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Experiences of ghosts, premonitions or presences?

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Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal {Feb-March 2020}
Camino Frances {March 2019 & 2020}
Well, there was that one night, alone in a cavernous albergue. I’ve had the experience of the clanging sound pipes can make in an old monastery, so it does not bother me. But in this case I had no light and the sensor the hall light was at the far end of the corridor which required walking fairly close to it to activate the light.

It was the intermittent sound of something moving either in the corridor, washroom or laundry room that really got to me.

It seemed to disappear when I entered the corridor and reappeared, randomly, when I was in my dorm. Perhaps an animal in the trash disposal that went quiet as I neared? An intruder?

I wasn't afraid, but it was too late and impractical to leave, so I checked all the windows and doors and eventually convinced myself that it was some mechanical thing (that stopped when I searched for the source?), and eventually fell sleep.

It’s unlikely that I’ll ever stay there again. Certainly not alone.

The second was not really my story, but more about fellow peregrinos.

I arrived at the Albergue in Viana do Castelo just as the dark clouds rolled in off the Atlantic to deliver heavy wind and rain. In the early evening, when the shuttered window in the kitchen suddenly flew open, it clearly spooked one of the peregrinos, to the point of startling some of the others.

Hours later, after lights out as the last of us were falling asleep, the echo of noise down the long corridor woke me. It was growing louder and getting closer. Our companion who was spooked earlier was now awake and clearly terrified.

You could hear a pin drop in the silence when the noise stopped outside the dorm door. When it opened, all eyes were on the shrouded figure completely blocking the only exit.

I admit that the anticipation is always worse than the event, and I was a little startled. Something about old monasteries.

Removing the poncho, revealed a 60-70 L backpack with rolled foamy extending well over a foot above the head of the woman carrying it, who came in out of the rain.

In the morning I learned that she was walking home after 6-7 months walking the Frances, via Lourdes, then to Fatima, Lisbon, the Algarve, and now returning via the coastal route. She’d had quite a story and spoke very highly of the Portuguese, particularly women, who she characterized as kind, generous and “the backbone of their society”.

I would like to have talked with her longer but never saw her again.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Sounds in the night.

Same trans Canadian trip in the early 80's. Somewhere around Writing on Stone National Park there is a Youth Hostel way out in the sticks somewhere. We found it on a map.

We got there very late in the afternoon, probably closer to evening and discovered that it was closed with no one around. It really was a long way away from anywhere else and we were tired and didn't feel like driving for hours at night looking for somewhere else to stay and so I had a look around and discovered a loose window that I managed to squeeze through (I was much slimmer then). Opened the door and we set up in one of the bunk rooms.

There was no gas or electricity and so we opened a couple of cans to eat by torch light and then crawled into our sleeping bags.

We both woke up around 1am because of a weird metallic clanking and scraping noise coming from somewhere very close by.

My wife gave me a hard kick, which meant that she expected me to get up and see what it was.

I wasn't so keen! Once you are in a zipped up sleeping bag you are somewhat vulnerable because it is hard to move fast to get out.

I lay there for a while, imagining ghosts and/or random serial killers roaming the corridors and silently cursing Canadian remoteness when I managed to find my torch that I had used during dinner and which had been buried somewhere under my sleeping bag.

I turned it on to see a gaggle of rats gnawing on the empty cans that had contained our dinner! They stared back at me and I was imagining that maybe they were eyeing me up as desert, so I threw the first thing that came to hand, other than the torch, which was probably my wife's hair brush and they sauntered off.

I was then volunteered for guard duty so that the "other" could get some sleep but I doubt that I would have slept much anyway because those rats were very big and looked very hungry!

We were out of there pronto, just as the sun rose.

A couple of weeks later, probably around Moose Jaw or Lone Loon Lake we decided to park up out in the bush on some gravel cul-de-sac that lead down to the lake shore to sleep in the car for the night.

We obviously hadn't heard about that murderer then.

Wifey was lamenting not seeing much Canadian wildlife although in the last town where we had spent the night we had asked where we had to go to see wolves and were told to go to the town dump at twilight and we would see them. It worked, although I was a little concerned for the young American guy that we had agreed to take along with us when he got out the car and walked over to them to take a photo!

Anyway back to the remote lake shore somewhere miles from anyone else. We had some stale bread in our stash and wifey decided to put it out on the bonnet of the car to see what it attracted.....

We waited some time after dinner and nothing turned up so went off to sleep with the front seats rolled back.

At some stage during the night there was a heavy thump on the bonnet area that woke us both up. I turned on the car's internal light and there sitting on the bonnet, looking in at us with a cheeky smile was a rather large raccoon.

Wifey was delighted, but I was imagining larger prey animals might also be in the vicinity and so I wasn't quite so pleased that her bait had worked.
 

McSherry

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Part) - 2019
Odd things do happen. I lived in a “haunted house” by myself. Things happened, and being the only person there I knew no one else was responsible.

Anyhow, my Camino story is not that exciting but a little odd.

We are quite Catholic but really knew little of the Camino, if anything. A few years ago I listened to a podcast by a priest planning snd going on his Camino. I got interested and watched videos etc. I thought that this would be an interesting challenge. But given that my wife, son and I did not hike much, and my wife has an issue with her legs I knew it would never happen. I never spoke of it to my family as they would think I was nuts.

We were speaking of vacation. Our son would be off to college in a few years and we wanted to do something special for vacation. Out of the blue my wife said “There is something called the Camino. I dont know if anyone else would be interested.” I sat momentarily in amazement, and said I would be up for it and later explained my interest.

Turned out to be a tremendous and memorable experience for all three of us. As it turned out, it was our last big trip with our son before college as covid shut down any plans since. Now with him being in college, such trips are out financially, and time wise.

My wife and talk about going back sometime.

We did not have any mystical experiences per se on the trip, but just a wonderful chance to walk and talk. The photo is of my wife and son somewhere between Sarria and Portomarin.
 

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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
Odd things do happen. I lived in a “haunted house” by myself. Things happened, and being the only person there I knew no one else was responsible.

Anyhow, my Camino story is not that exciting but a little odd.

We are quite Catholic but really knew little of the Camino, if anything. A few years ago I listened to a podcast by a priest planning snd going on his Camino. I got interested and watched videos etc. I thought that this would be an interesting challenge. But given that my wife, son and I did not hike much, and my wife has an issue with her legs I knew it would never happen. I never spoke of it to my family as they would think I was nuts.

We were speaking of vacation. Our son would be off to college in a few years and we wanted to do something special for vacation. Out of the blue my wife said “There is something called the Camino. I dont know if anyone else would be interested.” I sat momentarily in amazement, and said I would be up for it and later explained my interest.

Turned out to be a tremendous and memorable experience for all three of us. As it turned out, it was our last big trip with our son before college as covid shut down any plans since. Now with him being in college, such trips are out financially, and time wise.

My wife and talk about going back sometime.

We did not have any mystical experiences per se on the trip, but just a wonderful chance to walk and talk. The photo is of my wife and son somewhere between Sarria and Portomarin.
McSherry,
Indeed you, your wife and son had "a wonderful chance to walk and talk". Your's were times to remember forever.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful, true story.
 
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Camino walkers love this gripping, intriguing, mystery with history novel.
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal {Feb-March 2020}
Camino Frances {March 2019 & 2020}
Sounds in the night.

Same trans Canadian trip in the early 80's. Somewhere around Writing on Stone National Park there is a Youth Hostel way out in the sticks somewhere. We found it on a map.

We got there very late in the afternoon, probably closer to evening and discovered that it was closed with no one around. It really was a long way away from anywhere else and we were tired and didn't feel like driving for hours at night looking for somewhere else to stay and so I had a look around and discovered a loose window that I managed to squeeze through (I was much slimmer then). Opened the door and we set up in one of the bunk rooms.

There was no gas or electricity and so we opened a couple of cans to eat by torch light and then crawled into our sleeping bags.

We both woke up around 1am because of a weird metallic clanking and scraping noise coming from somewhere very close by.

My wife gave me a hard kick, which meant that she expected me to get up and see what it was.

I wasn't so keen! Once you are in a zipped up sleeping bag you are somewhat vulnerable because it is hard to move fast to get out.

I lay there for a while, imagining ghosts and/or random serial killers roaming the corridors and silently cursing Canadian remoteness when I managed to find my torch that I had used during dinner and which had been buried somewhere under my sleeping bag.

I turned it on to see a gaggle of rats gnawing on the empty cans that had contained our dinner! They stared back at me and I was imagining that maybe they were eyeing me up as desert, so I threw the first thing that came to hand, other than the torch, which was probably my wife's hair brush and they sauntered off.

I was then volunteered for guard duty so that the "other" could get some sleep but I doubt that I would have slept much anyway because those rats were very big and looked very hungry!

We were out of there pronto, just as the sun rose.

A couple of weeks later, probably around Moose Jaw or Lone Loon Lake we decided to park up out in the bush on some gravel cul-de-sac that lead down to the lake shore to sleep in the car for the night.

We obviously hadn't heard about that murderer then.

Wifey was lamenting not seeing much Canadian wildlife although in the last town where we had spent the night we had asked where we had to go to see wolves and were told to go to the town dump at twilight and we would see them. It worked, although I was a little concerned for the young American guy that we had agreed to take along with us when he got out the car and walked over to them to take a photo!

Anyway back to the remote lake shore somewhere miles from anyone else. We had some stale bread in our stash and wifey decided to put it out on the bonnet of the car to see what it attracted.....

We waited some time after dinner and nothing turned up so went off to sleep with the front seats rolled back.

At some stage during the night there was a heavy thump on the bonnet area that woke us both up. I turned on the car's internal light and there sitting on the bonnet, looking in at us with a cheeky smile was a rather large raccoon.

Wifey was delighted, but I was imagining larger prey animals might also be in the vicinity and so I wasn't quite so pleased that her bait had worked.
Wilderness, log cabin ghost and "presence" stories would be a very long thread, an entire forum.

Ferry Gulch in Gros Morne was named long before the national park and long before I first hiked through there over 50 years ago. I returned about 12 years ago, with my kids, who were doing their obligatory climb to the top of Gros Morne (so they could then do the things they liked), and developed a pretty good theory of the aptly named Ferry Gulch.

Another, worthy of mention is the walk into Kitselas Canyon, northern British Columbia, about 50 years ago, when the nearest residence was many kilometers away. My friend and I were the only vehicle parked anywhere near the start of the little used trail. ATVs were exotic, virtually non-exist in those days. There were no other people nearby. No reason to be.

I was fully refreshed, had plenty of sleep, no stress… As we neared the Canyon, the sense that we were being watched by something nearby was a little creepy at the time. I remember scanning the bush, half expected a native kid to walk out of the forest, thinking that was not rational. There were no other people in that remote location that many years ago.

I sense learned that there had been a native village and trading post in that precise location that had been abandoned about 70 years earlier (120 years ago). The feeling was clear and distinct. It sends a chill up my spine to this day. I plan to return there, when it is safe to do so.
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
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 .
This is very odd! I couldn’t resist tinkering with the photo to see if some of the dark areas held more detail—I hope you don’t mind, @Charles Zammit . I used to be a photographer and, although I’m not up to speed with phone camera trickery, I can’t explain this. A double exposure would be the obvious thing, or the camera stitching things together in a panorama, but you obviously didn’t do any of this so… stumped. I like the thin places idea, of course!

It looks to me as though there are legs on the bike, albeit no body. Did you know there was the second bike further down the road, and the heavy set man in the orange coat?

I can understand it being unsettling. A vaguely similar thing happened to me once with my own dog. I used to do metal detecting and had spent some time in a flat pasture field, working my way toward some woodland where there was a ruined manor, 15th century. We were happily walking along, level with the manor, when my dog stopped, began to tremble, and refused to move forward. After much insistence on my part, she jumped as high as she could, as if over a hurdle, and then carried on walking. I called it quits for the day soon after, though. I was thinking about what had happened more than anything else. What was in the way, that she was so scared and had to make that leap? My dog has greyhound in her but is smaller; maybe a ‘sight’hound skill?
 

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Jim B

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Primitivo '14 & '15, Inglese '17, Finisterre '17, Portuguese '17 &18
I had a peculiar experience while staying at the Monasterio Santa Clara at Carrion de los Condes. My companions and I shared a 5-bed dorm on the ground floor. I had a very vivid and emotional dream in which I had to hunt and capture or restrain one of our party, and in the dream I was doing so in a frenzy because for some reason that was not clear, it was imperative to the safety of us all that I did so! I tracked and chased him through a heavily wooded area and in the end found and confronted him.
He seemed to be driven by a kind of manic force - possessed even - and he attacked me and clearly would have killed me but I managed to place a thumb over each of his eyes, and had to make a split-second decision whether to literally take his eyes to save myself. Thankfully, I woke up before having to decide!
So, just a nightmare - but that's when it gets a little strange. In the morning, as we were getting dressed, he asked how I'd slept and I mentioned that I'd had a bizarre dream in which I'd been forced to hunt him down. He looked a bit shocked and replied that he knew. "Through the woods" he replied. After just a few more sentences it became clear that we'd had remarkably similar dreams, me hunting him and even the detail of the dream ending with my thumbs in his eyes, he shuddered as he recalled that detail, that had also been the point at which he awoke.
We walked fairly quietly together that morning and a couple of sidelong glances might have been exchanged between us but the strange feeling soon wore off and it was just what it was - a weird, shared dream, and we remained good friends all the way to Santiago and beyond. It was so odd and incongruous that it was never brought up or discussed and I never really tried to rationalize it, but it's been in the back of my mind for some years.
 
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Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
I had a peculiar experience while staying at the Monasterio Santa Clara at Carrion de los Condes. My companions and I shared a 5-bed dorm on the ground floor. I had a very vivid and emotional dream in which I had to hunt and capture or restrain one of our party, and in the dream I was doing so in a frenzy because for some reason that was not clear, it was imperative to the safety of us all that I did so! I tracked and chased him through a heavily wooded area and in the end found and confronted him.
He seemed to be driven by a kind of manic force - possessed even - and he attacked me and clearly would have killed me but I managed to place a thumb over each of his eyes, and had to make a split-second decision whether to literally take his eyes to save myself. Thankfully, I woke up before having to decide!
So, just a nightmare - but that's when it gets a little strange. In the morning, as we were getting dressed, he asked how I'd slept and I mentioned that I'd had a bizarre dream in which I'd been forced to hunt him down. He looked a bit shocked and replied that he knew. "Through the woods" he replied. After just a few more sentences it became clear that we'd had remarkably similar dreams, me hunting him and even the detail of the dream ending with my thumbs in his eyes, he shuddered as he recalled that detail, that had also the point at which he awoke.
We walked fairly quietly together that morning and a couple of sidelong glances might have been exchanged between us but the strange feeling soon wore off and it was just what it was - a weird, shared dream, and we remained good friends all the way to Santiago and beyond. It was so odd and incongruous that it was never brought up or discussed and I never really tried to rationalize it, but it's been in the back of my mind for some years.
This is an incredible experience, and fascinating! There certainly are things we don’t understand. Thank you for sharing it 🙏
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
This is very odd! I couldn’t resist tinkering with the photo to see if some of the dark areas held more detail—I hope you don’t mind, @Charles Zammit . I used to be a photographer and, although I’m not up to speed with phone camera trickery, I can’t explain this. A double exposure would be the obvious thing, or the camera stitching things together in a panorama, but you obviously didn’t do any of this so… stumped. I like the thin places idea, of course!

It looks to me as though there are legs on the bike, albeit no body. Did you know there was the second bike further down the road, and the heavy set man in the orange coat?

I can understand it being unsettling. A vaguely similar thing happened to me once with my own dog. I used to do metal detecting and had spent some time in a flat pasture field, working my way toward some woodland where there was a ruined manor, 15th century. We were happily walking along, level with the manor, when my dog stopped, began to tremble, and refused to move forward. After much insistence on my part, she jumped as high as she could, as if over a hurdle, and then carried on walking. I called it quits for the day soon after, though. I was thinking about what had happened more than anything else. What was in the way, that she was so scared and had to make that leap? My dog has greyhound in her but is smaller; maybe a ‘sight’hound skill?
I've taken it a bit further and the more you look, the odder it gets. I've lightened it and cropped it to show up some of the detail. On the left of the frame, on the other side of the road, there is some blurred, unidentified object - perhaps a fast moving car if you used a slow aperture speed. On the right, there is another, similarly truncated bike with what looks like a cyclist behind it in mid air with no bike (Lhollo's man in an orange coat). Both bikes appear to have legs pedalling them and are blurred at the top, as if they are reflections on the edge of a curved surface. You would have to look at the original image and see what is going on with the pixels, but I suspect another image has been somehow superimposed on top of this one.

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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
I've taken it a bit further and the more you look, the odder it gets. I've lightened it and cropped it to show up some of the detail. On the left of the frame, on the other side of the road, there is some blurred, unidentified object - perhaps a fast moving car if you used a slow aperture speed. On the right, there is another, similarly truncated bike with what looks like a cyclist behind it in mid air with no bike (Lhollo's man in an orange coat). Both bikes appear to have legs pedalling them and are blurred at the top, as if they are reflections on the edge of a curved surface. You would have to look at the original image and see what is going on with the pixels, but I suspect another image has been somehow superimposed on top of this one.

View attachment 110028 View attachment 110029
You sometimes get that effect when taking a "panorama" shot where you move the camera to get a wider shot and the computer then stitches the image together.

The stitching process takes more notice of long consistent lines like the metal barrier and the white line on the road while putting much less emphasis on getting individual components correct such as the cyclists.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
You sometimes get that effect when taking a "panorama" shot where you move the camera to get a wider shot and the computer then stitches the image together.

The stitching process takes more notice of long consistent lines like the metal barrier and the white line on the road while putting much less emphasis on getting individual components correct such as the cyclists.
I think something like that could have happened. The three anomalous details of the two bikes and the man in the orange coat look a lot like components of the same sequence, i.e. 3 incomplete shots of the same cyclist at short intervals.
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
I think something like that could have happened. The three anomalous details of the two bikes and the man in the orange coat look a lot like components of the same sequence, i.e. 3 incomplete shots of the same cyclist at short intervals.
Yes, but @Charles Zammit has said there was no cyclist there, and digital cameras don’t create these effects unless you either choose panorama mode, in which case the bike would have needed to be there, or deliberately create a double exposure, which isn’t the case here. Anyway, I like the mystery of it, to be honest! I would still like to know if Charles saw the man in orange, though.
 

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Past OR future Camino
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
Yes, but @Charles Zammit has said there was no cyclist there, and digital cameras don’t create these effects unless you either choose panorama mode, in which case the bike would have needed to be there, or deliberately create a double exposure, which isn’t the case here. Anyway, I like the mystery of it, to be honest! I would still like to know if Charles saw the man in orange, though.
Not seeing it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. The phone was likely in panorama mode by accident. Been there and done that. The easiest explanation is the best in this situation. A persons complete focus can be monopolized by an action, selective attention. Rather common.

A good example is this video, never take your eyes off the ball and you’ll be surprised how many people don’t see the gorilla.
 

Purple Backpack

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2012 ViaFrancigena 2016 ViaPodiensis 2022
I woke up early this morning, poured some coffee and saw an Ivar email after a long break. This string was the first one that "appeared" so couldn't resist a good ghost story. I'm one of those people who seem to tread in the "thin" area and don't care for it. I'll visualize thorny rose bushes and tell whatever it is to leave me alone. I also see the number 11 anywhere and everywhere (my mom recently passed at 11:11, which comforts me as I was told it was the number of angels). Anyway, I think I may have posted this one long ago on a thread about Camino beggars. It's not a Camino story but happened while wandering Europe so thought someone may enjoy:

It was a dark, late December afternoon in Florence, Italy. I was freezing and hurried across the
cobblestones, looking forward to the warmth of my bed and breakfast near the Duomo. I rounded
the Baptistry, head down and buried deep in my collar, avoiding the bitter wind. A sudden gust
carried the strains of beautiful string music, crystal clear, lively and bright. I looked up to see a
small man with a long salt and pepper beard, arched back with his violin, eyes closed, lips in a
private smile. If one could see music, sparks would have flown from this musician's bow.
His balding head was bare and he played with fingerless gloves. His nondescript clothes were
dark and looked like they had seen more than a few winter seasons. An open violin case was on
the ground with a few euros inside. I had some extra coins but they were buried deep, zipped in
an inner coat pocket and that meant unsheathing my hands and unzipping my coat in that
unforgiving wind. So I just smiled at the violinist and hurried around the corner. I walked about a
block before feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt. I turned back, half drawn by wanting to
hear the beautiful music again and half embarrassed by my lack of generosity.
But he was gone. It was as if his music had never lit up the dark winter afternoon. There was no
battered case to toss a couple of coins in, no musician to thank in my poorly accented Italian.
I think of that violinist often and since that day, I try to give a little something to those who look
like they need it. At the end of European trips, I take all my coins and try to find the beggars
sitting on the church steps or street corners. If someone needs to humble themselves enough to
ask for help, it's not my place to judge, just to give a bit.
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware." Hebrews 13:2
 
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MaryLynn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
In 2017, I stayed overnight in Burgos and in the morning I left the Municipal Albergue, turned right onto the Camino which goes past the albergue door and headed down the path toward the Arch of San Martin, where royalty entered the town when they visited Burgos. It was a beautiful morning with clear blue skies and a perfect temperature; the ancient wall and arch were in sight, a few cars were driving past on the street next to the path. Suddenly, a bolt of electricity struck the top of my head (ouch!), went through my body and into the ground. I was surprised, but I was ok. I looked up at the sky, expecting to see a random storm cloud, but the sky was clear. Then I realized I was wearing a long heavy cotton dress with long sleeves and flat black shoes and that I was now standing on the grass on the left side of the arch, right in front of the steps that lead up to the broad walkway on top of the defensive wall and the arch (today the steps are quite worn and the entry to the steps is gated). A man in a thick wool uniform was waving at me and yelling, urging me to 'Hurry up!' and come with him up the stairs (to safety on top of the wall/arch?). There was smoke behind the wall and arch and a red glow, as if cannons had been shot. He kept looking back beyond me, as though he saw an enemy approaching and we were in danger. I was suddenly filled from head to toe with fear for my life and I knew, for certain, that if I went up the stairs with him, I would die.
I looked behind me but saw nothing more than the grassy hill, the modern-day buildings, and the traffic on the two-lane street that led in and out of town.
When I turned back to the man, he was gone and I was back in the present time, in my own Camino clothes and boots. My immediate reaction was to look around to see if anyone was nearby and might have seen the soldier urging me to go up the stairs. No cars had stopped, nobody had been walking by, and I was no longer standing on grass - I was standing on the cement sidewalk that leads down the hill next to the road and through the arch.
I was quite shaken by the experience. I took a photo of the iron gate and the very worn stone steps that still lead to the top of the medieval wall where my death had been waiting for me. If there had been no experience of the electric shock through my body, no overwhelming physical fear of my impending and certain death, and no physical experience of wearing a heavy cotton dress and little black shoes, I might have written off the experience as a result of an over-active imagination or a hallucination. I can only explain it as a ‘rip in the fabric of time.’
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
2001 and walking out of Sarria with a young Spanish pilgrim called Jesús.

You know how you get to the end of the Rúa Maior and you think that's the top and then you turn right and it keeps climbing? Well it was about this time of year and so still quite dark. As we turned that corner and saw the road continue to climb we paused for breath and I noticed the old juvenile detention centre.

A friend back in England was a prison visitor and so I thought a photo was in order.

As it was still dark the flash fired off and dazzled the pair of us.

On we trudged, reached the actual top and, as the road fell away, in the distance we could see a ghostly pale figure. Where the face should have been was just a dark shadow formed by a cowl which blocked out the street light. The figure slowly beckoned with its right hand and the left one pointed towards a dark, shadowy doorway.

I must admit to being a bit freaked but was soon put at ease.
"Don't worry, Jeffrey. It's just a monje calling us into misa. Besides, you're safe when you walk with Jesús!"

Roll forwards fifteen years and, again leaving Sarria, I had to smile when I saw this:

e5L_ENE2e3NeKKyWlSYnZFQZfin6VH4pNa5uazShwq7BJL0__7ofQu4a_zLYaRIrcZafx0hTJCq_nupfWSEfEo1zNMR-iaVVla8N7cTANvoWTSF5P5A_TJSTZYHU3X7ScSldOMSRCoLtt1XHIpe36e2WonSloPs4JiuMSOdk1xV3AsJM6INoGoSx4yR_8TBChQOuDdX16H5d2OLdYWB_QW_tFBBihUiGWTz0vJrZhv1gDoX3Jja6R8oqCi2rvOjjr_2kXG0qEsqaDE76nPPa2bWHbb1oZj8govepacHPWj8DJ-eyTbjX1vmcYLst_CgfgSCKb71e1J63zdecAOma9Q0qq9d2eWak_4HfsTnCeRt-TPDzfowwjxGveRZHDan93sDmsj0F8a_FkkDJ8piUb6RY71hIK0Ot-ANJZLyDIZdyKcc3zOBrov0M9ue_V1SGMN2KvpMOZPQGHv8SU6rMYymRmYo7PbW8vPvM5ShCOesK-uVRGs-OVQQgDjUsmvlSKFEIWYEOH5I3VK2weNt9eMzA44JgSEcG1r34NqlDcHlEbRS9Knb3qpzt6BsFQ-AFIUGlLntekzx6t5fgjhxTeCEsL4dtg7lap8eEgGhAYQYrH-hCUPsG6-phLvV0HExAIs3i1LQ-fyb95jmAOKIgjYKHLWMXnnMMVOfjpLgaNcK7DWGnb_DIF4FIIK5ldkMrXG2MYkXVw0bcFmzYi4kDfdsu=w341-h605-no
 

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
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.
The calling of the Camino is strong in some (including me).
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.
The Camino has done its work on you. I will be heading out for another one in 2 weeks from now. Obviously not finished yet.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
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.
I thought Najera was so beautiful, I wanted to live there! That river full of big trout, with outdoor cafes above the grassy banks. However I never liked Ponferrada. Last time I chose to bus through it so I wouldn't have to stay there. I don't know why.
 

simeon

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
I too would consider the Camino as a thin place. A place where there is less of a gap between the physical and spiritual us. Where we are more attuned to our spiritual selves. I also feel drawn to the idea that we are primarily spiritual with a bodily form. saying that I don't know and that's ok too.
 
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