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The Train Driver


This is the second instalment in my series of supernatural occurrences. My mother, let us call her Maura, takes the lead in this story as she does in the vast majority of these tales. It is her desire that these occurrences be appropriately documented and explored before she grows old and forgets.

Let's begin...

This happening occurred in 1962, Belfast city, Northern Ireland. My mother's age at the time was eleven years.

She was walking to school one morning dressed in her first year secondary school uniform. She was walking along the street known as St James's place, the street in which she grew up. Whilst nonchalantly navigating to her school she encountered a man she was familiar with. He was a neighbour. She vaguely recalled in her own mind that his name was Mr. Hamill and his wife was close friends with her mother. More stimulating to her young mind was more the fact that he was a train driver. She observed his black trousers, dark cuffed blazer and flat cap. His official appearance sported the logo "NI Railways". That is the company title for Northern Ireland's rail service.

When the encounter ensued, Mr Hamill spoke to Maura. He stated the following: "Good Morning, do you know if Maisie is in?" Maura noted that this was an odd question as Maisie was his wife and surely if anyone was to know if she was at home or not, it would have been him? Maura told him that she really didn't know. He replied "That's grand, thanks very much." She attributed no lasting significance to this exchange and resumed her day as per usual routine.

Later that day she returned home for lunch as was the habit at her school. Conversationally, her mother asked her did she hear about a recent death in their neighbourhood. Maura responded in the negative, and her mother informed her it was Mr Hamill, who died at 4 am that morning.

Maura rightfully reasoned that this could not be true as she had met him just before 9 am that morning. However, the death report was accurate.

Maura's mother being very superstitious had her walk the two blocks to the priest's house (Father McCall-St John's Parish, Belfast) and inform him of the situation. He simply advised her to "Pray for him."

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

Subtle_Poetics (7 stories) (11 posts)
12 years ago (2012-01-13)
When I consider this story, I like to believe that he was simply making an amicable gesture towards his wife. After all, he didn't know he was about to die and surely it would occur to anyone of mild manner to say an appropriate farewell to those he loved.

It comforts me to know kindness and consideration don't die when we pass on.
spooky-n-crazy (6 posts)
12 years ago (2012-01-12)
cool! ❤ ❤ ❤
I really liked this 1...
And its from Ireland the country I don't know...
Argette (guest)
12 years ago (2012-01-12)
Was he repeating a past experience - perhaps from his days courting Maisie? Or was he coming back to check on his wife one last time?

In any case, a touching story, well told. Thank you!
teneki (10 stories) (140 posts)
12 years ago (2012-01-12)
My dad had a similar account with a sheriff when he was a small child. Unfortunately, that encounter wasn't enough to make him believe in ghosts.
taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
12 years ago (2012-01-11)
subtle-poetics again an interesting post, thanks for adding and please send my thanks to your mother too for letting you share them with us.
It must have been hard for her to accept that mr hamill had passed 5 hours before she saw him in the street!
Looking forward to some more 😊
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
12 years ago (2012-01-11)
What a wonderful experience and you have a wonderful way of recounting for your mother these experiences. But I wonder why you call it a tale? You say that your mother takes the lead in these tales. Anyway, I think that your mother has probably had a lot of experiences with the paranormal. Have you ever had any paranormal experiences?

Thanks, zeta.

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