Graded locations

Listed buildings are graded in each location in this blog. Eg. Grade I, II* II of grade I is of most importance. Grade A relates to Scotland. See BLB

Sunday, 30 March 2014




'The Ruskington Horror' is a very well known spontaneous case, if you have not heard the story, it is worth a read. Multiple eye-witness sightings of the same apparition over many years, along a stretch of road (A15) in Lincolnshire. Yet again as I research this story it's like walking in quicksand. So many accounts, so many theories and the more you go into it, the deeper you get. Everything from the traditional to the romantic. Tragic deaths, witches, a highwayman, hypnopompic hallucinations, and alcohol. 

Witness Kevin Whelan (1998) He had an experience that he will never forget. On a dark and lonely stretch of road in Lincolnshire the A15 near the Ruskington turn off, approximately 2am on a Sunday morning, he describes seeing a white shadow just as he got to the brow of the hill in his car.  Not believing anything supernatural he thought it was car lights and didn't give it much thought. He got to this white shadow when all of a sudden a face appeared on the drivers side of the car and windscreen, it appeared to have it's left hand up. He remembers driving a little too fast.  The apparition was not see through, he described a man with dark hair, kind of Greek looking with olive pitted skin. From the neck down it had a fluorescent look to it, he could also see its teeth. Witnessing it no more than 50 seconds.  He continued to drive at 60mph with this form still visible through his window. He had music playing loudly in the car, he pulled out the fascia in earnest.  The apparition seemed to just fade away down the side of the car. 

He quickly shot home, went indoors and locked the house door without locking the car door. He was so shaken by what he had seen, he started to cry, he then woke his wife up and told her what he had seen. The morning after he went to the car wash, as he put it 'to remove the memory of the event'. The following Sunday he returned to the same spot with a video camera in the hope of seeing it again to convince himself at to what he saw, but nothing happened. Kevin had heard that a friend of his had been told by a police officer that a motorcyclist had been killed on that stretch of road. Lincolnshire is a notorious black spot for motorcycle fatalities. 

One sceptics reaction was -
Certain things about the story stand out for me. Firstly that it was late at night, or rather a Sunday morning in a rural area. Far be it from me to suggest that Kevin had been at a boozer somewhere and was on his way home, but he wouldn't be the first, I'm sure. Secondly the bit about the cassette player, when I'm on my way home late at night, to stop myself from falling asleep at the wheel. I bet I'm not alone here, right? Hypnapompic hallucinations, to me Kev's story sounds just like he fell asleep or was falling asleep at the wheel, perhaps after a couple of sherberts, and woke suddenly, befuddled, as he travelled a stretch of road which knows has had at least one recent fatality (he also states that it happened just before "a very very tight bend"). I think his unconscious mind was shaking his conscious mind back into full control before he hit that tight bend when it would have been curtains for both minds!  Anyway, I would imagine you'd get a bloody good look at it, 40 or 50 seconds is a long time - get your stopwatch out and see, more than enough time to be sure of what the hell is going on. Unless, of course you aren't fully awake. You'd cover a considerable distance at 60+mph as well, can anyone local drive past the scene and estimate how far he'd have gone with this "bin bag" hanging off his wing mirror? 

Kevin wasn't the only one to have witnessed this apparition. 

Witness: Rob Burkett (1984) 
It was about 8:30pm I had just finished a delivery of day old chickens, it was around October-November time 1984. I used to stay at a bed and breakfast in Ruskington. All of a sudden a thing was on the side of the road with its hand up, he seemed to walk out just as I was going through the speed limit.  

Witness: Sarah Martin (1983)
She had seen a sighting the previous year. She and her boyfriend had been to the cinema in Lincoln and was driving back to Cranwell, when a black silhouette of a man seemed to run out of a ditch straight in front of their car. Her boyfriend who was driving didn't see anything. She noted that if it had been a person, they would have obviously hit it and described her experience as 'horrid and frightening'.

First witness: Kevin Whelan (1998)
He noted that first of all it looked like a white bin bag floating in front of him, he didn't see it of any concern until a face appeared in front of him, staring at him with its mouth wide open and appearing very distressed. His wife remarked on the psychological state of her husbands mind after the event. 'When he arrived home, he woke me up in a panic and stood there crying and was a white as a sheet' [sic] She had never seen him like this in their 13 year marriage. 'I have seen a ghost!!!'

Witness: Sarah (1996)
Sarah had her encounter in 1996 in the exact location that Kevin had seen it, black from head to toe, is all that is described about it.

Witness: School coach driver (1960)
In 1960 a man had been driving a school coach, he believed that he had run someone over, but when he got out of the vehicle to investigate nothing was there. 

Witness: Catherine Stephenson (date unknown)
Catherine was 15 at the time, she had been walking to Ruskington where she had attended school; she had sensed a presence behind her, feeling a cold shiver up her back, she turned around and saw a figure, but only its head and shoulders were visible, the rest of the torso was like a sheet. 

Witness: Jenny Sellars (1988)
Jenny saw a figure in 1988 when she was driving back from Sleaford to Lincoln.  She was driving carefully and slowly along a dark stretch of road when a sheet or a bit of plastic came towards her, like a plastic bin liner. It came down in front of the windscreen, she slammed her breaks on thinking she had hit something, she knew she hadn't as there had been no impact. There was nothing on the ground, it was just black outside.  

Christine Lee's father (date unknown)
Christine's father had worked at RAF Cranwell, one night he and his friends decided to cut through some fields to return to their barracks.  He saw a ghostly white figure 'coming from above him' [sic] with it's hand out as if to say 'don't go', he and his friends decided it would be better to go back the long way around. (Christine assumes that hand out gesture 'don't go' was a warning to her father as the fields may have been boggy and marshy.  Sometime later he had witnessed it again whilst driving, turning off the A15.

Witness: Lynn Gothing from Essex also said she saw the same thing around 1997, recalling that it looked like a monk waving. 

Witness: Helen Carter (date unknown) also sees a figure with its hand raised as if a warning. 

Many believe that this apparition could be a motorcyclist that met his end on the road. People also believe it to be a hermit who was run over by an army lorry back in WW2 (second world war).

The hangman's haunt also called 'Dunsbury Hollow' - is a nickname around this area. In the past a highwayman hid in a hollow (or dyke (ditch) and then held up stage coaches. 

Other apparitions witnessed in this general area - A woman in a pink ball gown. Also, two white cart horses which have been seen on numerous occasions. 

There is much speculation as to what is going on with regards to the Ruskington Horror. Are they just made up stories, altered states of conciousness, reinterpretations, hallucinations, ghost misidentification, coincidence, or something else science cannot explain? Or just a plain old bin liner, they are a bluddy nuisance when they get stuck under your car ;)

The full in-depth version can be found here - UK cases, Lincolnshire.


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