Bit of an odd one, this. Before I start, I feel I should probably point out that whilst I am intrigued by the unexplained and always have been, I am to this day basically a skeptic when it comes to "ghosts" and the like. Essentially, I am very interested in experiences that some would describe as paranormal in nature but am yet to be convinced that they are entirely that. What I love is the fact that they seemingly cannot be rationally explained away. So, what I'm about to describe to you, I do so without presumptions as to what the real causes were. I'm giddy to see what you think, though!
Right, here goes.
We're going back about 12 years now and this occurred in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. For those that don't know it (and why would you), Chesterfield is a medium sized market town and the nightlife mirrors this size and setting. On the night in question I would have been 19 years old and I had been out with a friend at the one bar you could go to without getting slapped by a man in a white shirt. I should point out however that whilst I drank like every other small-town teenager, I was not drunk when this occurred. In fact, there was nothing in my system whatsoever which could explain this event as at the time I was saving for a trip to America. So on this particular night, no liquor had been consumed. I was merely enjoying the company. Rare, but definitely worth mentioning!
Anyway, I was walking home with my friend. He lived about half a mile from me and our paths separated a few roads from our respective houses so I walked the last few hundred yards of our trek back from town on my own. The reason I mention Chesterfield's size is that you could walk home from a night out and not see another soul. Even in the town center just after closing time. Not one. New York it most definitely isn't. After we'd said our goodbyes, I continued my stroll home, behind the old football ground and as such a suitable distance from the town center itself, as dead it had been. As I approached the turning to my street, I could hear what sounded like a horse in the distance. Now, despite the incredibly quiet setting and the fact it was roughly 3am at the time, my initial thoughts were that perhaps there'd been some trouble in the town and these were police horses I could hear. Of course, I hadn't heard a peep or seen a soul on my walk home but it was the only rational explanation and besides, it wasn't scary, just unexpected. As I got closer to the turning, the volume of these unmistakable hoofs got a little louder, but still sounded quiet, like they were in the distance but very slowly approaching.
Odd, but not exactly creepy.
However, I arrived at the corner and turned to walk down my street. When I got there, I noticed that the sound of the hoofs was no longer in the distance. I had somehow walked through it, in fact. I was walking in the middle of the road as opposed to the pavement (god knows why) and it was as if the sound had peaked and as I continued to walk, actually became a little quieter. So they weren't emanating from a distance at all, but were in fact gentle, low-volume hoofs... And were coming from right beside me. They were also slow paced, not as if a policeman on horseback was about to hurtle past. My initial response was probably nervous laughter. I certainly knew it was strange, but my mind didn't fill in any gaps and I wasn't afraid, just confused.
The next moment was the clincher. As I slowed down to a stop in order to listen intently to the sounds I could hear, all of a sudden I was slapped on the right side of my face. I immediately threw up my hands, assuming I was being jumped by a particularly ninja-esc scallywag in a tracksuit, but there was nobody there. Anywhere. And standing in the middle of the road as I was, no place for them to have hidden, even if the assailants were faster than lightning.
It was at this point that all cool was lost and I legged it down the road to my house, making sure I locked the door behind me.
I also remember looking back at least twice when I was a safe distance away, basically making sure I wasn't being chased as I didn't want to let anyone OR anything into my home... It was only when the door was firmly shut that it dawned on me just how odd the experience had been.
Sorry for rambling, but I thought this was worth sharing as I'd love to hear your thoughts. Like I said at the start... To this day I have no idea what actually occurred but the whole experience was delightfully freaky. I haven't lived on this road for years but definitely would have walked the same route again after it happened and nothing else ever occurred. Still, hoofs and slap from an invisible assailant? Undeniably the oddest thing I've experienced.
Thanks for reading, and if you want any further info or have any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.