Thursday, 10 December 2009

In The Avenues And Alleyways.....

The following experience occurred in 1977 and concerns a nondescript alleyway in a housing estate in Bilston, West Midlands.

Joe Parks was taking his dog for it’s nightly walk along the narrow passageway that ran the length of the rear of the properties in his street. On the night in question, his dog was off it’s lead and had been running free, the length of the alley. Suddenly, reaching the back gate of No. 14 in the street, she stopped dead and wouldn’t budge an inch. This was unusual, as the animal was generally a most boisterous creature which relished the chance to race around free of it’s leash. Joe put the lead back on and tried to pull her along with him – but she wouldn’t budge an inch. Exasperated, he dropped the lead and carried on without her… thinking that, if he walked without her, she would take a hint and catch up…… She didn’t!

Wondering what might be wrong with the dog, he looked in the direction of the gate to No. 14 and suddenly saw a pale man in a long coat and stove-pipe hat appear through a neighbouring gate and begin walking towards him. Joe says it wasn’t anyone he recognised – especially in such strange attire – so he grabbed up the dog lead and, turning to walk quickly away, pulled the animal along with him.

Within a second or two, he cast a glance back over his shoulder to see what the peculiar figure was now doing…. and there was no one there! He looked along the alleyway, but could neither see nor hear anyone in the area…..

While an innocent enough encounter, Joe found that he couldn’t bring himself to use the alleyway again at night.

On checking into the history of the area, Joe discovered that – roughly where the alleyway lay – there used to be a public right of way across farmers fields. He believes that, when the estate was later built during the 1930’s, the alley way was placed over this path and his ghostly acquaintance was somehow related to a previous date prior to the erection of the housing…..

The alley itself later gained something of a negative reputation in the region, being used for fly-tipping, as a public toilet...... and for variety of other nefarious activities. Ahem!!

At the time of writing up this account, the alleyway is still extant, though it was blocked a both ends around 20 years ago.....


The W.M.G.C.

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