Back in the 1970's I was living in Southampton, England, and working as builder. It was a good time for me; I was earning enough money, had a good set of mates, and no family relying on me. I was young and free and enjoying life.
My experience with the supernatural goes back to that time. I was on a building project in a village in the New Forest called Lyndhurst, and we were working on extending an old hotel (the Lyndhurst Park Hotel). It had just had new owners and they wanted to give it a revamp to go with its new name (I'd always known it as The Grand).
Right from the start something felt wrong. Whenever you went on site you got the feeling that you weren't supposed to be there, like someone didn't want you there. You'd feel freezing cold even though it was a hot, sunny day; you'd forget things, get confused. A lot of the others said they saw a face watching them from a window in the empty hotel, but I never did see it myself. For me it was mainly the feelings at first.
The hotel is right on the High Street so it's in full view of whoever wants to look. Quite often passersby would hang about and watch us work, and a lot of the locals would make a habit of it (a lot of them less than happy with the extension to the property).
After a while me and the rest began to notice a particular old man staring up at us watching, always on his own, and usually after the light had started to go. He was certainly memorable as his clothes were strange and very old fashioned, almost like he was in a costume, but subtle. A few times we tried to go down to talk to him, but by the time we got there he was always gone.
Anyway, it was when I was checking on the electrics in an older part of the hotel that I had the encounter. I was in a long corridor and saw a figure at the other end. When I called to him I saw it was the old man, so I challenged him, saying he shouldn't be in here.
"You should not be here," he replied.
"Come on mate."
"Who are you and why are you here?"
"I'm a builder, you have to go."
"I am Duke Stackpole, and you have to go."
At this point I tried to touch him, to urge him out. When I did my whole arm went numb and ice cold, I got this sharp pain in my head, and everything started spinning. The man seemed to grow, and his eyes got bigger and bigger until they filled everything. I woke up to a couple of the other guys over me, asking if I was ok. It was an hour later, and I had a splitting headache. I got checked out by a doctor but he couldn't explain it. When I eventually told some of the others about it, a couple of them told me about similar experiences they'd had (which I won't share, as they aren't my stories to tell).
About twenty years later I came to the Lyndhurst Park Hotel to stay for a couple of nights, on a weekend holiday to the New Forest. The feeling I had going in there was very strange. I had a restless night and couldn't sleep, so I got up to go and get a night cap from the bar. I opened the door of my room, looked down the corridor, and standing at the end of it, just standing there and watching me, was the old man. Exactly as he was twenty years ago. I stared at him, backed off back into my room, packed and left that night.
I haven't been back to Lyndhurst since. I got talking to a local historian in the Hobbit Pub in Southampton a couple of years ago, and after a few Guinnesses I related my stories. Apparently Duke Stackpole had lived and died there in the early 1800's, back when it was a mansion called Glasshayes. According to him, the builders who first worked on turning the place into a hotel would see his ghost regularly, starting fires and telling them to leave. According to local stories, once a year on the anniversary of his death music can be heard in parts of the house, and anyone who finds its source is whisked away to join the Duke's dance of the dead.
Those are the stories, anyway, and I can't account for any but my own. The one thing I do know is that I won't be returning in a hurry to investigate.