Scary AND lovely

Posted: 11/12/2013 in It happened in the night, Journal, Running
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

<snap> what’s that? is it a deer? <rustle> must be a deer, right? it wouldn’t be a ghost, ghosts don’t rustle, do they? <flump> what’s that flumping over there? is that a pair of eyes? are they green, like a deer, or red like a goblin? <crash> ohh, if only I hadn’t started thinking about ghosts…

A night run is a good way to mildly terrify yourself. So far, it’s also been a pretty safe way to terrify myself, in the woods in the dark, just me and the deer, the very occasional dog walker (two in total to date) and the ghosts and goblins.

Or are there?

I was out and about last night, and having just read about John Steele’s fantastic achievement of The Hill, 160 miles in 55 laps up and down the same hill, particularly the bit where he said he saw someone at the side of the path on the last few laps, dressed in Victorian clothing, who didn’t speak to him. So you’ll appreciate the thoughts of ghosts were already fairly well rooted in the ol’ brain box.

To date I’ve worried mostly about badgers, and rightly so, you know their jaws lock when they bite and you can’t get them to let go? See, told you it was good to be a bit worried. Well, last night I had a fleeting moment thinking about ghosts – the woods had a line going through them to transport coal, it feels like there’s a fair chance some kind of unfortunate event must have happened there at some point, right?

Well, I had a moment thinking that, then the oddest thing, I felt my brow go cold, my head tighten up and realised I had just managed to scare myself. Not the adrenaline-fuelled scare of having something leap out at you, more the sensation of dread. I’m not saying it was lovely, but it was quite interesting to actually feel it happening.

During the rest of the run I managed to scare myself a few more times – there’s a deer, or is it, I can’t see it’s eyes. More thoughts about ghosts, which was scary when you start thinking about the opening scene of Ghostbusters.  What’s the etiquette with ghost, do you talk to it, or do you jog past with a jaunty (aha, I typed ‘haunty’ there originally by accident, that’s spooky) wave? I know if you see a pixie you shouldn’t talk to it or is it that you shouldn’t dance with it, maybe I can’t remember after all.

The other thing I learned was that when the woods go from a calm night to a mild breeze, the first wave sweeps over the trees from one side to the other. From peaceful calm I heard a mild noise behind me, which grew slowly until it sounded like the world might just end – it swept in from behind and now I was looking in the sky for a plane, but it was all around me and suddenly is washed over the top and headed off in front. I realised what it was just before it passed over, which is probably lucky as the other option would have been to wee myself in terror. On another, less mildly spooky night, it would have been fine, I’m sure, but not last night, everything was bigger and louder and stranger than normal.

In summary, get out there and terrify yourself. It’s amazing. Better to do it in the woods than terrify yourself trying to run through the centre of Newcastle on a Friday night, that would be properly worrying…


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