Thursday, 10 May 2018

Face to face with a ghost


Do you believe in ghosts?

Up to a couple of days ago I did not. But now ... ... ...

Usually, in spooky stories, ghosts are found in big mansions somewhere remote, near a forest or something like it; in old windy, cold and damp castles, stately homes and the like. But not in my case.

There I was in an old boat in the North sea just off the shores of Scotland. Actually, it was more than an old boat. It was a large fishing trawler about fifty years old with a crew of about twelve people. It was night. Although the sea was relatively calm the boat was bobbing up and down, and swaying left and right, as it struggled its way through the waves. It was cold with a strong drizzle which had not yet decided to turn into proper rain.

The fishermen were all on deck preparing for a good night's work. I decided to go to my cabin and call it a night.

As I got into my bunk I tried my best to get some sleep; which was difficult with all this to and fro of the boat and the ominous creaking noises it made as it fought the icy seas and howling wind.

It was then that I felt another presence in my cabin. You know the feeling? When you are alone at home, especially at night, and you think you've heard someone walking upstairs, or that someone is in the house with you, someone is there, watching you, meaning you harm. Well, that's how it was for me. I was lying there in my bunk bed when I felt there was someone with me in the cabin. I switched on the little light by my bed and there he was ... a man sitting on the wooden chest not five feet away.

I got up quickly and hit my head on the bunk bed above me. Why do they make these contraptions so small?

He looked like, I suppose he was ... a pirate. He looked like the pirates you see in films. About six foot tall I should say, although you cannot tell when a man is sitting down. With a big red bushy beard, and an eye patch on his left eye. He did not have a wooden leg or a hook for a hand; but he did have a sword on his belt.

I believe he was a vegetarian ghost pirate because he had a carrot perched on his shoulder.

I was afraid out of my senses and I must have cried a little because I felt the tears trickling down my legs.

I did not know what to say ... or do ... It was not possible to jump out of my bunk and out of the cabin because he was sitting on the wooden trunk by the door. I must have mumbled something incoherently because he answered back.

I could not understand a word he said. He was speaking in a foreign language ... Scandinavian, or was it Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish? Or was he talking in Viking language seeing we were in those seas the Vikings used to sail many years ago. What language did the Vikings speak? He was not wearing a Viking hat like in the movies. You know, a helmet with horns on either side! But he did have long red hair.

He got annoyed that I did not respond so he spoke to me again in this foreign language; this time more menacingly.

Why is it that when Jean Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise go to various planets and galaxies they always find other species speaking proper English; and here I am, in the sea not far from Scotland and I cannot find a ghost that speaks English?

Now there's a sentence I never thought would cross my mind.

I did what we Brits always do when we are not understood abroad. I spoke very slowly and very loudly.

"WHO ARE YOU?" I asked gaining a little courage as I had stopped crying.

He must have understood me because he moved back a little sitting on the trunk and said "Gogin !!!"

"Gauguin, the painter?" I asked stupidly.

"GOGIN" he repeated angrily.

Then I followed with another stupid and somewhat obvious question, "ARE YOU A GHOST?"

Obviously, he understood me. Perhaps he learnt English when the Vikings invaded Britain.

"Gogin ghost" he repeated, calming down a little.

I pointed to my left eye and asked, "WHY YOU HAVE EYE PATCH?"

He smiled and said, "As ghost, I go through key hole and someone put in key at same time!"

I reciprocated his smile and as I did so he slowly faded away and disappeared.

I got out of my bunk and went to the sea chest on which he was sitting. I touched it to make sure he was no longer there. Had I imagined the whole thing? Was it a dream? I kicked the wooden trunk hard to make sure I was wide awake.

I got out of the cabin and when I got on deck I muttered to two fishermen mending the nets, "I ... I have just seen a ghost!"

"Oh, it must have been old Gogin," they said, "he often appears when we sail these waters!"

21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Victor the 6 words are book story page words novel read. Book is by the man's eyeglasses it was the toughest one to find for me.

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    2. I am glad you liked my story, Christine. Yes ... book was the most difficult word for me to find too.

      God bless you.

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  2. Replies
    1. What? Not even Scandinavian ones?

      God bless you, Linda.

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  3. An interesting story, Victor. I once heard a story about a ghost that used to slam doors to spook the people living tn the house in order to get them to move. Story had it, the ghost was a person who died in the house years ago and did not want others to live there, I guess the ghost was an unhappy one.

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    Replies
    1. I often wonder, Bill. What, or who, are ghosts? Do they really exist?

      God bless you, Bill.

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  4. 'A carrot on his shoulder' ... 'tears trickling down my leg' ..... 'Scandinavian, or was it Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish.'
    I'm unsure which, but you've got me in stitches over here, Victor! I wish I might meet a ghost someday.

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    1. I am so glad I made you laugh, Mevely. Laughter is good. Are there any funny ghosts I wonder?

      God bless you.

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  5. Was he the first ghost you've met.
    We had one in the castle we lived in but I never did see her. : )

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    1. The first non-English speaking ghost. I thought everyone spoke English these days!

      Are there French or Italian speaking ghosts? Or other languages? How do they communicate with people? How do you say "Woooh !!! WooooH !!!" in a foreign language?

      God bless you Happyone. Keep smiling.

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  6. Hi, I've come across from Christine's blog.
    An interesting story, and yes I too often think that we Brits always speak slowly and much too loudly when we are not understood abroad... it's strange.

    All the best Jan

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  7. Hello Jan,

    How nice to see you visiting me here. Thanx. Please call again. Nice website you have.

    It is so annoying when other people don't understand English. I try to be accommodating and learn foreign languages. I once ordered a whole meal at a restaurant in French and the waiter did not understand a word. It was a Greek restaurant.

    God bless.

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  8. As far as making our voices louder when speaking to someone of foreign origin, I think Americans are guilty of the same - Lol! Loved this ghost story as it contained your unique perspective and humor, Victor. Keep 'em coming!
    Blessings to you!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Martha for your kind words. Much appreciated.

      And another thing ... which I have just thought of. Not only do ghosts speak just in English, but also ... do they ever travel further than where they originally appear? For example, ghosts are always seen in old houses, castles and the like. Why do they stay there? Why do they not travel and appear elsewhere in other houses, places, towns or countries? Why should an English ghost remain in his castle in England and not appear somewhere else in a far away land? Is it a language problem that keeps ghosts in one place? Or is it the travel costs involved? Was my Scandinavian ghost travelling somewhere? Or just located in that area of sea where he possibly drowned?

      Help me with some answers, Martha.

      God bless.

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  9. A very good ghost story! I could be convinced...

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    Replies
    1. It was the sea chest and the to and fro of the boat that convinced me, Terri. Oh ... and the carrot on his shoulder.

      God bless.

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  10. Hello Victor, Thank you for the smile. So happy to have found you in the blogosphere. Blessings to you!

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    1. Hi John,

      It is so nice to have found you too, my friend. It is so kind of you to take the time to write so kindly. Thank you.

      I like to write humourous articles, (and books), because quite honestly there is so much sadness in the world sometimes and it is good to make people laugh a while. Laughter is the best sound you can hear. Better than any other sound, singing, music or whatever. Laughter tells us that for a while we have forgotten our worries and troubles. It is also good for us because it releases dolphins inside us which tickle us from the inside.

      Keep smiling, John. God bless.

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  11. Laughing!!!! You know me, a captive audience! So captive I was nearly seasick rocking to and fro. (tee hee)! Have a grand weekend!

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this story, Cathy. So great to see you here.

      God bless.

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