The location – A616 bypass (under construction at the time by the McAlpine building company), Stocksbridge, near Sheffield. Situated in the north of England.
This ghost story is very vivid in my mind as I come from Sheffield and have driven over the bypass on several occasions, but more importantly – my sister used to work as a police officer in the same ‘Deepcar Police Station’ as PC Ellis. Although she never knew him, the story has always remained consistent.
Owens arrived at the site to find the two large men in a state of hysteria.
Owens then questioned the two men, who told him strange things had started around 12.30pm the night before.
They had been driving along Pearoyd Lane, near Stocksbridge steelworks and were very surprised to see children playing near the half constructed bypass at the side of a pylon and far away from the nearest houses.
They told Owens they had decided to investigate, therefore they parked their car and watched the children skipping about, but they were both puzzled by the children’s unusual and outdated clothing.
In an attempt to discover why the children were out so late, they got out of their land rover and proceeded in the children’s direction, only to find the children were now nowhere to be seen.
When they arrived at the spot where they had seen the children playing, they were puzzled to discover…there were absolutely no footprints in the mud.
They described to Owens how the following morning they were still more baffled than frightened as they relayed their story to the McAlpine builders and how this was heightened when they were then told by some of the men…they had heard children’s voices in the night as they rested in their caravans.
Owens was told how their bafflement turned into fear just before they phoned him. They went on to describe how they were driving as usual up Pearoyd Lane towards the site. Upon reaching it, they saw a large, dark figure of a monk on the partly constructed bridge. They then explained, as they drove towards the figure, when the headlights reached the apparition, it disappeared.
After listening to the security guard’s story, Owens was convinced they were being truthful, and called Deepcar Police Station. As you can imagine the police officer who took the call, PC Ellis laughed and suggested they call a priest instead as this was hardly a police matter. However, Ellis got a surprise later that day, when a priest called, Stuart Brindley phoned him at the station and asked if they could send someone to help him with two security guards at his church.
The priest went on to describe how the guards were demanding an exorcism of the Stocksbridge bypass site, but his main concern was for the men’s state of distress, which he had no control over.
The police station had no alternative but to investigate the guard’s story. Therefore, PC Ellis and Special Constable John Beet were commissioned to the job.
As Ellis and Beet drove towards the site on the 11th September 1987 both of them were very sceptical about the story’s authenticity and believed that the security guards were being hysterical and attributed the saga as being one of the most hilarious they had ever heard.
The evening was quite warm, so Ellis and Beet sat in their car facing the bridge with the windows down. It wasn’t too long before they noticed ‘something’ moving on the bridge. Ellis climbed out of the car and ran to the bridge, where he found a piece of loose tarpaulin flapping around in the wind. Ellis went back to the car and they decided to wait a little longer before calling it a night.
PC Ellis commented to Beet how he had just had the oddest sensation as though someone had just walked over his grave. He asked Beet if he had felt anything. Then suddenly, Ellis felt a presence at his side. He turned his head sharply to find a dark ,clothed torso pushed right up to his door. Ellis noticed the dark clothing had white ‘v’ shaped material running down the chest.
Suddenly the apparition vanished and appeared at Beet’s side in an instant. Then it vanished again as Ellis stepped out of the car. He walked all around the car and looked underneath…nothing was there.
Ellis got back into the car and turned the ignition, but nothing happened… he tried again but still nothing. On the third attempt the car started.
Ellis decided to drive to the construction area, where he pulled up and radioed the station to give their whereabouts. Suddenly, there was a loud bang on the back of the car, which Ellis later described as sounding like it had been hit with a baseball bat or pick axe handle.
Beet sat rigid in the car as Ellis hesitantly climbed out. Again, there was nothing around – not a sound or sight of anything. Ellis rushed back and jumped in the car, just as the car was struck again. A booming noise reverberated as the car rocked up and down. Ellis frantically started the car, but again it was hit. Ellis put his foot down and raced back to Deepcar station.
They reported their findings to shocked colleagues, who wrote statements of their accounts. Both Ellis and Beet stated, their fear was so intense, they described it as; ’it was not that which one has when you are about to encounter danger – but worse, it was the kind where you have absolutely no control over…a feeling of ‘dread’.