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A Woman Who Wasn't There


I have never thought I have any unusual degree of extra sensory perception, but I did sometimes hear two women discussing their embroidery when I was in a particular part of the garden when I was small. I told my mother about it once, early on, but she was so horrified that her child might be thought to be hearing voices (her brother was a psychiatrist), that she just said "No you didn't, dear", and that was the end of it. And I just then avoided what was obviously an unwelcome subject. But I went on hearing those same two women occasionally for years until we moved away when I was about 11. The only other time I ever referred to them at all, as a child, was once when running across the lawn one day. The conversation was so clear that I was stopped in my tracks and called my friend back to ask her where she thought the voices were coming from. But my friend didn't know what I was talking about.

Since then I have had two very specific experiences as an adult that have not been explainable except as paranormal experiences in my opinion (for the record I have registered my dob on this site as 1889, but that obviously isn't when I was born, it is just nonsense because I find the question unnecessary and offensive). And one of those incidents was in Southampton, here in the UK, and I am going to tell it here. I understand it isn't an unusual type of story of the genre, but it is absolutely genuine. It was years ago now (1994 or thereabouts), and although I remember the incident clearly, I don't actually remember what I was doing there otherwise. I know it was a Sunday because I remember thinking I wouldn't have minded stopping at the department store I was heading towards if Sunday trading has started already. I don't remember what time of day it was exactly, either, except that it was daylight, the weather was fine and dry, and there was very little traffic on the road.

I was driving along the road that's nearly parallel to the High Street in Southampton toward the department store at the end there (Palmeston Road, I think it is), a little way behind a medium sized white van. The road there is very open with just grass and a few scattered trees some considerable distance away beyond the pavement, and it is a long straight road so that I had a long view of what was ahead of me. And as I was looking ahead, beyond the van, I was aware of a woman walking away from me along the left side of the road on the edge of the pavement. It was odd behaviour, it was a wide pavement and she was too close to the road when she clearly didn't need to be, and it slightly unnerved me even from a distance. I actually had time to register criticism of the van in front for not slowing when approaching her. Then, horror of horrors, as I watched, just as the van was about to pass her, she suddenly lurched off the pavement straight into its path.

I knew in that fraction of a second that she couldn't have survived, and in horror and panic I put the hammers down on my brakes like there was no tomorrow, so as to make sure I wouldn't make an horrific situation even worse by hitting what I thought would be the tragic crash scene. So then there was me, sat in my car stopped dead in the middle of the road, with smoking tyres (thank God there was nothing behind me), while the van (that I thought had to have surely just killed someone)... Drove blithely on! It carried straight on as if nothing had happened. And the woman whom I had seen lurch into the road had completely disappeared. There was no dead body. There was no live person. There was nothing that could be hiding her. There was nowhere for her to have gone. She just wasn't there. And I was left sitting in the car in some shock contemplating what it was that I had actually seen.

I had heard of crash re-enactment stories before, but it never occurred to me that I might experience anything of the kind. And I would be extremely interested to know if there has ever been any similar experience on that same road.

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

PikarinePlays (1 posts)
7 years ago (2015-02-25)
That is so coincidental as I live in Southampton and I have been on this road many times (I'm assuming your talking about the one behind Debenhams and has loads of bus stops on). I have always felt uneasy walking down that road it always seems a bit dark down there and I swear when I was younger I saw a very black figure like a shadow but it was of a woman with an umbrella. It wasn't raining out but it was still damp and wet (that road always is) and it freaked me out, I try to avoid that road now. I still can't get over the fact that we have seen something very similar I'm glad I'm not the only one.
Fergie (40 stories) (1159 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-22)
Welcome, Serendipity, to YGS. Your story intrigued me very much, & I would like to hear more. Thank you for a well told, graphic post. 😊
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4998 posts) mod
10 years ago (2012-02-22)
Serendipity - it sometimes seems as if writing these experiences down brings it all back, doesn't it? One of my most-recently submitted stories, but one my first true ghost sightings, made me feel that way. Every emotion was as if I was just feeling it again for the first time.

I keep a Journal, and have for the past 10 years, of my and my children's experiences. Sometimes when reading through the Journal, I get that "feeling" again when I get to a certain part. Some of the experiences seem to leave a more lasting impression than others. Not that they are more important, just that they touch something deep within me that I feel each time I think about it or when I read it again.

Sorry to go on like that. I really just wanted to say, before going off track, that I hope you do find some evidence to support your experience. Like you said, the internet could be the key to finding out who she was and what happened to her.

Please let us know if you find out anything.
Serendipity (2 stories) (20 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-22)
And MissyM, I'm sure it was a residual haunting too. The only thing I hope is that those involved in such cases aren't really there, any more than any one of us is there in a photograph. No one would deserve to be condemned, or to condemn themselves, to continuously relive whatever the trauma was. And suicide is so awful! When there is terrible pain, or equivalent, that's another issue. I have sympathy with those who want to end things when life in intolerable. But many regret the decision when it is only a gesture and/or about a short term issue. The sister of a friend of mine was one such. She had an argument with her boyfriend and took an overdose of her medication for epilepsy, before realising how stupid she had been and taking herself to hospital. But there was nothing they could do.

Haunting cases where there is interaction, though, I think, are very different. And the other significant experience I have had was one of those. But although I can tell other tales of "maybe it was, maybe it wasn't", the "normality" of what I have seen (suicide apart) re perfectly solid normal looking people, has made me think that it is not impossible that one has seen other incidents of hauntings etc and just not recognised that that is what they were.

And if I had genuinely been born in 1889 and had actually achieved 123 years old, and still had all my mental faculties, I think that would probably tip the balance to wanting to tell people instead...
Serendipity (2 stories) (20 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-22)
And re the story, again, when it happened, I was left a little shaken, not least because I had all the adrenaline rush from the panicked emergency stop. I metaphorically thanked whatever "powers that be" there are for the fact that there was nothing behind me at the time. There hadn't been time to check, I just reacted to the perceived necessity. And I sat there there for some little while afterward until I was eventually beeped by a couple of other cars passing me, wondering what I was doing there.

But I have long wondered who the lady was. And it was indeed very sad. I have to say that I thought it was suicide. I couldn't be 100% sure, the only other real possibility being that she was drunk, but I don't think she fell. I would have liked to have found out if anyone else had ever seen her, and I did make some attempt to do so, but it never got me anywhere. It was before the internet made all such things much easier of course. But writing it down here, when I hadn't really thought about it for years, has made me think I might try again. It wasn't that long ago, and who knows, there might have been something since.
MissyM (2 stories) (152 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-22)
Sounds like you came across a residual haunting. It is sad that women will forever jump into oncoming traffic if that is the case. Maybe that is the price she pays for making the grave decision of taking her life.

I always thought it was funny that people say that most people after jumping realize that there problems aren't as bad after the fact when it's too late. How would you know if they realized it or not? Their dead and can't tell you anymore.

And Serendipity if I was born in 1889 and 123 years old I would want to tell anyone either... Lol jk 😆
Serendipity (2 stories) (20 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-22)
Miracles...Once one is over a certain age, and in some cases that can be mid twenties, it isn't very nice to be constantly reminded that one is getting older horrifyingly fast. And I hate being asked for my date of birth re everything. I think it is appalling practice! I complained in the bank once, where they have passwords galore to be used re identification instead, and the blank faced pencil pusher behind the desk feebly returned that "most people don't mind". But that "most people don't mind" inherently presupposes that some people obviously will. And in that case, dob's just shouldn't be used. But I am grateful, here, that at least I had the option of putting a date that wasn't credible. And I do understand that the majority of people posting here do seem to be teenagers, and that there is a case for identifying the very young.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4998 posts) mod
10 years ago (2012-02-21)
Serendipity - first I have to admit I did laugh at your confession about your listed dob. Too many people lie about it or else list one age and put a different age in their story. I like your honesty.

As for your story. Wow! I'd have had so many emotions running through me right then. Fear, shock, disbelief and absolute helplessness thinking the woman was going to be hit by the van and knowing there was nothing you could do to prevent it. My heart would probably have been pounding so hard. I can't imagine how you felt living that experience.

And then to realize what you saw was a ghost. I can't help but wonder what lead to her death, and how often she "relives" this. It actually makes me sad to think about it.

Thank you for your story.
lsandhu (2 stories) (360 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-21)
Wow, it's a good thing nothing was behind you, as you could have been held partially liable for stopping suddenly for no apparent reason and creating a hazard on the roadway. Somehow, I doubt the insurance adjuster would take too well to your story of an apparition on the road. Would make for interesting evidence at trial and under oath, though. Thank you for posting your story. I'd like to hear about the other experience you mentioned.
Micha_1998 (1 stories) (16 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-21)
Wow! Scary! Perhaps you could ask around or look in the newspapers and see if you find out about any accidents that happened there 😊 Great story!
Micha ❤
crecentblue03 (151 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-21)
I have never even heard of that road never been to the U. K. But I have heard of crash reinacctments. That is so scary you must of had your heart in your throat!. Very CREEPY! Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed.

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