|Drayton Manor Theme Park|
Richard Kingstone says he and his two colleagues found patrolling the popular theme park at night spine-tinglingly creepy.
But the most terrifying incident of all happened one dark night when Richard and another security guard, both clad in their fluorescent yellow jackets, saw a man in a grey overcoat close to the Pirate Adventure ride.
Richard said: "He was standing with his back to us and we approached him.
"We were around ten to 15 feet away and could hear the sound of heavy breathing when he suddenly turned round and it wasn't a man at all.
"It was this grotesque thing and it leapt at us. I was terrified, I ducked and hit the floor.
"My mate went to hit it with his torch but it went straight through us and disappeared.
"It was a brown, horrible, hairy thing with no face, absolutely petrifying.
"I'm a science teacher and I didn't believe in ghosts – I still don't really – but there were things going on there that were really creepy and certainly things I couldn't explain.
"There is certainly some sort of presence at Drayton but I don't know what it is."
Other spooky experiences which kept the men on their toes included strange mists and the sounds of horses' hooves and running footsteps.
Richard was training as a teacher back in 1999 when he took up the post.
He added: "We used to stand at the top of StormForce 10 [one of the rides] and we would hear footsteps running from the offices down the hill towards the tea shop.
"Then we'd hear more people running beneath us but we could see nothing.
"A more recent security guard has said that he thinks he has heard the sound of horses' hooves in the same place.
"That path is the original road to where Drayton Manor, the Peel family's stately home, once stood.
"The ghost of Robert Peel? I don't know but a lot of people are said to have seen someone on horseback in the area."
Mr Kingstone has kindly written to me to put the matter straight. Here are his comments which clearly show he is not as reported, a `sceptic`.
`I'm the guy in the article. The 6 or 7 weeks I spent at Drayton Manor working nights was without doubt the most fascinating and at the same time terrifying experience I have had. A great many things I saw could, after time, be explained. For example we heard loud cracks & groans when in the theme park itself. It didn't take long to work out this was some of the large rides contracting as they cooled down. We used to see sudden flashes of light - again we could explain these as bats setting off the ride photo camera flashes as they flew around.
But some things were really weird. I have spoken with a couple of Tamworth based mediums/psychics (apologies if I have their title wrong) and they think that what we saw was indeed some sort of psychic phenomenon.
As for me being a skeptic, I think it's fair to say the reporter has over egged this a bit. My background tells me that ghosts really shouldn't exist but what I saw & experienced has really given me cause to question that. If anyone has any questions then I'm happy to answer. But, please don't think I'm making anything up. I'm a teacher and to lie in the local paper near to where I live & teach would be the end of me`.
Thank you Richard for putting the matter straight, I really appreciate your openness and honesty in clearing up this report.