Sunday, 17 May 2009

Roman Soldier Sightings?

Throughout May 2007, the letters page of the 'Tamworth Herald' newspaper published a number of correspondence outlining potential sightings of 'ghostly Roman soldiers' around the Ashby Road area of the town.

Of 10 letters sent in over this relatively brief period, 5 were alleged witness accounts, involving 9 different people. The remaining 5 letters were from parties interested in commenting on the events concerned, including messages from W.M.G.C. friends, Carol Arnall and Colin Gooch. Just over half way through this rash of correspondence, an article on the subject was published by a Herald reporter.

For the sake of brevity - in this first post dedicated to this subject - only the notes involving the alleged 'sightings' themselves are reproduced below. (Individually numbered, in the order that they were published within the 10 letters).

Letter 1: 10th May 2007

Last Monday evening (April 30), I was driving along New Road (between Newton Regis and the B5493) when I was amazed to see a man dressed in the attire of a Roman soldier walk in front of the path of my car, some 20 yards ahead. As I slowed to drive around him, feeling exasperated, I noticed a group of people dressed in similar Roman uniforms standing on the edge of the road. One of them must have been holding an industrial strength torch as I was aware of a very bright light which dazzled me. However, I did manage to get a clear look at the group; some of them were even made up to look bloodied as if they had been in battle. Are any readers aware of a stag party or Roman pageant or historical film production that was taking place in the area last Monday? Did any other readers see this group? The uniforms looked very authentic and this would solve this mystery for me. I am a professional woman and a rational human being, but am annoyed at the fact that I drove off with a sense of fear after the incident.

Elaine Edwards, Mile Oak. (Via email).

Letter 3: 17th May 2007

Mrs Edwards, whose letter appeared in the Herald, May 10, is not the only person seeing Roman soldiers around here. Ironically, my seven-year-old daughter has been telling me for weeks that one of the men from Ben Hur has been appearing in the field across from us. When I asked her to draw what the man looked like, she instead produced a picture of a Roman soldier in his armour. I thought this was the over-active imagination of a seven-year-old. Then, two weeks ago, my two teenage sons, who were returning from the pub, said they had been chased by men in armour who had 'emerged from the mist' as they put it. We all laughed it off as a combination of alchohol and the dark. I don't know if my family and Mrs Edwards have been merely witnessing film extras in action, but I thought it was a strange coincidence of experiences.

Jean Hocker, Austrey

Letter 4: 17th May 2007

I am writing in response to Elaine Edwards' letter in last week's Herald concerning the men in historic military uniform that she saw near the Ashby Road a week last Monday. You are not imagining things Elaine! My son and I saw them too as I was taking him for an evening drive near Shuttington on the evening of april 30. The party were emerging from the top of New Road onto the Ashby Road. Yes, they were dressed as Roman soldiers and yes, there was a flood-light or some light source on them from the adjacent field. Although the whole thing looked very bizarre, I didn't pay it too much thought. My son thought it was a stag party, but I felt the uniforms were far too elaborate and expensive looking. They were dirtied and bruised exactly how Mrs Edwards described them. I feel it must have been part of a TV production although the group's complete indifference to the pasing traffic surprised both my son and myself.

Chris Ball, Wigginton. (Via email)

Letter 5: 17th May 2007

In response to your question, 'Did I really see Roman soldiers?' I would say 'Yes, Elaine Edwards, you did'. I was heading along Ashby Road on the date you mentioned and saw the same party of men dressed as Romans marching up the New Road. I got off my bike to watch them as I presumed someone was making a film as New Road had been floodlit. What surprised me was the fact there were no road blocks as the group were dominating the road and it would have been difficult for any passing trafffic to have driven by. I felt awkward because I was sure I had wondered on to a film set and didn't wait for them to reach me before riding off. Why weren't we told a film about the Romans was being made right on our doorstep?

Mark Griffin, Leyfields

Letter 7: 7th June 2007

Whilst reading the Herald online, I came across recent letters concerning sightings of Roman soldiers in the Ashby Road area. In Response to J Caesar's warning about his little incident of UFOs, black panthers and mystery Roman soldiers. At the end of April 1999, I was working in Ashby and living in Tamworth, where I had been born in 1972. One evening, about 6pm, I was coming home down the Ashby Road, approaching Seckington at the end of the very long straight. I caught up with a lorry (from one of Tamworth's top firms and normally very well-driven trucks) which was trundling along about 30mph. Once over the crossroads at the top of the hill I could see down the other side and saw it was safe to overtake, but for a guy part way down the hill on the left verge, who I thought was standing in some light from somewhere. I started to overtake, at which point the lorry lurched violently towards me, nearly hitting me off to the right. Once I was past, the driver flashed his lights manically and stopped. 'No way Jo' I thought (assuming he wanted words) and went into Tamworth, down to his works and made a formal complaint that he'd tried to run me off the road for no reason. His boss got back to me some days later saying you won't believe the story, but I have got to say my driver is adamant. The driver said there was a guy on the left verge who he was looking at because he'd got his back to the truck and was right on the edge. There was a light on him from somewhere so he thought it was someone being photographed. As he got nearer to the guy, he turned and he was dressed in fancy dress like a Roman, held up his hand and stepped out in his path. He'd swerved, trying to avoid me and him, but hit the guy in the road. There was no noise, no bang. So he stopped (when I had thought he wanted words). The guy was gone... there was no damage to the truck... no blood... none on the verge or thrown into the field. So reading the Romans letters made my blood run a tad cold! I hope it helps flesh out the bones a bit.

Simon. (Details supplied).

So - what could have possibly been going on in this relatively small area on the outskirts of Tamworth town? Are we to truly believe that there was indeed a rash of separate experiences with ghostly, ancient soldiers in this tiny region... a glut of which just happened to occur on the night of April 30th, 2007?

At face value, what we would seem to be looking at in the case of the above information is something fairly 'unique' in this day and age , i.e.: Some 9 witnesses apparently coming across pretty much the same phenomenon - definite, corresponding motifs, etc - in the same, small area, (with the bulk of which occuring) over a small period of time. In truth, such detail transcends the usual standards of a potential haunting - again, with the corresponding, seemingly accurate details proferred, pure volume of witnesses, etc - and would seem to exceed 99.9% of cases with it's sheer, overall intensity....

Perhaps just a little too good to be true, however? In our next post dedicated to this particular subject, we mention some of the interesting thoughts and queries raised by the correspondence themselves and ask the question: Tamworth Roman ghosts: a case of 'haunting evidence' or 'simple fraud'?


West Mids Ghost Club


Anonymous said...

I seen a roman when i was six years old. I was sent to bed early one day when i saw a short man in roman armor standing nxt to my bed just as i laid down . He had no expression on his face and had strong eye contact with me. He pulled a short, wide sword out really slow and pointed it at me and then he was gone. He was semi-transparent. The funny part was that i didnt have fear like i should have. What this means or why i have no clue. The funny part is im in the U.S . Thanks for your time! Tom

W.M.G.C. said...

Hi Tom,

Thank you for your coment....

While it is strange that you saw a Roman soldier in the US, I do think that this sighting potentially speaks volumes for the cultural aspect of paranormal experience.

Do you have Italian ancestry, perhaps?


The W.M.G.C.

Michael Haskell said...

In California as a small child I too saw a roman soldier. I awoke late in the night to use the restroom. Exiting my room I almost ran into him. I was terrified and refused to make eye contact. He appeared to be 10' tall and filled the entire hallway. The incident even bent space as there was absolutely no room for him in such a cramped space. I was able to skirt him even though the room to do so didn't exist. The attention to detail in his garb was exquisite. He WAS real! I went to the restroom and shut and locked the door. I was so short I vividly remember the ice cold porcelain as I rested my privates on the edge to urinate standing up. I stayed in the restroom for what felt like eternity as I had no desire to cross paths a second time. He was gone once I grew brave enough to leave. Upon sharing this event with my parents I was told he was an angel. Who knew an angel could evoke such terror that the incident remains fresh in my memory 30 years later.