Home Archives The Grey Lady of Birmingham

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Witness: Anonymous
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Date of Encounter: Summer 1952

As a kid, three mates told me there was a Roman arena in Warstone Lane cemetery. So, that night we went to see it. We had to climb over railings half-way down Pitsford Hill to give us leeway should a policeman see and chase us.

As we walked through the graveyard, my three mates were about thirty feet behind me, and they looked frightened. Maybe they were more perceptive than me, for then I saw 45 feet to my left what was clearly the ghost of a woman.

I halted. I was not at all frightened, for my mother had always told me there were ghosts but stressed they were dead and could’t harm me. I just thought to myself, “Oh, mom was right, there are ghosts.”

The ghost wore a dress or nightgown with two scallops on the neckline under her chin The dress went right down to the ground. She had long hair that fell somewhere below her shoulders. She appeared youngish, slim and fairly pretty. The apparition she stared at me with a surprised look that seemed to say, “What are you doing here?” She was light grey in colour, with all her features visible in different shades of grey, as if she was made from glass and was filled with smoke. She did not appear as a photo negative as I’ve heard others say ghosts look like. In fact, she seemed as real person, only in all shades of grey and sort-of opaque.

After staring at each other for about ten seconds, I turned around and intended to ask my mates if they saw her, as well. They had vanished without a sound! When I looked back at the spot where the ghost had been, she was gone, as well.

My mates were no where to be found on Pitsford Hill, so I ran up it and round the corner of the street where I discovered them looking very shocked.

“What happened to you lot?” I asked.

“We saw her as well!” one pale-faced mate replied. Then, I noticed that one of them was actually shaking in his hands.

Local stories I heard in later life claim she is known as the Grey Lady, and her ghost is seen regularly walking straight through the brick wall of the next-door Royal Mint. I’ve also heard that three men working in the nearby railway tunnel dropped their tools and fled upon seeing her walk through the brick wall of the tunnel. It is also reputed that a policeman was talking to a taxi-driver in the middle of the night near nearby Key Hill cemetery (seperated from Warstone Lane cemetery by a railway line and Pitsford Street) when they saw her walk straight through a cast-iron urinal and brick wall.

Local legend says it sent the taxi driver insane. I cannot vouch for the truth of these three encounters, but I can vouch for my own. It is something I cannot forget, for I can still see her image as clear as day in my mind, even though it happened sixty years ago.

This confirmed for me that there is an afterlife. I suspect many others have also seen her, for both sites are fringed by four pubs, Hockley mail sorting office, the Royal Mint, a few shops, several houses, and some houses converted into small firms supplying the jewelry district.

Around a week after that first Grey Lady experience, I ventured into the same cemetary alone, but I did not see her again.

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