For the first time since ghost-hunting became an organised science, Britain’s spooks and apparitions have made a motorway their favourite road to haunt. After years of weird goings-on in lonely lanes or moorland crossings, the M6 has recorded more alleged sightings and spine-tingling feelings than any other route in the country. Roman soldiers, a distraught woman hitchhiker and a phantom lorry going the wrong way have all appeared on the six busy lanes – or out of their users’ imaginations.
“We assumed Britain’s spookiest road would turn out to be a dark lane near an ancient battlefield,” said Tony Simmons, sightings coordinator for the survey. “But, when you think about it, these findings make sense. The M6 is one of Britain’s longest roads and it travels through many counties – and therefore an immense amount of history.” The eerie encounters have been recorded by a hospital consultant, lorry drivers and the hauntings expert Paul Devereux, who used a Geiger counter to test radiation levels at sites of repeated reports. Spooks, or conditions which lead 45% of all drivers to think they have seen them, occur throughout the route’s 230 miles from Carlisle to Rugby.
“It’s interesting that we’ve had more really clear sightings reported from the M6 than any other road,” said Mr Simmons, whose monitoring was organised by the roadbuilding company Tarmac. The survey’s results also include more traditional scenes of hauntings such as the A9 in the Highlands of Scotland, where a stagecoach with bewigged footmen has appeared to a succession of drivers. Other reports include eyes peeping out of bushes at the site of a colliery disaster in Leigh, Greater Manchester. Most of the phenomena seem benign, but several roads have a reputation for figures which appear to run into the path of traffic.
The motorway hauntings are expected to grow, according to experts like Mr Devereux, who recorded his own encounter with a phantom pick-up truck on the M6 in Fortean Times, the journal of strange phenomena. The new M6 toll section in the Midlands has already attracted a Roman cohort. Sue Cowley, from Coleshill, Warwickshire, told the survey of seeing about 20 soldiers “more like upright shadows than men walking through the tarmac as you would through water.”
Mr Hancock had been called out repeatedly over the years after accidents with no apparent cause.
Recounting one incident driver Declan Stewart said: “I was driving past the turn-off to Middlewich and everything got a bit darker and a strange mist drifted across the road.
“I couldn’t seen anything but I could hear a faint clanging of metal and there was smell, a sort of mix between wool, oats and offal.”
Source – www.mirror.co.uk & www.theguardian.com