Quite what it is that keeps a ghost tied to a particular place is unknown. Many ghosts are linked to events of high emotion; others frequent a much-loved location. Nearly all ghosts potter about their own mysterious business without taking any notice of the mere mortals who cross their path. Despite what the makers of horror movies might have us believe, phantoms do not exist to lure humans to their deaths, nor to gory fates best left unshown.
But there are a few ghosts that do have a purpose for appearing to us humans, and Gloucestershire does seem to have rather more than its fair share of them.
Not that it is always entirely obvious what they want. Take, for instance, the phantom of a young man who haunts the park in Cirencester. He is dressed in a blazer and flannels, according to one witness, and gives the appearance of being distinctly agitated about something. Certainly he seems anxious and glances around as if expecting somebody to arrive or something to happen.
Then he will stride purposefully towards a passing human and walk right up to them. “Now then,” he says as if about to impart a piece of vital knowledge. But instead he vanishes into thin air. He is an unnerving spectre to come across. One moment you think you are about to learn something, the next you are faced with only thin air. If you don't fancy meeting this ghost, it is best to avoid the area around the statue of Queen Anne, put up in 1706 by the 1st Earl Bathurst. This is where the ghost is seen most often.
Why he should favour the good queen's statue is as obscure as the message he never seems to impart.