Ghostly Figures


Margie Hofman 


© Copyright 2018 by Margie Hofman

Photo of a British tank crewman smiling.

I live in Canterbury which is 2,000 years old, at times occupied by Romans, Vikings, and French protestants fleeing persecution in France. Canterbury gave sanctuary to many faiths. The places where they have lived must surely leave an imprint.

Since I was a young child, I think I was five, I always had a vivid imagination.  I would hear people talking about someone, and the next day it was mentioned in conversation.

I shared a small bedroom with my sister. The walls were painted white and I used to stare at the walls and imagine I saw people against the white backdrop.

My father was in the army and we used to mention him in our prayers every night. My mother said “Now your father is in Germany “ One evening at about 7pm I stared at the wall and saw a vision of my father driving his tank, but he turned to me and smiled. I knew he would be all right. I did not know where Germany was . I told my mother that I had seen a picture of my Dad in a tin box (I had never seen a tank) and she said “Don’t ever tell me if you see anything like that again” and I never did.

Ever since then I have been aware that the strange things that I saw had some meaning. When I was 22 I nearly married a policeman but I was not sure. One day I looked at my left hand and said to myself “Will I marry him” I did not see a wedding ring and saw a large letter H on my hand, My maiden name began with H so I thought I would not marry and decided to travel but later in Australia I married a Dutchman whose surname began with H and my wedding ring is on the right hand as it is Dutch protestant.

Canterbury has so many medieval and older buildings. With my history group we went to a pub called The Parrot, it dates from 1400 and is probably the oldest pub in the south of England. I am aware of a buzz of voices, even though there are only 7 of us having a meal. I said to the waitress “Do you ever hear anything strange here” Yes she said “This used to be five houses all together and it is actually built on a Roman house. The lines of bricks outside is where the Roman house stood. We often hear voices although we cannot actually hear what is being said.”

I am amazed at the historic background of this pub. The next day I went to meet a friend and went to the little restaurant down the road from the pub. I am sitting there on my own – when a monk walks in complete with long brown cloak and sandals. Am I seeing a ghost! I said to the waitress “Did you just see a monk walk in here” Oh yes, she replied. “They are doing repairs to the monastery and they have moved to a building a few doors down.”

Well I wait for the next interesting event. 

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