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Here are three ghostly tales, told to me by a lady called Jan. All happened in Wiltshire and all have left a strong impression on Jan, now in her late 60s.

The Ghostly Warning

This happened in the early 2000s, on the road through the Woodford Valley, which is a fairly narrow country road. It was a very bright summer evening and Jan was returning from visiting her son in Leicester. She had driven there and back in the day and was beginning to get tired. It was the time of day when the sun was getting low in the sky and it was difficult to see the road. Jan’s concentration was waning, as she just wanted to get home, when she started to smell cigarette smoke.

Being a non-smoker, this strong odour caught her attention and essentially woke her up as she wondered where it had come from. She turned the corner to see a large lorry coming towards her in the middle of the road and she was able to take action to avoid in. Jan told me she thinks, if she hadn’t been fully aware, as she wasn’t before smelling the smoke, she would have driven head-on into the lorry. On reflection, she really feels it was her dad there in the car with her, sending her a ghostly warning of the danger ahead. He died some years back and was a very heavy smoker throughout his life.

Dead Soldier at the High Post

This is another ghost story involving driving. Jan was returning to Amesbury along the A345 late one evening after visiting her sister in Salisbury. As she approached the crossroads at High Post a black face flashed in-front of her car windscreen. It was a momentary vision which left Jan wondering what she had seen and she felt quite unnerved by the whole situation. It was definitely a face but how do you explain seeing a blackened face in your windscreen only for it to vanish within a second or two.

Jan didn’t really think much more of it until she mentioned it to a friend. She too had seen the face flash across her windscreen one evening, in the same place. Her friend had also mentioned her experience to someone else and they told her that she may have witnessed the ghost of a dead soldier.

Back in the 1980’s a soldier was walking home, back to Amesbury, after a night on the town in Salisbury. Amesbury is on the edge of Salisbury Plain and there are many military personnel stationed in barracks around the town. The road from Salisbury to Amesbury is an ‘A’ road, and whilst these days it can be very busy, back in the 80’s in the middle of the night it would have been much quieter.

Apparently, it was not unusual for people who had spent an evening in the pubs of Salisbury to walk the nine miles back home. The road is unlit and is very dark. The story is that the soldier had been returning home and had been hit and killed by a car. Could Jan and her friend, on a separate occasion, have witnessed the ghostly face of the dead soldier as he was hit by the car once again?

Silent Monk in The Greencroft

Jan and her husband, at the time, were sitting with her sister Sally and her husband at their terraced cottage in the Greencroft in Salisbury. This was back in the early 1990’s and Sally was heavily pregnant at the time with her first child.

Jan told me the cottage has a long hall which heads from the front door towards the kitchen, with a door off to the lounge on the right. She and her husband sat side-by-side one evening on the sofa, which gave them a view along the hallway. Jan glanced up to see a monk-like figure dressed in a brown robe with a pointed hood walk along the hallway. She said it was quite human-looking and solid.

She said she said nothing to the others in the room and cannot explain why she just kept quiet at seeing such an unusual sight. It was a couple of weeks later when she actually bought it up with her husband, and it turns out he, too, had witnessed the same figure walk along the hallway. They have no explanation for what they saw, and Jan still seems unsure why it took her so long to bring it up.

As I mentioned, Sally was heavily pregnant, and as any pregnant lady knows, you can be prone to nighttime wonderings as you can be quite uncomfortable at that point during pregnancy. Sally told me she had never had any ghostly experiences in the house that she could not explain.

Archaeological evidence from the Paleolithic and evidence of Saxon inhabitation have been found on the Greencroft. It was used as common land for rearing sheep, the wool trade being very important to medieval Salisbury. But then, when the plague hit Salisbury in a particularly ferocious visitation in 1627, it was used as a large burial site for victims. It was also used as a place for executions. No buildings will ever be built on the site because the plague pits still lay underneath the land there.

This doesn’t really explain the ghostly monk-type apparition Jan and her husband witnessed. Still, with Salisbury being such an ecclesiastical place, it may not have been unusual to see a monk about the place. Or maybe it was not a monk but simply a robed figure who would have once lived on or passed through this area.

My thanks go to Jan for kindly sharing these stories with me.


Don’t forget; I’m always on the lookout for spooky and weird stories from Wiltshire and beyond. If you have a tale you would like to share I’d love to hear from you. Contact me via Twitter (or X as we are supposed to call it now) or here.

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