I have come across several strange tales concerning Salisbury Railway Station in the past but never this one.

It was January 1901 and the last train of the night had passed through Salisbury nearly an hour previously.

The station was locked and deserted, staffed only by Walter Durham, a railway night-watchman, whose main job was to keep the fires burning in the waiting rooms and offices.

After a late supper in the porter’s room, he began checking all of the buildings and platforms. But this night something very strange happened as Walter Durham was to recall later.

“I was crossing the lines when I suddenly saw a dark shape moving in the firelight in the waiting room. I could see a man quite plainly through the window. I threw open the door and shouted ‘Who’s there?’.

“I could see a tall figure standing in the glow of the waiting room fire and by his side was a large black dog. At that moment the dog went for me – it didn’t make a sound but simply hurled itself at me. I fell back against the door and as I watched, the man and his dog simply vanished into thin air.”

Durham was found by the railway station’s early morning staff in a state of shock and accused of being drunk on duty. As a life-long teetotaller and devoted churchgoer, Durham was highly incensed by the suggestion and the allegations were later dropped.

Soon after, a local clergyman, the Reverend Harry Kendall, a member for the Society of Psychical Research, carried out his own investigation and wrote: “Since the incident I have made enquiries among railway employees and discovered that the spectre has been seen on at least half-a-dozen occasions.”

I wonder if present day staff have encountered such goings-on at the railway station.

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