A true account of two ghosts seen at Beckenham's St George's Church

Do you believe in an afterlife?

I was fortunate in avoiding religious brainwashing when growing up—apart from the usual religious holiday stuff—and was left to pretty much reach my own decisions and conclusions.

July, 1977.

I was walking home through Beckenham town centre High Street on the outskirts of south London, eating a kebab for supper. It was a dry, warm and pleasant evening.

I had been working into the evening during the quieter hours at a local veterinary hospital in Foxgrove Road, replacing some damaged timbers of a stairway.

As I walked alongside the roadside grounds to St. George's, the large church in the centre of Beckenham, the thought entered my mind to cut through the church grounds on my way home to my house alongside one of the commons just a short distance away in the town.

I say the thought entered my head because there is no other way to describe it.

I followed the thought. The church yard was peaceful, with large trees, grass and open space in the small but busy town. Cutting through the church grounds would not really take me out of my way as a side entrance to the church grounds was in fact quite close to my own street. A few late blackbirds sang from the trees.

I climbed the few steps to the raised level of the church grounds, four or five feet above the level of the road, and I began to approach the front of the church, some 20 yards down a pathway which then split to pass to the right and to the left of the church. As I did so I heard tinkling female laughter coming from the left hand side of the church building, and attracted by the quality of the laughter I chose to take the left-hand fork to investigate.

St George's — none of the images I have been able to find show the far side of the church, which is where the appartitions appeared

Attracted is really too light a term to describe the beauty of the laughter. It tinkled sweetly and, for reasons I did not know, seemed to warmly sink deep into my soul — and yet there was a feeling of pleasantness.

As I rounded the corner so to look down the left side of the church I became aware of two female figures standing towards the rear of the church, just a few feet from the building and in front of a small section of tall hedge that jutted at a right angle several feet out from the back end, before stopping at the path on which I was approaching. Then it seemed to me as if my legs involuntary made me spring from the path onto the grass at the side. I landed on my feet still clutching the kebab.

I was incredulous. I could see the upper torsos of the two figures quite distinctly yet they appeared clothed in shimmering gowns that seemed to dissolve into amorphous mist close to the ground. I could not see their feet. It is difficult even on reflection to guess their ages, but anywhere between perhaps 19 and mid-30s would fit. And the strange thing was that I knew they were spirits, even though a corner of my mind seemed to be trying to tell me that I was not really seeing what I knew I was seeing. And no, I was not on any drugs and had not been drinking.

At a loss for words and filled with awe I said the first words that my shocked mind could find to say.

"Hello, how you doing?" I heard myself ridiculously say.

The two figures looked directly towards me, appeared to smile and then looked again at each other. Once again I heard the musically tinkling laughter that had attracted me and, as I watched, the two figures dimmed and vanished before my eyes.

Hardly believing what I had witnessed, I approached the spot where they had stood. There was nobody near. Dew was forming on the blades of grass and I examined the area closely. There was no sign of any disturbance as might be expected if someone had stood there.

Unable to discover an answer, I continued on my way home, bathed in thoughts for which, yet today, I have no real answers.

Keith Harris, January, 2000.

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