Are They Real?

Ghosts, goblins, devils and demons don’t exist – do they? Of course not. But sometimes it would make you wonder. How many times have you heard, “Why him and not me?” Or even, “Why me and not someone else?” Personally I do not believe in the supernatural, or aliens from outer space. I believe that each and every one of us has a mental power, the ability to tune into the world, though most people don’t. Kindness without thought of repayment or reward seems to breed its own reward, if only satisfaction. Coincidence leads people to believe in the unnatural.

Long ago I worked in a munitions factory we were building the electronics for a anti submarine weapon. On this particular occasion we four technicians walked over to the main building at lunchtime laughing and joking. We reached the pop dispensing machine. It turned out each thought the other was going to do the honors. I had no money as did two of the others, the third had only large denomination bills.
As a joke I said “This machine owes me at least four drinks.” And I slapped the thing a good friendly bang on it’s side. Unbelievably, it went “Chug, Chug,” and spat out four Coca Colas. Now if that’s not supernatural I don’t know what is.
Another time I worked at the same factory I finished work and walked to the parking area. The temperature was almost 20 below Fahrenheit. The snow was thick and crispy. Jumping in my car I turned the key and the only response was “Clunk.” Annoyed and somewhat perturbed, I popped the hood (bonnet) and waggled all the battery connections. Hood open I pressed the solenoid, “Chug, chug, chug,” she turned over three times and died.
By this time just about everyone had left the parking area and my prospects looked real bad. Suddenly a voice behind me said, “Having a little problem, Mal.”
I turned and there stood Archie Smith, the local bible puncher. “Yeah. She won’t start, flat battery.”
Archie smiled. “Try again.”
Knowing it to be pointless I pressed the solenoid again. This time I got a quiet, ‘click.’ “No good she’s dead.”
There and then in the cold, Archie kneeled down in the snow, put his hands together and … would you believe prayed? I felt embarrassed. Thankfully no one was around to see this ridiculous charade. After some two or three minutes he got up and smiled. “Try it now.”
Like as if. The man was obviously a nitwit. Just to prove my point I pressed the solenoid again. “Varuum,” and it started like a midsummer morning.
When I was in Singapore they had a Shackleton airplane at Changi. The thing was a total waste of space, obsolete, and awkward. The thing was barely airworthy. For inexplicable reasons even after an expensive overhaul it would not fly to Seletar, about twenty miles. Every time one of the engines would fail. Twice they had a fire in the dog kennel. It’s the space directly behind the engine. Seletar is where they were scrapped. Eventually they decided to cut her up at Changi and ship it out in pieces. The very day before the destruction was to occur, a dispatch came from Whitehall stating that it was the last one in service and was to be flown to England for the RAF museum. As if.
This is where the magic comes in. Only a week later, all four engines started and the thing flew all the way back to England, landing several times to refuel, but not once having a problem of any kind.
Beats me !!


Of all the people in the world who should believe in ghosts and flying saucers and stuff like that… well it should be me – but I don’t. I have had several encounters of the weird kind but sill can’t bring myself to believe that it is more than just natural phenomena.
I used to work in a radio station where, Charlie, as we called him inhabited the nightly realms. You could hear him walk round the place, and sometimes open doors and on a good night he would play the church organ, which we didn’t have, but no one actually ever saw him. I suppose I can thank him for The Curse of Valdi, a ghostly story very loosely based on truth.
As for flying saucers, well, I’ve had two encounters, and I’m still not convinced. The first – I observed for probably five minutes as it surveyed the railway close to where I used to live. I called several other people out of the house and they saw it too. Eventually it shot off into the distance at unbelievable speed. It looked like a great orange ball that hovered noiselessly over the rail yard. The second one was downtown Hamilton, this one looked like coloured lights rotating in a circle. No one will convince me that a highly advanced race would waste years and million of his own money to travel across the galaxy to come and look at British Rail.
I suppose the reason ghosts and stuff like that do not frighten me is because as a kid I met the spook of spooks. Have you ever heard of Shuck? It’s a farm legend from the flatlands of the East Anglican Fens of England. Brenda and her sister Betty went carol singing with me on this particular night. Towards the end I decided to count our ill-gotten gains, to do this I climbed up onto the top of a pile Stanton pipes. They were at the time building a new sewer system. Suddenly Brenda screamed and then yelled some garbled message about a man chasing us. She used to do that – thought it was funny. I took no notice, but then a feeling of intense coldness swept over me. I looked up, and there stood a dark blob of no particular form. It had eyes that glowed somewhere near the top of the almost shapeless silhouette. In the wink of an eye I made Roger Banister’s four-minute mile look like a Sunday stroll.
The thing was not finished with us and silently it drifted towards us. Being children we made the wrong decision and headed east instead of west. The only refuge at that time was a farm; we quickly rushed to the farmhouse and tried to wake the occupants. No one was at home. The thing continued its gentle drift toward us. We were trapped with no way to go. With a heartbeat approaching 200 I peered round the hedge, and ‘poof’ whatever it was had gone. Taking the opportunity we ran back in the direction of home only to find it blocking our way. Quickly we rushed down behind a row of houses. There were at least three opportunities for the monster to catch us, but it never tried it just moved slowly towards us.
Terrified, we called on one of the houses and the occupant took his shotgun and went after the monster. He saw it and chased it, but… it mysteriously vanished. Four other people saw it that same week, but it was never apprehended. Although it gave me nightmares, I have never been afraid of the dark since. Shuck has given me the urge to write ghostly happenings, but I doubt if he was really a ghost.