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Vanishing Man


A man and dog inexplicably vanish from a country lane.

Location: Vicinity of Greenstead Green, Colchester, Essex, UK.

Time/Date: Mid-afternoon,?/?/1997.

Number of Witnesses: 2.

In the company of a friend, we went for a drive in rural Essex. We decided to park the car in a scenic spot, close to the village of Greenstead Green. We went for a stroll in a nearby copse of trees and sat for a moment, chatting and enjoying the landscape. After this, we returned to the car and began our return journey home.

We had been driving for a few minutes and were now proceeding along a narrow country lane. It was wide enough only for a single direction of traffic with tall, densely formed hedgerow on either side. The hedgerow was well maintained and without gaps. The lane was without any pedestrian pavement or passing-places for oncoming traffic.

As we began to travel along the lane, the elevation of the landscape from my position allowed me to see that beyond the right-hand hedge lay an open field of low-lying crop and a drainage-ditch immediately behind the hedge and following the field-boundary. About fifty meters ahead stood a man in the middle of the road. He was accompanied by a small, terrier dog. The dog was off the leash and a few feet away from where the man was standing. The man appeared to be in his mid-seventies and wore a flat-cap, grey trousers and a similar coloured jacket. His hat and clothes were of modern materials - similar to leisure clothing worn by golfers.

The following sequence of events transpired rapidly over a period of a few seconds. At the moment I saw the man and dog, I was about fifty meters distant from them. I was driving at a speed of 38-45 miles per hour. The man looked up and was registering my car approaching. He gestured with his hand to bring the dog to heel. Instinctively I decelerated slightly by lifting my foot off the accelerator. The lane deviates slightly from left and back to right in a shallow S-curve. I lost visual of the man and dog for a couple of seconds then the road had straightened-out.

The man and dog have vanished. Within a couple more seconds my car was now at the spot where they stood. They had disappeared and there was nowhere they could have retreated to avoid the passing car. In less than three or four seconds, even a fit person couldn't have picked up the dog and then moved off the roadway...through/over (!) a dense hedge at least six feet high (with a ditch immediately behind it). There was no gap in the hedge, no gate/style. A total mystery!

Another fifty meters further on and we had now reached the end of the lane and a T-junction. I turned to my friend in the passenger seat and said "there was a guy back there with a dog and he just disappeared!" My friend confirmed he had seen him too, commenting "Yea, I saw him too, he had a hat on..." or something similar.

I am interested if anyone has any experiences relating directly to this location. Apologies that I am unable to precisely identify the lane where the experience took place, but it was very close to Greenstead Green and we would have been journeying south from there, less than five miles from the village.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

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

dickron (3 stories) (21 posts)
13 years ago (2010-02-09)
Nice experience. Those spirits might be a victim of hit and run, that's why they keep on hunting on the road...
AshGrove (1 stories) (13 posts)
13 years ago (2010-02-07)
Please note that I won't be able to follow any further comments regarding my experiences. I'm too busy with life right now. Best wishes to all and... Relax 99.999% of your fears regarding the paranormal are internal,primal, exacerbated by TV and movies. Sleep good, Eat good. Live good. =D bye bye
AshGrove (1 stories) (13 posts)
13 years ago (2010-02-06) other detail. I must add this. The double of my uncle on the bus... After meeting eyes with him, I looked away, deep in thought. After a couple of stops I looked down the bus and he had gone. Nothing strange about that a reasonable person would say. I agree... Only there WAS. There was to me something strange about it. Let's just say, of the people that got off, I didn't notice him do so. Best wishes.
AshGrove (1 stories) (13 posts)
13 years ago (2010-02-06)
aussiedaz - Hello mate, thanks for reading it over and doing well to try to describe it. For me this is typical of the occassional (subtle) experiences that leaves a mystifying blank that can only be guessed at;) (or meditated on which maybe is the lifelesson/value).

Something has just floated into conscious memory while I respond to your comment - I'll write it now, here before it fades back out again...

Early last year, one of my uncles died of lung cancer. Too young really - he had given up smoking over 20 years ago but he worked for years as a welder in an aluminium foundry. That probably had something to do with it. Within 6 months he got sick, 'degraded' into a man ravaged by terminal illness, smacked out on morphine and passed-away. He declined to have any visitors (preferring to be remebered for the cheerful, lucid, friendly guy he always was). His wife cared for him until it was time to say goodbye.

Unfortunately, due to work I wasn't able to attend his funeral. I think it was the day after the funeral, I was in my local town center (about 300 miles away from my deceased uncle's home). I was at the bus station waiting for a local bus. One arrived and I got on it - sat up the back. The bus waited for a few minutes to allow more passengers to arrive. It was becoming full-up. Lots of school kids and shoppers. Amongst the last half dozen passengers, just before the driver closed the doors, a man got on and sat on a bench seat begind the driver's cabin. He turned his head and looked right down the bus into my eyes with a sad and furtive expression. He was the double of my dead uncle.

I mention that because the experience has that 'component' which seems for me a part of a significant, 'paranormal' experience. Something subtle, poignant - relies upon looking inwards into the self, interpreting with sensitivity, spirituality. A message.

The guy on the bus looked right down the aisle at me and his eyes said: smoking killed me, I had beautiful kids and grandkids, a loving wife and lung cancer stole it from me.

The guy who vanished on the road - I can still visualise his eye contact too, or rather how he looked at 'us' (me, passenger +vehicle) after 13 years ago. There was something in his glance also. Not personal to me but I felt a channel then.

Best wishes.
aussiedaz (19 stories) (1563 posts)
13 years ago (2010-02-05)
Hello AshGrove The fact that this man summoned his dog when your vehicle approached suggest its not a residual but rather a intelligent paranormal event, I enjoyed your story it was well written and I look forward to your other stories,
Phobic1981 I think it would make sense for a dog to heel to his master with a car approaching, I think spirits who are earthbound try to simulate life after as life before,
AshGrove (1 stories) (13 posts)
13 years ago (2010-02-03)
Hi Phobic. Thanks very much for commenting. Well...yes, let's look at the logical possibilities:

The man and dog were perfectly real. They moved off the roadway and I failed to see where they retreated to.

I experienced a hallucination. My passenger experienced something similar too and my comments seeded a concept in his mind.

An atmospheric effect somehow projected the image of the man and dog to be perceived as being where I witnessed them but they were in a different position.

If anyone can add anyother logicals, please do so. I feel confident that I can discount the above explanations. Why?
Because: I wasn't faigued. I hadn't just woken up. I wasn't sleep deprived. I was alert to my surroundings. I paid close attention to the fact the man & dog vanished, the speed in which they disappeared from a scene whose significant feature was a narrow lane, tightly hemmed-in by hedgerows - hedgerows noticeably well maintained. So I was scanning for any gate/gap - if only to satisfy my own astonishment. The weather was mild and overcast. A typical, British day in amritime climate near the North Sea. No heat haze/shimmer, the subjects were not on a distant horizon, or in the middleground of tarmac baked by dazzling sunshine.

Great you pick up the aspect of his reacting to the car. That for me is a most interesting/puzzling thing. Those of us interested in paranormal experiences have built up a kind of currency of ideas/notions. For example - residual hauntings. I'm skeptical without being doubtful. But in any case the fact that he views the car - that doesn't sit well with many of the notions of ghosts, that they replay in a loop, that they view their spacetime in contemporary terms. These ideas are arguably memes I think.

There can be aspects to all this (as credibly as associating apparitions with dead people) that may be something else entirely.

Perhaps Extra Low Frequency sound (some very interesting suggested links with this and haunted locations) or magnetic fields/geological effects. Pseudoscience of course!...but then the boundaries of 'magick' and science are in many ways blurred at the cutting-edge anyway.

The Rollright Stones in England. There are some documented apparitions witnessed there (apparently, although the people involved declined to be named) of bizarre things seen by 'serious' academics conducting archeological surveys of the standing stones. Certain energy fields (both natural and man-made) may cause hallucinations to be experienced.

I have a couple of stories in the queue awaiting moderation on the psychic part o fthis website. Maybe read them in a few dyas if you get a chance. Lots more to publish. All genuine experiences. Keep in touch. Best wishes.
Phobic1981 (2 stories) (14 posts)
13 years ago (2010-02-03)
Wow...very strange! At first I thought this could be a residual haunting (where the activity appears to be repeating the same action over and over again, with no regard for or interaction with observers). Since you said that the man reacted to your car by signalling for his dog to heel, that doesn't make sense. I don't have a clue... Maybe just an old man whose dog joined him for a walk they used to take together when alive! Very interesting... Thanks for sharing it.

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