My name is Alan, I am 71 years old and I live in Tiverton Devon with my partner Jenny. I have worked all my life since the age of 15 as a carpenter. In my life I have had a number of experiences which although not mind boggling in themselves seem to defy any logical explanation, they are also different from each other in that they do not share a common thread or theme. The first one occurred at age 15 and the last at about age 57. Only I can vouch for my own honesty sincerity and integrity when describing these occurrences. I have an excellent long term memory and have often thought of these events as years went by, I would like to share them with you now, my reasons for doing so are to initiate in people the belief that we as human beings are not alone in our lives and existence and that when our lives and existence on this earth ends that that does not mean the end of our spiritual existance. My experiences have instilled in me an unshakeable and absolute knowledge that these lives that we live and share are just a small part of a much longer journey to who knows what or where. I welcome all comments both positive or critical.
When I was 14 my grandfather died, this was my dad's dad. My grandparents lived about half an hour by bus from my home. Along with my parents, my younger brother and four younger sisters, I would visit my grandparents house every Sunday afternoon without fail to meet up with my three uncles and one Aunty plus my cousin Peter who is one year older than me. It was always a happy time and after Sunday tea we would return home by 7pm.
One Friday afternoon I was at my grandparents house, I can not remember why. It was most unusual as it was a school day and only a matter of months before I left school for the last time. For the last hour of this visit my grandfather and myself sat side by side on the front doorstep, although I do not remember the details I know we talked almost non stop, it was a happy hour spent with him, my grandfather was very fond of me and always made a fuss of me. We were just passing time waiting for the 82 bus to Windy Nook which was only a ten minute walk from my home. About five minutes before I left my grandfather pressed a sixpence into my hand and said " There you are son, you can get yourself some sweets " soon after that I was gone, I did not know that I would never see him again and made the uneventful journey home.
Two days later, it was Sunday morning about 10.30 and my parents were beginning the early preparations for Sunday lunch. Two of my dads younger brothers my uncle Norman and uncle Alan arrived unexpectedly and clearly in distress, they told my dad that their dad had died of a suspected heart attack, my grandad was sixty three when he died. I remember very little of the rest of the day except that I was left to look after my younger siblings while my parents went away with my two uncles, returning a few hours later. When my grandads funeral took place the adults decided that I should not attend as it would be to distressing for me, I was hugely relieved I could not have imagined myself going to anyones funeral much less my own grandad. After a couple of weeks things returned to normal and continued to be so for several months until I left school three weeks before my fifteenth birthday.
Two days after leaving school I started work as an apprentice carpenter, although I had to wait until my 16th birthday to begin my official five year apprenticeship. I loved the learning process and the job itself, I still do and still work now fifty six years later.
After the death of my grandfather the weekly visits to my grandmothers house hand come to an abrupt end. Several months went by, I would guess about eight, I resumed the visits on my own. I had changed from a fourteen year old schoolboy into a more confident and muscular teenager a few months from my sixteenth birthday, these changes were the result of spending my days working with men who were teaching me my trade. I admired and respected them a lot and they responded well to my obvious willingness to learn, the work was physically demanding too, carrying long roofing timbers and sheets of plywood was an everyday occurrence and I loved all of it. It was a very happy time for me, outside of work playing football and reading were my two main passions.
It was in this relaxed and carefree scenario that I resumed my visits to my grandmothers house on Sundays, but now the reason for going was to spend time with my cousin Peter as well as visiting my grandmother. I had no unease or qualms at all about resuming these visits and looked forward to them every week I had quickly adjusted to the passing away of my grandfather and accepted it as part of lifes natural cycle. I think it took about six weeks after he died to adjust to the fact that I would never see him again and I did feel the loss. I regarded him as someone who had cared a lot about me. However when I resumed my visits I was in carefree mode with no concerns at all. Since the age of about ten or eleven I had also been part of a group of five close friends we did a lot together such as caddying at the local golf course, football, taking up archery and making our own bows and arrows as well as in recent months collectively taking an interest in girls.
Since resuming my visits to my grandmothers house I had made four or five weekly visits, all of them relaxed and uneventful. A pattern had emerged in that on each of these Sunday nights just before 6.00 PM my grandmother and her lifelong friend Mrs porritt who lived next door would take themselves off to a local club for a few drinks and several games of bingo, returning at about 10.pm. Peter and I would then spend most of the next two hours either reading magazines watching a bit of TV or talking before I caught the 8.00 pm number 82 bus to Windy Nook and home. One particular Sunday night having followed this normal routine the clock had moved on to about 7.45, Peter and I were in our Grandmothers kitchen where there was a back door through which you could access the yard and the outside toilet, all of these houses at that time had an outside toilet. Grandmothers toilet was about five or six yards from the back door and then up four stone steps and the wooden door of the toilet was then on the left. I told Peter in the kitchen that I had to go the toilet before going to the bus stop which was about a 150 yards walk from the front door of the house, I also asked him if he would get two magazines which I had asked him earlier in the evening if I could borrow, he said he would.
I walked through the yard and up the steps I was in an entirely relaxed mood and anticipating the bus ride home as well as arriving home in time to spend a couple of hours with my family, especially my two sisters who were closest to me in age being born less than two years apart.. I entered the toilet and spent about three minutes or so in there, as I was about to open the door and leave, the most remarkable and simultaneously terrifying thing happened. The unmistakable voice of my grandfather spoke to me from the area above and behind my head and this is what he said " Alan, don't be afraid son, I want to tell you something that will help you in your life" I was so shocked and frightened, I pushed the door open and took the four stairs in one leap almost stumbling on landing, the back door was open and I just ran, Peter my cousin was in the kitchen. I can not imagine what kind of an image I portrayed, Peter was completely startled by my appearance, indeed he looked frightened himself, he stood in front of me and kept asking me what was wrong and what had happened. I could not tell him, I was still trying to get my thoughts and myself in order over what had just happened. I told him that I was ok and that nothing had happened, it was obvious by his manner that he did not believe me but I could not tell him because I thought that it would frighten him further and it was partly due to the fact that I did not want to appear foolish in relating such an implausible occurrence. I left quickly, I just wanted to get home to familiar surroundings and my family but little did I know that on this day that my grandad was not finished with me yet.
Twenty minutes on the bus and a ten minute walk cleared my head and by the time I arrived home I was back to my normal self although still turning the events of the past hour over and over in my mind. At this time my brother and I shared a double bed in the back bedroom of our house. I went to bed at about 10.30 and my thoughts had turned to work the next day. I was working on the construction of a new school which was a mere five minutes walk from my house. I loved the variety of carpentry tasks that were part of my job.
I had not been in bed very long, ten minutes or so, my brother Raymond was asleep. I was lying on my left hand side facing the wall with my brother In front of me I was wide awake we were the only two in the room and the door was closed. Without warning I felt the unmistakable pressure of a hand closing on my right shoulder, I froze with terror, if anything this was much worse than what had happened three hours earlier. The hand on my shoulder was insistent but gentle repeatedly pulling my right shoulder back in an effort to get me to turn around, I was rigid with fear but the hand kept pulling, I heard a voice somewhere within me telling me not to be afraid but the voice was not mine, the pressure of the hand on my shoulder increased without actually hurting me, in my head I could hear myself saying no no no leave me alone please leave me alone, the hand and the pressure on my shoulder stopped. I have not the slightest doubt that this was my grandad.
for about the next ninety minutes I could not sleep at all, going over and over these two events in my mind. Sheer emotional exhaustion took me to sleep and I awoke next morning to broad and bright daylight and felt fine but perhaps still quiete a bit unnerved by it all but within forty eight hours or so I was the same as as I ever was. I had no further communication from my grandad,from time to time some years later I would sometimes think about it and wonder what it was that my grandad wanted to tell me. There have been times in my life when I would have welcomed advice from someone or a spirit not of this world but then I think that most people might think the same.
forty three years later I received a visit from another spirit, another family member. On that occasion I had no fear at all. In between there have been other strange occurrences not connected to the spirit world. In scale they are almost irrelevant or inconsequential but nevertheless less take a lot of explaining
I am sure that a lot of people having read this blog will offer the opinion that this was no more than hallucination or a vivid imagination. These views are to be respected and warrant no less creedence than my own views or of those people who's views are the same as mine. If the events described here were the only experience of such matters I had ever had then it would be difficult to counter the suggestion of hallucination, but that is not the case. In closing I would just like to say once again that I am essentially a very honest person. The experiences I have had are without any doubt at all real. I can not understand or explain them Other than these events happening to me at the times they did, each of them years apart I have never had any interest at all in the paranormal, it has never even formed part of my reading material which is almost exclusively non fiction with the backbone of it being Biographical
Thank you for taking the trouble to read my blog
Alan Copeland AKA Bill Eever ( believer )
My first blog entry, in fact my first blog ever was about my Grandad and his two attempts to communicate with me on the same evening, this would have been in 1962. My next experience which left me puzzled and with a question unresolved to this day took place in 1965 / 1966. It was fleeting, all over in less than five minutes. It was something I have very rarely spoken about , no more than two or three times in over fifty years, I think this is because it is probably the experience which would invite the most scepticism / disbelief. So once again I find myself having to vouch for my own honesty integrity and accuracy in relating this very odd occurrence.
A dream, or something more profound !
We were four good mates, myself Dave Levee Frankie McGee and Eddie Ruddick. We were all about eighteen and had been mates since childhood. Funny how friendships are formed sometimes, I met Frankie McGee one day in our local park when we were about ten we both ran from different directions for the one swing that was not being used, we got there at the same time and both grabbed it in a matter of seconds we were scrapping over it, throwing punches for all we were worth over a swing. Just when I thought I might be going to get the upper hand his big brother Eddie pulled us apart and made us shake hands.we became best friends for the next twelve years and never had another cross word between us. So on this night some time in 1965 the four of us had gone to Low Fell. Low Fell was great it had five or six great pubs three or four nice places to eat some nice shops and a snooker and pool hall with fifteen tables. It was midweek I know, probably a Thursday night and we had been playing snooker for a couple of hours. When we finished we walked to the bus stop which was outside the Gateshead Arms pub, it was still early about 8.30 PM. Right next to the Gateshead Arms pub was St John's Roman Catholic Church. In all the time we had been using that bus stop the church had always been closed and in darkness, but this night it was lit up and there was music coming from within and the sound of kids laughing. There was a wide pathway which led from street level where we were up and around to the double arched doors of the church. Someone suggested that we go up and have a look so we did. There was a lady sitting on a chair with a small table just inside the door. We asked if we could come in and she said we were welcome to do so, there was a small charge which we paid. She explained that it was a youth club for kids of fifteen and older, that soft drinks and light snacks were available and asked if we would be polite and not to noisy. We made our way to the back of the church hall where there were several long wooden benches. The benches were long enough for all four of us to sit side by side on one of them,I was on the right hand side as we looked out at the main group of kids dancing in the centre of the large church hall. There was a temporary counter with tables behind where soft drinks and sandwiches etc were available. My best mate at that time Frankie McGee was on my left, then Dave Levee and Eddie Ruddick on the other end. We sat quietly watching but not saying very much at all, we had only came in because the lights and the music we heard had roused our curiosity and as it was early and the buses were frequent we probably intended it as no more than half hour diversion before we continued home. The girls outnumbered the boys by at least three to one but most of them were at least two to three years younger than ourselves although still attractive to the casual observer.
even now after all these years it is still difficult to put into words what happened next but I will try to present it as best as I can. I was quietly watching the group of about twenty people on the dancefloor, then in my mind over a period I would say of between five and ten seconds the realisation came to me that this scene in front of me was familiar, not just the scene but the people in it. As the seconds ticked by the feeling of having seen this before intensified I could see a girl, taller than most of the others with straight long blonde hair below her shoulders with a very distinctive coloured dress on, deep wine coloured red with gold braided across her chest, then another person I recognised stepping up to the counter to buy something then two or three other individuals also familiar, I was beginning to anticipate their movements before they made them because I had experienced this scene before. During these seconds as they unfolded I felt almost disorientated and very unnerving trying to make sense out of what was happening. And then in an instant it came to me, it was a dream I had had, about three weeks previously. I was struggling to cope with the enormity of it I was still only eighteen and not emotionally or mentally equipped to deal with it.I thought about the dream still while watching these unfolding events and I remembered that at some point in the dream a gang of lads had run into the church hall and started hitting people indiscrimminately and in the dream when it happened I was in the Church Hall with Frankie Dave and Eddie. It is difficult to relate the sense of disbelief I felt at that time, that here I was in real time re living a dream in presice detail which I had dreamt of some weeks previously, but real it was. Almost instinctively I turned and pushed Frankie forcefully with both hands and shouted to all three of them " we have to get out of here now straight away" they must have been startled by this very uncharacteristic and intense outburst because as one they just turned and walked very quickly to the door and ran down the ramp to the bus stop. Almost in unison they asked me what was the matter, what had happened to make me behave like that. Once again and for the same reason as with my cousin Peter I could not tell them, it would have sounded preposterous telling three lads that I had had a dream three weeks ago that we were in this church hall and that everything that had happened in the church was exactly as happened in my dream, I could not even make up a reason fictitious or otherwise not to tell them I could not think of anything other than that you could have a dream about something that would happen in the future, exact in every detail. So said the only thing I could, I just said something really very very strange happened and I can not tell you about it. They were not happy about it but we were close friends and there was a bond between us. They knew clearly that it was not a poor attempt af a joke they knew that on this matter at least I was very serious but at other times I could jome and display impromptu humour at the drop of a hat as they say, or when the occasion demanded, they also knew me well enough and for long enough not to press me on what had happened so they just let it go. It bothered me for the whole of the following week, such a profound and inexplicable experience. In urging them to get out of the church quickly It was because I had expected the arrival of the gang of troublemakers at any moment, I had expected to meet them on the ramp as we ran from the church or to see them arrive as we waited at the bus stop while we waited for our bus, but I never saw them at all. So that part of the premonition did not come true. The girl in the dress and other people present were exactly the same people I had seen in my dream, from the moment I realised that I was actually watching events that I had dreamed of then for a minute or so before we ran out I was able to anticipate what they were going to do next, so that part was all true, no hallucination no imagination all true. In the following days I was expecting at any time to hear via local gossip of of a disturbance or incident happening at the church after we got on the bus, I never did. In Gateshead where I lived and grew up at that time, we had a local paper, The Gateshead Post which came out once a week on Fridays so in the following week I waited to buy the paper and fully expecting to find in there a report or small mention of a disturbance or of anti social behaviour at St John's church on Low Fell but there was nothing at all. I fully stand by what I saw and experienced in the church hall, I absolutely expect that there will be many skeptics and can understand that but for me, following on the death of my grandfather and the experience which followed that, I was in the early stages at the age of eighteen of realising that all is not so simple on this earth we all share as it appears to be. There are invisible boundaries all around us and boundaries between time as well as physical life and spiritual existence which can and do get crossed from one side to the other. After this incident in the church I went about my life in the same way as everyone else, growing up and as an adult experiencing joy hope pain regrets hope and anger, this took me to 1994 / 1995 when I had another life questioning experience at the age of about 48. Just for fun I shall call it, Fortune lost