The Phantom Bus

 Every so often I open our copy of Mysteries of the Unexplained and invariably run across a story I don’t recall reading before.  This one about a phantom bus is strange.

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In the mid-1930s, a driver in North Kensington, London had an odd report for the police. He claimed that as he was turning the corner from St. Mark’s Road into Cambridge Gardens near the Ladbroke Grove underground station, he saw a bus tearing toward him. “The lights of the top and bottom deck, and the headlights, were full on but I could see no sign of crew or passengers. I yanked my steering wheel hard over, and mounted the pavement, scraping the roadside wall. The bus just vanished.”

Sounds pretty wild, right? Like maybe the driver was drunk or hallucinating. But after one fatal accident at this corner, the local corner took note of the story about the phantom bus and discovered that dozens of people had claimed to have seen the double decker ghost bus.

It turns out that there had been a number of “ordinary accidents” at this corner, as well as several that were fatal. Eventually, the city council straightened the road and the accident rate dropped. There weren’t any subsequent reports about the phantom bus.

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Why did the ghost bus no longer appear after the road was fixed?  Since the bus had caused some of the accidents, it seems unlikely that its appearance was a warning about the junction. Maybe when the road was straightened, the energy of that particular corner was changed or a portal between the dead and the living was closed.

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6 Responses to The Phantom Bus

  1. lauren raine says:

    There are many stories, I think, about people seeing phantoms at various places – I think of a story I heard about a site with standing stones in England, and people have reported seeing ancient warriors there over the years. …..

    Of course, it could be Harry Potter’s bus!

  2. Melissa says:

    Or it’s that crazy bus in the Harry Potter movies!

  3. The following is from the News Chronicle of Monday June 18th 1934.

    ‘Phantom Bus Conductor – Many Rumours and a Reflection’

    If there is a ghost bus it is only right that it should have a ghostly conductor. Rumour in North Kensington is providing one. He comes as a sort of sequel to the legend of the phantom bus which is said to roar down St. Mark’s Road in the dead of night and to have caused many accidents. The story going round of a phantom conductor who stands in Cambridge Road to warn motorists of the approach of the ghost bus.

    Perhaps the best explanation was that of Mrs. Vine, who works in a house on the corner of St. Mark’s Road and Cambridge Gardens. “I believe the phantom is the reflection of car headlamps from a pillar box as cars swing round the corner, on wet nights when the road is like a mirror I have noticed the reflections moving in the road.”