horn like sounds to pulsing “coughing” sounds or sounds like a braying donkey, loud and reverberating through the whole house! I had assumed, wrongly as it turned out, that the hot water system might be the culprit because of the “pulsing” nature of some of the sounds (possibly emanating from a pressurised central heating system) but when I isolated the bathroom basin cold tap the noises stopped, and after I had replaced the internal valve they never returned so, as alluded to in the June issue of FT, dodgy plumbing not poltergeists. So nothing supernatural but an interesting and strange coincidence, but there was more strangeness to come.
The spell of fine April weather continued into early May and whilst sitting outside in the garden to the front of the house I became aware of a strange “apparition” imprinted onto the living room window, the unmistakable form of an owl in flight.... at the moment of impact with the window (I will try to post photo’s along with this account) The appearance is of a Barn Owl, but it might also have been a Tawny Owl, neither are uncommon in the area (maybe someone more knowledgeable than I on the subject might have some suggestions if I am allowed to post the photo’s.) Again nothing supernatural but strange and somewhat eerie given the mythology surrounding owls as portents of death/transition, ill or good luck..... depending on ones preferred interpretation, and certainly something I have never before witnessed in this (or any) house previously.
And here’s where it does get a bit weird.
Last week I went with my partner to a nearby pub for a couple of drinks. Earlier in the day I had been next door helping my brother move some furniture and I happened to take a snap of the post horn (of doom!) on my 'phone. We were discussing these things and I passed her my 'phone displaying the photo on the screen....as I did this I picked up my pint which was about one third full and the glass slipped out of my hand and broke on the table, maybe not that strange and maybe not that unusual, although I don’t recall spilling ale like this before...perhaps I was just a bit careless....but what happened next was. I stood the glass back up on its base (it was a tulip glass) and we began mopping up the spilt ale as best we could when the already cracked glass “exploded” into fragments, showering the table top with shards of glass.
I went to speak to one of the bar staff, the broken glass presenting a serious hazard to any customer using that particular table. When I mentioned how the glass exploded she responded “Oh yes that happens a lot in this pub!” she went on to say that empty glasses regularly exploded behind the bar theorising that the high temperatures used in the glass washing appliances might be to blame. I replied with words to the effect of “but doesn’t it strike you as a bit odd?” and she immediately replied with words to the effect of “I’m sure this pub is haunted, there’s definitely a ghost here!”
And that’s about it...so far!
So, all the taps stopped dripping, {I don't understand how you fixed it} did it just stop acting up on it's own? You have family living close by now. A work of art on your front window for all the world to enjoy and none of it cost you any money. Christmas came early to you. lol

Now all you have to do is tell bro he has to go somewhere and take lessons for his horn and that the general courtesy rule in most neighborhoods is no noise before 10am or after 11pm so that he doesn't drive everyone crazy.

Did they replace your broken beer for free? If not then, you all need to get together and do a pub crawl so you can find a pub you'll like that isn't haunted. That won't be such an easy task because people over there seem to like to hang out after they pass. I think the strange part will be if you are successful and find a pub that isn't haunted. lol


That was a great read. Thanks for sharing, Fairlight. :)
 

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I think the theory now is that birds simply don't register glass as a thing, and see a window as an open route to be flown through. Thus, they tend to fly into the windows of clearly lit rooms, and not those with blinds or curtains closed, or where the room is very dark (making the glass look opaque). Also, larger areas of glass tend to be more of a problem - especially if the bird can see through to a clear window on the other side of the building.

As long as they are positioned correctly, window bird feeders are actually considered safe - even the RSPB sell them these days - which probably wouldn't be the case if birds went mental at their own reflections as a matter of course. (I think some species do get aggressive, especially during mating season - it happens, but it's not that common; birds tend to tweet the buggery out of each other, rather than get punchy.)
When I was younger a bird fell in love with his reflection on our bedroom window. Every morning he would come and peck at the glass. It got so bad, you could actually start to see a mark on the glass from all the pecking. Sadly he was an early riser and being woken by the incessant tapping was not fun. The curtains being closed didn't seem to make a difference on the bird and the reflection. We rang the RSPB who said we should hang a string with something noisy on that might scare him. We fashioned a peace of string with some foil cake tins (the small kind, like MR Kiplings) as it was the best we could come up with. The next morning the bird appeared and was very grateful for the lovely swing we had provided. Back to the RSPB who said we should smear the glass to make it opaque. So the best part of a bottle of windowlene went on the windows and stayed for a week, after which the bird was never to be seen again thankfully.
 

Fairlight

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Thanks for the comments folks! In reply to michael59, no, the tap didn't just fix itself, after disassembling both hot and cold tap assemblies (it's a mixer tap, not that that really matters) and cleaning the valve (like a nylon barrel not the older fibre washer job) both stopped dripping temporarily but the cold started dripping again, fortunately I found the spare mixer tap and swapped the innards from the cold tap and then it stopped.
I'm hoping to post another photo of the owl imprint from inside the house where it looks as though its feet have come forward to break the impact to some degree (I tried to post 2 photos initially but only one uploaded?) Glad at the time that there wasn't a dead or injured owl in the garden, so hopefully it survived to crash another day.
Regarding the events in the pub, I'll definitely find out what I can regarding any alleged haunting and report back. The initial dropping of the glass and spillage was my fault so no free refill for me but if it turns out they have a reputation for serving beer in exploding glasses they'll be hearing from my lawyers! I'm wondering if the glass somehow developed hairline fractures from the first impact and then as the cold liquid drained out warmer ambient air somehow expanded in the (hypothesised) cracks and caused the explosion (sounds like complete bunkum but I've heard less plausible explanations for weird things in my time)
I mentioned to my brother that I had alluded to his "horn" on FTMB and this must have encouraged him, things had been quiet for a time but the noises commenced again on Saturday and Saturday saw the return of a little bit of weirdness and a neat synchronicity. On that day I made a return trip to the market town of Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire. I have done the drive so often that I'm often on automatic pilot but nevertheless I took the wrong exit from roundabouts three times on that trip, I can't really explain why. Anyhow, on Saturday evening I decided to watch some telly, I had noticed a few weeks ago that a freeview channel called Forces TV were screening the full series of "Sapphire and Steel" a supernatural/Sci Fi series which some forum members will recall from the late 1970's earl 1980's, at the time I loved it and so I recorded all episodes (I think it's still being shown and I would recommend) The story featured a timeslip or series of timeslips but briefly it featured an eloping couple who had supposedly called at a strange old garage (sounding a bit trans-dimensional gas station) in 1948 and had found themselves in an abandoned roadside cafe in the early 1980's (present day at the time). When asked if they could remember the date they had called at the garage they said twenty fifth of July. I was watching this on Saturday, which was the twenty fifth of July! Weird or what?
resized.jpg
 

Trevp666

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I wonder what sort of prints they get from the 'chicken cannon'?
 

Trevp666

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I'm pretty sure they're real chickens.
Well at least they're certainly not imaginary chickens.
 

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As long as they defrost them first!
That reminds me of a story i heard once that may or may not be an urban myth, it begins with British Rail testing their new high speed trains, they wanted to test them for damage against bird strike, they contacted TGV the french train company who leant them a chicken cannon, used to emulate a bird strike at high speed, so the story goes, BR sets up the chicken cannon and firesitat the windscreen of the HST, the chicken smashes through the windscreen, through the cab door and ends up 2 cattiages back in the train, BR with concern contact TGV and ask what the hell went wrong, in a one sentance reply TGV send a message saying 'defrost the chicken'
 

EnolaGaia

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The "defrost the chicken" story is a well-known legend whose origin has never been precisely determined. There are several variations on the story, with most of the variation involving the cast of characters. For example, the owners of a borrowed chicken gun have been identified as the FAA, USAF, NASA, British Aerospace, Rolls Royce, and other tech / engineering organizations. The borrowers have included just as many (and sometimes the very same) organizations.

The use of a compressed air 'gun' to test for bird strike impacts dates back several decades. The "thaw the chicken" gag has been a common UL in engineering circles since at least as early as the 1970s. It's almost always framed so as to make the borrowers look like naive idiots.

See, for example: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/catapoultry/
 

Souleater

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The "defrost the chicken" story is a well-known legend whose origin has never been precisely determined. There are several variations on the story, with most of the variation involving the cast of characters. For example, the owners of a borrowed chicken gun have been identified as the FAA, USAF, NASA, British Aerospace, Rolls Royce, and other tech / engineering organizations. The borrowers have included just as many (and sometimes the very same) organizations.

The use of a compressed air 'gun' to test for bird strike impacts dates back several decades. The "thaw the chicken" gag has been a common UL in engineering circles since at least as early as the 1970s. It's almost always framed so as to make the borrowers look like naive idiots.

See, for example: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/catapoultry/
I was pretty sure it was an UL but its still a good story
 

EnolaGaia

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I was pretty sure it was an UL but its still a good story
Just because it proliferated as a legend with variable (and certainly) fictionalized elements (i.e., the identities of the parties involved) doesn't necessarily mean it's purely fiction. My guess is that the modern variations derive from an actual incident lost in the mists of engineering history.
 

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Just because it proliferated as a legend with variable (and certainly) fictionalized elements (i.e., the identities of the parties involved) doesn't necessarily mean it's purely fiction. My guess is that the modern variations derive from an actual incident lost in the mists of engineering history.
I tend to believe that in many cases the UL thing is a bit of a misnomer - or at least, that the status of 'legend' is reached by way of repetition and development, rather than outright fabrication. I'd suggest that this is different to ostension, which seems to be applied when real world events mirror a pre-existing fabrication. I think a lot of urban legends are something that's happened somewhere - possibly many times - but not necessarily to, or in the way told by, the teller.
 

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That reminds me of a story i heard once that may or may not be an urban myth, it begins with British Rail testing their new high speed trains, they wanted to test them for damage against bird strike, they contacted TGV the french train company who leant them a chicken cannon, used to emulate a bird strike at high speed, so the story goes, BR sets up the chicken cannon and firesitat the windscreen of the HST, the chicken smashes through the windscreen, through the cab door and ends up 2 cattiages back in the train, BR with concern contact TGV and ask what the hell went wrong, in a one sentance reply TGV send a message saying 'defrost the chicken'
I think there was something like that on Mythbusters.
 
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