I have never really believed in ghosts, but I actually had a personal experience which I still find hard to explain. I was walking beside the river Kwai in Thailand with my wife. We had been told that a steam train travelled across the famous bridge once a week as a memorial to the POWs who had died — and we were keen to photograph it.
So we were shocked when, quite suddenly, we heard it approaching, an hour earlier than had been expected. We both heard it quite clearly; the heavy panting of the locomotive, the rattle of the wheels. Very quickly, we ran up the slope, annoyed with ourselves. The engine got closer and closer.
But when we reached the top, there was no train there. In fact, we were told, the train wasn’t coming at all that day. The track was empty. I have never seen a ghost but I am quite convinced that we heard one, and neither of us have ever forgotten it.
This is an extract from the Christmas issue of the Spectator, out now. To read more ghost stories, click here