I know, I know. I missed last Thriller Thursday, but it was actually completely intentional. I only have one "scary" story left to tell and I wanted to wait until Halloween to end this endeavor. I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween and find plenty of mischief to get up to, whether you're at work or at home. And those of you with kids--be sure to test their candy before they eat it. You know you wouldn't want them to eat that Reese's Peanut Butter cup or that Mr. Goodbar--oooh, or that Sugardaddy!--before you give it a completely thorough taste test for safety!
*Cue in dreamy harp music*
A long time ago, in a country far, far away, I had an unexplained encounter. Come with me back to London, England circa 2000 and join me for a mysterious tube ride of... mystery...
Okay, so, this is the one encounter where I've can guarantee that I've something completely unexplainable--it wasn't a dream, it couldn't have been the wind, and NO ONE else saw this happen, even though I was surrounded by people in a brightly lit subway (or tube as the say in London). Again, this was when I was in England with my family and family friends for my senior trip, and before we headed off for the wilds of England, Scotland, and Wales, we spent a few days in London sightseeing.
A great deal of our time was spent in tube stations and traveling back and forth in the underground of London. Typically the tube was packed with people on their way to or from work, and it would be standing room only, but every now and then there would be only a couple of other people riding, and I often found myself people watching to pass the time.
During one of these times when there were very few people on board I caught sight of a non-descript looking man, wearing a business suit and reading a newspaper. I couldn't see his face as he was holding the paper up high, but I watched him flip pages every now and then and imagined where he could be going since it clearly wasn't the typical rush hour. From time to time the tube cars would come to a stop between stations--I imagine so that any tube line repair men who needed to could get off, or for some other technical tube related reason about which I have no clue.
I was sitting next to my sister, and my parents and family friends were sitting across from us, I think maybe the men were standing up and holding the rails--our stop must have been coming up shortly. But before we arrived at our station the tube stopped for a minute in the blackness of the tunnel and we waited for it to start up again. As it did I leaned over to gather my belongings and noticed that the man in the suit was gone. I looked around the car, thinking that maybe he had gotten up and moved toward the door, but in doing so, he would have had to have crossed in front of us to get there. Regardless, the man was nowhere to be seen.
I thought that was odd and asked my family if they'd seen what happened to the man who'd been sitting next to us. They looked at me blankly and replied that they hadn't seen a man in the car with us. I explained that there had been a man reading a newspaper and he had been sitting just a few seats down. Someone suggested that he may have gotten off to do some repairs, but I knew that it was pretty unlikely that a tube repairman would wear a business suit to work in the sooty blackness. I insisted that there had been a man sitting next to us, and they in turn stood by their story that they had seen no such man. We got off the tube at our station and I continued looking around for Mr. Business Suit, thinking that maybe he had changed cars somehow, but I didn't see him anywhere.
I never saw his face or heard him make a noise aside from the rustling of the paper as he turned the pages, but I don't see how, if there had actually been a man sitting there the whole time, anyone else in the car would have missed him. I'm generally pretty skeptical about my "encounters"--I believe that dreams can be our minds way of comforting us or venting emotions, the wind can make you think "unexplained" things are happening--but I also like to think that maybe sometimes there's something more than meets the eye. But as skeptical as I've tried to be for the past six years about the man on the tube, I can't explain how a man can be there one second and gone the next. I've never seen any other apparitions, but I really believe that in that moment on the tube I truly did see something--or someone--from another world.