The experience that I recount here is an old one, having happened when I was sixteen years old, which is seven years ago. It happened in the small village of Hindhead, which is built around a crossroads that has been there for quite some time.
Perhaps a little history is necessary, to set the mood and give you a little back-story, although I should point out that all of what I write here I have only found out recently, having taken an interest in the history of the area.
Hindhead, as I stated, was built around a crossroads on the coach track from London to Portsmouth, way back then there were only a smattering of homesteads in the area, and at the crossroads itself there was only a single coach house. Around fifty miles from London Hindhead was something of a lawless area and many a traveler or tradesman met their end travelling along that dark coach track, especially around those crossroads.
Of course, it was not just the innocent who passed on to the next life. Nearby is a spot called Gibbet hill, no prizes for guessing what it was named after: A gibbet used to stand there where murderers and highwaymen were regularly hanged. A Celtic cross on a stone pillar stands at the gibbet, reportedly placed there to ward away evil spirits, of which I'm sure the area has more than it's fair share.
There is older history here too; on the side of gibbet hill, although today mostly covered with heath and low shrubs, in an ancient chalk carving of a horse that in times past would have been visible for miles around.
However, I'm rambling here, to sum up perhaps this statement from the 18th century journalist William Cobbett will give you some idea of what I am trying to convey. He described Hindhead as "the most villainous spot God ever created".
Anyway, on to my own experience in the area. I was walking home from a friend's house in the nearby village of Beacon Hill, heading back to my own town of Haslemere, situated about five miles away. The journey takes just over an hour and the only route takes you over the crossroads at Hindhead.
It was around three in the morning, it was summer time so it wasn't a particularly cold night, the day had been muggy and the sky was overcast still, no stars were visible and only the light of the occasional dim streetlamp lit the way. As I was approaching the crossroads, usually rammed with traffic during the day, but now eerily silent and empty, I felt a strange sensation, that feeling of being watched. Cautiously I glanced around but could see nothing, so I continued on my way.
The feeling did not go away, and in fact worsened, in the silence I found myself acutely aware of any sound at all, and couldn't help but think that I could hear the faint clip clop of a horse's hooves on stone or cobbles. I picked up my pace and again glanced around, but saw nothing. It was when I reached the middle of the crossroads that I suddenly felt very cold, as I said, it was a mild night and this sudden chill struck me as odd, since it didn't seem like a breeze was causing it.
The really strange thing is what I heard next. The sound of hooves had stopped, it had been quiet anyway and I had now convinced myself that it was imagined, but then I heard voices, quiet and muffled, as if they were very far away, yet at the same time it felt as if the sound was coming from just next to me. I turned to look but there was nothing there, still the feeling of cold though, and the voices, although I couldn't hear the words, sounded as though they were having an argument.
Bewildered I stood around for a while watching intently the spot where the sounds seemed to be originating. Though it could have been a mere trick of my eyes or of the dim light, I thought that I could see shadowy shapes before me, one roughly conformed to the outline of a man, perhaps wearing a hat, the other was larger, the size of a car perhaps, but equally indistinct.
This was too much for me, and I hurried away from the crossroads, upon leaving the area the cold vanished and once again the night was mild and silent. I was somewhat frightened for the rest of the walk, but nothing further happened.
I have passed that same spot late at night many times before and many times after, and whilst I have always felt uneasy there I have never had another experience like this one.
It's perfectly possible that what I saw were merely shadows, that the cold was merely a breeze, and that the sounds were imagined or else echoed by some strange qualities of the acoustics in the area from a nearby house. But the way that I felt whilst I stood there leads me to think that there is at least some possibility that this was an occurrence of a supernatural nature.
Thanks for reading. Sorry it was such an essay!