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The Phantom Highwayman

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Phantom highwayman

The phantom highwayman still drives his horses down this haunted road.

A police officer and his partner are witness to the ghostly apparition of a horse-drawn coach near the spooky moors of England

SOME GHOSTS ARE known as "intelligent hauntings," spirits that momentarily return to deliver messages to loved ones and are able to interact with the living. Others are known as "residual hauntings," people or events that seem to be recorded on the environment and, on occasion, replay, sometimes with both visuals and sound. Residual hauntings are moments captured in time that through some unknown mechanism of nature reappear to go through their motions, again and again.

Police officer Steven C. and his partner witnessed just such a residual haunting while on duty near the eerie moors of Durham Country in northeast England. This is Steven's story...

This event took place two nights before Halloween, 2012. Coincidently, it was my 35th birthday. I'm a police officer, having worked for the Durham Constabulary (police force) in the U.K. for nearly nine years. I am a very logical and rational person with an eye for details and a great memory. You have to be to be a police officer; you rely on it.

However, I can find no explanation for what occurred this night.

I work in a semi-rural setting, so it's mostly petty crime, such as break-ins and thefts. Nevertheless, I've had a fair few "odd" call-outs here and there, but they almost always turned out to be nothing. Around Halloween, however, the number of nuisance calls always goes through the roof! It's usually drunken teens (or adults!) doing things they shouldn't or getting a little carried away with the spirit of things and spooking the elderly, etc. Never anything serious.

THE CALL

On this particular night, my partner and I were patrolling our usual area, which is a small town in County Durham. We'd had a few nuisance calls that night, so we were patrolling to show a police presence in the area. At about 11.00 p.m. a call came up from an elderly couple in a farmhouse a short way out of town saying that they had been disturbed by somebody driving a horse and carriage up and down the lane by their house.

A slightly unusual call, but we proceeded to check it out. The farmhouse was a short drive away via some back roads. I remember it was a very cold night for that time of year and there was a full moon, so the countryside sort of "glowed" in the moonlight. Rather picturesque, but very chilly.

THE REPORT

We arrived at the property around ten minutes later and were greeted by the husband. From the moment we stepped out of the car, my partner and I both felt something wasn't quite right. Maybe it was the wind or the chill in the air, but either way something felt "off". I asked the gentleman what happened, and he described hearing the sound of a horse-drawn carriage and a man's voice driving them up and down the road, occurring every 20-30 minutes or so.

Next page: What the policemen saw

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