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Brisk Walker

 

This is a peculiar series of events that involve a man who simply walks home. I'm not sure this person is a ghost and don't really know what to think, actually.

When I was 10 we moved to a house where I first encountered 'The Dancer'. We moved there in late 1991 and Mum moved out in 2007. During that entire time this guy walked past our house. Nothing unusual in that. We saw him maybe once a week, a few times a week, once a month. Depended on if you were looking out the window at the right time. From this we can deduce he kept a routine. We always saw him in the afternoon/early evening. I never took notes of the times, but between roughly 5pm and 7pm.

He always wore a black or maybe it was charcoal suit, white shirt, carried a briefcase and I think he wore glasses. He was kind of short, maybe 5'4 or something, his hair was sandy blonde and thick. Also, he had a very brisk walk, he was quick and his pace never seemed to alter. His consistent walking pace was the most distinguishing thing about him.

The first 'off' thing I noticed about the guy was on a hot summer day, in about 1996, I was around 15. It was early evening, I was mucking around with the budgie, saw him walk past, thought nothing of it. Moments passed, I realised how hot it was and how he was wearing a full suit. Thought he was pretty dumb not to have taken his jacket off at least and wondered how someone could keep a quick pace in the heat.

We'd seen him walk in different locations around town, around his usual time. Always on the same route. His route came from the station. The reason we noticed this is because our house was nowhere near the station and there were bus routes to take you to our neighbourhood. No need to walk all that way. We figured he'd chosen to walk for the exercise. So when he walked past wearing a full suit on a million degree day I was somewhat shocked.

I can't remember what was going on, but late one night, in about 1999, Mum and I were standing on the street a few doors up from our house looking up at the stars. Mum's big on astronomy and often called me outside to check something out. However, we usually star gazed from the back yard or the drive way. Standing on the street was rare. So there we were at about 11pm, and there he was walking home late. From where we were standing we saw him turn down a street off ours. Mum commented that after all these years she never knew where he walked beyond the point of our place. She also voiced concern about him walking from the station so late because yahoos hung around that station after dark. I thought about how we'd never seen him in any other context all these years.

Apart from it being late nothing seemed that strange.

We continued to see him walk past our house at his usual time after this.

About a year later I was at the letterbox when he rounded our corner. This was the first and only time I saw him up close. Our letterbox was about five steps from the corner. I looked up and said 'hi', or something, as he passed. He replied 'hi' or something and glanced at me briefly. There was something bizarre about this moment, I couldn't put my finger on it, and still can't. However, I was distracted by a fashion catalogue, or some such nonsense, and didn't give heed to any undercurrent. As he passed I turned to go up the driveway, so I was directly behind him on the footpath. I looked up from the catalogue to where I was going and he was gone. He should have been directly in front of me, because only a second had passed. I thought 'where did he go?' these thoughts turned to 'where does he go?'

Our embankment was dense and steep, he couldn't have gone in there. Our neighbours embankment was equally steep. The houses across the road had visible front yards. I don't know where someone could have hidden within seconds.

Today I still don't know what to make of that. Of all the brushes with odd I've had, this 'ghost' has always been hard to accept as a ghost. I don't know why that is, but I still feel the same today. Also of note, when he suddenly wasn't there, I didn't freak out or anything. Just looked around and thought 'cool, wonder if anyone else just saw that' (meaning other neighbours).

Since that day we continued to see him pass our house, as well as in various points around the route from the station to our neck of the woods. He always walked briskly, always wore the same attire. As the years went on I became aware his fashion never changed and he never aged. But that doesn't prove he's a ghost either.

Oddly enough I remember the first time I saw him quite vividly. It wasn't long after we'd moved in, way back in 1991. Stopped whatever I was doing when I noticed some guy walk past our place, then continued to watch this person walk up the road. It was all pretty dull. Nevertheless I remember that mundane moment quite well.

Ever since that first time I had these questions like 'what is he doing?' I guess this feeling is directly linked to the weirdness in the letterbox moment.

Since the letter box day prompted me to question if he was a ghost, more questions beckoned. What motive and why bother? Was he residual and I imagined he acknowledged me because I was distracted? If he was residual, surely he would have stopped traffic. There were main intersections on his route.

Come to think of it I never saw him cross any road. In fact he always 'crossed' the road at a certain point in front of our house which was obscured by trees. We had a thick mini forest of Lilly Pillys up an embankment from the footpath. He must have crossed around this section of path. Because every time he passed our place he would be on the other side of the road by the time he'd passed our embankment and become visible, further up the road, from our windows once more.

A few years before the letterbox moment I saw him walk through the station car park, away from the station. But that's the closest I ever saw him to the station. On that day a group of us, all teenagers, were hanging around outside the Masonic Lodge opposite the station. We were peering through the gates, making up conspiracy theories about what went on inside, any excuse to talk about paranormal stuff, the typical crap. Amusingly peering through the gates meant facing away from the station. In hindsight this moment has pantomime qualities: 'HE'S BEHIND YOU!'

His attire and early evening commute simply lead us to assume he was walking home from the station. So noticing him walk through the car park in the direction of the rest of his route seemed normal. Also I never saw him at any location before the station on his route. That doesn't really mean anything either does it.

Oh well.

Thanks for reading.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

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, Tweed, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
7 months ago (2017-05-03)
MaybeADreamer, nice to see you around here again!
Yeah I think I'll always wonder about this one too. Glad you enjoyed reading it.

BeagleMom haha, I had an argument with spellchecker about Lilly Pillys or is it Pillies? Not sure. I didn't know they were an Australian tree until a couple of years ago. Anyway the ones at that place were a ye olde species. These days a lot of hybrid plants/trees have taken off and the original plant/tree can be hard to come by. The variety on the embankment were the purple berry sort. But yeah, they're a cool tree no matter what!
As for the flora being different in California, I must disagree. The trees, gardens, even the homes are very similar to Australia.

Seraphina, glad you liked it. I'm equally fascinated with your encounters. 😊
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-05-01)
Tweed, your stories are always fascinating, but this one is particularly intriguing. Thanks for sharing it. ~ Seraphina
BeagleMom (3 stories) (78 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-30)
Tweed,

What a fascinating account. It kept reminding me of an old movie I had watched or a dream I had. Can't quite put my finger on it.

Then I got down to the Lilly Pillys and stopped dead! I had to Google them. I thought you had made them up. Then it hit me, you live in Australia... Your flora and fauna are much different from California. I think I better take myself off to bed. Must need to sleep!

Well, when you get to be over 60 years old, I am sure you might agree with me that old age has its downfalls!


Mother of Beagles
MaybeADreamer (4 stories) (53 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-29)
Hey Tweed, nice to read another of year stories.
Well written as usual. And an intriguing one.

I can just imagine it myself, I guess it's something you will always wonder.

Thanks for sharing.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
BGP, all I've got to say is far out I LOVE your ideas! 😊 I did get a good look at his face but his voice I wouldn't know again. I'm remembering his voice was faint, like a shy 'hi' or 'hey'. But I don't know, maybe my mind is just filling in the blanks. "Habitual iteration" - love that!
babygoatpuller (4 stories) (385 posts)
+2
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Tweed-
As usual, a fascinating account. I'm going to go out on a limb here and call this "habitual iteration". You see this guy walking home one day and see him again once or twice a week or once a month. He becomes familiar, you get on with your busy life and don't notice anything unusual about him or connect any dots.

You had a few "yeah but" moments but it seems the monotony of seeing him made these fleeting moments and you carried on. Even the interaction you had with him saying "hi" back and then disappearing didn't seem to connect. All very mundane. Maybe HE was trying to make the not-so-normal seem normal to you. Did you ever get a good look at his face? Do you remember the sound of his voice?

You said, "Depended on if you were looking out the window at the right time." Maybe you were looking at the right times. I get the feeling you were supposed to see him. Might explain the odd time that you did see him with your mum, looking at the stars.

This is all conjecture here. I like Manafon's thought process. "A mere piece of the larger thought process the ghost is having that we human's can't comprehend".

Thanks for sharing Tweed. You always seem to bring out the critical thinking in your accounts. 😊
BeautInside (2 stories) (186 posts)
+2
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Hi Argette,

I'm feeling the same way too! Actually this is why I enjoy YGS so much, I just keep learning! 😁

Blessings.
Argette (guest)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Honestly, I'm finding this one so fascinating! Now I've got to read up on the Cheltenham Ghost.

Tweed, I will also check that link out! Thanks.

The conversations here are becoming more engrossing and I'm learning so much from them. I've got to thank everyone because I'm really pretty ignorant about such things. I feel as though I don't add much to the conversations, but I am enjoying them so much. Thanks, YGS.
BeautInside (2 stories) (186 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Thank you Manafon1, it's much clear now! 😊

Really thought that a residual ghost didn't show any form of intelligence, and it was only repeating a routine of what it used to do while living.
But it certainly makes sense that if they weren't tried with any form of contact they just kept repeating the same process. Maybe some of them focus so much on what they used to do that won't even noticed anyone around...

Yeah, completely agree with you when you say the paranormal is a wacky and wonderful world. Just like to add "very complex too". 😁
Manafon1 (5 stories) (511 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
BeautInside--There are indeed ghosts that are residual in the literal sense, repeating an action or a part of a conversation for example, that somehow become saturated in the atmosphere of a location. However, as Tweed's account (if it indeed was a ghost) and the Cheltenham Ghost nicely illustrate, is that what many might simply dismiss as "residual" might be something far more complex than initially assumed.

Were it not for an incredibly proactive young woman in the Cheltenham case (Rosina Despard) who actively tried to engage the ghost she repeatedly saw, or Tweed greeting the guy she saw, most would assume that those apparitions were unthinking residual entities. Engaging what many would call residual ghosts shows that there is more going on than simple black and white tags allow.

So, to make everything more difficult and unclearly cut than many like things to be, there are what are referred to as residual ghosts that are just that and others that seem to have an intelligence directing their actions 😭. The wacky, wonderful world of the paranormal 😁.
BeautInside (2 stories) (186 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
If the man in the suit was indeed a ghost and followed the same routine, which is characteristic of a residual hauntings, but still aknowledged you and didn't ignored you like it supposedely would if it was actually residual (please correct me if I am wrong). Could it be that he didn't noticed his own death and just kept going as nothing had happened? I've heard/read that when somebody dies suddenly or tragically they may not realise immediately they're dead and instead of crossing over they linger around. Could this be it?

Blessings.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Argette, sorry I missed your question. I didn't tell anyone about this until recent times. I suppose because I had/have a hard time believing he's a ghost, I don't know. 😕
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+2
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
WHOOAH WHHAAT?! Manafon, that's fascinating, wow! It's my (possibly bad) habit to look for links between the two. All I can think of is ties to the location. That Cheltenham ghost was one determined woman!
Manafon1 (5 stories) (511 posts)
+2
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Hi Tweed--The Cheltenham Ghost was completely solid in appearance for several years before she slowly became more and more transparent and indistinct towards the end of the Despard family's tenancy of the house. However, in an unusual twist, other people in the immediate vicinity, some decades after the initial reports, began reporting the ghost roaming around the yards and hallways of nearby homes.

These well documented cases continued up until 1979. These newer reports of a fully solid apparition that matched the description of the Cheltenham Ghost were reported from buildings contemporary with the house the ghost had previously been seen in. According to Lilian Despard, a grandchild of Captain Despard, the man who was renting the house with his family during the ghost's most active period, the Captain had the house exorcized by Canon Gardner of All Saints Church. Maybe this inducement is what caused the ghost to move out. In any case the buildings she supposedly haunted afterwards were always within view if the house she was first seen in.

So short answer (too late) is that, like the guy you saw, the Cheltenham Ghost was solid in appearance for several years, then indistinct and then solid again in later appearances. You said the walk you saw the guy take was around 20 minutes. The Cheltenham gal was seen for up to 45 minutes. A tenacious ghost if ever there was one. Although your walker, if indeed a ghost, isn't far behind!
Melda (9 stories) (727 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Biblio - I have responded to Tweed's experience and obviously read your comment, which as always is extremely insightful.

I watched every episode of Fawlty Towers and my word, as silly as it was at times I was always in stitches 😆 How clever and funny to add that that to Tweed's experience 😆

Regards, Melda
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+3
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Thanks for the feedback guys. 😊

BeautInside, glad you enjoyed reading. Yeup it's just as customary in Australia to wear business suits for certain professions. So he completely blended in with the bustle of commuters. His hair and clothing style looked late 80's early 90's. So it was current when we first moved in, but then never altered thereafter. But he never looked too dated either.
Residual hauntings are fairly bizarre in that some seem to be 'imprinted memories' which don't change. While others display a form of intelligence. Manafon describes this better than I can in his comment.
I'd like to think if I'd noticed him on a weekend I would've questioned it. Public transport timetables are different on a weekend for example. But I can't say for sure if he ever walked passed on a weekend or not. Good question!

Argette, glad you liked it. If you enjoy this kind of thing, you'll find Yo Momma's encounters of a similar nature intriguing, here's hers:
Http://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=23571
Haha the aging thing is probably the thing that confuses me the least. I'm so bad at guessing someone's age, so I can understand a regular person not appearing to age. I would only see him from the window, or around town. That day was the only time I saw him up close, with only further brief sightings to compare with. So he didn't appear to age, from a distance at least. He looked between early 30's to mid 40's (told you I was bad at it!)

Manafon, the Cheltenham Ghost! I couldn't remember the name, but I remembered you talking about her as I was typing this up. Was she totally solid, do you know? I guess the biggest problem I have about this guy, actually there are two, one is that he looked so normal, and the other is the distance he covered and time he was possibly 'solid'. I've done the same walk from the station and it took about 20 minutes walking time, half an hour all up including waiting for traffic. But then I don't remember him ever waiting for traffic or crossing a road. Your piece of a larger thought theory is cool!

Lady Glow haha I don't care if it had nothing to do with this, thanks for telling me about your darkly clad parrot walker! I would've loved to have had her walk past when I was a kid.

Mack, the word 'yahoo' needs to make a comeback. I've wondered about OCD for this fellow before too. Glad you enjoyed the paragraphs.

Biblio, I followed your bread example and I'd never thought of it as being a singular event skewed by multiple facets, so thanks! It wasn't until I read your Basil Fawlty moment that I thought of it in a different way. Almost as if the guy was walking himself into a self affirming mantra "No one's dead, nothing to see here". Hope that makes sense.
Also, side note: Able-bodied people who walk slowly are idiots! Drives me up the wall!

Lollipop, this happened in a suburb in Melbourne.

Melda thanks for telling me about your supermarket weirdness. Ghosts out in public is something that interests me. I'm not saying one way or the other if that lady was a ghost, but I bet ghosts do things like that daily without anyone noticing!
Melda (9 stories) (727 posts)
 
8 months ago (2017-04-27)
Tweed - Whether this guy was residual or human I don't think you will ever know. I must admit it sounds a bit weird.

I also experienced something which I will never be able to explain but this happened in a supermarket. I was pushing my trolley up an aisle and there was a woman inspecting canned goods on a shelf. I went past her and grabbed a can of strawberry jam. I was virtually right next to her and taking the jam off the shelf did not take more than a second. When I looked again this woman had vanished!

Anyway, I don't want to distract attention from your experience but I have often wondered whether some of the people we see on streets, shops, etc are actually human. How do we know? 😆

Regards, Melda
Lollipopspace (5 stories) (9 posts)
 
8 months ago (2017-04-26)
Dear tweed,
What part of Australia do you live in. Like do you live down south or do you live up north like me.
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (745 posts)
+2
8 months ago (2017-04-26)
Greetings, Tweed.

The first point I'd like to make about your experiences is the easy one. I was always quite short as a child, so I learned to walk at 4 mph to keep up with taller people walking at 3 mph. Even now, being on the short end of "average height," I still pelt around school, shopping malls, grocery stores, and the like, growing ever more impatient with slow-moving tall people who don't seem to notice their dangling limbs and surplus elbows getting in the way. Shorter people who get used to moving at a brisk clip have no trouble maintaining that a pace as we age, as we have always been doing it.

I'm going to ask that you bear with me for a moment or two, now, because I think I'm looking at the situation sideways-on, which is pretty normal for me as you know. I can't shake the impression that the man you saw was only doing his normal routine once from his perspective, but hundreds of times from yours. (As I said: "sideways-on.") This is going to require some atemporality of thought, but I hope to clarify my idea. Think of his brisk walk as a single, lengthy walk home from the station in which he is oblivious to external changes in weather, temperature, even daylight, but he *does* notice -to some degree- if he is greeted politely by a neighbor. (Had to adjust from British spelling, there.) His trek home would be akin to an air bubble in a loaf of bread, such that it passes through many slices, but is/was only one bubble which was formed prior to the slices made in the loaf; his activity would be an undeviating pattern because there was only the one event (relativistically), but it can be seen multiple times from outside the causality of his experiences (the "slices" you've cut from the bread). What seems to be routine would be a singular event perceived through multiple facets, like a kaleidoscope of spectral imagery projected onto the stable surface of "normal" space/time.

I don't know if this helps to clarify my thoughts, or if I'm getting everyone muddled up when a simpler explanation appertains. Perhaps this idea would explain minor variations within the framework of residual haunting phenomena, as Manafon illustrated with the Cheltenham Ghost.

To end on a lighter note, I couldn't help thinking of the Fawlty Towers episode "The Kipper and the Corpse." There's an awful moment in which a very earnest man is trying to retrieve his hat from behind Basil, who refuses to move because he's hiding a dead body propped up against the hat stand. Something about your description of your phantom walker reminded me of the sandy-haired fellow.

Best (and slightly beffuddled),
-Biblio.
Macknorton (5 stories) (533 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-26)
Thanks Tweed - very enjoyable read.

And good use of paragraphs for anyone out there considering submitting a War and Peace epic!

Particularly enjoyed hearing the term "Yahoo's" again! My father used to mutter that term all the time when I was younger - I assumed it meant "people who are having way more fun than you" 😆

My thinking tends towards 'person with some mental issues', possibly OCD or something like that, however the disappearing aspect and inappropriate attire for the weather
Was very odd.

Other than that, my thoughts are very similar to what Manafon1 said so eloquently!

Regards

Mack
lady-glow (8 stories) (1629 posts)
+2
8 months ago (2017-04-26)
Tweed: this is a very interesting experience. There's not much I can say about it other than it made me remember an old lady neighbor that used to walk by my street when I was a kid, like your walker, this lady was always dressed in dark clothing: a long flowing skirt and a sweater; and sometimes her pet green parrot would perch on her shoulder.
I know this has nothing to do with your story. 😐

Beautifully written.

Thanks for sharing.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (511 posts)
+3
8 months ago (2017-04-26)
Tweed--I really enjoyed reading this account. Although it's impossible to be sure this guy was a ghost, it does seem likely. What I really like about your description is the exact route this guy always seemed to be following. Even when you saw him late at night. If he was a ghost the "residual" tag would seem apropos. However, what makes this example extra interesting is that you remember him responding to your greeting when he passed you once and that he briefly broke from his normal routine and glanced at you.

This reminded me strongly of the Chetenham ghost (which is well documented and I have often made reference to). In that case the female ghost always was seen repeating a similar route inside, and on occasion outside, a large house. Many saw her and since she always trod the same route and did the same things it would have been easy for everyone to say, "she's a residual ghost", and be done with it. However, like you addressing your suit wearing man, the eldest daughter of the house in Cheltenham also addressed her "residual" ghost and it too briefly broke from its routine to acknowledge a person directly addressing it.

Your account, like the Chetenham ghost, suggests that some residual ghosts are indeed not mere "impressions" left on a location but have some awareness or cognizance. Of course I do believe some residual ghosts are exactly that but cases like yours do suggest that many apparitions are mistaken as residual when there is a component that is often missed because no attempt is made to communicate with it.

As to why the guy you saw would be endlessly retracing a particular route or why the Cheltenham gal chose to retrace the same steps in her one time home, that probably has something to do with the "time not being a consideration in the afterlife" concept. We as humans are confounded by what appears to us to be numbing repetition but who knows what this could mean, or be a part of, in the thoughts of the apparition who is seen. It could be a mere piece of a larger thought the ghost is having that we humans can't comprehend. The tip of a deep and vast iceberg as it were that will possibly make more sense once we one day "cross over". Cool account Tweed.
Argette (guest)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-26)
Tweed, this was one of the most fascinating accounts I've read on YGS! Thank you!

While I suppose it's possible The Walker was just an old-school, dapper and highly fastidious and formal man, the fact that he didn't age intrigues me.

Did you ever ask anyone else about him?
BeautInside (2 stories) (186 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-04-26)
Hi Tweed,

This is a very interesting account, I trully enjoyed reading it 😊

Well it seems very strange. When you mentioned the suit I didn't think much of it because, I don't know if it happens there, in my country for certain jobs the employees are required to wear suits specifically or formal clothes. However, when the work is done for the day and they leave the office or facilities they can make themselves confortable and remove their jacket, for instance. So I can't understand why in such a hot day he'd make himself so unconfortanble by wearing a suit while walking a considerable distance.
It is indeed odd to me, and adding that to the man disappearing in a blink of an eye... No wonder you are still wondering 😉

Still, I don't think it would be a residual haunting. Mostly because to my understanding it would be reliving a certain moment exactly as it was, and if this was case it wouldn't have aknowledged you. Am I right?

If you allow me to ask, do you remember if you'd see him during the week or if you ever noticed his routine during the week-end? I know it's been a long time and I understand if you can't recall it.

Thank you very much for sharing this, I really like this kind of experience because it makes me think and I can learn from it! 😊

Blessings.

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