Friends, today's topic is ghost joggers.
We know, we know... This would have been much timelier back in October. What can we say? The article that inspired it was published a full month after Halloween. We do what we can with what we have.
Anyway: Ghost joggers. Yes, they are a thing, if the Stoke Sentinel is to be believed. And as we're fond of saying, "If you can't believe the Stoke Sentinel, who can you believe?"
The Stoke Sentinel, which is based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, features a weekly column by a "supernatural expert" named Damon Simms. We assume this means that Mr. Simms in an expert on the supernatural, not an expert who is, himself, supernatural. The Sentinel is unclear on that point.
What is clear, when you read the column in question (Supernatural Staffordshire: ‘I Ran Over a Ghost Jogger Who Faded Into Thin Air…’), is that the ghost jogger phenomenon is totally real and not something to be made fun of. To find out more, including what you should do if you encounter such a ghost, we turned to our resident expert on aerobic apparitions, Dr. Dumb.
Dumb Runner: First things first. "Timelier"? Shouldn't that be "more timely"?
Dr. Dumb: Not according to Merriam-Webster.
I know. I had to look it up.
In terms of credibility, how does the Stoke Sentinel stack up against the Grimsby Telegraph?
We believe they're neck and neck, credibility-wise.
So what's the gist of this particular article?
Early one October morning, Simms reports, a woman named Alison Graham was driving "from Thorncliffe towards the Mermaid Inn—"
Mermaid Inn... Isn't that also the name of an album?
No, you're thinking of Mermaid Avenue—a 1998 album of songs written by Woody Guthrie, put to music and performed by Billy Bragg and Wilco. It's really good.
Anyway, Graham was puttering along in her motor-car, which I believe is what the British call their automobiles, at about 20 mph due to thick fog. Suddenly, she said, "A jogger came out of nowhere."
How did she know it was a jogger and not, say, a local out on a fog walk?
The article doesn't say. Maybe he was wearing a terrycloth headband or something. Graham goes on to say that she "panicked and hit the brakes hard,” but couldn't avoid a collision. And then, she said, as she hit the jogger:
“He disintegrated. Like confetti—it was as if he has turned into small pieces of paper right before my eyes. Then he was gone. I was shocked, amazed and terrified all in equal quantities.”
Does the article say exactly how many bottles of NyQuil Graham ingested before this incident?
No. Simms does note, however, that "others have had the same inconceivable experiences and it’s good to talk about them without feeling its going to be ridiculed by others."
Should Simms or Graham ever see this, do you have a message for them?
I do, and it is this:
Is it possible that I've encountered ghost joggers myself, without realizing it?
Absolutely. If you've ever passed a jogger wearing a white sheet, chances are good it was a ghost. Unless it happened in a southern U.S. state such as Alabama or Mississippi, in which case there may be another, more mundane explanation.
How should I respond in such an encounter?
First, don't be alarmed. Most ghost joggers are harmless. Second, just be yourself. A good rule of thumb is to treat ghost joggers the same as you'd treat any other jogger.
So, point and say "HA HA!" then?
Thank you, Dr. Dumb. As always, your insight has left us shocked, amazed and terrified all in equal quantities.