I’VE had a really good response to my column about “Spooky Valley”, last week – that is, the dip underneath the railway bridge just past the junction of Boldon Lane and Stanhope Road at Tyne Dock.
In fact, I’ve received so many e-mails that I still haven’t had time to reply to them all.
I’ll be pulling together the best stories from them over the next week or two, so watch this space, as they say.
This week, however, I’d like to focus on something entirely different.
Reader Jimmy Swift told me of an experience he had many years ago when he was working at a car wash.
There was, he said, a room where containers of wax were stored, and every morning at 7am he was required to take three of these containers and pour their contents into a cylinder housed in the car wash itself.
The very first morning he had no problem, but the second morning was very different indeed.
“I walked into the room as normal, and went to get the first of the containers. Just as I was about to pick it up I suddenly felt very strange, as if I was being watched.
“I looked around but there was definitely no one else in there, so I just left.
“The next morning I went into the room again, and straight away I got the same feeling, as if someone was staring at me.
“This time I mentioned it to another lad who worked there, and he said, ‘Why do you think the new person always gets that job? No one else will go in there – it’s haunted’.
“This put me off, and I didn’t want to go in there again, but I had to.
“I just took a deep breath, quickly walked in and made for the wax.
“I could only have taken a couple of steps, and then I felt it – someone or something blew on my cheek really hard, and it had really bad breath. I just legged it out of there.
“When I got outside, two of the other lads were standing there and they burst out laughing.
“They shouted, ‘Did it blow on your cheek, then?’ Somehow they knew, and I found out it had happened to them before, only they hadn’t told me.
“I didn’t want to work there any more, and my uncle said he could get me a job as a driver’s mate where he worked.
“I told the boss I was handing my notice in, and he said he knew why and he didn’t blame me.
“In fact, he was going to ask the owners if he could store the wax and other stuff somewhere else.
“I asked him if it had happened to him, and he said. ‘Not half ... a few times. I found a dead dog in there once ... that was really creepy’.
“I never found out why those things were happening. That room was definitely haunted, though, although I don’t know by what.”
I asked Jimmy exactly where the car wash was located, and he told me.
I wanted to see if the staff currently employed there were having any problems, but alas, the car wash had long since been demolished, and a house stood on the spot.
Jimmy’s brother Keith worked at the car wash for two weeks at one point, and I asked Jimmy if he’d experienced anything.
He hadn’t, he said, because by then the wax was being stored in a portable cabin on the site and the room was permanently locked.
Maybe it’s just as well ...
* Had a spooky experience? Tell Mike at email@example.com