Transcript of the Stocksbridge Bypass episode of "Strange But True."

This is my own transcription - I've tried to make it as accurate as possible with the witnesses' words, but have left out a few of the "aarghs" and "what is it?!"s of the reconstructions.

This one was first aired a few years before the 'Ghosthunters' episode, on the 2nd December, 1994 (so says Wikipedia).

Michael Aspel: Of all the people who claim to have witness unexplained phenomena, very few can offer what can be regarded as proof. Their stories can be easily dismissed - and often are - but do they deserve more? All we can do is look them in the eye, and decide for ourselves whether they’re genuine, and ask ourselves why anyone would make up such a story especially when they risk ridicule. The key witnesses in our first story tonight are people you’d normally trust. Some indeed have frequently given evidence in courts of law. Here’s the story, believe what you will.
Ever since building work began, a new section of road across the top of the Peak District has attracted reports of strange happenings. The first was from two security guards, and this is what they saw one night.

Voice of Peter Owens, security company manager:  A group of children running in a circle, in a field, at the side of a construction site. The time was round about midnight and you just wouldn’t see the children playing there at that time of night when it was so far away from any houses. And the children disappeared. They were security men who’d been in the industry a long time, they knew the job, they’d worked nights for a number of years, and not the type of people that you’d expect to be scared.

Michael Aspel:  The A616 used to pass straight through this old steel town, but then the road planners got to work on Stocksbridge - they built a sweeping new bypass. While it may have made the town quieter, some believe the bypass disturbed something that would have been best left alone. Certainly the two security guards who were watching over the equipment being used to build it would agree. But they were still puzzling over the sight of the children. But that was just the beginning.

Peter Owens: The next incident was later on that night.

(reconstruction): Here, stop the car, look there’s someone up there.
Don’t be daft. There can’t be.
Yes there is, look! You drive around, shine your lights on’t bridge, I’ll wait down here.

Peter Owens: They immediately started the vehicle up, shone the headlights towards the hooded figure and the headlights actually shone through the figure.

(reconstruction): Oh god! It’s disappeared into thin air!
Let’s get out of here!

MA: The men in a state of shock called their boss out. He was alarmed at the state they were in.

PO: They were physically shaking, the complexion was very white and pallid. One of the guards was actually crying.

(reconstruction): It were difficult to describe, it looked like a monk.
I mean what were it doing there? It were evil.
How can it just disappear??

M.A.:  First thing the next morning the men went to the police. The officer on duty knew them.

PC Dick Ellis: It were obvious they’d seen or heard something. They were both spooked, and basically I said to them - it’s not really a police matter, and there was nothing I could do about it, and perhaps jokingly I told them that really they needed the church more than they needed the police.

MA: But they took him seriously - they went to Stocksbridge church and refused to leave.

DE:  About an hour or so later I received a phone call from my boss, and I was told to go up to the church and sort this matter out. Firstly to get them out of the church, and then to see if I could find out anything that they’d actually seen, heard, or whatever.

MA:   The security guards never, it seems, got over what happened to them.

PO:  One of them left after 3 days, and the other one stayed with us roughly 2 to 3 months. And neither of the two guards would set foot on that site again, even in the daylight.

MA: While the bypass was being built, runner Graham Brooke was training for a marathon. One day he was out jogging with his son, Nigel.

GB: I saw a chap walking with his back to the traffic, he was walking in the middle of the road.

Nigel:  I looked at him and you could see he had no features to it except for a nose and eye sockets.

GB: I could smell like this fusty rotteny smell.

Nigel: Not a human type smell.

GB:  And then I could see that he wasn’t walking on the road, he was like walking in the road, and from below the knee down, you know, you couldn’t see anything.

MA: Each time things are apparently seen, the descriptions vary, but the reputation of the bypass deepens.

David Simpson:  We were coming home from Judi’s parents over the bridge that goes over the bypass.

Judi Simpson:  I could see out of the corner of my eyes like a grey apparition - there was actually no facial expressions.

DS: It was hovering, arms and legs were flailing all over the place.

[reconstruction]: That’s strange it looks like a man running – but he’s not running on the ground.

DS: It ran up the embankment.

JS:  It actually rose from the side into the road, and disappeared into the car.

DS:  I can think of no other explanation for what we saw - in my mind (I think in both of our minds), what we saw has to, had to have been a ghost.

MA:  So if something does keep appearing on the bypass, what is it? Lucinda June is a psychic. She says she knows.

Lucinda June: I was driving along the Stocksbridge bypass, and the car started to become very very cold. With this came a smell of musty books. Then all of a sudden, a darkness appeared to the left hand side of me, and I felt very very frightened. And I did pick up the spirit of a monk that had been there 500 years previous.

MA:  But why should a long dead monk be on what is now the Stocksbridge Bypass?  It has been discovered that there were once monastery farms in the area.

Trevor Lodge, local historian: The rumour, or the story, is that one of these monks became disillusioned with the rather harsh autocratic way of life. He came here to Underbank Hall, and worked the rest of his natural life here as groundsman, or whatever, and subsequently when he died he was buried in unhallowed ground.

MA: Some believe the bypass may have been built over the supposed monk’s grave. And they also have theories to explain the children seen by the security guards.

TL:  Children were used in the valley’s coalmines in the late-18th and mid-19th century, and the rumour suggests that there’s been some sort of mining catastrophe.

MA: So, a phantom monk, ghostly children... After dealing with the security men in the church, PC Ellis and his colleague John Beet were sent to investigate.

[reconstruction]: Let’s switch the radios off.

Dick Ellis: We sat in the panda car with the lights off and the engine off. We sat looking at the bridge and after a while I was convinced I could see something moving about on the bridge. Not wanting to spook meself or John I kind of looked at John.

[reconstruction]: Hang on, what’s that up there?
Go and see what it is, Dick.

DE: I actually climbed up the ladder onto the bridge, and there was a lot of things scattered about on the top of the bridge.

[reconstruction]: It’s only a sheet of polythene.

John Beet: Although once we thought we’d found out what it was, and what was actually on the bridge, we decided to give it another 10, 15 minutes and say we’ll forget it and go back on our normal patrol.

DE:  I suddenly got this feeling - you can’t explain it, there’s the saying ‘someone’s walked over your grave’ which turns you cold. And I then became aware that somebody now had appeared directly on my right hand side, and was virtually leaning and pressing themselves against the car. I managed to cast my head quickly to the right and remember seeing the upper section of somebody’s chest, torso, and a clear v-sign [he indicates as if a V-neck jumper neckline]. When I got out on my side, not a person, nothing about at all. I even hit the deck and looked under the vehicle because nobody could have run away from us, there were bankings on both sides, nobody ran forwards or backwards.

JB:  We went to start the car and at first the car wouldn’t start, and we stated to panic a little bit.  We drove off and radioed our colleagues.

DE: There was a bang behind the car which I can only really put down to sounding like somebody was hitting the back of the car with something like a baseball bat or a pickaxe handle. Things on my job have frightened me, and it wasn’t the sort of fear you get from violence offered towards you or anything like that. It was more the kind of dread feeling, or knowing that something’s happening that you have no control over. [Beet agrees].

MA: Just for the record, the Stocksbridge Bypass was opened on Friday 13th.