By Stephen Wagner, About.com Guide
This early 20th Century photo of a beautiful Queen Anne style bureau was taken at the request of a furniture dealer by Montague Cooper, a well-known and respected photographer of the day. Cooper was at a loss, however, to explain the transparent hand that appears to rest near the top of the bureau. Is it the ghost of a previous owner who was reluctant to let it go?
THE COP- THE GHOST and THE STRANGE ENCOUNTERS
A New York City Policeman told me a strange story recently. We know each other for many years and I will tell you this man is a skeptic on most things paranormal. His view is simple, if it didn’t happen to him he doesn’t believe it!
A few years ago this policeman went on a camping trip out West in the wilderness of Montana. He was going with a group of his friends for a week of bonding with nature away from the big city.
The group consisted of five other policemen and a local man from the area where they were going to spend the week.
After they arrived in Montana they made their way out in to the wilderness area where they met up with the local man who was going to be their guide for the trip. The group hiked deep in to the forest. They arrived at their site to set up camp just before night fall. All was well as the men enjoyed their break from city life.
About two days in to their camping adventure the men decided to hike to a near by deserted mine area to have a look around.
The local man knew the area took and had the group hike along an old abandoned road. The men were walking along the road when they noticed a figure walking towards them from the direction of the old mine area.
The men could see that the person coming towards them was an older man carrying a sack like bag over his shoulder. As he grew closer they noticed the man was dressed in old style overalls, wearing a worn out hat that hung low down to his long unkempt gray beard. He looked as if he just stepped out of a hundred year old photo album.
The group of policemen stopped and stood silently as this old man walked past them on the opposite side of the road. They were rather shocked to see this old gent out here alone with only an old sack of items throw over his shoulder. They stood and looked at him as he walked by. The old man simply tipped his dirty old hat to the groups and muttered “Good day to you boys” and kept on walking.
The local man who was guiding the men stood perfectly still watching the policemen as they encountered the old man walking by.
Quickly the old man made his way past the group of men and around a bend in the road. They watched as he walked out of their sight still surprised to find him up here alone.
My friend turned toward the local man and asked “So, does that old timer live out here alone?” The local guide started to smile and threw his nap sack down on the ground. He looked at the men and told them to do the same.
The men all dropped their gear and sat down to rest. The local man looked at each of the policemen and said, “Well boys, you just got your first look at ole Joe the ghost of the mine road.” They all laughed until they realized he was serious. One by one they stopped laughing. The guide continued- “Seriously guys -that was ole Joe”.
The local man then went about telling the group that the old miner has been walking the road for about one hundred years greeting all he passes with the same tip of the hat. No one knows why Joe walks the road and why he makes himself so clearly visible. The fact of the matter is that old Joe does this and they just saw him with their own eyes.
The group of skeptical policemen did not know how to process what they had just been told and had a hard time considering the old man who walked by them was a ghost. They mostly felt uncomfortable with the entire encounter.
The trip ended and the Cops returned home to their normal New York life and routines. They talked about the ghost of old Joe for many years after. It was an experience they could not forget.
My friend told me the story more than once over the years. He never admitted that old Joe was a ghost. He just said he did not know who the old man was or where he had come from or where he was headed along that deserted road in the middle of the wilderness. He also told me the old man had the oddest bright green eyes he had ever seen.
Skip ahead about ten years to the October of 2008. My policeman friend and I went to a dinner party hosted by mutual friends. While at the party the policeman told me about a experience he had that really confused and upset him.
He told me he was at work one night. He was patrolling an old building site on the upper west side of NYC that was part of his patrol area. He was making his rounds which took him past an ally between two buildings. He decided to walk down the alley to take a look around.
It is a bad area and it was unusual for him to this while alone. He told me he rarely wanders off without telling his partner but thought he would only be gone for a few minute.
He was walking along the ally when all of a sudden out of nowhere a man rushed at him. He knew his attacker wanted his weapon and cash and realized at once his attacker was trying to stab him. He was able to push the man off of him but he immediately came back at him. His attacker was strong and fast and my policeman friend was alone in the battle with him.
All of a sudden out of nowhere the policeman sees a old homeless guy pushing a shopping cart coming at him and his attacker as they are struggling. He told me the old mas was right there- just instantly there!
The old man quickly shoved the over loaded shopping cart between the fighting men. The old man was loudly mumbling something as he pushed the cart between them with a hard shove.
The sudden appearance of this old man and his assault with his cart at the fighting men shocked the man attacking the policeman . The cart being shoved between the fighting men placed enough distance between the cop and his attacker to break apart the shuffle.
By the time the old man passed between the fighting men the policeman was able to right myself enough to subdue the guy and cuff him.
The policeman looked at the old man as he passed between him and his attacker. The old man looked right at policeman The old man was only a few feet away from the cops face.
This is where the story gets crazy. The policeman swears this is true. He is sure that the old man who saved him with the shopping cart was the same old man he saw years ago on that mining road. He is sure it was old Joe.
The cop told me he knows it sounds crazy but he told me he never forget that old mans face, or his bright green eyes. The homeless guy who pushed that man off of him with his cart was the same man he saw on that road years ago. He is absolutely positive of it.
My friend told me that after he was able to subdue the man he found a knife and knew he came close to being stabbed in the fight with the man. It clearly was the old man and his cart that gave him the advantage to take control of what could have ended in a deadly confrontation.
My friend looked that night and many nights to follow around that area for the old man. He told me that the night this took place he searched for hours the streets and alleys but could not find the old man or his cart. He told me that there was no one else in that alley that day besides him and his attacker until that old man appeared out of thin air. He told me the old guy seemed to disappear exactly as he appeared- miraculously!
My friend had no explanation for what occurred in that alley. He is positive it was the same old man he witnessed on that road years before on the camping trip along that deserted mining road. The policeman knows there was no reason for that man and his cart to be there that day in that alley. Certainly there was no reason for an old homeless man to walk into a dangerous fight.
My friend has no idea who that old man is, or why he turned up on that deserted road years ago and again that day in the alley. He does know something extraordinary did happen.
I listened to the story of old Joe and how he helped my friend that day in the alley. It seems old Joe has decided to look out for my friend. I have no idea who he is or why he was there for him I am just happy he was.
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Chris Holly's Paranormal World