My real account of a ghost I may have seen, or maybe I didn't. You decide.
|First of all, I need to make it perfectly clear that I'm a skeptic of the paranormal. Most stories I hear I treat as just that - a story. When I see photos or videos online I don't jump to the conclusion that it must be a poltergeist or a demon. I flat out don't believe in mediums (I actually see them all as scam artists of the worst kind.) I am an atheist so I'm not convinced in an afterlife or a spirit world.
As you may have noticed from my other short stories on here, I do enjoy the horror genre. I like watching horror movies, I find them either funny and clichéd or they make my heart beat that bit faster than normal, either way they succeed in giving me a sense of escapism from reality. The encounter I am about to share with you is not like my other pieces on writing.com. This actually happened, or it is how I remember it happening.
I will explain what I saw and then I will try and objectively explain the plausibility of what I witnessed. The skeptic in me is so great that I'm still not 100% convinced about what I saw with my own eyes.
I have to get this out of the way and hope that you don't stop reading after I reveal that I was very young when this happened, about ten or eleven. However, my mother and brother (who is a couple of years younger than me so we best stick to my mother as the most credible witness) were both there, we all confirm to this day that we saw the same thing.
Growing up in England as a child in the nineties there was a paranormal TV show called Strange But True? It was a weekly thirty minute show with two ten minute slots where they would report a paranormal occurrence somewhere in Britain. One of the locations was Dover Castle, or to be more specific, the second world war underground hospital beneath Dover Castle (as luck would have it, this clip I saw many years ago is on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWCcXqMBO6o).
Today it is a historical tourist site where visitors do guided tours. The guide provides many interesting facts about the facility and its conditions during the war; the guide is also needed so visitors don't get lost through the huge labyrinth of tunnels and wards. It is not a place to go for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia, the ceiling is very low and the walls so narrow that in some areas we had to walk in single file. Tunnels upon tunnels run as far as the eye can see and they are all lit very dimly.
During the tour, my dad was at the back of the group (there were many other people on our tour) my mum, brother and I were at the front of the group. At one stage the three of us all looked across one of the tunnels and to this day we all say we saw the same thing: a tall, young, white male dressed in a second world war officer's suit. He did not look at us or seem to notice we were there. It all happened very quickly, he simply appeared out from the wall of the tunnel and walked through another wall on the other side of the narrow tunnel.
I don't remember being scared by this sight, in fact I didn't think much of it until I talked to my mum and brother at the end of the tour. After the tour I asked our tour guide if he had ever seen a ghost in the tunnels. I remember him being annoyed by me asking the question, as if he had answered the same stupid question many times before - probably by as many adults as children. He replied he had never seen a ghost.
So, did my family and I see a ghost?
Let's get the obvious factors out of the way, I was very young and my brother was younger. We saw this TV show which would have planted a seed in our over imaginative adolescent minds that there have been ghost sightings in this area.
Another thing to address is that today I may have a skeptical view on the paranormal, but my mum does not. She is very much open to most paranormal practices and beliefs as much today as when we saw this apparent ghost.
We also have to take into consideration that this is a very poorly lit site and shadows can play tricks on the mind, not to mention that this is a unique environment to be in; old, creepy and engulfed with years of suffering and death being a war time hospital - even more reason to activate the imagination.
I'm convinced today I can remember exactly what I saw, but it was over two decades ago now. I could have false memories in my head today, filled in with other ghost movies, photos, videos clips that I've seen over the years.
But the flip side to all these points is that three people all saw the same thing and we all describe it happening the same way. At the time my mum may have played along to what her two children thought they saw, but today I know she is telling the truth, as is my brother. I don't believe that shadows can form the vision we saw and as clear as we saw it.
The only other aspect that came to mind was the possibility that this could have been a hologram or an illusion of some kind. I have no idea what hologram technology would have been like in the early to mid nineties but for this to be the case it must have been installed by someone high up on the English Heritage board, no way would a stunt like this be pulled off by the regular staff. It would be disrespectful to taint all those who died in the hospital and stoop so low as to fake ghost sightings to attract people to the historical site. If they were exposed for this the public would be outraged so I highly doubt it is a hoax.
Since the birth of the internet I am able to research if anyone else has seen the same sights as me and my family. I came across a forum where the discussion was ghost sighting at this underground hospital. The three recurring ghost sights people profess to seeing is a world war two uniformed nurse, a drummer boy and the uniformed army officer i may have seen. Please have a read for yourself - http://www.yourcounty.co.uk/Kent51/dovercastle.html. There is also an interesting ghost sighting clip on YouTube of Dover Castle surveillance footage which is easy to find, however, my skeptical side is not so sure on this one.
So what do you think? Two over imaginative kids and a paranormal believing mother who went looking for ghosts and saw what they wanted to see? Or are there too many people saying they have seen the same thing, too many to ignore the possibility that Dover Castles world war two underground hospital is in fact haunted?