On the evening of Tuesday 11th September 2007, whilst living in a brand new 3rd floor flat, at Stockton-upon-Tees in the UK, I awoke in the dark in the middle of the night, to see a full colour, moving image of an unknown 45-55 y/o black male from the shoulders up.
He wore a broad brimmed green hat made of a shiny, almost wet looking green material, the same material covered his shoulders, and was fitted around his kneck a little like a cape. The image was in absolutely exquisite detail and incredible brilliant colour, as if the sun was shining on him (rather like an actor picked out by a spotlight on a darkened stage). More real than real, I could see every hair on the back of his head.
The image lasted for more than a few seconds, and started with the back of the males head towards me, then slowly he turned his head round towards me, until he was staring right at me.
I kept looking away from him, in the hope he would just disappear! Moving my eyes left, away from the spot where the full colour 'moving' image had formed, I clearly retained a faded after-image on my retina, which was the same shape as the original image I had seen (similar to the after-image you see when you look away from a bright TV screen in a darkened room). What is strange, is that I could also see some type of 'fixed' area in my peripheral vision, this was in the position of the original full colour image, and did not move about, when I moved my eyes left.
When I moved my focus back to the 'fixed' area, effectively overlapping it with the faded image, the original image jumped back into brilliant full colour. I was able to move my eyes left and right several times, to verify this effect, before the image finally faded away.
I initially dismissed the idea of it being an apparition/ghost, because the building was brand new, and at the time I was a complete skeptic on ghosts. However my partner did some research and discovered, that our building had been designed and positioned to mimic the exact appearance of a much older original listed building on the site, a tannery, on the corner of Norton Green. I was able to find an original photograph of the tannery at the local library, complete with crane hoist doors on each level, which have been recreated in the new building.
We both did some further investigation to find old photo's of tannery workers, to see if we could match the garb of the guy in my vision. We were able to find one photograph of a tannery worker who had leather gear right up to his neck, perhaps used to protect him whilst carrying wet hides over his shoulder? So we believe the green shiny material was probably leather.
We were also able to find a record of the baptism of an adult black male in the local Church at Norton during the 1600's, which proved that there were black males living and presumably working in the area when the tannery was established. Ironically this particular guy had chosen the name of 'John Green'.
I remain open minded as to whether my experience was just a hypnopompic hallucination, or whether it was an apparition. However, despite the 'hallucination' label these experiences have been given, I've seen no particularly satisfying explanation as to why the fully formed, full colour, type hypnopompic experience, is also overwhelmingly of people or animals, and very very rarely of inanimate everyday objects.
I'm also unconvinced by the traditional explanation that this was a 'spirit'. I prefer to think that I was picking-up, what somebody else was seeing in the past. That I was in effect, seeing through the viewer/broadcasters eyes.