The Beeston Brief Encounter: An eerie incident in the Eighties

I grew up on the Lenton Abbey estate in Beeston, the birthplace of Alan Sillitoe. When I was aged about 9 or 10 (in the mid 1980s), something spooky happened in a little lane in the neighbourhood.

I was walking with my mum from our house on Woodside Road to the shops on and around Beeston High Road. We had a route we often took to get there that cut through the council estate. We were on a little alley between Arden Close and Salthouse Lane, walking side by side. I heard footsteps close behind us, and ‘fell in’ behind mum to allow the person behind to pass. After several moments they still hadn’t passed, though the footsteps were still audible close behind me. I turned round to find no-one else was in the lane, and the sound stopped. I turned back to mum, who said matter-of-factly, “That often happens to me down here.”

We walked on in silence, not mentioning what had happened, and with me feeling incredibly spooked.

It’s a very short encounter, and I don’t have any theory about what exactly happened beyond these facts, or why. I don’t necessarily even think it ghostly, and am open to the idea of some freak of acoustics. This, to me at least, wouldn’t be any less fantastic than a phantom stalker.

I wonder if anyone else has experienced anything peculiar in that apparently nameless lane between Arden Close and Salthouse Lane, or if there are comparable stories from other Nottinghamshire estates. Below is a grab from Google Maps which I’ve marked to indicate roughly where the incident happened.

Arden Close map