‘ Do you believe in ghosts?’ An April fool or is it?
Since it is April 1st and, therefore, April Fool’s day, I thought I would regale you with my tale which poses the question Do you believe in ghosts? An April Fool or is it?
As a scientist, I considered myself a disbeliever for many years. Evidence can be tampered with, and there is usually an explanation for sightings of apparitions. That was until I visited ‘War Wheels’ at High Ercall, Shropshire (UK), in the 1990s, with my ‘other half’.
This was at an event held by the North Staffordshire Military Vehicle Trust where I even had a ride on a Alvis Stalwart. My other half managed to get a ride in the cab, however I was riding in the back, open to the air, and hanging on for dear life to the rail just behind the cab. It was an impressive ride through rough terrain and deep water. Himself was screeching with delight, me with terror, and the addition of lots of bruises on my ribs and arms where I was shaken like a stringed puppet against the rail!
High Ercall was a RAF and USAF airfield during WW2. In 1941/2, it was used by RAF fighter command 68, 254, 255 squadrons and 1456 flight. The United States Army 8th Air Force’s 309 Fighter Squadron was also stationed here. By 1943 it was used as a training base. Many of these brave souls were killed in action or in training accidents, and buried in military graves around the area.
Anyway, I digress….
I was stood near a stall in the corner of a hangar waiting for my husband to finish inspecting a Lancaster bomber radio on sale at the stall. We already had one at home, so I was getting slightly bored and started to people watch around the hangar.
Most people were dressed in 1990s clothes and were immersed in rummaging through boxes and stall table contents. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a pilot walking across the hangar perfectly dressed in WW2 uniform with a pair of military headphones around his neck.
I watched him for a few seconds stride across the hangar as if he were ready to take a flight. I noticed another lady, stood a few metres from me, looking at him too. We both smiled knowingly to one another and commented that the chap was taking it a bit far in dressing up in period costume, but perhaps he was a re-enactor.
Much later, (yawn!) I managed to drag my other half away to the NAAFI for a coffee and bacon sandwich, where I told him, bemused, about the chap the lady and I had seen. One of the event organisers overheard our conversation and told me I had seen the airfield ghost ‘Henry.’ I was flabbergasted, as the gentleman I saw, with sandy coloured hair under his cap, seemed real to me at the time!
Mr Lloyd said: “Our churchyard is home to a number of military graves. At some particular time my wife, Pauline, worked at Motec restaurant and was to become manager. One day, a very scared young teenage motor apprentice went for his midday meal and revealed that he’d seen a ghost seated at the table in his room. He shouted: ‘Hey, who are you?’The apparition clad in World War Two flying garb disappeared.”
Mr Lloyd added: “Staff gave the spectre the friendly name ‘Henry’. Witnesses all said the same – that the ghostly presence had ginger hair.”
So is this an April Fool joke or do you believe I saw Henry? I think I do!