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Observations placeholder

The Stocksbridge by-pass haunting



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 6


What does not come out of this story is that Stocksbridge is a steel making town and in the centre of the town next to the by-pass is the steel works.  The steel works relies on electric arc furnaces which require huge amounts of electricity.  Going into Stocksbridge over the by-pass are a vast number of pylons carrying this electricity – far more than one would normally get over any stretch of road and leading down into the works.

There may have been some contribution from the road works changing the telluric currents to create a hot spot

A description of the experience

The account of the A616 Stocksbridge by-pass hauntings – from Internet site

Part of the A616 road was intended to alleviate the heavy traffic through the town of Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire, England. The bypass was completed in April 1988, cost over £14 million and was carved out of the hills adjacent to Stocksbridge but even before its completion things started to happen in the area and on the site of the road which caused concern not only for those involved in the work, but for the policemen sent to deal with it.

The McAlpine construction company, who were contracted out to do the work, employed security guards from Constant Securities who patrolled the site and the materials stored their after work hours. Peter ***** was in charge of the security but was not on site the night of Tuesday September 8th. That night he was called out by Steven ******* and another man who were on duty at the by-pass. He arrived and found them in a distressed state - the two men had white and pallid faces, were physically shaking and crying. Upon questioning them he found out what had happened to them.

 1987 September 7th

The night before, Monday September 7th they had commenced their shifts as normal and had driven up Pearoyd Lane (above the steelworks in Stocksbridge) 20-30 minutes after midnight and saw what they took to be a group of children playing just down from the half-constructed bridge beside a pylon. The men parked up the Land rover and went to investigate. They were puzzled by the sight of the children especially since they were wearing clothing which was especially dated - antiquated even. It was late for any kids to be out there and the pylon was a fair distance from the nearest houses in the town itself. When they reached the spot, there were no children. The ground was fresh mud but there were no footprints and no sign of anyone having been around. Mystified, they got back into the Land rover and continued onwards. The following morning they checked with the local workmen who slept in some caravans nearby and were told that they too had heard the sound of children's voices during the night hours on a few occasions

1987 September 8th
The following evening, Tuesday September 8th, they began their shifts once again as normal and at roughly the same time drove up Pearoyd Lane towards the partially-constructed bridge. Steven noticed something and pointed it out to his colleague. There on the bridge was a figure of a monk. Steven got out and his partner drove up the road and around to the bridge. When the headlights touched the figure, they passed right through it. Suddenly the figure vanished. Afraid and uncertain of what they had seen, the men rushed back down to their base and called up Peter Owens, their boss.

Disturbed, the men called the local police at Deepcar and told them what had happened. PC Dick Ellis took the call and explained that it was hardly a police matter and half-jokingly suggested they needed a priest rather than a PC.

Later that day PC Ellis received another call, this time from Stuart Brindley, the vicar at Stocksbridge, who told him that the two security guards had called on him in a distressed state and asked for an exorcism, such was the extent of their fear, PC Ellis was instructed to go to the church to remove the men and also to find out what was going on.

 ...they noticed ahead of them a figure walking with its back towards the traffic in the middle of the road...

1987 September 11th
Following these reports, PC Ellis and former Special Constable John Beet drove up to the spot in their Vauxhall Astra squad car on Friday September 11th to investigate. They expected to find nothing and attributed the words of the two security guards to panic and hysteria.

They parked up and sat facing the bridge. The night was warm and both men had their windows rolled right down.

Before long they thought they could see something moving on the bridge, something unidentifiable from their position. PC Ellis man got out and went up onto the bridge, only to discover that what they had seen was a loose tarpaulin flapping in the breeze. Relieved and feeling a little foolish they sat in the car for a while.

Gradually the men began to feel unsettled. PC Ellis said he 'went cold' ....as if someone had walked over my grave. And what was so odd I went cold without knowing what was the matter.' Suddenly PC Ellis was aware of a presence on his right outside the car. He turned his head quickly and saw what he took to be a figure immediately outside his window pushed up so close that he could see only the torso it. He said it looked like it was wearing dark clothing with a white 'v' shape from the neck down. As he was turning to look it vanished. Then John Beet saw exactly the same thing on his side of the car, and when he looked it also disappeared.

PC Ellis, although disturbed by the experience, got out of the car and walked around it to see who it was. He looked on all sides and even peered underneath. Nobody was near the car. Both men were in no mood for pranks or jokes but this seemed very different and very real. Back in the car, PC Ellis turned the ignition key and at first the car would not start. For a few moments the engine refused to turn over, then suddenly sprung into life.

They drove further down the road towards the construction area and pulled up. The site was deserted. They radioed into the police station of their position. Without warning something banged hard on the rear of the car. PC Ellis described it as sounding like a baseball bat or pickaxe handle. Again he got out and checked the car. Nobody was in the area and the men were alone. He climbed back in only to hear the bang twice more. Without further ado, they drove off back to Deepcar.

The men reported that the feeling they had was not one of fear when facing danger, but one which springs from a situation over which you have no control. A feeling of dread

 Other Experiences

 1987 Late Summer
Joggers Graham and Nigel Brooke were out on the Stocksbridge Bypass during its construction one evening when they noticed ahead of them a figure walking with its back towards the traffic in the middle of the road. As they drew nearer they noticed that it had no discernible features except for the nose and eye sockets. Accompanying this figure was a 'fusty, rotten smell' but more bizarrely the figure was walking 'in the road from the knee down' as if on a different level to the tarmac. When they were closer still the figure disappeared, leaving the father and son perplexed and scared

1987 Autumn
Later Judi and David Simpson were driving over the bypass on a bridge one day when out to their left over the fields they noticed something odd and distinctly unsettling: a figure was floating above the field. They described it as having no face but it did have arms and legs which were flaying around. As they drove, the figure came up the embankment, rose to the road and disappeared into the car. The couple were terrified.

 Historical Evidence

The area had monastery farms hundreds of years ago. There is a story of one of these monks had become somewhat disillusioned with the church and had decided to leave. He subsequently went to work at Underbank Hall as a groundsman. When he died, because of his departure from the faith, he was buried in unhallowed ground.

In the area in the late 18th century and up to the mid 19th century children were regularly used in mining pits. 

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps