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Experiences of ghosts, premonitions or presences?

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
I write this tentatively. I’m trying to understand and process something that happened to me two days before my Camino began, when I’d just arrived in Spain, but which influenced the whole of my time there. I don’t feel able to talk about it yet, so I hope you won’t mind this post.

I know that perhaps most pilgrims don’t have a mystical experience along the way: that usually, there may be an internal shift, but nothing spooky or externally unusual. I didn’t expect anything other than this myself; I’m pretty down to Earth, although I do have a history of accurate premonitions, for which I am trying to find explanations that I can accept.

I did read a thread here that’s a few years old, with some accounts of experiences outside of the usual.

I wondered whether perhaps there have been more since that thread, and it’s surely a fascinating topic anyway, so…

I wondered, on the Camino (or immediately before or after it) have you encountered ghosts, or sensed presences? Alternatively, maybe particular places spoke to you in ways that seemed to come from beyond your usual senses? Or perhaps you had premonitions whilst on the Camino?
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Ten days before my Camino in 2019 I woke up at around 2am with severe, roll-around-on-the-floor pain in my side. I had another kidney stone.

A couple of days later, after getting out of hospital, I sent a text to my brother who lives in Ohio. An hour or two later my phone rang. It was my brother. He said "you won't believe this but I have just got out of hospital. I had a kidney stone attack the same time as you".

There is a lot more than can currently be explained by science. I have been fortunate to experience a number of things during my life that I rarely discuss. They give me confidence in the guide within.
 
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auburnfive

Active Member
On my first Camino back in 2009, I was having a long hard day en route to Lavacolla. Beside me appeared a young Korean woman, who offered me a wrapped candy and said “ these are very special Korean candies and will give you energy”. It seemed to help. - in those days we were pretty much aware of everyone on the trail, but no one else ever saw that woman.
 
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ktchnofdngr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
September '13, June '16, July '21, And July '22
On my second Camino, I saw a butterfly every single day that I was on the Camino...sometimes a real one as I walked, and sometimes art in the Albergue that I was staying at. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. A couple of times, I was like, "huh. I didn't see a butterfly today." and then, I check into my albergue/room, and low and behold, there is some sort of art with butterflies. It got to be almost comical, but they were like little love letters from God.

Ruth
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
I write this tentatively. I’m trying to understand and process something that happened to me two days before my Camino began, when I’d just arrived in Spain, but which influenced the whole of my time there. I don’t feel able to talk about it yet, so I hope you won’t mind this post.

I know that perhaps most pilgrims don’t have a mystical experience along the way: that usually, there may be an internal shift, but nothing spooky or externally unusual. I didn’t expect anything other than this myself; I’m pretty down to Earth, although I do have a history of accurate premonitions, for which I am trying to find explanations that I can accept.

I did read a thread here that’s a few years old, with some accounts of experiences outside of the usual.

I wondered whether perhaps there have been more since that thread, and it’s surely a fascinating topic anyway, so…

I wondered, on the Camino (or immediately before or after it) have you encountered ghosts, or sensed presences? Alternatively, maybe particular places spoke to you in ways that seemed to come from beyond your usual senses? Or perhaps you had premonitions whilst on the Camino?
When you're ready to post your story about what happened two days before your Camino, I want to hear it!
 
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TaraWalks

Peregrina without a skateboard
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016 & 2018, planning for Le Puy 2019/2020ish and for some shorter Caminos stacked
I write this tentatively. I’m trying to understand and process something that happened to me two days before my Camino began, when I’d just arrived in Spain, but which influenced the whole of my time there. I don’t feel able to talk about it yet, so I hope you won’t mind this post.

I know that perhaps most pilgrims don’t have a mystical experience along the way: that usually, there may be an internal shift, but nothing spooky or externally unusual. I didn’t expect anything other than this myself; I’m pretty down to Earth, although I do have a history of accurate premonitions, for which I am trying to find explanations that I can accept.

I did read a thread here that’s a few years old, with some accounts of experiences outside of the usual.

I wondered whether perhaps there have been more since that thread, and it’s surely a fascinating topic anyway, so…

I wondered, on the Camino (or immediately before or after it) have you encountered ghosts, or sensed presences? Alternatively, maybe particular places spoke to you in ways that seemed to come from beyond your usual senses? Or perhaps you had premonitions whilst on the Camino?
Hi @Lhollo
I have a couple of my own experiences and one related to me from a Camino friend. I'll PM you. It may take a day or so as I'm a bit snowed under at the moment.
Cheers,
T
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Quite a few times @Lhollo

I think I shared one here before, but here is a video about it.
(There were many others).

This was a long conversation with @David , that we broke into a series of videos.
His reference at the end to First Aid, was a topic in one of the other sections.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I had another instance at the Cruz de Ferro.
After kneeling at the cross and offering a prayer, I went to stand up.
I felt I was being held down, like a hand on my shoulder, as if there was more I was expected to say.

I realised.
There was.......... as I sought forgiveness through the tears........
 
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truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Norte post-pandemic
Each of my walks become highly mystical the closer I get to Santiago, no kidding. I usually have one foot one foot rooted in another world as it is (if you know what I mean), but I feel as if I enter an extra special weird energy vortex as soon as I get on the Camino.
 
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Cayou

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015 Villafranca to SdC 2016 St Jean to LosArcos 2018 Leon to SdC 2019 Le Puy to Conques
Lholo: 6 months ago i would have said you might be mistaken. Now, after 2 of my own 'beyond circumstances' events and some crazy things going on at my wife's deceased parents home I'm a believer. 2 great books ... The Boy Who Knew Too Much and Many Lives Many Masters. Also, Nexflix Surviving Death series. Fun quote: Are we humans having a spiritual event, or are we a spiritual being having a human event. Cheers.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Each of my walks become highly mystical the closer I get to Santiago, no kidding. I usually have one foot one foot rooted in another world (if you know what I mean), but I feel as if I enter an extra special weird energy as soon as I start walking.

I think this is an aspect of the Camino that makes it very hard to explain the attraction, to those who have never walked it.

I have endless stories that if I shared with 'non Pilgrims' they would think I was crazy.

That change in 'vibe' I find can take a while to occur when walking.
Hence my pursuit of longer more remote routes, allowing more time in the 'zone'. :rolleyes:
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
A funny story. I sat down for dinner one night with a couple from Germany who had been walking for months. They told me a story about pilgrims who only walk at night. My response was you must mean while there is a full moon? No, no they said these pilgrims walk the entire Camino only at night, they told me when they get to Santiago they get a Compostela that is completely black. They had a goof laugh on me!
 

barritt.firth

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
On my first Camino back in 2009, I was having a long hard day en route to Lavacolla. Beside me appeared a young Korean woman, who offered me a wrapped candy and said “ these are very special Korean candies and will give you energy”. It seemed to help. - in those days we were pretty much aware of everyone on the trail, but no one else ever saw that woman.
I have heard of the ghost of Lavacola. It was usually the form of a young woman but not always. “She” or “the vision” used to appear before the pilgrims in Lavacola as they hurriedly made final preparations to finish their journey.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
The day before Easter 2015, a friend and I were wslking from Astorga to Rabanal. After we left Murias de Rechivaldo, a weird feeling of darkness hit me - hard to describe other than a feeling of creepiness. At one point I said something to my friend that the landscape was giving me the willies, especially over there - pointing vaguely over in the direction of Castrillo de los Polvazares. This isn't something I had ever experienced, but I put it down to imagination and forgot all about it. Until later, when the terrible news came that Denise had disappeared. She was murdered in that same general area - 'over there,' where I was pointing when we had paused to talk about how I was feeling so creeped out. And the day after we walked past.

I'm still not sure what to make of this. But some things don't lend themselves to explanation, or need it.
 
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Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
The day before Easter 2015, a friend and I were wslking from Astorga to Rabinal. After we left Murias de Rechivaldo, a weird feeling of darkness hit me - hard to describe other than a feeling of creepiness. At one point I said something to my friend that the landscape was giving me the willies, especially over there - pointing vaguely over in the direction of Castrillo de los Polvazares. This isn't something I had ever experienced, but I put it down to imagination and forgot all about it. Until later, when the terrible news came that Denise had disappeared. She was murdered in that same general area - 'over there,' where I was pointing when we had paused to talk about how I was feeling so creeped out. And the day after we walked past.

I'm still not sure what to make of this. But some things don't lend themselves to explanation, or need it.
I don’t feel I can like or even use a horrified emoji to respond to this. I still have shivers. Thank you for sharing it.
 

Csutak

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
The day before Easter 2015, a friend and I were wslking from Astorga to Rabinal. After we left Murias de Rechivaldo, a weird feeling of darkness hit me - hard to describe other than a feeling of creepiness. At one point I said something to my friend that the landscape was giving me the willies, especially over there - pointing vaguely over in the direction of Castrillo de los Polvazares. This isn't something I had ever experienced, but I put it down to imagination and forgot all about it. Until later, when the terrible news came that Denise had disappeared. She was murdered in that same general area - 'over there,' where I was pointing when we had paused to talk about how I was feeling so creeped out. And the day after we walked past.

I'm still not sure what to make of this. But some things don't lend themselves to explanation, or need it.
Oh, this is really shocking! And did you feel so creepy the same day when she was murdered?
 

Csutak

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
Probably ten years ago on the French Camino, I met two women in a small village and we spent some hours together in very good mood. Then I continued walking and they stayed there for the night. We never met again, What is strange in this story? Only that one of them looked like my hairdresser and the other looked like one of my colleagues. :O For many days I thought there must be a reason why I had met them, but there was not! I still have no answer.
 
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Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Thank you for sharing these experiences! They’re fascinating to read, and I appreciate the leap of faith it takes to post them here.

My premonitions can be difficult to handle: it’s hard to know which to trust and which to ignore, and what to do about them anyway. They often predict global events but also family problems. I have some theories about how time might be involved in this: Julia Mossbridge’s work (edit: her books are here) comes close to providing explanations for me… maybe… although I’m still cautious. When I start asking ‘Why?’, though, I head toward more spiritual territory. I don’t know what to make of any of it, to be honest. Feel free to PM me if you’re in a similar boat!

My experience in Spain, just before the start of my Camino, was in Barcelona. We’d flown into the city, and had two nights there in two different hotels, before heading to Pamplona for one night and then to SJPDP by bus.

I still don’t feel I can go into details because it’s just too way out there and I’m a bit shaken by it; I need time, probably. But it wasn’t an unpleasant experience, quite the opposite, fortunately! I’m not traditionally religious, and it’s conflicting with that a bit.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2018
I write this tentatively. I’m trying to understand and process something that happened to me two days before my Camino began, when I’d just arrived in Spain, but which influenced the whole of my time there. I don’t feel able to talk about it yet, so I hope you won’t mind this post.

I know that perhaps most pilgrims don’t have a mystical experience along the way: that usually, there may be an internal shift, but nothing spooky or externally unusual. I didn’t expect anything other than this myself; I’m pretty down to Earth, although I do have a history of accurate premonitions, for which I am trying to find explanations that I can accept.

I did read a thread here that’s a few years old, with some accounts of experiences outside of the usual.

I wondered whether perhaps there have been more since that thread, and it’s surely a fascinating topic anyway, so…

I wondered, on the Camino (or immediately before or after it) have you encountered ghosts, or sensed presences? Alternatively, maybe particular places spoke to you in ways that seemed to come from beyond your usual senses? Or perhaps you had premonitions whilst on the Camino?
In 2018, while walking somewhere out of Zuburi I was hungry. I had started off without any source of food thinking I’d find a food cart or something. About 3-4 hours in, I knew I was in trouble. I needed food. I called out to God, “Please, I need food”. About 10 minutes after my prayer, over the crest of a hill comes a Spanish man with two over flowing bags of fruit. He says to me, (in English), “Lady, do you need food?” I said, “Yes”. I couldn’t believe it. I turned around to look and he was not in sight. Here’s the picture.
 

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Turga

Camino tortuga
Past OR future Camino
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Spooky experiences? No, but there is a reason why, after my first Camino, I knew that I had to come back. I have travelled a large part of the world over the years, including some quite remote places, but nowhere have I had the same “strange” feeling than on the Camino (I won’t try to explain further, I am no Johannes V. Jensen or Shakespeare or Tennyson). Many small things happened, some of them stand out, but in the end, they all come together as an experience that sometimes keep me awake at night – in a good way :)
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
I don’t feel I can like or even use a horrified emoji to respond to this.
I get it. When my friend reminded me what I had said, and when, I felt physically ill.

And did you feel so creepy the same day when she was murdered?
No, not that I can remember. It was a heavy walking day from.Rabinal to Ponferrada, and the sheer physicality of that is what I mostly recall.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Norte post-pandemic
Speaking to @VNwalking "dark feeling" comment (which is a fascinating testimony-I firmly believe our spidey senses pick up events or imprints that our brain cannot compute).

A few years ago, there was a very active thread on the APOC Facebook page regarding places that give you the "willies". One commenter casually mentioned walking into Najera and getting a very dark feeling from the town. The comments exploded underneath the thread. Which was affirming because I felt exactly the same way! So many people had the "I don't like this town but I don't know why" feeling walking through Najera, including my friend when I mentioned the post to her. She was like "Omg me too! I was going to spend the night but quickly changed my mind once I arrived".

Stranger things.
 
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Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Speaking to @VNwalking "dark feeling" comment (which is a fascinating testimony-I firmly believe our spidey senses pick up events or imprints that our brain cannot compute).

A few years ago, there was a very active thread on the APOC Facebook page regarding places that give you the "willies". One commenter casually mentioned walking into Najera and getting a very dark feeling from that city. Which was affirming because I felt exactly the same way! But the comments exploded underneath the thread. So many people had the "I don't like this town but I don't know why" feeling walking through Najera, including my friend when I mentioned the post to her. She was like "Omg me too! I was going to spend the night but I quickly changed my mind once I got there.

Stranger things.
Nájera!!! This is weird but I had the polar opposite experience. I had my lowest point walking from Logroño to Nájera—injuries, feeling I couldn’t go on—but somehow made it to Nájera, and then the place reenergised me. I wouldn’t have thought it possible but by evening I was walking around the hills there, trying to get good views of the caves (currently closed). I left the next morning vowing to return although I didn’t know why I would do so, because I’d seen most of the sights. I think of it as the turning point of my Camino, a positive one. But… either way, the place has power?!
 
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Levi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
I've walked a few caminos. But on the Frances especially (walking alone) several times I've heard a walker behind me and I've turned to greet them but no one is there...that I can see.
Of course, this absolutely could be my overactive imagination. But I like to think of the thousands and thousands of people who have walked these trails with their thoughts and sorrows, regrets and hopes. Who knows....
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Najera has always had a bad vibe for me. I don't understand why. But I have always been anxious to go through the place quickly and continue to Azofra or farther. I haven't even stopped there for a cold beer, which is highly unlike me...

Other than that; Yes, many "coincidences" on the Camino(s), especially the CF. Why so, I don't understand. But I can give you a story to ponder over:

An astronaut and a brain surgeon was discussing the possibility of a higher power.

The astronaut said: "I have been farther out into the Universe than any other astronaut, but I have never seen a God/higher power".

The brain surgeon replied: "I have been operating deeper into the human brain than any other surgeon, but I have never seen a thought".

Think about it... That you cannot see something, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
In April 2019, we were in Biarritz preparing to walk to SJPdP and then Lourdes. I awoke from a nightmare and told my wife that something terrible was going to happen that would be news globally. Couldn’t shake it all day, but that night Notre Dame was consumed by flames. Coincidence, perhaps, but never had that feeling before it after.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
My Gran told me camino was a "thin" place. That I should be careful when I walked there.

"Thin" in the concept that the veil between this world and the other: Faerie; Beyond; Erehwon, whatever you want to tag, is thinner there. That our capacity to cross, willingly or not, between one level of perception and another is increased and that an accidental voyage into those realms more likely.

My Gran also told me that I "had" to walk camino. That that was what we did. Walked the "thin" paths, danced the labyrinths, sailed the seas that had turned dry and finally took a broken boat to a land that could never exist.

I've never seen a ghost on the roads i've trod but I've heard her sweet, insistent, voice. Walk! For that is what we do.
 
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Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Najera has always had a bad vibe for me. I don't understand why.
I’m wondering whether the many experiences of Nájera as somehow a bad place, and my own experience of it as especially good, might come from the fact that very often these two do go hand in hand? For example, the way in times of crisis, people come together to help each other more than ever? Maybe that’s how I felt healed by the place and wanted (still want) to return, whereas other people pick up on the reason that, in the past, people needed that healing? Maybe this is a bit wacky… but there’s a sort of balance to the idea too?
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
My Gran told me camino was a "thin" place. That I should be careful when I walked there.

"Thin" in the concept that the veil between this world and the other: Faerie; Beyond; Erehwon, whatever you want to tag, is thinner there. That our capacity to cross, willingly or not, between one level of perception and another is increased and that an accidental voyage into those realms more likely.

My Gran also told me that I "had" to walk camino. That that was what we did. Walked the "thin" paths, danced the labyrinths, sailed the seas that had turned dry and finally took a broken boat to a land that could never exist.

I've never seen a ghost on the roads i've trod but I've heard her sweet, insistent, voice. Walk! For that is what we do.
‘Thin places’… Yes! I was reading this article just a few days ago. (Edit: also the book ‘Explorers of the Infinite’). Your Gran sound marvellous.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2018
In 2018, while walking somewhere out of Zuburi I was hungry. I had started off without any source of food thinking I’d find a food cart or something. About 3-4 hours in, I knew I was in trouble. I needed food. I called out to God, “Please, I need food”. About 10 minutes after my prayer, over the crest of a hill comes a Spanish man with two over flowing bags of fruit. He says to me, (in English), “Lady, do you need food?” I said, “Yes”. I couldn’t believe it. I turned around to look and he was not in sight. Here’s the picture.
This is not spooky at all. I felt it was a beautiful answer to my authentic prayer.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
1981 in a Youth Hostel somewhere in Ontario, Canada. I was sitting in the dining room/kitchen area at a table reading a newspaper. The room had three doors, two directly to the outside were behind me. The third was an internal door in front of me.

I had been sitting there reading the newspaper for about 40 minutes, waiting for something or other. There was someone sitting next to me that I didn't know.

While I sat there, reading several people had come into the room from outside, behind me, had done stuff in the kitchen area and left. I had got used to that and barely noticed or looked up from the paper.

Then the door in front of me swung open and as it did so, a feeling hit me, hard, almost knocking me off my chair and forcing me to look up.

A somewhat nondescript man walked into the room, staring at me as he walked past to the kitchen area where he paused. He stood there for a while, occasionally looking at me, seeming to think and then left again through the same door.

There were no sounds other than the sound of the door opening and the sounds of him walking across the room, back again and the door closing. Nothing was said. Through out this time my gaze was fixed on him.

After he left the person next to me said "he is a murderer and wanted by the police". I don't know how they knew this, perhaps there had been a news item.

About 10 minutes later the reception person walked in an announced that the police had been called to arrest one of the guests and they had found blood in the boot of his car.

I recall to this day the cold hard feeling that hit me that day as he entered the room.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2012
Ah, those sort of stories ;) In the 1970's I farmed Ty-Nant, Islawr-dref, Dolgellau (the curious have sources). When I took the tenancy I was warned by one cloth-capped, waxed-coat wrapped, neighbour that Hugh Pugh would give me no rest. Ty-Nant had an outside facility; dunny, buck-it & chuck-it - you choose. Every night as we sat after supper, around 9 at night we would here the out-house door creak open and bang closed. 10 minutes later the door would creak again and again bang closed...

Needless to say none in the family ever sought relief between 9 & 10 pm
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
The night before I caught my early morning flight to start the Camino, in a half dream I saw my sister, who had recently died. She was wearing glasses, which I hadn't seen her do for years and had her head down watching the trail. She didn't look up as she passed but I knew then I wasn't going on my own after all (which I had been very worried about).

And I couldn't wait to leave Astorga, for me it had a very bad vibe. This was before Denise.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
I have had a couple of experiences (not camino related) but to which I solemnly swear had to do with "DIVINE" intervention. These were not mere dreams or premonitions but actually pulled from death or at least serious harm kind of experiences. I BELEIVE!!!!!!!!!!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
@Lhollo, I'm also a fairly down to earth and grounded person; I've often said that it's not like I don't believe in ghosts, exactly, it's more that I think they know I'm too spooked out by the idea of feeling their presence that they leave me alone.

Well, that all changed this summer when I walked the Camino Primitivo. My first day was a big one: Oviedo to the monastery in Cornellana, 38km. It was such a great day of walking despite the little blister on my toe and my tired legs: I was just so happy to be back, I made a pilgrim friend on the way, had my late morning café con leche, etc. At the albergue (Albergue del Monasterio de San Salvador) I met three other pilgrims, we cooked dinner and had such a nice night.

The monastery is big and deserted, ancient and crumbling. The hospitalera left for the evening so it was just me and the three other pilgrims staying there. I was in a bunk room with one other pilgrim; another was in the room behind me, the 4th was in a room somewhere down the corridor.

In the middle of the night I woke up to a loud banging. Like, really loud. It sounded like something was crashing to the ground and I couldn't make out where it was coming from. Not my room, and not the room behind me, but was it above me? It was hard to tell, but it was so loud. And I got such a strange, uneasy feeling. I closed my eyes, about 5 minutes later there was another loud crash. And then I just got so spooked- I heard someone moving in the room (but again- was it in my room? Was it the other pilgrim? Was it the pilgrim in the room behind me, coming through to use the bathroom?). I just felt someone there and I huddled in a ball and squeezed my eyes shut and told myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of bed until the morning.

And then in the morning I remembered that I had read about a ghost in a monastery on a post in the Camino forum, and I wondered if it just might happen to be THIS monastery, and I found the post and it was, indeed, the monastery in Cornellana. Several people wrote in to confirm strange things happening here.

I asked the other pilgrims about the crashing, none of them heard a thing. I questioned my roommate, she said she hadn't woken once during the night.

I had a few other uneasy experiences on the Primitivo- nothing as obvious as what I experienced in the monastery- but it was definitely a 'charged' kind of walk this year.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2017
Never had experience of a ghost but not one of 4 CF's passed without each presenting a lot of premonitions and manifesting of presences. (Largely on the Meseta but the stages from Foncebadon through Astorga had their moments.)

And this is from one who, by turn, possesses the imagination, mystical sense, and emotional range of a typical dish towel.

To my way of thinking, it is a gift to be accepted rather than questioned as humans (as we are currently assembled) do not possess the requisite mental tools to delve into understanding the phenomenon.

But...maybe that's just me. ;)

B
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
I was never a believer nor disbeliever in terms of the spiritual world, paranormal etc until about thirty years ago my ex and I lived in a small house in the country. We rented it for three years. It was built in the early twentieth century. Not long after moving in we started experiencing the typical stuff you hear people tell about in such situations. Slamming doors, chairs being moved, things knocked off of tables, furniture. We had a big tomcat who we let come in the house sometimes and he would always go straight to one spot near the hallway and just stare at something (empty hallway) for hours, sitting upright tail swishing). It was all kind of odd, but we never felt anything negative or were scared. Sometimes we'd ask in loud irritated voice for it to stop and it would for a while.
Anyway, it opened my mind to such things and so when one night in a sparsely occupied albergue I suddenly woke up as though jostled and saw what looked like a small person sitting on the end of my bed I wasn't surprised. Just was a sillouette of sorts. It then quickly jumped off and disappeared when I stared at it. I have no idea what I saw, except that it was an apparition I guess and I was 100% sober lol.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
But I like to think of the thousands and thousands of people who have walked these trails with their thoughts and sorrows, regrets and hopes.
I have never considered this before, but it is a very simple, yet humbling thought and makes me feel privileged in a new way to have been able to walk these paths. Thank you for sharing your words.
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
Ignore or deny such things at your own peril .
At the Cruz De Fero I opened the container holding three stones for myself and each of my family along with some sand for my many sins . I lamented not having packed a stone for my late father .
From the container came FOUR stones one looking so unlike the others I had collected from my local beach , more like an unpolished gemstone . I felt my father next to me .
 
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2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
I like to think of the thousands and thousands of people who have walked these trails with their thoughts and sorrows, regrets and hopes. Who knows....
The thousands of people who preceeded us are hard not to think about, even if only on the level of tangible history. So yes, who knows? Our five paltry senses are quite limited.
@Tincatinker's Gran was so right.

Likewise, is it possible to perceive good and bad 'vibes?' I hate that word, for it's lack of precision and general new ageyness, but it communicates well enough. @Doughnut NZ's experience makes me feel reassured about what happened to me - it may not have been so out of the ordinary as simply inexplicable. Those two things are not the same.
 

TaraWalks

Peregrina without a skateboard
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016 & 2018, planning for Le Puy 2019/2020ish and for some shorter Caminos stacked
Never had experience of a ghost but not one of 4 CF's passed without each presenting a lot of premonitions and manifesting of presences. (Largely on the Meseta but the stages from Foncebadon through Astorga had their moments.)

And this is from one who, by turn, possesses the imagination, mystical sense, and emotional range of a typical dish towel.

To my way of thinking, it is a gift to be accepted rather than questioned as humans (as we are currently assembled) do not possess the requisite mental tools to delve into understanding the phenomenon.

But...maybe that's just me. ;)

B
One particularly weird experience happened to me on the Meseta. I may just post about it when I get a moment.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
What a great thread. I hope others will share.......
This is probably the 'safest' place to do so,
and those who have not walked a Camino may think us nuts! :oops:

I love that description of the Camino being a 'thin' place.
And the feeling like we have one foot in this World, and the other, somewhere else.

Wonderful descriptions, both.

It's only on Camino, that I have ever really felt this.
Maybe because we leave our busy day to day lives behind, and interact with the World around us, in a way we were 'designed' to?

Whilst not a 'Religious' person, I'm certainly spiritual.
I believe in God, though don't really follow or understand the various structured 'religions'.

I love to walk alone much of the time, as I think it allows us to 'sense' our surroundings in a much more powerful way. I find myself getting in tune with the energy of the landscape and certainly closer to 'Him'. Whom I talk to frequently.

I always have a 'feeling' I am not alone, whilst actually walking alone, if that makes sense.
That 'someone' is keeping an eye on me, guiding me, sometimes challenging me, often pushing me.

That backdrop/context helps with this next story......

So many 'moments'........ Here is another.

I was on that section just prior to Hospital de Orbigo.
I stopped at a cafe in Villavante for a coffee.

My legs were killing me.
Achilles screaming, shin splints.
I was not having a good day at all, and feeling rather sorry for myself.

As I sat outside having a coffee, another pilgrim walked into the cafe sporting what I thought were some very flashy looking long socks.

They caught my eye, because each sock was a different color.

As I got up to leave and was hoisting on my pack, he came out to sit to have his coffee.

I glanced back as I left with a wave, to realise..........

He had a brightly colored prosthetic leg!

All at the same time I felt shame in feeling despondent over my trivial injuries.
Immensely motivated by how this Pilgrim was walking his Camino.
And altogether stupid, for the way I was feeling.

I took off with a renewed spring in my step, down the old railway line track toward Hospital de Orbigo.
And made a promise to 'Him' not to feel sorry for myself again.

It was a nice warm day, but very cloudy.
Not a breath of wind.

And part way along the track, I paused near a beautiful flowering tree.
Some kind of Cherry Blossom perhaps?

I stood for a moment admiring the tree........

The clouds then parted, and the sun shone down directly on the tree, and me.
And a strong breeze whipped down the track, just for a few seconds,
to create a shower of cherry blossom petals.

I could not remain dry eyed..........
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Mine isn’t a ghost story, but it’s a little odd. It’s how I ended up on the Camino. My therapist at Walter Reed (the US military hospital in DC) was a civilian who’d once been in the Navy. His particular school of training is psychodynamic (think Freud), and I’m sure was unhappy that I didn’t want to talk about my dreams or childhood—I’d cut him off with “we’re here to stop the nightmares, doc, let’s focus.” I came in one day and said “I don’t know why but I just have to tell you about this really strange dream I had”—he sat up expectantly and I warned him this would be a one time occurrence, “don’t get your hopes up,” but I couldn’t stop thinking about about this dream because it seemed so real and so bizarre at the same time and felt like for some reason he could help. “So don’t blow it” I warned.

I told him “I was running a marathon (he knew I ran them) but it seemed like it was in Mexico not DC. I kept running from one little town to another but instead of a timing chip on my bib it was sort of a scavenger hunt, I had to stop in each town and find someone who handed me a shell but I had to ask for it in Spanish, which I’ve rarely used since leaving California. So I’m running all over collecting all these shells . And there were other runners collecting shells but they weren’t with me, they were on other roads but every so often we’d end up in the same town then split up but it was like we would eventually all finish in the same place once we got all our shells, we were just on different roads. And the shells were all different—different colors and shapes, it was the strangest thing, I don’t know how I knew which door but I’d knock, stumble through Spanish and they’d hand me a shell then on to the next town, over and over; I had no idea why I was in this race, or how I knew to collect shells, or why, and the road seemed crazy, one minute I’d be in the desert, then in the hills, then near a beach. I thought I was getting close to the finish (a beach I assumed was on the pacific because the sun was setting) then I woke up. And was really unhappy I woke up before reaching the end of the race because I thought then I’d understand the whole crazy thing.

I told him “this is your one chance to talk about dreams with me, what do you think?” My doc, who’d been stationed in Spain when in the Navy, looked at me for a minute then said “have you ever heard of the Camino de Santiago?” I told him “no—why?”

He said “you need to read about the Camino de Santiago, it’s in Spain” then wrote it down for me.
 
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chinacat

Veteran Member
Ah, those sort of stories ;) In the 1970's I farmed Ty-Nant, Islawr-dref, Dolgellau (the curious have sources). When I took the tenancy I was warned by one cloth-capped, waxed-coat wrapped, neighbour that Hugh Pugh would give me no rest. Ty-Nant had an outside facility; dunny, buck-it & chuck-it - you choose. Every night as we sat after supper, around 9 at night we would here the out-house door creak open and bang closed. 10 minutes later the door would creak again and again bang closed...

Needless to say none in the family ever sought relief between 9 & 10 pm

I hope my reaction to your post doesn’t cause offence … It was simply my immediate reaction.
These hills are alive with ‘thin’ places 🙂
It’s one of the joys of being there …

My own beloved (working away) used to go through King’s Cross underground station every night at the same time.
One evening he felt the hackles rise on the back of his neck; it left him rather shocked.
The following evening he stayed late at work, just to do someone a favour.
That was the evening of the King’s Cross fire.
31 people were killed and 100 were injured.

My own experiences are too commonplace to mention.
I take it for granted that I can share thoughts and feelings with those with whom I’ve been close in life … frequently humour …
It’s not confined to those I’ve known.
I’ve picked out a woman in a photograph of several hundred townspeople in a Welsh border town, taken in the 40s, I think. She’d made me feel very unwelcome in her old home, when I’d gone to view it with my infant son. She hadn’t any time for children apparently. (she’d died many years before this happened.)
I’ve had momentary control taken of my car, in order to avoid an accident.

I’ve trusted this awareness all my life, which is how long I’ve lived within it.
The angels are with us 😉
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Norte post-pandemic
Mine isn’t a ghost story, but it’s a little odd. It’s how I ended up on the Camino. My therapist at Walter Reed (the US military hospital in DC) was a civilian who’d once been in the Navy. His particular school of training is psychodynamic (think Freud), and I’m sure was unhappy that I didn’t want to talk about my dreams or childhood—I’d cut him off with “we’re here to stop the nightmares, doc, let’s focus.” I came in one day and said “I don’t know why but I just have to tell you about this really strange dream I had”—he sat up expectantly and I warned him this would be a one time occurrence, “don’t get your hopes up,” but I couldn’t stop thinking about about this dream because it seemed so real and so bizarre at the same time and felt like for some reason he could help. “So don’t blow it” I warned.

I told him “I was running a marathon (he knew I ran them) but it seemed like it was in Mexico not DC. I kept running from one little town to another but instead of a timing chip on my bib it was sort of a scavenger hunt, I had to stop in each town and find someone who handed me a shell but I had to ask for it in Spanish, which I’ve rarely used since leaving California. So I’m running all over collecting all these shells . And there were other runners collecting shells but they weren’t with me, they were on other roads but every so often we’d end up in the same town then split up but it was like we would eventually all finish in the same place once we got all our shells, we were just on different roads. And the shells were all different—different colors and shapes, it was the strangest thing, I don’t know how I knew which door but I’d knock, stumble through Spanish and they’d hand me a shell then on to the next town, over and over; I had no idea why I was in this race, or how I knew to collect shells, or why, and the road seemed crazy, one minute I’d be in the desert, then in the hills, then near a beach. I thought I was getting close to the finish (a beach I assumed was on the pacific because the sun was setting) then I woke up. And was really unhappy I woke up before reaching the end of the race because I thought then I’d understand the whole crazy thing.

I told him “this is your one chance to talk about dreams with me, what do you think?” My doc, who’d been stationed in Spain when in the Navy, looked at me for a minute then said “have you ever heard of the Camino de Santiago?” I told him “no—why?”

He said “you need to read about the Camino de Santiago, it’s in Spain” then wrote it down for me.
There are dreams, and then there are *dreams*. I used to see a jungian therapist and the moment I started working with her, my dreams went on overdrive. Turned out my dreams held a lot of symbolism and helped me decode some inner workings of mine.
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
What a great thread. I hope others will share.......
This is probably the 'safest' place to do so,
and those who have not walked a Camino may think us nuts! :oops:

I love that description of the Camino being a 'thin' place.
And the feeling like we have one foot in this World, and the other, somewhere else.

Wonderful descriptions, both.

It's only on Camino, that I have ever really felt this.
Maybe because we leave our busy day to day lives behind, and interact with the World around us, in a way we were 'designed' to?

Whilst not a 'Religious' person, I'm certainly spiritual.
I believe in God, though don't really follow or understand the various structured 'religions'.

I love to walk alone much of the time, as I think it allows us to 'sense' our surroundings in a much more powerful way. I find myself getting in tune with the energy of the landscape and certainly closer to 'Him'. Whom I talk to frequently.

I always have a 'feeling' I am not alone, whilst actually walking alone, if that makes sense.
That 'someone' is keeping an eye on me, guiding me, sometimes challenging me, often pushing me.

That backdrop/context helps with this next story......

So many 'moments'........ Here is another.

I was on that section just prior to Hospital de Orbigo.
I stopped at a cafe in Villavante for a coffee.

My legs were killing me.
Achilles screaming, shin splints.
I was not having a good day at all, and feeling rather sorry for myself.

As I sat outside having a coffee, another pilgrim walked into the cafe sporting what I thought were some very flashy looking long socks.

They caught my eye, because each sock was a different color.

As I got up to leave and was hoisting on my pack, he came out to sit to have his coffee.

I glanced back as I left with a wave, to realise..........

He had a brightly colored prosthetic leg!

All at the same time I felt shame in feeling despondent over my trivial injuries.
Immensely motivated by how this Pilgrim was walking his Camino.
And altogether stupid, for the way I was feeling.

I took off with a renewed spring in my step, down the old railway line track toward Hospital de Orbigo.
And made a promise to 'Him' not to feel sorry for myself again.

It was a nice warm day, but very cloudy.
Not a breath of wind.

And part way along the track, I paused near a beautiful flowering tree.
Some kind of Cherry Blossom perhaps?

I stood for a moment admiring the tree........

The clouds then parted, and the sun shone down directly on the tree, and me.
And a strong breeze whipped down the track, just for a few seconds,
to create a shower of cherry blossom petals.

I could not remain dry eyed..........

A very similar event happened to me Robbo .
 

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Fred2a

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguès oct 2020
Not a freaky or mystical experience here but this happened to me this morning.

Last night i read this thread about premonitions before going to bed.
Then during the night I have this dream I recall (which is rare for me) about a friend of mine who offers me a job. I work with him and find the conditions great (even if in the real life I’m happy with my job).
This morning I leave home, drive my car for 5 minutes, stop at a crossroad in the city center to let a truck cross. I watch at the driver who waves at me : he’s the friend I dreamed about. The last time I saw him was like 9 or 12 months !
The conjunction of these 3 facts stunned me.
I’m off to the camino portugues from Lisbon in two weeks : it looks like the magic already started !
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Another surprising conjunction of presence occured one stormy night late January 2009 in Trinidad de Arre at the Marist fathers' albergue as I was writing in the common room a blog post on happenstance, chance encounter and camino serendipity.

At the very moment that I defined the word 'serendipity' another pilgrim knocked at the door. Happily speaking Italian he was welcomed by two Spanish pilgrims. The Italian entered the common room, turned to say 'buona sera' to me and then enthusiastically shouted 'Margaret'! Imagine my delight upon realizing that he was Mario whom I had last seen during breakfast at Burguete the year before in 2008!! Another fortuitous chance encounter indeed.

We and a French pilgrim, Polo, had met on the little train going to St Jean Pied de Port and together walked up the Valcarlos route to Roncesvalles. As Mario and I nostalgically recollected those 'good old times' we tentatively promised to meet again "next year on the camino". ...Although our paths have never re-crossed, one never knows !
 
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dgallen

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
Well you asked for it...

I have two stories to tell from different Caminos… and in order to set the mood properly I’ll break it into two separate posts. Part II will feature my experience at the 11th century monastery of Cornellana in 2016, which was even creepier then the following:

I only had 3 weeks vacation time in 2013, so decided to walk an early spring Camino on the Portuguese. Starting in the rain from the Cathedral of Porto on Good Friday in late March, I would encounter flooding and wet weather for 12 days straight. On arrival in Santiago the weather reports looked promising for the next 3-4 days, so I decided to carry on walking to the coast. When I got to the Finnistere/Muxia fork it was a coin flip on which way to go. Since it was after 5pm and I wasn’t sure I could make it to Cee before dark, I decided to head towards Muxia and check out the new Dumbria Municipal Albergue everybody raved about. For those not familiar with the Dumbria Albergue, it was built around 2010 aside a sports pavilion with funds donated by a Spanish millionaire. Very modern design of concreate and glass and facilities to match.

I arrived at the albergue sometime before 7pm and entered through the side door. Everything was dark inside and it was apparent that no one else was there so I picked a bunk in the middle room and laid out my sleeping bag before heading out the km or so to the local little market in Dumbria to find something to eat. When I got back the albergue, there was a lady there who said she was the hospitalero and after collecting my 5 euros, said that she didn’t expect anyone else would be coming and she would lock all the doors for the night before she left. She mentioned that I could exit in the morning through the side door, but be careful that once I sent through the door it would be locked from the outside.

After she left I did a little exploring around the massive albergue. A little too much like a concrete bunker for my liking and although clean and modern, had a cold feel to it, not helped by the cool draft blowing along the long hall corridor. I shut the windows and inner doors with the exception of my room and settled in for the night as darkness fell.

A crash and flash woke me from my deep sleep. A severe thunderstorm, with gale force winds, hail and torrential rain rattled the windows. In the quick flashes of lightning I could see the pine trees out the window bending at severe angles while the wind howled and the roof was pounding from the sound of hail and rain. This went on for 10 minutes and then as quickly as it started, it stopped. Enough excitement for one evening I thought.

As I was drifting off to sleep, the slamming of a door woke me back up with a start. And then the sound of footsteps, up and down the outside corridor. And then the sound that is made when the metal tips of walking sticks hit a hard concrete surface. Click clack click clack. I thought the doors were locked and I was the only one here? I called out, “hello?”. No answer. I got up from my bed and went to turn on the light switch. Nothing… the storm must have knocked out the power (I would later discover that the albergue uses solar power, so why didn't the lights work?). In the dark I reached for my backpack and searched for my headlamp. Couldn’t find it. I had my tablet I use for reading and switched it on. Using the light of the screen I walked out in the corridor and going room to room checked for anyone there. Nothing. Nada. No one. Just me with that damned draft wafting down the hallway. Must be how I got the goosebumps. Laughing to myself, I figured that the wind must have blown a door shut.. must have. I headed back to my room. Shut the door.

I’m not a believer in ghosties and the like, but I admit that spent the rest of the night with my tablet by my side. In the morning at first light I did another tour of the albergue. And of course I was the only one there… no muddy boot marks at my door (which would have made such a better story!).
 
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truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Norte post-pandemic
Ok, so here's my "camino didn't call but kind of yelled" story. My first camino was Sept 2016 and somewhere around June 2016 was when I clearly got the message. I knew I needed to make a change in my life, but wasn't sure how that should take form. I was toying between spending a month at Esalen in N. California or walking the Camino. I kept saying to myself "I can't just quit my job to walk, how irresponsible would that be? It would be a better use of time and money if I took a course and volunteered at Esalen". But secretly I wanted to be "irresponsible", I was just afraid what people would say or think.

So I sent my $400 deposit to Esalen via check-and that's when the Camino started getting in my face. I would hear a story about the Camino on public radio, I read a blog post that had nothing to do with the Camino except for the random photo of the camino yellow arrow stone marker. Then I had The Dream. I was climbing up a mountain with rocky landscape, finally arriving at the top with a gorgeous and expansive view of a valley. I woke up and knew it was the Camino. It wasn't even a "huh, I wonder where that was" or "gee why am hiking". I just knew I was in Spain. I remember writing in my journal "I think I'm going on the Camino". So I called Esalen, got my deposit back and the rest is history.

Turns out, that rocky landscape in my dream was actually the Pyrenees, just after the food truck guy. I passed it and thought "oh this the place I dreamed of months ago".
 
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aidan macdhorcaidh

New Member
Past OR future Camino
camino frances (2017)
I write this tentatively. I’m trying to understand and process something that happened to me two days before my Camino began, when I’d just arrived in Spain, but which influenced the whole of my time there. I don’t feel able to talk about it yet, so I hope you won’t mind this post.

I know that perhaps most pilgrims don’t have a mystical experience along the way: that usually, there may be an internal shift, but nothing spooky or externally unusual. I didn’t expect anything other than this myself; I’m pretty down to Earth, although I do have a history of accurate premonitions, for which I am trying to find explanations that I can accept.

I did read a thread here that’s a few years old, with some accounts of experiences outside of the usual.

I wondered whether perhaps there have been more since that thread, and it’s surely a fascinating topic anyway, so…

I wondered, on the Camino (or immediately before or after it) have you encountered ghosts, or sensed presences? Alternatively, maybe particular places spoke to you in ways that seemed to come from beyond your usual senses? Or perhaps you had premonitions whilst on the Camino?
Well now .... I am Irish so I know all about this kinda thing... You should read Finnegans wake and that kind of mystical magic will happen all the time. However we lost most of our ghosts when electricity came to rural Ireland
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
The last two times I walked, as I walked up the hill after Astorga, I thought about Denise, her family and the fear she must have felt. The first of those two last times, at Santa Catalina de Somoza, I asked at the last albergue if anyone knew where she had been taken, and they said no, but it was somewhere up ahead. The last time, I’d pause at each place where a path or roadway crossed the camino and look up and down each path and wondered. So perhaps it was simply being quiet and alone that enabled me to see this. A deer stepped out of the brush onto one of those side paths and looked at me. We looked at each other for quite some time. I said out loud, but quietly, ‘you haven’t been forgotten, Denise’. A few more moments, and the deer quietly stepped back into the brush and was gone.

It felt like the spirit of Denise was saying, she’s okay.

Tink’s granny’s explanation of thin places makes perfect sense.
 
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Phoenix

Generic member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I've walked a few caminos. But on the Frances especially (walking alone) several times I've heard a walker behind me and I've turned to greet them but no one is there...that I can see.
I've experienced this... only to eventually discover it was the crinkling of the less-than-full, disposable water bottle I was using. Once I switched to using a Nalgene, no more footsteps behind me.

:cool: story.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
Your Gran sound marvellous.
I think she was. She did extraordinary things by our modern standards. She went, with her brothers to support the Republican government of Spain. After the bombing of Guernika she walked into France, cadged a lift in a fishing boat to Guernsey & then home. She then fought every hour of every day with the authorities in charge of the internment camp at Aldermoor where so many Basque women and children were held. She raised a bunch of feisty daughters & some sons that she would divert from the pub by the simple expedient of brewing great beer. When they landed their catch they'd come home to mum's beer instead of squandering their earnings on corporate brews. Grandad taught me to catch rabbit, hare, fowl & fish. Gran taught me to respect every life I took.

And she taught me that life is spectacular, tenuous, precious and never quite what it seems. She taught me some powerful curses and that the blessings were in a single flower, the pulse of a spring morning and the gentle fold of sleep that comes as the dark veil parts.

Oops, a bit of a departure from the theme of this thread so I'll try and round this out. I once spent a night with my back to Herne's Oak. Herne was the royal huntsman who, one day, killed a great White Stag. The King of Faerie was furious at the felling of his creature and struck Herne dead with a single blow. The earthly King was equally furious at the loss off his huntsman and swore to fell every oak in the forest. After the usual to-ing & fro-ing a compromise was agreed. Faerie gave life back to hunter and hunted. Though as often happens when we and Faerie meet neither party were that happy with the deal:

IMG_1187.jpg

I spent my night with my back to Herne's Oak. I slept well and in the half-light that comes before the sun I woke to the sight of... Windsor Great Park on a misty morning ;)
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I thought there had been an effort to have this paining removed! It is creepy and has nothing to do with the true story!

Don…thank you for the reminder. The attachment was disturbing to many members.
Thank you for your sensitivity to this issue.
 

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Past OR future Camino
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
February 13, 2018, one of those walking days in Galicia that laughs at GoreTex. Planned to walk from Melide to O Pedrouzo but when I reached the tiny village of Santa Irene I decided I’d stop as the water I was carrying had to have been heavier than my pack. One of the tiny schoolhouse looking Albergues was all that was open. A French gentlemen that I had been crossing paths with since entering the meseta was the only other guest. The night was windy and rainy and the wooden shutters were making a terrible racket. Strangely at about 0200 the lights in the albergue started going on and off. The Frenchman thought it was me and I thought it was him. We laughed and realized that most of the lights were likely controlled in the reception area, now locked. Likely something with the storm and perhaps a power outage reset the lights. But it was still very curious.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Interesting thread.

What we feel and see, is not neccessarily part of the whole reality. Take this picture, taken from space:

Flat Earth.jpg

This picture shows that The Earth is obviously flat. However, most people, and all scientists, know that the Earth is round; it is a ball. (I own a BMW that just passed 300.000 kms; 7.5 times around the Equator, and still running goood).

"A picture of a thing is not the thing": Chris date, a brilliant mind I happen to have met, conversed, and shared ideas with in our profession, co-founder of the relational database model in computing.

Some people still believe that The Earth is flat. So did the Romans. That is why they didn't dare to go beyond Finisterre when they arrived there. (Roman for End of the world (Finish of the Land (Terra))). Afraid of falling over the edge...

Something to think about when you are at the lighthouse in Finisterre...
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Interesting thread.

What we feel and see, is not neccessarily part of our reality. Take this picture, taken from space:

View attachment 109660

This picture shows that The Earth is obviously flat. However, most people, and all scientists, know that the Earth is round; it is a ball.

"A picture of a thing is not the thing": Chris date, a brilliant mind I happen to have met, conversed, and shared ideas with in our profession, co-founder of the relational database model in computing.

Some people still believe that The Earth is flat. So did the Romans. That is why they didn't dare to go beyond Finisterre (Roman for End of the world (Finish of the Land))
Small point but that Atlas (Greek/Roman God) held a Globe, and that Roman coins showed the Emperor receiving a globe -- not a disk -- from Jupiter, and as we can actually locate the documents showing the early physics efforts of Greeks, Persians and Romans to calculate the earth's size (showing calculations for a globe/sphere)... we know that the people of the classical era did not think the earth was flat. "Land's end" really just means: we can't see anymore land; the rest is water." Ancient astronomy would have been impossible with a view that we existed in a flat plane.
Here's a nice overview: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/astronomy/chapter/ancient-astronomy/
And just to *round out* the point: the Atlantic Ocean is named for Atlas, suggesting that the classical occupants of Iberia knew full well that the sea rounded out the globe.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
One very hot day last summer I walked into a southern French city looking for somewhere to sleep. The priest at the cathedral stared at me oddly saying, you are the first pilgrim to ever come asking here. No, there is nowhere for you to sleep.

So I left

I walked another hour or so in the staggering heat to a dusty village with a couple of take-away bars, an elegant café, and an unappealing collection of buildings in need of repair. I slouched on a bench in the square, limp.

After a while I set about looking for somewhere to sleep. The local gendarme suggested I ask the local priest who in his turn stared at me oddly and told me to return to the city, to the cathedral and ask the priest there. It was hard not to laugh at his response. I have been programmed to go fast-forward and never to turn back. Nothing would drag me back over 10 gruelling kilometers, in the searing heat to somebody who had already said, No. So, I slumped again on the same bench as before, glum.

Time passed
the sun sank a little and so did my eyelids in contemplation

Suddenly, without thought I stood up, went into the café and said, Bonjour. Voulez-vous m'aider? etc. etc.. The proprieter said, of course she would help. But first, have a seat. I'm going to make you a meal!

Later she drove me to her neighbours' house, a pair of octogenarians who, incidentally had passed 20 or more years on a South Pacific island not far from where I was born. The house was full of familiar things, oceanic souvenirs, photos.

The elderly lady who greeted me laughed as we met, saying, I knew that somebody was coming today. Now here you are! At dawn as she awakened a powerful feeling had come over her: She must prepare the guest room which hadn't been used for a very long time and make up the bed. It was needed.

How wonderful, how strange. My day had been spent dragging myself through the heat, hour after hour, in a state of trust and quietness, not knowing where I would end up that night nor what I would eat. Her day was spent in anticipation, in a state of knowing, busily preparing the house for an unknown guest.

What prompted the priests to both say, No, and to stare so oddly?
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Small point but that Atlas (Greek/Roman God) held a Globe, and that Roman coins showed the Emperor receiving a globe -- not a disk -- from Jupiter, and as we can actually locate the documents showing the early physics efforts of Greeks, Persians and Romans to calculate the earth's size (showing calculations for a globe/sphere)... we know that the people of the classical era did not think the earth was flat. "Land's end" really just means: we can't see anymore land; the rest is water." Ancient astronomy would have been impossible with a view that we existed in a flat plane.
Here's a nice overview: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/astronomy/chapter/ancient-astronomy/
And just to *round out* the point: the Atlantic Ocean is named for Atlas, suggesting that the classical occupants of Iberia knew full well that the sea rounded out the globe.
Yes, you are correct: the Greeks and Egyptians knew. They even measured the diameter of the Earth with amazing accuracy. Their knowledge was lost for 1500 years. That's why Galileo Galilei in the middle ages was put into prison and eventually had to refuse his ideas for claiming that the the Earth was round, on threats of a death penalty from the church. Too bad for the survival of thruth.

Edit: The Catholic church refused the idea that the World (Earth) was not the centre of the Universe. Too bad for Galilei, he was right. But it is disappointing how insignificant we humans are in the Universe, however important we think we are. And we keep on trying to kill ourselvses in various ways.

Where we can be placed in (a small segment of) the Universe, is best illustrated in this picture, where the Earth is less than a pixel: We are truly insignificant in the big picture...

Pale blue dot.jpg


I suggest we just keep on walking, hope for the best, and continue to live in our little now...
 
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Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Well you asked for it...

I have two stories to tell from different Caminos… and in order to set the mood properly I’ll break it into two separate posts. Part II will feature my experience at the 11th century monastery of Cornellana in 2016, which was even creepier then the following:

I only had 3 weeks vacation time in 2013, so decided to walk an early spring Camino on the Portuguese. Starting in the rain from the Cathedral of Porto on Good Friday in late March, I would encounter flooding and wet weather for 12 days straight. On arrival in Santiago the weather reports looked promising for the next 3-4 days, so I decided to carry on walking to the coast. When I got to the Finnistere/Muxia fork it was a coin flip on which way to go. Since it was after 5pm and I wasn’t sure I could make it to Cee before dark, I decided to head towards Muxia and check out the new Dumbria Municipal Albergue everybody raved about. For those not familiar with the Dumbria Albergue, it was built around 2010 aside a sports pavilion with funds donated by a Spanish millionaire. Very modern design of concreate and glass and facilities to match.

I arrived at the albergue sometime before 7pm and entered through the side door. Everything was dark inside and it was apparent that no one else was there so I picked a bunk in the middle room and laid out my sleeping bag before heading out the km or so to the local little market in Dumbria to find something to eat. When I got back the albergue, there was a lady there who said she was the hospitalero and after collecting my 5 euros, said that she didn’t expect anyone else would be coming and she would lock all the doors for the night before she left. She mentioned that I could exit in the morning through the side door, but be careful that once I sent through the door it would be locked from the outside.

After she left I did a little exploring around the massive albergue. A little too much like a concrete bunker for my liking and although clean and modern, had a cold feel to it, not helped by the cool draft blowing along the long hall corridor. I shut the windows and inner doors with the exception of my room and settled in for the night as darkness fell.

A crash and flash woke me from my deep sleep. A severe thunderstorm, with gale force winds, hail and torrential rain rattled the windows. In the quick flashes of lightning I could see the pine trees out the window bending at severe angles while the wind howled and the roof was pounding from the sound of hail and rain. This went on for 10 minutes and then as quickly as it started, it stopped. Enough excitement for one evening I thought.

As I was drifting off to sleep, the slamming of a door woke me back up with a start. And then the sound of footsteps, up and down the outside corridor. And then the sound that is made when the metal tips of walking sticks hit a hard concrete surface. Click clack click clack. I thought the doors were locked and I was the only one here? I called out, “hello?”. No answer. I got up from my bed and went to turn on the light switch. Nothing… the storm must have knocked out the power (I would later discover that the albergue uses solar power, so why didn't the lights work?). In the dark I reached for my backpack and searched for my headlamp. Couldn’t find it. I had my tablet I use for reading and switched it on. Using the light of the screen I walked out in the corridor and going room to room checked for anyone there. Nothing. Nada. No one. Just me with that damned draft wafting down the hallway. Must be how I got the goosebumps. Laughing to myself, I figured that the wind must have blown a door shut.. must have. I headed back to my room. Shut the door.

I’m not a believer in ghosties and the like, but I admit that spent the rest of the night with my tablet by my side. In the morning at first light I did another tour of the albergue. And of course I was the only one there… no muddy boot marks at my door (which would have made such a better story!).
I enjoyed this account. I’m looking forward to your Part II!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Well you asked for it...

I have two stories to tell from different Caminos… and in order to set the mood properly I’ll break it into two separate posts. Part II will feature my experience at the 11th century monastery of Cornellana in 2016, which was even creepier then the following:
I'm also eager to hear your account of the monastery in Cornellana- I had quite the experience there this past July!
 
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Past OR future Camino
Inglese 2021
Not a ghost story, but...

From the first moment I heard about the Camino I was drawn in, pulled in really. I was a member of an on line sketching group during lock down and one of the places we travelled was the route from St. Jean. to Pamplona. I then found myself researching the whole route on Google Street View and began making my plans. My plans changed as obstacles got in my way. I started off believing I would walk the whole French Way, then I was thinking I could do a part, then the Portuguese way from Porto and finally to the English Way because it was the only one I could squeeze in in August. I couldn't put it off and I knew I had to go. The fifth wave hit in Spain and I knew I wouldn't cancel until it was the last day to do so. Luckily I did not have too.

One of the members mentioned thin spaces and that the Comino was one. My pastor spoke often of thin places, where the space between heaven and earth is not so great, and I think the Camino is one.

Back to my story. I walked slow and met quite a few people and would walk with them until we hit the uphills and I could not keep up. Out of Mason do Vento some people I was walking with left me behind on the flat way just past the fantasy sculpture garden. At that point I was taken in by a group of Spanish women and the son of one of them. I was favoring my right foot and was glad for some company. We found out that there were no open cafes or restaurants that day along the route until Sigueiro. Luckily they shared their food with me. I spent most of my walking and talking with the Jose, young man and one of the women M, who spoke little English and I spoke even less Spanish, but we had a good time talking anyway.

I found out that her husband passed away last year after 32 years of marriage. I've been married 33.
Later in the day we talked about how we decided to walk the English Way. And her planning story from the full French Way to changing plans multiple times and choosing the English Way was the same as mine. Jose was practicing his English for work and as we discussed work he asked what I did for a living. When I told him and M that I was an architect her jaw dropped. Her husband had been an architect too.

Coincidences do happen, but I believe that every once in a while we are sent somewhere to help another human being get through a hard time even if it is just for a moment. Or someone is sent to us.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Yes
I walked the Via de la Plata in August of 2013. The heat was all that it was advertised to be with temperatures well above 40 degrees every day from Sevilla to Salamanca. I expected it and was just pushing the edge. I did not see another walking pilgrim until Salamanca. I did see a couple of Italian Bike pilgrims one day.
Sometime into the first 10 days or so, I forget exactly where, I walked into a small village in the afternoon with an albergue with a sign on the door advising to call for key and head up the only street toward to village bar. I started that way and was met by a lady from the bar with the key. She said that they had not seen a pilgrim for a couple of weeks and to just go in and use the albergue. She said to be sure to lock up if I left for dinner and at night. By that time I was very used to being the only one in an albergue (if they were open).
It was a huge albergue with two floors and multiple large rooms with rows of bunks. I looked around and explored and settled on a room on main floor near a good bathroom and showers. I went to dinner at the bar and then back to albergue to do laundry and clean gear up.
I went to bed and fell asleep. I woke up to the sound of someone walking on floor above me. The sound was quite load as the empty wooden building echoed. I had explored the whole building and looked everywhere as I was interested in the old construction so know no one was upstairs (or downstairs). I had locked the doors as instructed by bar owner. There were only two doors both with heavy dead bolts. They both stuck and squeaked loudly when opened.
I checked upstairs and downstairs again and no one was inside so I thought I had misunderstood the noise somehow and started to go back to sleep. I heard the walking again and then I heard the definite sound of someone walking down the stairs.
I do not spook easily and am able to take care of myself...but was concerned because I had just checked the whole building out. I got up again and walked every inch and checked every window upstairs and down. There was no entry point. The sounds always stopped as I got near. My initial thought was that some kids were getting in somehow and trying to spook the pilgrim. I then noticed that my footprints were the only ones on the dusty floors as the building had not been used or open for weeks and it had not been cleaned.

I eventually did go back to sleep....but not too soundly.

I have no idea what or who was walking around...but I did not find it amusing at the time. I mentioned it to the bar owner in the morning when I gave her back the keys. She did not seem overly surprised and just nodded her head.

I often wonder how terrifying it would be to a solo peregrina alone in that albergue.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Like most pilgrims, I have tales of coincidences, and wonder why there are so many on the Camino; perhaps because we have few distractions and notice them?

There are two specific spots where I noticed unusual aspects. The first was in the forests east of Atapuerca, before Burgos and after Villafranca Montes de Oca, after the Monumento La Pedraja, one of the few I had seen in Spain to commemorate the Civil War dead. Walking through the pine forest I had an eerie feeling and quickened my step. A few years later, I was reading Sir Hugh Thomas’ doorstop on the Civil War, and saw that this was the area where hundreds of Loyalists were taken by the invading Nationalist forces, and were executed.

Speaking of this a few years later with a Spanish veterinarian (who had done his military service in the last days of Franco at the military veterinary hospital in Burgos) he said that he had heard similar accounts, and that this was well-known if little-discussed. He had felt the same sensation riding through at the time, when he was exercising horses.

The other event was in (IIRC) Palas de Rei where I was having an early morning breakfast (a wet misty Galician morning) in a café and the barman noticed me looking over my shoulder a few times– I thought I had seen someone out of the corner of my eye. He said that I had seen the “fantomas.” Only some pilgrims saw them. He thought that they were monks, but I should not worry about them.
 

Bristle Boy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Yes, you are correct: the Greeks and Egyptians knew. They even measured the diameter of the Earth with amazing accuracy. Their knowledge was lost for 1500 years. That's why Galileo Galilei in the middle ages was put into prison and eventually had to refuse his ideas for claiming that the the Earth was round, on threats of a death penalty from the church. Too bad for the survival of thruth.

Edit: The Catholic church refused the idea that the World (Earth) was not the centre of the Universe. Too bad for Galilei, he was right. But it is disappointing how insignificant we humans are in the Universe, however important we think we are. And we keep on trying to kill ourselvses in various ways.

Where we can be placed in (a small segment of) the Universe, is best illustrated in this picture, where the Earth is less than a pixel: We are truly insignificant in the big picture...

View attachment 109666


I suggest we just keep on walking, hope for the best, and continue to live in our little now...
🤔 the earth isn't the centre of the universe.....it is just that some people think they are!
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
Well now .... I am Irish so I know all about this kinda thing... You should read Finnegans wake and that kind of mystical magic will happen all the time. However we lost most of our ghosts when electricity came to rural Ireland
I'd rather walk 10 consecutive Caminos than be subjected to one more tedious read of Finnegans Wake!
 
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Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
I write this tentatively. I’m trying to understand and process something that happened to me two days before my Camino began, when I’d just arrived in Spain, but which influenced the whole of my time there. I don’t feel able to talk about it yet, so I hope you won’t mind this post.

I know that perhaps most pilgrims don’t have a mystical experience along the way: that usually, there may be an internal shift, but nothing spooky or externally unusual. I didn’t expect anything other than this myself; I’m pretty down to Earth, although I do have a history of accurate premonitions, for which I am trying to find explanations that I can accept.

I did read a thread here that’s a few years old, with some accounts of experiences outside of the usual.

I wondered whether perhaps there have been more since that thread, and it’s surely a fascinating topic anyway, so…

I wondered, on the Camino (or immediately before or after it) have you encountered ghosts, or sensed presences? Alternatively, maybe particular places spoke to you in ways that seemed to come from beyond your usual senses? Or perhaps you had premonitions whilst on the Camino?
Read "Grandma's on the Camino" by Mary O'Hara Wyman. A lovely woman in her 70s met her sister, who had passed, in a labyrinth along The Way. She also had an "angel" if you will, that came to her mysteriously when she was in a bad way; I was so intrigued with Mary, and her writing style, I looked her up and we had a lovely lunch in SF. I think special things happen alot. If it was a good thing you experienced, don't try to explain it away or make sense of it, just cherish it and if ever ready, share it.
Buen Camino
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Read "Grandma's on the Camino" by Mary O'Hara Wyman. A lovely woman in her 70s met her sister, who had passed, in a labyrinth along The Way. She also had an "angel" if you will, that came to her mysteriously when she was in a bad way; I was so intrigued with Mary, and her writing style, I looked her up and we had a lovely lunch in SF. I think special things happen alot. If it was a good thing you experienced, don't try to explain it away or make sense of it, just cherish it and if ever ready, share it.
Buen Camino
Thank you 🙏 This sounds as though it could be very helpful and interesting. I’ve downloaded the Kindle sample and will take a look after I’ve finished with Laurie Lee! 👍🏻
 

dgallen

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
I enjoyed this account. I’m looking forward to your Part II!

Well then, here is part II...

In 2016 I decided to walk the first part of the Camino Frances and then do a jump from Burgos up to Oviedo (via Leon) to the Camino Primitivo. I was using Liz Brandt’s excellent free mini guide, which at that time had the most recent albergue and food/water guide for the Primitivo. On her second stage recommendation was to spend the night at the 11th century San Salvador Monastery in Cornellana , which was in the process of a multi year renovation but had 4 rooms of 24 beds for 5 euro that included a free washer and dryer. Sold!

I arrived at the Monastery at around 6:30pm and was delighted to see that I was the only one there and had the place to myself for that treasured bottom bunk… so thrilled I took a photo which I enclosed here. I found the albergue to be very clean and the Monastery itself to be quite old, authentic (the restoral work seemed to be centered on not renewing it but rather retaining its’ character) and quite fascinating. It was indeed undergoing renovations and parts of the very large building complex were still in a state of “semi ruins”. After laying out my sleeping bag and getting my wet clothes and laundry, I proceeded to a building across the courtyard to wash my things.

Around 45 minutes later I went back to the albergue and found another pilgrim sitting on a bunk across the room. We chatted briefly (he was coming down off the Norte) and he mentioned he was glad another pilgrim was here since he said the Monastery was haunted. I was going to relay my story about my experience at Dumbria (which was a sleek and modern building and not the normal place for spooky things), but if there was a place for a good ghost story, this was definitely the spot. It was going to get dark soon and having not eaten, invited the other pilgrim to join me to go to the local bar around 500m away and grab a bite. He mentioned that he had already eaten so I headed out. I took a few photos of the exterior of the Monastery on the way out. I had to agree that in many aspects, this would make for a great location for a blockbuster haunted building movie. As I was taking one photo of the Monastery Tower I thought I saw someone in white walking past a window (bottom right below the bells and opposite the clock side). If you pixel peep the photo I posted you can see a bit of the white cloth). Perhaps just a drop sheet blowing in the wind?

The only place I could find food was a little bar, which did not have pilgrim meals (Cornellana did not seem to be a popular spot for pilgrim stays it seemed) but the barkeeper found a can of beans and some sausage. Not the pilgrim feast I envisioned, but beggars can’t be choosers. One other elderly patron was watching a football match on the little bar tv while I had my meal and beer while reading my guide on my phone. It was dark out by the time I left the bar. The sky was overcast and lights were few once you left the little town. I got back to the albergue which was in total darkness and not wanting to disturb the other pilgrim I headed directly to my bunk without turning on any lights. The bunks themselves were those steel spring and mattress variety that creeked and groaned any time you turned over and was a great contrast to the almost eerie silence of the Monastery. Any little sound would be echoed and magnified. Exhausted from my long day, I fell quickly asleep.

Sometime during the night I awoke to what I thought was someone whispering in my ear. I sat up in my bed in the darkness. Hmm, I must have been dreaming. Since it was a straight shot to the bathroom and I was thirsty, I reached for my now empty water bottle beside my bed, and headed to go fill it up. I seem to recall now that the bathroom was fitted with one of those lights on a timer with a motion detector. I did my business in the bathroom, opened the door to head back to the bunk. I left the door ajar enough so a sliver of light escaped, as I didn’t want to disturb the other pilgrim, but wanted enough light to navigate back to my bed since my eyes were desensitized by the bright bathroom light. There was also enough light to see the silhouette other bunk. Enough light to see it was seemingly empty. Wow, that’s weird I thought. I went back to the bathroom and opened the door wider. I was all alone. The other bunk I saw the other pilgrim on was seemingly untouched. The blanket folded. No pack. No paper mattress covering. It was like he was never there.

What happened to the other pilgrim? Did he freak out about being alone while I was gone and decided to “bug out”? He had made a particular point about the Monastery being haunted. And if he had left, what’s up with the whispering that had woken me up?

For days after my experience at Cornellana I wondered about that other pilgrim. I described him to many other pilgrims along the Primitivo route and no one I spoke to remembered seeing him or hearing of him. To those who have never walking the Primitivo especially years ago, the community of walkers in the early spring are generally few but you also get to know and/or see everyone. It’s like this guy was a ghost…
 

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dgallen

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
@dgallen
Spookeeee!!
Did you go back to sleep? 😉

I recall turning on the lights once I knew I was the only one there and reading a bit on my phone. I generally am not a believer in ghostly things... and am somewhat agnostic in general. So falling back to sleep in my exhausted state was not a problem. Would I go back and sleep there alone again? Well that's a different question.

I was certainly puzzled by the other pilgrim thing and if he had left in the night I most certainly have heard him leave. Others have posted their experiences at Cornellana and hearing loud bangs or noises. To me it was about how incredibly quiet it was and how you get hypersensitive to any sounds. That whispering though...

When I got home and downloaded my photos to view on a large monitor, I noticed the white in the window where I thought I had seen someone in white walk past in my viewfinder when I took the photo. When I took the camera from my face I saw nothing further. Unfortunately my other photos (like of the "Groot" trees... spooky in their own right) block the view.
 

Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
Well then, here is part II...

In 2016 I decided to walk the first part of the Camino Frances and then do a jump from Burgos up to Oviedo (via Leon) to the Camino Primitivo. I was using Liz Brandt’s excellent free mini guide, which at that time had the most recent albergue and food/water guide for the Primitivo. On her second stage recommendation was to spend the night at the 11th century San Salvador Monastery in Cornellana , which was in the process of a multi year renovation but had 4 rooms of 24 beds for 5 euro that included a free washer and dryer. Sold!

I arrived at the Monastery at around 6:30pm and was delighted to see that I was the only one there and had the place to myself for that treasured bottom bunk… so thrilled I took a photo which I enclosed here. I found the albergue to be very clean and the Monastery itself to be quite old, authentic (the restoral work seemed to be centered on not renewing it but rather retaining its’ character) and quite fascinating. It was indeed undergoing renovations and parts of the very large building complex were still in a state of “semi ruins”. After laying out my sleeping bag and getting my wet clothes and laundry, I proceeded to a building across the courtyard to wash my things.

Around 45 minutes later I went back to the albergue and found another pilgrim sitting on a bunk across the room. We chatted briefly (he was coming down off the Norte) and he mentioned he was glad another pilgrim was here since he said the Monastery was haunted. I was going to relay my story about my experience at Dumbria (which was a sleek and modern building and not the normal place for spooky things), but if there was a place for a good ghost story, this was definitely the spot. It was going to get dark soon and having not eaten, invited the other pilgrim to join me to go to the local bar around 500m away and grab a bite. He mentioned that he had already eaten so I headed out. I took a few photos of the exterior of the Monastery on the way out. I had to agree that in many aspects, this would make for a great location for a blockbuster haunted building movie. As I was taking one photo of the Monastery Tower I thought I saw someone in white walking past a window (bottom right below the bells and opposite the clock side). If you pixel peep the photo I posted you can see a bit of the white cloth). Perhaps just a drop sheet blowing in the wind?

The only place I could find food was a little bar, which did not have pilgrim meals (Cornellana did not seem to be a popular spot for pilgrim stays it seemed) but the barkeeper found a can of beans and some sausage. Not the pilgrim feast I envisioned, but beggars can’t be choosers. One other elderly patron was watching a football match on the little bar tv while I had my meal and beer while reading my guide on my phone. It was dark out by the time I left the bar. The sky was overcast and lights were few once you left the little town. I got back to the albergue which was in total darkness and not wanting to disturb the other pilgrim I headed directly to my bunk without turning on any lights. The bunks themselves were those steel spring and mattress variety that creeked and groaned any time you turned over and was a great contrast to the almost eerie silence of the Monastery. Any little sound would be echoed and magnified. Exhausted from my long day, I fell quickly asleep.

Sometime during the night I awoke to what I thought was someone whispering in my ear. I sat up in my bed in the darkness. Hmm, I must have been dreaming. Since it was a straight shot to the bathroom and I was thirsty, I reached for my now empty water bottle beside my bed, and headed to go fill it up. I seem to recall now that the bathroom was fitted with one of those lights on a timer with a motion detector. I did my business in the bathroom, opened the door to head back to the bunk. I left the door ajar enough so a sliver of light escaped, as I didn’t want to disturb the other pilgrim, but wanted enough light to navigate back to my bed since my eyes were desensitized by the bright bathroom light. There was also enough light to see the silhouette other bunk. Enough light to see it was seemingly empty. Wow, that’s weird I thought. I went back to the bathroom and opened the door wider. I was all alone. The other bunk I saw the other pilgrim on was seemingly untouched. The blanket folded. No pack. No paper mattress covering. It was like he was never there.

What happened to the other pilgrim? Did he freak out about being alone while I was gone and decided to “bug out”? He had made a particular point about the Monastery being haunted. And if he had left, what’s up with the whispering that had woken me up?

For days after my experience at Cornellana I wondered about that other pilgrim. I described him to many other pilgrims along the Primitivo route and no one I spoke to remembered seeing him or hearing of him. To those who have never walking the Primitivo especially years ago, the community of walkers in the early spring are generally few but you also get to know and/or see everyone. It’s like this guy was a ghost…
I think I would have slept in the bar under a table before sleeping alone in that beautifully scary looking place. 😱
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
When doing the Frances three years ago I was the only occupant one night at an albergue in one of the smaller towns before Logrono. It had a fair sized dorm with several beds on the second floor, above a bar. I was surprised that I was the only one for the night because while it was the end of September there were a lot of pilgrims on the Camino Frances. The hospitalera gave me instructions on how to lock up in the morning and she was off, leaving me all alone in there. The advantages were picking my own bed, no snorers and being able to take a shower again in the morning. The disadvantage was spending the night there alone, which although I had no physical fear of being harmed, there's still that odd feeling of being in a large, strange building all alone for the night. I picked a bed all the way in the back corner where I could see the whole dorm and of course when walking the Camino fatigue has a way of preventing insomnia so I woke the next morning rested, no ghosts (that I know of lol) and no intruders.
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Well then, here is part II...

In 2016 I decided to walk the first part of the Camino Frances and then do a jump from Burgos up to Oviedo (via Leon) to the Camino Primitivo. I was using Liz Brandt’s excellent free mini guide, which at that time had the most recent albergue and food/water guide for the Primitivo. On her second stage recommendation was to spend the night at the 11th century San Salvador Monastery in Cornellana , which was in the process of a multi year renovation but had 4 rooms of 24 beds for 5 euro that included a free washer and dryer. Sold!

I arrived at the Monastery at around 6:30pm and was delighted to see that I was the only one there and had the place to myself for that treasured bottom bunk… so thrilled I took a photo which I enclosed here. I found the albergue to be very clean and the Monastery itself to be quite old, authentic (the restoral work seemed to be centered on not renewing it but rather retaining its’ character) and quite fascinating. It was indeed undergoing renovations and parts of the very large building complex were still in a state of “semi ruins”. After laying out my sleeping bag and getting my wet clothes and laundry, I proceeded to a building across the courtyard to wash my things.

Around 45 minutes later I went back to the albergue and found another pilgrim sitting on a bunk across the room. We chatted briefly (he was coming down off the Norte) and he mentioned he was glad another pilgrim was here since he said the Monastery was haunted. I was going to relay my story about my experience at Dumbria (which was a sleek and modern building and not the normal place for spooky things), but if there was a place for a good ghost story, this was definitely the spot. It was going to get dark soon and having not eaten, invited the other pilgrim to join me to go to the local bar around 500m away and grab a bite. He mentioned that he had already eaten so I headed out. I took a few photos of the exterior of the Monastery on the way out. I had to agree that in many aspects, this would make for a great location for a blockbuster haunted building movie. As I was taking one photo of the Monastery Tower I thought I saw someone in white walking past a window (bottom right below the bells and opposite the clock side). If you pixel peep the photo I posted you can see a bit of the white cloth). Perhaps just a drop sheet blowing in the wind?

The only place I could find food was a little bar, which did not have pilgrim meals (Cornellana did not seem to be a popular spot for pilgrim stays it seemed) but the barkeeper found a can of beans and some sausage. Not the pilgrim feast I envisioned, but beggars can’t be choosers. One other elderly patron was watching a football match on the little bar tv while I had my meal and beer while reading my guide on my phone. It was dark out by the time I left the bar. The sky was overcast and lights were few once you left the little town. I got back to the albergue which was in total darkness and not wanting to disturb the other pilgrim I headed directly to my bunk without turning on any lights. The bunks themselves were those steel spring and mattress variety that creeked and groaned any time you turned over and was a great contrast to the almost eerie silence of the Monastery. Any little sound would be echoed and magnified. Exhausted from my long day, I fell quickly asleep.

Sometime during the night I awoke to what I thought was someone whispering in my ear.
What a story! Thank you for sharing, it gave me chills- and especially so because of my own recent experience there! In that very same room, too. (beautiful photos, you captured the monastery perfectly!)
 
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Harland2019

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May "2019"
Out the outset can I say that I didn't and still don't believe in ghosts! A few years ago in my running days, I was out running (sorry jogging) at night in a well-lit street. One side across the road were houses, the other side of the pavement I was running on was a 3-foot wall and a drop of c. 10 feet down to the main road. Coming towards me was a woman dressed in white, I glanced down to check my step on the pavement and immediately looked up and she was gone! I stopped, looked over the wall and there was nobody there. She wouldn't have had time to get across the road and to be honest even get over the wall. There had been two fatal accidents there over the previous 20 years. I don't know what it was, I still don't believe in ghosts, I am not religious if that makes any difference!
 
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Former member 72198

Guest
1981 in a Youth Hostel somewhere in Ontario, Canada. I was sitting in the dining room/kitchen area at a table reading a newspaper. The room had three doors, two directly to the outside were behind me. The third was an internal door in front of me.

I had been sitting there reading the newspaper for about 40 minutes, waiting for something or other. There was someone sitting next to me that I didn't know.

While I sat there, reading several people had come into the room from outside, behind me, had done stuff in the kitchen area and left. I had got used to that and barely noticed or looked up from the paper.

Then the door in front of me swung open and as it did so, a feeling hit me, hard, almost knocking me off my chair and forcing me to look up.

A somewhat nondescript man walked into the room, staring at me as he walked past to the kitchen area where he paused. He stood there for a while, occasionally looking at me, seeming to think and then left again through the same door.

There were no sounds other than the sound of the door opening and the sounds of him walking across the room, back again and the door closing. Nothing was said. Through out this time my gaze was fixed on him.

After he left the person next to me said "he is a murderer and wanted by the police". I don't know how they knew this, perhaps there had been a news item.

About 10 minutes later the reception person walked in an announced that the police had been called to arrest one of the guests and they had found blood in the boot of his car.

I recall to this day the cold hard feeling that hit me that day as he entered the room.
Speechless!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I, like a few others on this thread, stayed in the newly renovated section of the old monestery in Cornellana in 2016. It was one of my favorite albergues that year, but if I'd read the spooky stories beforehand, I probably would have continued on further down the road...glad I didn't do that.
 
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Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
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evanscl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
In Pontremoli, walking the via francigena, on a small street. I was wanting to see a 12th century labyrinth carved into a stone about 18nches square which i knew was on the wall of a church in the small street. The church was locked so I wandered down the road a bit and asked in a bakery about access to the church. I was told the key was held by someone and then my italian understanding broke down so i nodded as if i understood , thanked them and left thinking well thats it then. No one was around, it being that afternoon hiatus when most shops are shut, and wandering a lot further down the street, well away from the church i saw a woman coming along the street and from another direction a man appeared, neither was going towards the church or anywhere near it. I had seconds to make a decision as both were moving out of range but was drawn to ask the man, who was hurrying along obviously on a mission, In poor italian “ excuse me but I wanted to see the church and the labyrinth, did he know who kept the key?” It turned out it was him, he was the key holder and by amazing coincidence there he was at the exact time i needed him. He kindly let me in and put the light on to illuminate the beautiful old labyrinth with two knights on horseback at the top - its twin is set in the wall of Lucca cathedral. To me a perfect example of synchronicity. There were only 3 people there, me and the woman and the man , if i had asked the woman the man would have been gone round the corner and my chance gone.
 

cbacino

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
I write this tentatively. I’m trying to understand and process something that happened to me two days before my Camino began, when I’d just arrived in Spain, but which influenced the whole of my time there. I don’t feel able to talk about it yet, so I hope you won’t mind this post.

I know that perhaps most pilgrims don’t have a mystical experience along the way: that usually, there may be an internal shift, but nothing spooky or externally unusual. I didn’t expect anything other than this myself; I’m pretty down to Earth, although I do have a history of accurate premonitions, for which I am trying to find explanations that I can accept.

I did read a thread here that’s a few years old, with some accounts of experiences outside of the usual.

I wondered whether perhaps there have been more since that thread, and it’s surely a fascinating topic anyway, so…

I wondered, on the Camino (or immediately before or after it) have you encountered ghosts, or sensed presences? Alternatively, maybe particular places spoke to you in ways that seemed to come from beyond your usual senses? Or perhaps you had premonitions whilst on the Camino?
2500 miles from Canterbury to Rome and Paris to Santiago: no ghosts, no premonitions, no altered senses. Nada. Just tired feet.
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
Cycling the Norte - I was toiling up some hills and noticed that there was the word GIN written in chalk on the road - several times (perhaps a bike race had been on) I then realised it was the anniversary of my Father's death - he was a great lover of gin...! So we hightailed it to the next bar and drank a large G&T to my Dad!
 

hikingpal

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I love this thread. I live for ghost stories.

My partner and I walked the Camino Francés and spent the night in Foncebadón, and a few days later we walked a bit with a man who said Foncebadón was "really haunted." We'd stayed at El Tragu de Foncebadón and didn't experience any funky energy at all. We really enjoyed our time there and thought the owners were super sweet. I tried googling around for any ghost stories from Foncebadón, but haven't found anything. Has anyone ever experienced anything there?
 
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Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
Some evidence of sorts , of the most unsettling event I have experienced .

During Melbourne's first lock down I took a series of photographs of the beach and surrounds where I live. Feeling the call of the Camino and the effects of restrictive travel I wanted to send them to my walking companions that had shared parts of the Francigena with me .

The bicycle in the foreground was not there when I took this photograph , a close inspection will reveal it is fractured in a way , as is the area it crosses , a rift ; perhaps one of Tincatinker's '' Thin Places'' .
I can't explain it , there is no rider and the bicycle could not have remained upright by itself . I was unaware of its presence at the time however I did realise later that my faithful companion Whippet had sat and trembled while I took this photos , unlike him to do so and I dismissed it as impatience and annoyance of having had his walk interrupted .
 

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dgallen

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
What a story! Thank you for sharing, it gave me chills- and especially so because of my own recent experience there! In that very same room, too. (beautiful photos, you captured the monastery perfectly!)

Thx... I enjoyed reading your account of the Primitivo (and your own experience at Cornellana too), even if it now makes my hiking booted feet more restless. Still my favourite Camino after 3 times and writing this brought back lots of memories.

Cornellana is a fascinating place for sure. Reminded me a lot of Ruesta on the Aragone, not only for the similar architecture but also both seemed to evoke their own special mood from those stone walls (if those walls could talk!). You could certainly envision the Benedictine monks wandering the halls or in the courtyard as they practiced their vows in silence while they worked.

The fog the next morning certainly added to the atmosphere, especially as it slowly lifted as I walking the backside up the mountain road. When I reached the top, the sun shone on the Monastery and it gave off a completely different vibe. I'm glad I got to see (and feel) both sides.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I've walked a few caminos. But on the Frances especially (walking alone) several times I've heard a walker behind me and I've turned to greet them but no one is there...that I can see.
Of course, this absolutely could be my overactive imagination. But I like to think of the thousands and thousands of people who have walked these trails with their thoughts and sorrows, regrets and hopes. Who knows....

“Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
-But who is that on the other side of you?”​

From T.S.Eliot 'The Wasteland'. He apparently based this on reports from members of Shackleton's team exploring the Antarctic who reported having the strong impression as they walked that there was one person in the group than there should be.
 

Jeff Robinson

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Another surprising conjunction of presence occured one stormy night late January 2009 in Trinidad de Arre at the Marist fathers' albergue as I was writing in the common room a blog post on happenstance, chance encounter and camino serendipity.

At the very moment that I defined the word 'serendipity' another pilgrim knocked at the door. Happily speaking Italian he was welcomed by two Spanish pilgrims. The Italian entered the common room, turned to say 'buona sera' to me and then enthusiastically shouted 'Margaret'! Imagine my delight upon realizing that he was Mario whom I had last seen during breakfast at Burguete the year before in 2008!! Another fortuitous chance encounter indeed.

We and a French pilgrim, Polo, had met on the little train going to St Jean Pied de Port and together walked up the Valcarlos route to Roncesvalles. As Mario and I nostalgically recollected those 'good old times' we tentatively promised to meet again "next year on the camino". ...Although our paths have never re-crossed, one never knows !
I write this tentatively. I’m trying to understand and process something that happened to me two days before my Camino began, when I’d just arrived in Spain, but which influenced the whole of my time there. I don’t feel able to talk about it yet, so I hope you won’t mind this post.

I know that perhaps most pilgrims don’t have a mystical experience along the way: that usually, there may be an internal shift, but nothing spooky or externally unusual. I didn’t expect anything other than this myself; I’m pretty down to Earth, although I do have a history of accurate premonitions, for which I am trying to find explanations that I can accept.

I did read a thread here that’s a few years old, with some accounts of experiences outside of the usual.

I wondered whether perhaps there have been more since that thread, and it’s surely a fascinating topic anyway, so…

I wondered, on the Camino (or immediately before or after it) have you encountered ghosts, or sensed presences? Alternatively, maybe particular places spoke to you in ways that seemed to come from beyond your usual senses? Or perhaps you had premonitions whilst on the Camino?
If you’ve made it this far down this thread you are probably mesmerized by all the ghost stories. Might wanna skip my contribution because I don’t believe in ghosts. I do believe in God. And I believe he speaks to us. The following is true and it did change my life.

After my first Camino in 2014 I returned home and within a month or so I felt I wanted to go back like so many of you have. I thought the temptation with logical argument. “ I can’t go back and walk the same path without a reason.“ I thought. But the urge persisted and I cannot make any sense of it.
Please forgive the mental image but, I was taking a shower in my mind couldn’t have been any further from hiking or the Camino. Out of the blue came this image to my mind. I was standing on the Roman Road at the base of the hill just outside St. Jean passing out Bibles. In the shower, alone, I literally said out loud “is that what you want me to do?“ I am Christian but I’ve never done anything like that. I’ve never street witnessed or evangelized nor tried to convert anyone.
As the urge to return persisted I began to wonder if that is the reason I should go back.

To make a long story short, I did go back the next year with an attitude of “if he is willing to teach me, I am willing to go and learn.”

Apparently he was willing and I was able to learn. I’ve been going back two to three times a year ever since with the simple goal of helping people and sharing the truth wherever the opportunity presented itself.
I have had many encounters and confirmations that this is what I am supposed to be doing. I have not been ridiculed but rather repeatedly thanked. I am 67 years old and have never been happier in the deepest sense of joy. My hope is that God will continue to use me in this way as long as I am physically capable.
I love hearing peoples stories and I love sharing God‘s story, the gospel truth of his son.
Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal {Feb-March 2020}
Camino Frances {March 2019 & 2020}
While I’ve not experienced that “presence” on the Camino (have a couple of ghost stories), I have had that distinct “other presence” experience on numerous occasions. I think most people experience this.

When I re-learned to think of others first, and accept what is offered with gratitude, the Camino became more relaxing and extremely enjoyable. Wish I’d done it 20 years earlier.

Fresh air and exercise mixed with sleep deprivation and pain. Random thoughts and memories with lots of time for reflection. But no stress, and no sensory depravation.

“The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible” by John Geiger is a great read. Especially for those that like backpacking or just walking.
 
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