Caroline Verdon: Spooky stories and things that go zoom in the night

Every evening after we’ve had tea and played games with Arthur we let him watch a bit of TV before bed and last Thursday evening was no different.

The three of us snuggled on the sofa watching Peter Rabbit when out of nowhere, his remote control police car which was on his toybox on the other side of the room set itself off. The blue sirens flashed and whirred and it moved about five centimetres across the top of the chest. Rob and I looked at eachother wide eyed.

The toy was only a cheap one and it didn’t have an automatic setting, to make it move you had to press the buttons on the remote. We looked for the remote hoping that one of us had somehow accidentally sat on it. No such luck. Turns out the remote was also several metres away sat next to the car on top of the toybox. The car was also switched off.

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It was probably someone outside using a remote control toy on a similar frequency only there was no one outside. Perhaps it was someone in another house? Only there are no kids living near us and even if someone did have one the car is so cheap that it stops working if the coffee table leg gets inbetween the remote and the car so there’s no way it would pick up a signal through brick walls.

So we jumped to the only logical conclusion and did what any rational minded person would do. We decided it was a ghost, took the batteries out of the car and put the gar in a box in the garage. Out of sight out of mind right?

It’s not the first time something creepy has happened to us. We’re in a new build house now that was built on farmland in the early 2000s but the house we lived in before was built in 1830 on top of what was a Roman burial ground. We knew this because artifacts found under our house were dug up by the university students and are on display in the city’s museum. It never really bothered me and I thought nothing of it until we had Arthur. He would frequently stare into one corner of the lounge and wave at the seemingly empty space and laugh. At least he didn’t look at it and shriek a terrified cry though so that was a bonus.

We asked people to share their unexplainable stories and we were inundated with so many tales that probably had perfectly logical explanations yet still gave us all the heebee-geebees. Esther called us with a story that at best was a sixth sense or coincidence but at worst was just plain spooky.

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Esther drove from Leeds to York one day to buy a book. It was called “The Wild Party”, and was one of only 2000 copies published in the early 1900s and was banned on account of it being really risqué at the time. She’d wanted in for a long time and as she got home she sat on the sofa next to her husband when out of nowhere, a clear voice infront of her said “Radio 4, The Wild Party is on now” but even though he was next to her, her husband heard nothing. She rifled through the coffee table for the radio times, flicked to the listings and sure enough, on Radio 4 right at the moment was someone reading the book she had just bought. As she was telling us the story on air on Tuesday morning I could feel the hairs on my arms stand on end. We also had a call from Zena in Horbury who told us about what happened when her nana passed away. She’d been quite poorly and so Zena had been going in to see her everyday after work along with the rest of the family. On this particular morning as she drove into work she stopped to buy a chocolate bar. Not a little one, one of those giant ones. She figured she’d share it around on the evenings that week. Lunchtime came and she couldn’t resist and she sat at her desk she started eating a few squares.

When she was a few rows in she got a phonecall from her aunt saying her nana had passed away so she packed the chocolate into her bag and drove to be with her family. As she sat down with them all she got the chocolate out of her bag and her aunt stared at it ashen faced. Turns out the last words of Zena’s nana were: “Don’t eat all that chocolate you fat pig”. Zena is convinced her nan saw her with it at work. We did ask and she said she did eat it all and enjoyed every mouthful!

MPs trip for a cheeky Nandos

I’ve laughed myself silly this week looking at the photo that did the rounds of the MPs in Nandos.

In case you missed it, the group of MPs who left the Conservatives and Labour and set up the Independent Group uploaded a photo of all of them having lunch together.

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They hashtagged it “lunch with my besties” and “cheekynandos”. It was so cringey. Just looking at their faces you could see at least half of them had never heard of Nandos let alone been there before and also that they were definitely not best buddies.

It was as though they’d asked Alexa where normal people ate lunch and just cracked on with her advice. One MP ordered the wing platter but with no sides at all and another appeared to order the houmous starter as a main. The big giveaway though was that someone ordered a bottle of water when we all know you get free refills. I get it, they want to look like one of the people and it’s a trick MPs have been trying to pull of for years.

About a decade ago I went for dinner with David Cameron and various other members of the media who were covering the Tory party conference. His press team called to ask if we could book somewhere laid back, local, preferably and Indian restaurant and definitely somewhere with clear windows so he’d be seen. The problem is it just doesn’t work.

Sometimes these MPs are so far removed from normal they just take it too far. Word of advice – next time try a Pizza Express, Zizzi’s or Café Rouge. They’re a bit more middle ground.

Memory implants?

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A top scientist announced this week that he reckons they’re close to being able to implant memories into people’s brains which quite frankly just sounds terrifying.

It’d be something you could pay for, perhaps as a present for someone. Rather than take them on holiday to South Africa, simply make up some pretend memories and get them injected in.

I guess it could be fun to think you’ve been on the moon or you were there at the birth of civilisation or whatever but I really only think that there is one thing most people will be asking for. Fake memories of dates with celebrities that never happened.

Ant wants to be first in the queue and has requested the memory of eating a dirty kebab after a night out with Scarlett Johansson.

Caroline Verdon is one half of the breakfast show at Radio Aire. You can hear Caroline and Ant between 6-10am every weekday morning.