A Christmas Ghost Story
by Elaine Page
(Whitley Bay UK)
This story is of two parts. The first part is mine and by way of an introduction to the second part - my husbands. I will continue.
Christmas Eve 1987 and my husband, a bus-driver, was at work. He hoped to be home early, as once the shoppers disappear from the town centre the buses run off early.
My husband and I always have had a strong telepathic link. At approx 4.00 in the afternoon - totally dark outside, I started to feel agitated.
The house was clean and shining, the Xmas Tree sparkling. My mother; widowed 5 years earlier, spending the holiday with me and my family, sat by the fire having a sherry and mince pie. I was finishing the baking and thinking about preparing the bath for our 5 year old son. Hoping to read him a bedtime story to get him settled into bed and off to sleep.
We were all enjoying advent and so looking forward to Christmas Day. Once Jonathan was tucked into bed I had more time to myself as all the chores were done. My thoughts then turned to my husband John and his return from work. Again I was uneasy. As the time got past 5.00 pm I realized John was now late.
He is a man of habit and punctuality, he had no Christmas shopping to delay him. Where was he?
As the hours went by I became more and more agitated and anxious - until the phone range at approx 8.30 pm. I picked up the receiver and a voice said "Is that Mrs. John James Page?" - I could hear in the background the static of what I thought was a police radio - I immediately burst into tears.
The waiting, then this dreaded call was too much. All I could think was that "they cannot tell me he's dead, over the phone". The voice continued - "I have to inform you that your husband has been involved in an accident, and he is helping police with their inquiries - he is OK but will be late".
My mind was in turmoil - I thought the words meant John had run someone over or such. I relayed the details to my Mum and we waited anxiously until about 15 mins later, when John returned home. John said that I should have been contacted hours ago - the police must have forgotten to make the call.
He looked ill and grey.....I hugged him and said "are you OK? you look like you have seen a ghost" He replied "Therein lies the tale".
He does not normally talk in that way - so that too was strange. He said "make me a cup of tea whilst I freshen up and I will tell you what happened." I was ecstatic to have him home safe and the Tea-making kept me busy with the mundane , awaiting his news.
Part two, as told to me by my husband:
I was driving on my last trip before going home. It was approximately 4.00 pm and pitch black. I was traveling homeward and coming towards me was the last bus on an outward trip.
From behind the bus, which was traveling towards me, a car appeared, wanting to overtake the bus. My bus and the other bus were traveling at the top speed allowed, heading towards each other with the
closing distance rapidly becoming smaller. The car could never overtake in time under those circumstances. I expected him to drop back behind the bus and await a better opportunity to overtake.
The car driver however misjudged and put his foot down to get past the bus - the car was now heading straight for my bus - head on. All I could do was to pull on to the curb and hope the angle of the bus would deflect the car and the driver might survive the impact.
I pulled on to the footpath and checked my side mirror. I saw the car hit the side of my bus then the car spun off down the road behind my bus. I looked to the front again and saw a man on the footpath ahead....I turned the wheel to the right to get back on to the road and avoid hitting the man....automatically I again checked my side mirror....as I did so there was an almighty roar...looking to my left the whole left corner and platform of my bus was missing...debris everywhere.
I stopped the bus as soon as was able. I asked the few passengers if they were OK and then got off the bus. I was on my hands and knees looking under the bus and also along the footpath and roadside - all in the black winters night - looking for the body of the man I had seen on the footpath. There was no body.
The man I saw on the footpath was a friend and colleague of mine...he had died in a bus accident a few yards away from my own accident, only 2 months earlier. I had swerved to avoid hitting a man whom had died months earlier.
What I had not seen was a concrete lamp-post, set in the centre of the footpath and in its own shadow, was invisible to me. If I had not swerved to avoid hitting my friend I too would be dead.
My cab was in line with the concrete lamp-post and only that last minute swerve saved my life. The driver of the car had suffered horrific injuries but did survive thanks to John swerving on to the footpath.
John had to describe the incident to the police - without the final details of his dead friend. He told his story to me with my Mum listening in the background, and then he cried and cried as did I and my Mum too.....Something special had happened to John.
This was a Christmas Eve we will never forget. We thanked God and Johns friend again and again and we still do....because without this 'vision' my son would have grown up without his father, I would have lost my husband, my love, my friend, my soul-mate; John is all of these and more to me.
We had many questions: would this ghost have appeared for anyone, was it something else represented by a form which would not frighten????etc., etc. Our tears were tears of relief, gratitude, awareness, humbleness and also sadness....I offer this story because it gives hope. My husbands family were not religious, he himself is of a practical, no-nonsense nature....He now 'Believes' in 'something else' 'something spiritual' 'something greater'. I have always Believed yet I too was indeed still am overwhelmed by the 'mercy' and the 'specialness' of this event.
Love and peace to you all.