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A Slap, But No Assailant


Evening all.

Bit of an odd one, this. Before I start, I feel I should probably point out that whilst I am intrigued by the unexplained and always have been, I am to this day basically a skeptic when it comes to "ghosts" and the like. Essentially, I am very interested in experiences that some would describe as paranormal in nature but am yet to be convinced that they are entirely that. What I love is the fact that they seemingly cannot be rationally explained away. So, what I'm about to describe to you, I do so without presumptions as to what the real causes were. I'm giddy to see what you think, though!

Right, here goes.

We're going back about 12 years now and this occurred in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. For those that don't know it (and why would you), Chesterfield is a medium sized market town and the nightlife mirrors this size and setting. On the night in question I would have been 19 years old and I had been out with a friend at the one bar you could go to without getting slapped by a man in a white shirt. I should point out however that whilst I drank like every other small-town teenager, I was not drunk when this occurred. In fact, there was nothing in my system whatsoever which could explain this event as at the time I was saving for a trip to America. So on this particular night, no liquor had been consumed. I was merely enjoying the company. Rare, but definitely worth mentioning!

Anyway, I was walking home with my friend. He lived about half a mile from me and our paths separated a few roads from our respective houses so I walked the last few hundred yards of our trek back from town on my own. The reason I mention Chesterfield's size is that you could walk home from a night out and not see another soul. Even in the town center just after closing time. Not one. New York it most definitely isn't. After we'd said our goodbyes, I continued my stroll home, behind the old football ground and as such a suitable distance from the town center itself, as dead it had been. As I approached the turning to my street, I could hear what sounded like a horse in the distance. Now, despite the incredibly quiet setting and the fact it was roughly 3am at the time, my initial thoughts were that perhaps there'd been some trouble in the town and these were police horses I could hear. Of course, I hadn't heard a peep or seen a soul on my walk home but it was the only rational explanation and besides, it wasn't scary, just unexpected. As I got closer to the turning, the volume of these unmistakable hoofs got a little louder, but still sounded quiet, like they were in the distance but very slowly approaching.

Odd, but not exactly creepy.

However, I arrived at the corner and turned to walk down my street. When I got there, I noticed that the sound of the hoofs was no longer in the distance. I had somehow walked through it, in fact. I was walking in the middle of the road as opposed to the pavement (god knows why) and it was as if the sound had peaked and as I continued to walk, actually became a little quieter. So they weren't emanating from a distance at all, but were in fact gentle, low-volume hoofs... And were coming from right beside me. They were also slow paced, not as if a policeman on horseback was about to hurtle past. My initial response was probably nervous laughter. I certainly knew it was strange, but my mind didn't fill in any gaps and I wasn't afraid, just confused.

The next moment was the clincher. As I slowed down to a stop in order to listen intently to the sounds I could hear, all of a sudden I was slapped on the right side of my face. I immediately threw up my hands, assuming I was being jumped by a particularly ninja-esc scallywag in a tracksuit, but there was nobody there. Anywhere. And standing in the middle of the road as I was, no place for them to have hidden, even if the assailants were faster than lightning.

It was at this point that all cool was lost and I legged it down the road to my house, making sure I locked the door behind me.

I also remember looking back at least twice when I was a safe distance away, basically making sure I wasn't being chased as I didn't want to let anyone OR anything into my home... It was only when the door was firmly shut that it dawned on me just how odd the experience had been.

Sorry for rambling, but I thought this was worth sharing as I'd love to hear your thoughts. Like I said at the start... To this day I have no idea what actually occurred but the whole experience was delightfully freaky. I haven't lived on this road for years but definitely would have walked the same route again after it happened and nothing else ever occurred. Still, hoofs and slap from an invisible assailant? Undeniably the oddest thing I've experienced.

Thanks for reading, and if you want any further info or have any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.


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

Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1087 posts)
6 years ago (2017-02-19)
Greetings, Bagheera, and welcome to YGS.

Looking at the map on Google reminded me of my childhood (Humberstone, Leicester). Residential streets of the midlands never seem to change very much, do they? They quietly adjust and continue quietly as though nothing has bothered them.

I do have an odd question: when you were slapped, was there a visible imprint or mark on your face? It probably wasn't the first thing you thought to check, but if you were slapped hard enough, there'd be some residual evidence when you brushed your teeth.

DirtCreature (guest)
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
You know in New Jersey I remember laying in bed and also hearing footsteps coming towards me and I felt (and heard in my head) getting slapped with a pan. I don't know how to explain it. It was the most confusing experience of my life that I don't think I've ever mentioned it on here brushing it off as my brain temporarily malfunctioning. So thank you so much for sharing your story. It made me feel not alone. I agree, there is a lot to the paranormal we don't know and it's good to keep an open mind. Sometimes you'll be skeptical of someone's story until it happens to you.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
Manafon: It'll be interesting to read bagheera's response. There are so many things in the world of the paranormal to learn, I honestly think we've only scratched the surface so far. You may just change my mind yet, dear sir! 😊
Manafon1 (6 stories) (706 posts)
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
zzsgranny--That is an intriguing possibility! I suppose, if conditions were strikingly similar to the original event, 19 year old bagheera might have just found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and got a face full of a ghost horse's tail! I guess part of my thinking on this comes from how rare any paranormal occurrence is. It's rare enough to have such an experience but then to add that bagheera needed to be in an exact spot to feel the slap adds exponentially to the unlikelihood of it being residual. If you are reading this bagheera, it would be be interesting to know if the slap felt like that of a hand or a tail.

All that said, the way bagheera describes the encounter makes me feel like the invisible horse was being directed by an invisible rider who drew up next to bagheera for whatever reason and was either struck by the rider or slapped in the face by an invisible horse tail. Just writing that makes me have to state what an endlessly mysterious, confounding and beautiful place the world is. The steady flow of wild experiences reported on YGS attest to that!
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
Manafon: You raise a great question, to which I have an answer lol! As I mentioned, I think this is one of those "right place, right time" types of residual. Conditions were possibly very similar to the original event. That, and this case was the only time the OP experienced anything odd on this stretch. Although an intelligent haunting will indeed interact with the living, residuals can be detected by cold spots, spider-webbie-thingies, etc. There is obviously still some energy left.

But I will admit I've never heard of one actually slapping anyone either 😆.
Tweed (30 stories) (2381 posts)
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
Manafon and herein you supply the very reason I should never respond online after a certain time, nor should I attempt to multitask. You are of course correct and had I given more thought to the slap I would've thought this through. I still wonder about a horses tail, but that could be an intelligent ghostie/haunt too.

Thanks for pointing this out! 😆
Manafon1 (6 stories) (706 posts)
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
Tweed and zzsgranny--Your ideas on this intriguing account were interesting but I was curious to know why you both think this is an example of a residual case? The sound of the horse clomping down the street could definitely fall into the "residual" category but a slap on the face, whether from the spirit of a constable or a horse's tail, would suggest a thinking entity.

Residual cases do, of course, involve hearing voices, other types of sounds and seeing apparitions doing the same thing over and over again over a prolonged period of time. It's just the way bagheera describes the sound slowly getting louder and then coming up alongside him and at exactly that moment feeling the slap on the face that suggests this was more than residual.

It just seems a directed action specific to the o/p being where the spirit felt he shouldn't be. To me this seems like a thinking entity. I can't recall ever reading about a residual ghost slapping someone either. I'm not trying to be contrary but I guess I am being a bit 😜. This just really seems like a fascinating case of a ghost aware of its surroundings to me.
Tweed (30 stories) (2381 posts)
6 years ago (2017-02-14)

Thanks for sharing this. I've been squeezing bouts of YGS in lately and it was so cool to read this from you. These are my favourite kind of experiences to read about, the odd 'what was that' moments. 😊
One thought about the slap, might it have been a horse's tail swishing in your face? Or maybe even an old fashioned pooper scooper knocking you out of the way. In ye olde times the streets were literally soaked with poop at certain times of the day, I don't know about at night or wee hours, but certainly during the day. Were you wearing red at the time? I think people who shoveled poop used to wear the colour red so they weren't knocked down by horse traffic. Perhaps a ghostie mistook you for an olde times pooper scooper. But I'd guess this was residual. Either way, it was way cool, apart from the slap!
No worries about rambling, I enjoyed the details you provided.

Thanks for sharing, going to faves. 😊
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
bagheera: I really enjoyed reading this and in fact read it with a British accent 😆. I do offer my explanation as this possibly, and more probably, being a residual encounter.

Residual encounters differ from intelligent hauntings. They are caused by circumstances that usually are highly emotionally charged such as a suicide, a painful or sudden death, or just really negative environments. Although, some residuals do arise from positive things like weddings and births.

The interesting thing is that some experiences happen quite often (voices, footsteps) while others happen only when the circumstances are similar or the same as the original event. I think your encounter falls under the latter.

Thank you for posting, I enjoyed it!
bagheera (1 stories) (2 posts)
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
Hi folks. Thank you both for replying, I really appreciate it. I applaud you for getting through it all, too... I have a tendency to ramble!

Manafon1 - thanks so much for your thoughts. Very interesting story, too! I particularly like the idea that it was an old lawman giving reminding me of my green cross code!

I've included a link to the actual spot this happened, just in case it's of any use somehow. If nothing else it's always good to have an idea of where something has occurred -

Https:// [at] 53.2402606,-1.4355023,3a,75y,343.87h,64.93t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssDBmfXvJN7m6kCi5AUqrsw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

And elfstone, you raise a good question, haha! It's just something that seemed to happen every now and then... Small town mentality I guess. This probably explains why I was walking down the middle of the road, actually. Chesterfield is a perfectly nice place, but being a teenager who didn't wear a cap was sometimes a bit tense.

Anyway, thanks again for reading, never mind replying!

Much love.
elfstone810 (227 posts)
6 years ago (2017-02-14)
That's a great story and I thank you for sharing it. I have to ask, though. Why would you get slapped by a man in a white shirt in a bar?
Manafon1 (6 stories) (706 posts)
6 years ago (2017-02-13)
bagheera--Your account was a really interesting one. There was a fantastic case that was discussed in two well researched accounts I have read (in superbly documented case study books dealing with apparitions) that mirrors some aspects of your incident.

The case I refer to took place in 1854 in the Punjab (a northern state in India). An officer who was stationed in Murree not only heard the sound of what turned out to be a spectral horse's hooves slowly rising in volume as if approaching and striking a gravel path but soon thereafter he also witnessed, "a rider in full dinner dress, with white waistcoat, and wearing a tall chimney pot hat, sitting on a powerful hill pony." The officer goes on to describe that the rider (who seemed inebriated) and horse looked perfectly real until, when not receiving an answer to who the rider was, he lunged at the horse and rider only to have them vanish instantaneously.

The officer's recognition of the rider's face and subsequent research strongly suggested the ghostly man was a lieutenant who had previously lived in the house the officer presently was. The lieutenant it turned out had died one year prior. Before his own death (apparently from cirrhosis) he had recklessly ridden his horse to its death down a steep hill.

More closely aligned with you only hearing the clip clop of an invisible horse's hooves is what the officer in the above account's wife reported. She wrote (as one of several who provided evidence for the above case) that, "for about six weeks after (moving into the house in Murree) and several times (that she, her husband and servant) heard a horse gallop down the path and round our house, at breakneck speed, during the night, the panting of the horse quite audible..." The husband and servant on at least one occasion ran to the veranda where they could hear but not see the ghostly horse.

It does seem that you had a run in with an invisible horse and an irate rider. Although you didn't see anything, the rider might have thought you were being impertinent walking in the middle of the street instead of on the sidewalk and thought he would teach you a lesson--and a shocking one it must have been too!

Who knows, the invisible horse and rider could have been a Chesterfield constable from the past who felt a slap would make sure you kept off the road. What's particularly interesting about your case is that the rider seemed to be directing his invisible horse around you. This, and the slap, suggest a spirit who was fully aware of his surroundings and was therefore a thinking entity. In the earlier case I mentioned, when the officer asked the spectral man on the horse who he was and what he wanted, the apparition and horse stopped, the rider took the reins firmly in his hands and turned his head, which had been facing away to look directly at the officer. That's when he was able to identify the ghost.

It's too bad you didn't see the horse or the disciplinarian rider but it's certainly not every day one gets slapped by a ghost! Thanks for sharing your account and welcome to YGS.

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