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Ghost Of Netherton Church

 

My story took place on a cold Sunday November afternoon in the early 90s (1992 I think). My cousin, brother and I were on the way to St. Andrew's Church, Netherton, Dudley, in the west Midlands of England.

Pushing our bikes up the steep hill at the rear of the church from the canal, the hill was (and still is) overgrown with tall grass and short round bushes and was rumoured to be the unmarked burial ground for victims of the black death, so quite a spooky place anyway.

At the time, it was thought (by us) that the hill at the back of the church was a 'No Go Zone' and we thought we would have got a good telling off if we were caught there, but still we pushed our BMX's towards the top of the hill.

Through the long grass and past the short bushes we pushed on. Just then, as we neared the top of the hill, I had looked up and caught sight of 'a vicar' with his black Labrador dog a few feet in front of him. "Oh no," I whispered, "there's the vicar!" (a little worried that we were going to be told off). The Vicar stopped suddenly and turned towards us as we continued to walk behind a thin tall bush (no more than 2 feet wide). It was then, as we emerged from the other side of it (must have taken less than 1 and a half seconds) that the vicar and his dog had completely disappeared, nowhere to be seen, vanished into thin air. Where could he have gone? And why? And there was no way he could have called his black dog back to him in that 1 and a half seconds.

We stood at the top of the hill for a few seconds just calling for him to 'come out' and then it hit us. At that point we must have set a new landspeed record on BMX's and peddled as fast as we could back home.

I would love to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience at this church or seen the same vicar walking his dog. Difficult to tell I suppose, he didn't look like a ghost and wasn't the usual vicar from the church that I had known through my school years. He was wearing old fashioned clergyman 'uniform', with a round black hat with a cloak to the floor.

I have been back to the same spot a few times (once exactly ten years later to the day) but have never seen anything else. Maybe his dog is just keeping extra vigilant.

I still remember everything of this event like it was yesterday and am totally convinced that what I experienced was a real ghost (and his dog). I just can't see how this could be anything else.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, loganferret, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

loganferret (1 stories) (1 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-04-25)
I'm so sorry for not posting replies to your comments (even the gym membership LOL), I'd totally forgotten which site i'd posted my story on (such an idiot). Sorry
Wow some really interesting comments and so many, where do I start?
The church is surrounded by a graveyard yes, but my experience took place just outside the actual grounds of the church, on the hill at the rear, I really must go back and take actual pictures but here it is on google maps https://goo.gl/maps/JtYUmUDmTER2, If you look to the left of the picture just outside of the main grounds you can see a cluster of bushes, in the early 90s we were able to walk in between these as they were quite small but now are impossible to walk through, it was from this spot that I saw the clergyman and his dog towards the top of the hill (still seems like yesterday)
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-19)
Yeah we got a bit off topic. They usually respond well though. Will have to keep mental notes in the future.
BadJuuJuu (13 stories) (1034 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2015-01-19)
I don't know how to say this diplomatically, but if I were the op I probably wouldn't answer either. I don't see an issue with people going off topic on their own stories as much as they please, but things got a tetch odd here. We've all been here long enough to be more respectful than what's happened here. I don't want to have an awkward situation, so let's call this a learning experience and move on.
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-19)
I don't think the o/p will be coming back to answer any time soon, just my opinion.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2015-01-19)
What a beautiful church! I did find several photo's of the church that show what the poster was describing, I googled St Andrews Church Netherton England then looked at "images". A hill is a hill, it is going to look different from all sides. Whether he saw a ghost or not, the experience would have been quite traumatic if you could not find the person in question (and dog) that just moments ago, is was right in front of you and the dog made no warning barks to answer your calls. Cap it off with rumors about what could be buried there, double spooky. And, BMXing is perfect for rough terrain, am familiar with the sport.http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/St_Andrews_Church%2C_Netherton_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1115259.jpg I did find reference to the village that says it goes back to the 15th century, and reference to trench burials of whole bodies when the plague overwhelmed local churches for burial in consecrated ground, especially in the 14th, 15th, 16th centuries. As the village was originally built lower, in the valley and only later moved up the hill, it makes sense that bodies would be buried away from the village, mayhaps, partially up a hill? Anyway, I love stories that make me do a history check. Thank you for posting!
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
+2
3 years ago (2015-01-16)
Sorry, Logan. At least, hopefully, our rudeness is entertaining.

My first question would really be where exactly this could have taken place where there is a clear view. It, as Val pointed out, quite wooded in that area. I am having a hard time picturing it.

Also, Sam, a vicar is clergy member who is in charge of the church, basically.
Sam222 (8 stories) (461 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-16)
Logan is a vicar like a priest, or a bishop, or like a cardinal, or head of church or something, I'm not sure, sorry for asking.
I think you should go to the church and ask the people who go to church often, if they have seen anything like that, or know anything about it.
I enjoyed reading your story thanks for sharing. 😁
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-16)
HAHAHAH oops... Yeah Elnora ask Logan your questions you big silly.
valkricry (39 stories) (2772 posts) mod
+1
3 years ago (2015-01-16)
*Curtsies* Thank you! Thank You!
*Stage whispers to elnora* Didn't you have some questions for poor logan - whom we seem to have forgotten? *blushes like mad with shame*
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
+2
3 years ago (2015-01-16)
-signs up with elnora to receive the BS blanket for free with membership;
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2015-01-16)
Possessed post also offers free soup, intensive head and neck exercises, and subliminal messages!

Certificate for one free BS blankie if you sign up now!
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-16)
LOL OR A 1 YEAR MEMBERSHIP TO THE GYM I CANT RIGHT NOW 😆 😆 😆 valk is #1
valkricry (39 stories) (2772 posts) mod
+1
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
elnora - WHAT!?! No life-time supply of pea soup? Or a 1 year gym membership so you can exercise that spirit?
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
"Possessed poster: comes with holy water and crucifix! Free with the membership to the site!"
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
possessed would be a lot funnier because it's a ghost site. Hahaha get it?
babygoatpuller (4 stories) (384 posts)
+3
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
"Obsessed" or "possessed"? 😆

Sorry elnora. Couldn't help myself.
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
I don't think anyone is close to being 5,000 posts. I've seen close to 2,500 though!
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
Knowing me, that is about two days of posting:P

Bahahaha.

5,000 posts should get an "Obsessed Poster" award.
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
wow Elnora you're almost an eminent poster! Only 100 to go! 😜
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
Wow, Val, nicely done! Now I have many questions...

(also, yay, 900 posts. I feel fancy).
valkricry (39 stories) (2772 posts) mod
 
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
Thanks,ifi. In some of the articles I read they did make reference to a hill behind the church, and a woods. Dudley Woods. But the OP did not mention the woods, and I'm unclear if they are on the same side as the hill or what. I think that the pictures were all taken from the side view.
I did find this description: "The west end of St Andrew's Church, Netherton is seen to the left on Netherton Hill, south of Dudley, with the open landscape (now largely built over) east-south-east towards Rowley Regis and Blackheath, west of Birmingham. The church, now screened from this direction by trees, was begun in 1827 and had been consecrated on 16 July 1830, 1 a matter of weeks before Turner's Midlands tour. At the top left is a detail of two windows, apparently those on the south side, where there are seven regularly spaced windows separated by buttresses." It's for a sketch done by Joseph Mallord William Turner called St Andrew's Church, Netherton, Looking East (dated 1830). Http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-st-andrews-church-netherton-looking-east-d22021
The OP will have to answer for himself, but from the description given it does not sound like they were near the tombstones nor the woods proper.
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
v nice detective work valk! Beautiful really.

And good point wish not, I was thinking residual too.
Wish-Not (16 stories) (522 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-15)
loganferret- Welcome to YGS. I see no reason it could not have been a vicar and his dog from long ago. I can see that he was still doing his usual routine. Which may have one wonder if it wasn't something residual.

One would think if you called for him that he would present himself, if he was actually alive. Don't you think?

Thanks for sharing
DOA-Spirit (13 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-14)
Hi,

Looking at the pictures it seems there are plenty of trees and graves which could obscure the view of a person walking back to the church. That said all the pictures are taken from the same view and pretty close to the church, it's hard to picture where you would of been positioned, as I can't see the hill mentioned in the story.

Is it at all possible that you and your friends were either hidden longer than you thought or were at an angle where the larger headstones or trees could have blocked your view of seeing the man returning to the church?

The description of the clergy man actually sounds very similar to how the more traditional undertakers dress in the UK on funeral days. I am also from the UK and the undertakers/pall bearers where dressed like this at a funeral I attended literally the week before Xmas.

Finally I can clarify there won't be an unmarked grave for victims of the black death. All bodies were cremated, as the plague could still spread even after the patient was deceased. They may have buried the ashes but certainly not the bodies. Normally a memorial plaque is located near the site.

Thanks.
valkricry (39 stories) (2772 posts) mod
 
3 years ago (2015-01-14)
I googled the church and found this site: http://www.forgegroup.org.uk/ntn.htm#INDEX
As the picture shows, the church seems to be in the middle of a graveyard. Not unusual.
I couldn't find any documentation that the hill or anything around the church is haunted. However, having been built in 1827,I'm sort of surprised at that I didn't find a plethora of them.
Did your friends see this vicar too?
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
 
3 years ago (2015-01-14)
Did the church happen to have a graveyard around it perhaps? Either that or the actual person riding was able to turn without you seeing?

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