This Christmas post was adapted with permission from The Roadmap of British Ghosts by Ruth Roper Wylde, which is due to be published early in 2019. Thank you, Ruth. Featured here are a tale from the parish of Great Horwood, and several tales from the parish of Tingewick. I took all the photos, yesterday. In the rain. You can tell.
The Victorian Horsewoman
This car is just coming to the give way line from Nash. The line of the road has been altered, and I was standing about where the road from Great Horwood used to be. The horsewoman was coming from Buckingham, to the left of the picture.
When Ruth asked on social media about the various ghosts around Buckinghamshire, one witness wrote to tell her about his experience:
In 1997 he was driving towards the crossroads between Nash and Great Horwood on the Buckingham to Bletchley road, the A421. (Today there is a roundabout there) He was driving from Nash and had a passenger. It was a bright sunny day.
He pulled the car up at the give way line. A heavy lorry belonging to the Leighton Buzzard firm Pentus Brown and Sons approached the junction.
He and his passenger were quietly chatting when their attention was caught by a lady on a horse trotting down the road from the direction of Buckingham. She wore Victorian style clothing and sat side-saddle. A small dog trotted alongside. They only had a moment to wonder at her attire and riding position, then to their horror, instead of stopping at the crossroads she simply carried on, completely oblivious to the lorry.
The lorry driver saw her and braked so hard the lorry almost jackknifed. But he managed to stop it short yards of hitting the woman, her horse, and dog.
To everyone’s astonishment, neither the woman, the horse, or the dog reacted at all to the noise or sight of the massive lorry skidding to a halt almost close enough to touch them. They just carried on their way.
The lorry driver was obviously very shocked and swore profusely as he set off again.
Two Figures on the Road
The witness I found claims that on 17 January 2016, at 10:35 (not sure whether this is a.m or p.m), a driver travelling on the dual carriageway that bypasses Tingewick saw two figures cross the road in front of him.
One seemed to be quite tall, whilst the other was short and seemed to be wearing loose baggy clothing of some kind. The two figures reached the edge of the road and disappeared.
At first the driver assumed there must be a hidden gateway or gap there, but as he drew level, he realised there was absolutely nowhere the figures could have gone; there was nothing there except a blank expanse of roadside verge.
A local farmer then came forward and she told me that on their land was what used to be the wartime airfield RAF Finmere. The A421 runs alongside it. They are aware that they have a ghost in their fields who they refer to as the Shepherd, but in reality she thinks he is probably the ghost of a wartime pilot.
He doesn’t appear very often, but every now and then they will get a distinct feeling of a presence behind them, or a gut feeling of something being wrong which they have learned to go and check out since he is always right; there is something urgently needing their attention. The family tend to say thank you to him when this happens.
Not long before Christmas 2017, a local woman who knows she has a sensitivity to ghosts was driving to Tingewick to drop a friend off, after they had been out together for a Christmas meal.
When the car pulled up outside the friend’s house, they sat chatting for about 40 mins before they bade each other good night and the friend got out of the car. It was after 11.30pm at night. As the woman went to pull away, she strongly sensed that somebody was sitting in the back of her car.
Glancing in her rear view mirror, she could just see in the dim light that someone was indeed sitting on the back seat, but every time she turned around to get a proper look, there was no one there.
She carried on driving out of Tingewick and along the A421, heading towards Brackley. As the car neared a roundabout, she suddenly felt the spirit move into the front seat and sit alongside her. If she used her peripheral vision she could make out that a man was now sitting in her front passenger seat, but if she turned to look directly at him, the seat was empty.
When she reached out to the gearstick, she could feel her arm grow cold with his proximity. When the car reached the roundabout to turn off for Brackley, he suddenly left the car, as if he was not able to travel any further.
An older witness told me that she had been born and raised in Tingewick, and she and her friends from the village would run around playing in the woods, where the long closed RAF Finmere had some buildings. They became quite accustomed to the sound of marching soldiers coming from within the woods.
The sound would be especially noticeable around dusk on summer evenings, when they would hear the shouts of the men as well as the sound of them marching, always just far enough away to be out of sight.
They never dared to camp out in the woods even as they got older. 8pm was their limit to be in there because after then, the place seemed less welcoming and they always had an uncomfortable feeling steal over them, as if they were being watched.
The Misty Figure
As she grew older, this same witness would drive home to Tingewick from Bicester, and on a handful of occasions saw a misty figure cross the bypass from the woods, but then the figure would just disappear. She was never close enough to the figure to make out whether it had any distinctive look or features
Quite a ghostly place, Tingewick Parish. So if you are using the bypass to skirt Tingewick - keep an eye out. You might just be lucky.
Ruth Roper Wylde has already published two other books about ghosts. They are: The Ghosts of Marston Vale and The Almanac of British Ghosts. On Monday 4th of February she will be doing a talk about ghosts at the Forest Centre, Marston Moretaine. More details here:
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