The Shared Diary of a Novice Paranormal Investigator, aged 52 and Three Quar

When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer.

(Stevie Wonder)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamed of in your philosophy.


Ri fol ri fol tol de riddle dee.


I Wonder Where the Monster Went?

As we re-traced the steps of my monster walk, I earnestly explained my mission to LSS.  He listened with the air of gentle puzzlement he reserves matters unrelated to football.  Now I came to share it with someone else, it did seem a silly tale, after all.   

I had kept in my head an image of a remote spot, with eerie trees hiding a sinister creature.
The path had a quite different appearance today, and it was difficult to remember where my scalp had first prickled.  It was somewhere between the last building and the gate, but these were not as far apart as I had remembered.  I thought it was a distance of a hundred yards or more, but they were very close together.  I must have been within sight of the house the whole time. 

The bank above the path was not nearly as steep as it was in my memory, and there were hardly any trees.   Why had I remembered trees?  In my head, the path had been isolated, running under a steep, wooded bank.  In truth, it ran between two scrubby fields, close to some houses.  No wonder the World of the Weird has such a bad reputation; I was not trying to impress or scare anyone but my story was still full of lies.  

Ho hum.  We stood around awkwardly, trying to look like monster bait.  We both took a couple of photos.  We chatted a bit.  I guessed that a person might be less likely to have an Experience strolling along in good company, nattering about what to cook for dinner and poking fun at the government.  Actually, I suspect LSS would only have noticed a monster if it had leapt out kicking a football.  If it had carried a bottle of beer as well, he would probably have chased it.  Untroubled by supernatural beings, we had leisure, as we continued down the hill, to consider why the path and the valley beyond it might give rise to frights and fantasies.

LSS had not heard the theory that some so-called paranormal experiences may be induced by physical causes, such as electro magnetic fields or infra-sound.  I still do not know, of course, how much credence these ideas may have among people who actually know something about electro magnetic fields and infrasound.  At any rate, the whole valley is packed full of pylons and the energy fields must be jostling for space down there, treading on each other’s toes and tripping up over handbags all the way along.  People sensitive to fields generated by electric wires would be crossing in and out of their influence, organs and brainwaves lightly toasted en route, possibly giving rise to juicy stories as they pass.

We also considered what uses people made of  this valley.  Most of it is a suburban country park.  Country parks are there for all of us.  That includes people who feel at home in the countryside, but also people who might be more accustomed to spending their free time in neatly tamed town parks, or, maybe, indoors.   

There is no problem at all with this, of course.  Nobody would claim that hill walkers occupy any moral high ground.  Nor would anyone suggest that ignorance of which way up to hold a map would imply that a person had an irrational fear of sheep.  I do think it likely, however, that, once in a while, a stranger to the outdoors might be thoroughly and blamelessly spooked by the noises of nature.  Startled by an owl.  Scared of rustlings in the bushes.  God knows, after thirty years of walking the Pennines, curlews still give me the creeps, and wild geese sound like the souls of the damned.

It is easy to think you saw something, heard something or felt something when you are in an unfamiliar place, it is growing dark and your blood sugar is a bit low.  If you add to that the probability that some evenings there will be lively groups of marauding young people, enjoying a giggle, or possibly a chemically altered state of consciousness…

The thing about country parks is that they are used by people who live in towns.  Often, people who live in the town next to the country park, who then go back, pop into the co-op, run into a mate and tell great stories about what happened in the country park.  Local legends are born all the time.

We returned home with no great stories to tell, but we had enjoyed another happy wild goose chase, and I closed off another section of my project, resloved as far as such matters ever are resolved.

No comments:

Post a Comment