The Shoving Ghost?

Ghost In The Machine

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#1
Relative of mine used to tell this story of a shoving ghost and I wondered how common it is?

Her father died in the 1950s, and she was told she shouldn't go to the funeral because she was heavily pregnant. Not sure what the logic was there but the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there, etc.

So whilst everyone was at dad's funeral, she was doing a bit of light gardening - pruning the roses in her garden. Her father loved the roses, apparently. She was alone. And suddenly felt this powerful shove in her back which nearly pushed her off her feet. No har done to her or baby but she was convinced it was her dad. I was always a bit sceptical about this as this was a particularly, er, florid person. But it always stayed in my mind somewhere, as a sort of ghosty sub-genre.

I am sure I have come across other people's accounts of ghostly shoves. But can't remember where.

Now, this week I went to my friend's funeral. She banned us from wearing black so I wore a nice dress with a vivid, Paisley shawl that I knew she'd liked. Service goes off without a hitch. Going to what my friend had called 'the bunfight' afterwards, as we were walking away from the service, I felt a very strong, distinct tug on my shawl. We were in the middle of a huge open space and there was nothing it could catch on but in any case it didn't feel like catching, it was a definite tug! I looked round and only my husband was close enough to me at all, to reach out and grab me and so I told myself it was him and promptly forgot all about it.

We have been crazily busy the rest of the week with a lot of things going on and it was only yesterday afternoon I suddenly remembered it, and told him what had happened. He said it definitely wasn't him.

It is the sort of playful, daft thing my friend would do. I'd had a hard time not crying throughout the service - I totally failed at not crying - everyone else seemed to be holding it together. It was so bad that more than once I'd thought I might have to slip out of the service. She'd have found that funny.

I'm not sure it was anything supernatural but I am sure it wasn't my imagination. I think I needed a day or two to kind of process it.

Anyone else been shoved or similar? Are funeral/death day shoving ghosts A Thing? I'm curious.
 

Swifty

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#2
My schoolmate's Mum briefly worked at Wychnor Hall in Staffordshire. Me and Tim went there for a day when it was between owners and was completely empty .... there was a certain staircase at the back of the hall that she didn't want to walk down, she told us that she felt hands shoving her as she was walking down them ..

Wychnor Hall

wychnor hall.jpg

Wychnor translates as valley of the witches from Phillip De Somerville's time and before when it was a Roman occupation ..
 

Ulalume

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#3
Not a shove, but similar enough, perhaps -

One evening years ago, I was sprawled on the couch reading a book when I felt a tugging at my ankle. It felt as if someone had grabbed my ankle and given my foot maybe three good tugs. There was no one there, no even the cat. I wasn't frightened, though, just filed it away as something strange. Later that night, my husband came home from work and told me he'd recieved a call - my dad had died.

I couldn't help but wonder if that tugging had been my dad - when I was little, he used to wake me up that way.
I do like to imagine he'd come to see me one last time.
 

Swifty

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#4
Normally I'd say this was Claims Direct bullshit but it looks convincing .. or she slipped on a wet floor that everyone's now lying about to cover themselves which is more likely ... but then she'd be throwing herself unusually hard on the floor if she was deliberately faking it .. you decide.


edit: I was a passer by a few months back so stayed with and called an ambulance for a woman I saw who fell over forwards and landed directly on her head without even trying to put her hands out to break her fall .. she seemed completely sober and looked 'very respectable' .. I'm still not sure why she didn't try to break her fall .. surely that's just instinct ?
 
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GNC

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#6
I sometimes get a muscle spasm in my back that feels like a shove. Are pregnant women more susceptible to such twitches? I'm not a pregnant woman, incidentally.
 

Ghost In The Machine

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#7
I sometimes get a muscle spasm in my back that feels like a shove. Are pregnant women more susceptible to such twitches? I'm not a pregnant woman, incidentally.
Could be. Backs are funny things. Although my tugging whatsit is definitely not down to me being up the duff!

Although my husband denied grabbing me, it could well have been him - or some subconscious gesture he's already forgotten he did. No-one else was close.
 

amarok2005

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#9
I managed to get a letter into the Fortean Times (forget which issue) on this subject -- actually a little article, but it's easier to get them to publish a letter. Here's my updated version. Sorry if it's too long:
___________________

John Rice’s “Pushy Ghost [FT 190:79] – a haunting that consists entirely of a single “push” on a staircase – started me thinking. [1]

On that favorite fortean date of June 24, in 1924, archaeologist Thomas Lethbridge visited the island of Skellig Michael off the southwest coast of Ireland. He ascended a hill to see the ruins of an ancient monastery and decided to pick his way down to a rubbish dump about 100 ft. (30 m.) below. On the way he was overcome with the idea that someone or something wanted to push him off the cliff, so he climbed back up. He then hiked down to a grassy expanse called Christ’s Saddle. “Something made me think of turning round and I was about to do so, when without a sound and with no apparent feeling, I was suddenly flung flat on my face on the grass. There was no gust of wind, no person, no animal, nothing.” [2]

This fall impressed Lethbridge mightily. Perhaps it influenced him by the 1950s to turn to the investigation of dowsing and psychic powers. This eventually led him to devise his theory that most paranormal phenomena resulted from people’s interactions with “fields” in forests, buildings, and streams, and with the images “recorded” on them. Colin Wilson refers to Lethbridge’s “push” so often in his book Mysteries, perhaps it influenced his own theories about “Faculty X”.

John Aubrey (1626-97), in Chapter 10 of his book Miscellanies, writes of an odd event in the life of one John Borograve of Hamel, Hertfordshire, who, “when he was a young Man, Riding in a Lane in that Country, had a Blow given him on his Cheek (or Head): He look’d back, and saw that no body was near, behind him; anon, he had such another Blow; I have forgot if a Third. He turn’d back and fell to the Study of Law; and was afterwards a Judge.”

Leslie Rule, daughter of true-crime writer Ann Rule and author herself of several books on ghosts, tells of a more recent case in her book Ghost in the Mirror (2008).

Louise Inman Strother grew up in Mermentau, Louisiana. She lived not too far from her Aunt Carrie. Her cousin Edward was born prematurely (circa 1935), and the whole extended family feared for his life.

It seems that Edward not only survived but became a tall, muscular boy. Although the older child, Louise Strother recalled how Edward “towered” over her. Pampered after the circumstances of his birth, he became a spoiled brat and finally an outright bully.

Aunt Carrie, meanwhile, developed health problems. Edward found it easy to bully her into doing or buying anything he desired. “He cussed at her, and I hated it. He was so ugly to her,” Louise reported.

One day (circa 1950), Edward was “spewing obscenities” as usual. Suddenly:

“Louise heard a loud smack. Her cousin grabbed the side of his face and staggered backward.

“The boy’s mother raised her eyebrows. ‘What’s the matter?’ she asked him.

“’Someone slapped me!’ cried the stunned boy.” [3]

The incident frightened Louise . . . but she was glad it happened. Half-a-century later she questioned her now-elderly cousin about the “slap”. Edward confessed that it had happened again, not long after the first incident. “[H]e was in his room when he saw a disembodied hand fly through the air and smack him.”

This “smack” or “push” from nowhere easily slides across the paranormal spectrum to Charles Fort’s attacks by “invisibles”. When we think of an immaterial being affecting the physical world, we usually think of poltergeists with their furniture-moving and dish-breaking. The world can be affected with much less effort, however. A shove at the top of the stair or on a crowded train platform, a yank on a steering wheel on a busy highway, and the life of a brilliant scientist or a potential world leader might be nipped in the bud. Or perhaps the victim is “pushed” in a new direction psychologically. Lethbridge drifted from archaeology to psychic phenomena. Aubrey implied that John Borogrove’s becoming a judge had something to do with the slaps he received. “Cousin Edward” proved a bit more stubborn, as his behavior underwent little change. (It did inspire a life-long fascination with the paranormal in Louise Strother, however.)

Maybe there exist beings that can only build up energy over months or years and release it in one well-placed “punch”. History might be guided, not by conspiracies or UFOs, but by the occasional PK nudge in the right (or wrong) direction.

NOTES

1. A real estate agent from Birmingham, Rice undertook the sale of a Victorian house with a steep staircase. “The vendor warned me always to hold the handrail firmly.” One day while waiting for a prospective buyer, he toured the premises to make sure nothing was out of place. He was descending the stairway, not using the handrail, when, about five steps from the bottom, “I felt a distinct push in my back. I literally leapt down the hall.” A surveyor, after examining the house, returned the key to Rice and shakily admitted that something had pushed him as well, and in fact he had “descended almost the whole flight of stairs on his back.” The vendor of the house could only suggest that an older relative of his, found dead at the base of the stairway, might have something to do with the “push”. (Rice, John F., “Pushy Ghost,” in Fortean Times No. 190 (Jan. 2005), p. 79.)

2. Lethbridge, Thomas. Essential T. C. Lethbridge, edited by Tom Graves and Janet Hoult (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980), pp. 16-17. See also:

Wilson, Colin. Mysteries (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1978), p. 63.

3. Rule, Leslie. Ghost in the Mirror. (Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2008), pp. 10-11.
 

Ulalume

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#10
Interesting, Amarok2005. Especially regarding the ghost hand.

I know someone who had some frightening experiences with a ghostly hand/arm apparition in her home. I even witnessed it with her myself, once, though I didn't know what it was until later - I was only aware of a white shape that darted past in a strange manner. That whole story is an interesting one, but unfortunately this person does not want the details out in public (and I think she drops by the board every now and then. ;)) Anyway, I've been interested in hand and arm apparitions due to this. It's curious that only one isolated part of whatever-it-was would be visible.
 

Swifty

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#11
Wychnor Hall was just around the corner from my parent's house and was deserted in the mid 80's before being bought up as a timeshare resort ... when we were schoolboys, me and Tim (my best mate) used to play there and watch videos because for some reason, his Mum used to be a secretary there using only a ground floor room as her 'office' ... it was a bit like the film The Shining because we had the run of the place .... she wouldn't let us use the stairs though because she told us she kept feeling like she was being pushed down them ... I never summoned up the courage to try the stairs myself, maybe she was just trying to keep us out of too much mischief? ..

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=W...ved=0CAcQ_AUoAmoVChMI7fPX0dGQyAIVylcaCh0nGAxm
 

escargot

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#12
My mother hated a particular spot on the stairs in a house we lived in because she reckoned that every time she reached it, someone unseen would shove her in the back. She'd nearly fall down the stairs several times a day.

It wasn't an old farmhouse or a crumbling mansion, just a 1930s brick-built council house. She and my father lived there long after we kids'd all moved out and the shoving persisted until the day they left.

Mother now lives in a swish purpose-built sheltered housing complex with no need for stairs. No more shoving!
 

Swifty

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#13
As I was walking down the stairs
I saw a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
Oh how I wish he'd go away

.... can't remember who wrote that.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#15
Returning to the original post, I am struck by the fact that the lady had been doing some gardening. Light or not, it would probably involve stooping and bringing into play all kinds of muscles and nerves. I'm tempted to think she got a twinge from one of those places we don't always stretch.

The odd sensations a trapped nerve can create are quite an education*, often far from the site of the pressure. :confused:

*It turned out I was being buggered by a wombat but that isn't common.
 

amarok2005

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#16
Ulalume wrote:

I've been interested in hand and arm apparitions due to this. It's curious that only one isolated part of whatever-it-was would be visible.
I've always wanted to write another article, to be called "Bits and Pieces," about hauntings by parts of bodies, whether severed heads, floating hands, or bodiless legs. Or even a (yecch!) lung:

Peter Underwood, the British ghost hunter, reports that the country house and estate of Sandringham, Norfolk, a favorite retreat of the British royals, is haunted by poltergeistic phenomena. Footsteps, doors opening and closing, light switches flipping on an off, sheets pulled off newly-made beds -- the usual tricks.

The phenomena concentrate on the servants' quarters and are said to begin around Christmas Eve and continue for several weeks. There is something in the manse that gives off a noise of "heavy breathing," and this entity has been seen: "One footman refused to sleep in the room assigned to him after he claimed to have seen something which he described as 'looking like a large paper sack breathing in and out like a grotesque lung.' He also heard heavy and regular breathing apparently emanate from the curious bulging object."

Underwood, Peter. Gazetteer of British Ghosts (London: Souvenir Press, 1971).
 

GNC

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#17
What an excellent haunting! I wonder what the most recent sighting was of this looming lung? It should really be accompanied by organ music.
 

Ghost In The Machine

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#18
Ulalume wrote:



I've always wanted to write another article, to be called "Bits and Pieces," about hauntings by parts of bodies, whether severed heads, floating hands, or bodiless legs. Or even a (yecch!) lung:

Peter Underwood, the British ghost hunter, reports that the country house and estate of Sandringham, Norfolk, a favorite retreat of the British royals, is haunted by poltergeistic phenomena. Footsteps, doors opening and closing, light switches flipping on an off, sheets pulled off newly-made beds -- the usual tricks.

The phenomena concentrate on the servants' quarters and are said to begin around Christmas Eve and continue for several weeks. There is something in the manse that gives off a noise of "heavy breathing," and this entity has been seen: "One footman refused to sleep in the room assigned to him after he claimed to have seen something which he described as 'looking like a large paper sack breathing in and out like a grotesque lung.' He also heard heavy and regular breathing apparently emanate from the curious bulging object."

Underwood, Peter. Gazetteer of British Ghosts (London: Souvenir Press, 1971).
Re. disembodied legs - the Black Swan at Peasholme Green in York famously has a 'pair of disembodied legs walking down the stairs' ghost...

A couple of years ago we were passing by and there happened to be an archaeological dig, literally metres from the side of the Black Swan. It was one of those open digs where the public can walk up and chat with the archaeologts as they work. Apparently it was the site of some Victorian slums which had cut across something older (so you get bodies that had bits chopped off, like Richard III's feet....) and the archaeologist was telling us that where he was digging, they'd recently found... a pair of disembodied legs, presumably the older burial was disrupted by a house or outhouse...

He hadn't heard the story of the pub ghost (well one of its ghosts - it has a few). Coincidence but an interesting one!
 

merricat

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#19
Hope it’s ok to resurrect this one?

It reminded me of the house we lived in during my mid teens.
My mother used to do her ironing on the upstairs landing just outside of the bathroom. Many years after moving to a new house, she admitted that something (invisible) gave her a nasty shove a few times whilst ironing.
One other witness, my sister’s friend claimed something shoved her so hard when coming out of the bathroom that she nearly fell down the stairs. Same location, same rough shove.

Not sure what to make of that.

The only experience I had whilst living there was seeing my mother leave the kitchen when I was watching tv after school one afternoon. She passed through the living room towards the stairs as I turned to watch her. I didn’t focus on her face, so can’t supply more detail.

Except she never did leave the kitchen or come through the living room.
She was cooking all the while.

Quite disturbing!
 

RaM

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#20
I have never been shoved but the landlady at the Ring o bells in Middleton once told me the ghost would push men wile they were pointing Percy at the porcelain starting a few fights.
Another lady told me that if they were not working fast enough on certain machines the ghost of the old Forman would give them a shove.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#21
I keep meaning to visit this pub; I have often passed it, when exploring the church and gardens next door. The picturesque Olde Boar's Head, over the road, gets more attention usually, for its literary associations, though I think its tumbledown look is a 20th Century confection, to be honest.

I'm never in Middleton without the car, so the temptation of a pint does not usually arise. It is - just about - within staggering distance. Same goes for the haunted hostelries of Prestwich, which I have also neglected. I did once mention Ostrich Lane on this board, iirc. :boozing:
 

Naughty_Felid

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#22
My mother hated a particular spot on the stairs in a house we lived in because she reckoned that every time she reached it, someone unseen would shove her in the back. She'd nearly fall down the stairs several times a day.

It wasn't an old farmhouse or a crumbling mansion, just a 1930s brick-built council house. She and my father lived there long after we kids'd all moved out and the shoving persisted until the day they left.

Mother now lives in a swish purpose-built sheltered housing complex with no need for stairs. No more shoving!

I wonder if the entity feels sad that it can't shove your mother around anymore?
 

RaM

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#24
I keep meaning to visit this pub; I have often passed it, when exploring the church and gardens next door. The picturesque Olde Boar's Head, over the road, gets more attention usually, for its literary associations, though I think its tumbledown look is a 20th Century confection, to be honest.

I'm never in Middleton without the car, so the temptation of a pint does not usually arise. It is - just about - within staggering distance. Same goes for the haunted hostelries of Prestwich, which I have also neglected. I did once mention Ostrich Lane on this board, iirc. :boozing:

Old Boars Head I was trying to think what the one across the way was called, there was rumored to be a passage between the two and two bodys in armor found when they dug up the cellar floor.
 

Ghost In The Machine

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#25
Nearly three years and friend hasn't shoved me again! (Or rather, tugged at my clothing). Just the afternoon of the funeral. She finally has a headstone. I'm going up there in the next week or so to plant some rosemary on her grave - she once made me an hour late for a work appointment she was riding shotgun, because she met someone she vaguely knew and wanted to give him some rosemary cuttings, then spent ages chatting about the properties of rosemary with him! And the supersitition about 'rosemary for remembrance'. So I can't think of anything more appropriate for her! Maybe the combo of 'gardening ghost' plus 'phantom shoving' will do the trick.

ETA: Because if I'd ever want to be haunted by one person, it would be this friend!
 
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Mungoman

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#26
Nearly three years and friend hasn't shoved me again! (Or rather, tugged at my clothing). Just the afternoon of the funeral. She finally has a headstone. I'm going up there in the next week or so to plant some rosemary on her grave - she once made me an hour late for a work appointment she was riding shotgun, because she met someone she vaguely knew and wanted to give him some rosemary cuttings, then spent ages chatting about the properties of rosemary with him! And the supersitition about 'rosemary for remembrance'. So I can't think of anything more appropriate for her! Maybe the combo of 'gardening ghost' plus 'phantom shoving' will do the trick.

ETA: Because if I'd ever want to be haunted by one person, it would be this friend!

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts...
There’s fennel for you, and columbines; there’s rue for you, and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they wither’d all when my father died. They say he made a good end,— [Sings.]
“For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.”
 

Ghost In The Machine

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#27
I'd forgotten that! Nice to see it again.

Update: was up there today. No shoving but a coincidence.

It's one of those woodland burial places in a village in the middle of nowhere. There was the gravedigger, making a new grave at quite some distance but no-one else there, as ever, and I planted a little rosemary plant, but couldn't find much water for it and it's a hot day today. So I was worried about it and decided to revisit with more water on the way home.

A few hours later, back with water, saw two women at the newly made grave (I think it was that one, if not close by it). It was covered in flowers, so a funeral must have happened in the time we had our day out.

It's been stupid hot (for the UK) all day and the tiny cup of water I'd put on the rosemary would long since have evaporated - but I noticed the leaves felt wet. I assumed the gravedigger had seen my pathetic attempt at watering it and after I left, watered it again for me.

But then the older woman, about my age, crossed to talk with me and said she was a friend of my friend, and she had just buried her son, today. She found it comforting that he was close to my mate who had been his sibling's godmother. Apparently this lady also visits the grave all the time. And she had seen the new plant and watered it.

Later passed me again, and said our mutual friend would have hated her very formal funeral - this lady was there as well. Friend would have liked us to dance naked round her grave, she said. True. But she had been at the funeral. So were a hundred or more other people so I didn't remember her, or she me. But anyway - short version - I met someone today who was at the same funeral where I felt someone grab my shawl. Friend had a lot of friends so maybe the odds were that eventually we'd bump into someone there.
 
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