The Angel of Inverness

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         As the year turns toward Samhain and to the part of life where the veil  between the natural and the supernatural becomes thin and transparent like misted glass, my thoughts turn to the moments in my life where I have been so close to spirit that I have been helped – ‘saved’ – if you like and also to those moments where I have had my fingers well and truly burnt by forces that are so immense and beyond any human conception of morality, that they are referred to as both God and the Devil, but which are neither one nor the other, but which both exist beyond our thinking powers of three dimensional reason and are sometimes encountered in our dreams – and in our nightmares.


The Angel of Inverness

Inverness is a beautiful town in northern Scotland, which has always held a particular spiritual resonance for me. Maybe I am just obstinate, but I have never been to see the famous Loch Ness, or considered the possibility of a prehistoric monster lurking beneath the dark waters, but the walk along the river banks toward the Loch have always attracted me with a dark magic.

I remember walking by the river, on my way back to my ‘digs’ around 2am, after a rather noisy party organised by other members of our troupe. It had been a hot summer and the Ness was almost dry in places, dry enough for folk to tiptoe across from one bank to another; which many company members did, apart from one unfortunate girl, who lost her balance and ended up sitting in two or three feet of water in her best dress. Naturally she was named ‘Riverbed’ for the rest of the tour.

I was enjoying my walk home and the ringing silence, after hours of loud music, when I became aware of two figures approaching on the other side of the narrow road that ran alongside the river. The figures were still a long distance away, but I felt a twinge low down in my abdomen and a slight feeling of danger. There was nothing about the two men that seemed threatening on the surface, but the closer they drew, the more alarmed I became. The rational part of my brain told me that they were simply two friends walking home – the instinctive part was screaming that my life was in danger.

Although it was many years ago, I remember being utterly aware of every sensation I had during those moments, and how time seemed to lock into slow-motion. I can remember every thought I had and every sensation I received, both physical and spiritual.

As they drew nearer, my alarm grew and my lower abdomen began to produce the sensations I sometimes feel when I look at the ground from a high bridge or building. My way of walking had also changed and had become stiff-legged, like that of a dog prowling and circling another animal, before an attack.

Suddenly and without warning, the two figures crossed to my side of the road.

My body and the universe took over and I became a passenger and an observer to the events that followed – events which must have taken less than a minute, but which seemed to last at least ten times as long. Looking back, I am convinced that they actually did last that long for me and that I had begun to operate in a different time-mode.

My body turned sharply left into a driveway leading up to a large house, as I continued walking in my stiff-legged gait, toward the glass panelled doors that formed the entrance. I remember hoping that the men would simply think that I had reached home and I also hoped I was wrong and that their reason for crossing the road was just an innocent diversion in their nocturnal walk. I could hear my feet crunching on the gravel forecourt as I approached the doors. What if they were going to attack me? If they were, I had handed them a gift, as I was now enclosed within the square walled grounds of the darkened house.

Then I heard running feet and I knew my instinct was right. It was strange, but even though I was really frightened, my body refused to run and continued to walk in a brisk stiff-legged way, toward the entrance. The glass doors met in the middle, with two levered handles; I grasped the door handle on the right and turned it

it opened.

Time began to accelerate, like an old film – a woman dressed all in white and with a white headdress appeared – actually she seemed to appear at the instant I stepped inside, as if she had formed and solidified from the shadows in the unlit porch. I ordered her to lock the door, which she did at once and without question. At the precise moment the lock clicked, the two men started beating on the glass panels, snarling and pressing their faces and bodies against the glass. They were ugly and ferocious and seemed more like wild animals than human beings.

The woman and I watched silently as the beasts howled and writhed against the doors, like starving wolves that had been denied their prey, until at last they lurched off into the darkness.

I looked at the angel in white as she explained that I was in a private hospital and that she was a nurse on night duty. It was around that moment, that I regained – or was given back – control of my body. I began to shake so violently, that she quickly found a chair for me. If she hadn’t, I’m sure I would have fallen to the floor in a dead faint. Then, bless her, she made a cup of tea for us both and sat with me for the next hour or so.

Although we talked, there were many questions I did not ask that night, as it took me several days to come to terms with the improbability of my escape. I was a man of 41 years of age and 6’2” in height – why did she trust me enough to lock the door with me on the inside? If she had hesitated, even for one second, it would have been too late. Also she seemed unaffected by the incident – I was still shaking like a leaf an hour after the event, whilst she calmly finished her rounds – If that was incredible enough, I will never forget two things she said to me:

“That door is never unlocked”

“I never come this way on my rounds – I don’t know why I did tonight”

I sat there for a further hour or so and then, when the dawn was breaking, she let me out of the rear entrance and I walked back to my digs in the early morning sunlight.


I now realise that I had not only been physically saved that night in Inverness, but that I had also been shown the ultimate states and opposite poles of harmony and discord – expressed as the beast-like evil of the two men, the utter purity of my ‘angel in white’ and also myself as ‘everyman’ standing between them. Was the nurse an angel, or was she guided by an incomprehensible force? Were the men thugs, or were they the personified embodiment of the ultimate evil? Was I just incredibly lucky that night, or had I received the most profound and certainly the most shocking lesson the universal spirit has ever given me.


“…when man became aware that he knew, and wanted to be conscious of what he knew, he lost sight of what he knew. This silent knowledge, which you cannot describe is, of course, intent – the spirit, the abstract. Man’s error was to want to know it directly, the way he knew everyday life. The more he wanted, the more ephemeral it became.”  ~ The Power of Silence – Carlos Castaneda

~ by soulmerlin on October 6, 2008.

20 Responses to “The Angel of Inverness”

  1. Henry – what a fantastic story.

    My heart was racing and just reading it I started to feel fearful for your safety. The thing is, that your gut instincts told you that trouble was ahead and you were smart and listened to the warning signs. Then you were saved by an angel without a doubt. Oh my and to end up in a hospital of all places. That is an incredible story.

    I met the devil up close in Scotland myself. I am convinced but I wont tell that story here. It didnt have a happy ending necessarily. For the first time I realised that true evil does exist and the devil is just evil in all its forms and nothing more. I always knew angels existed because I know that my son and grandmother are my spirit guides. When I went to have a reading after the devil revealed himself to me all the medium would say is my grandmother’s spirit was crying and crying. I learnt that day that we do sense when things are wrong and we have to listen to our ‘gut instincts’, don’t hesitate or try and rationalise our feelings but just run (or walk briskly in your case – gosh I would have been screaming and running). But sometimes evil catches us and there is nothing we can do. And sometimes we are saved by angels. I so believe all of this Henry, I so do. The other thing is when you ask why did that woman open the door to you? Well because 99% of people trust in their fellow man and want to help others. but why she was there at that particular time well of course we know why.

    Gosh, I so loved that post Henry – you always manage to hit me right between the eyes. You are very special maybe thats why the angel stepped in. And even though I lived in Edinburgh I never ever got to Inverness. Just imagine!

    You need to get published my friend. You so do!

    And tell me you are not 6ft 2 are you?


  2. Henry, you have captivated me once again. Your story is so full of real feeling, and senses. I don’t believe in a sixth sense if you will. I just think that some of us are more in tune to our natural senses, our instincts. We can sense intent, and read people quite well is we simply learn how to perceive the instincts we are all born with. After all most of life comes down to observation and perception.

    I do believe that we can be sent help, weather by an angel or by some strange signal or vibe we put out, I don’t know. I think it is the same thing though, other people are more in tune, and seem to be receivers of those unusual vibes we can exude. I am sure the nurse trusted you because you have a basic goodness, and there is no way to hide it.

    I have had my fair share of brushes with danger, in what I like to call my previous life. If you have read my about me post, you will know what I’m talking about. Some day I may even write about them, a couple of them are very intense, at times hard for me to remember. I remember them very clearly, it’s just difficult to deal with the thoughts that come along with the memories.

    I loved this post, you captivated me from the beginning, and I follow along right to the end. I was right there beside you, whispering “hurry Henry Hurry”. I felt your relief, and you introspection. Awesome post, well done.

  3. What a read! What an experience! These types of experiences are so powerful that the very detail can be remembered long after the experience has passed. so strange, isn’t it? I am so glad that your entire being listened to the signals received that night. I think I would have fainted about the time the nurse mentioned those two sentences.

  4. When you reflect on a perceived chapter of your past, you are viewing things with the awareness you have “in the now.” You have to be noticing that different faces move through your experiences based on what you are ready to acknowledge in your own patterns of thought.

    Earlier in life, you began to develop patterns of thought grounded in doubt and fear. You can not talk about anything for long before it manifests in your life. When you repeat patterns of thought, levels of feelings and consciousness you do not want, you will continue to activate similar feelings and vibrations. You may repeat the story as if in an attempt to attract the opposite feelings of what you remember, and yet, do you?

    The art of telling your story can go beyond your thoughts, feeling and vibrations. In a given moment, you get what you want, not just what you think you observed. The only way something seems true is when you begin to realize you are the deliberate creator of your own experience. All of the physical signposts in your recollection are like beacons of energy. The larger part of you will always be non-physical consciousness.

  5. Henry, your words are full of the feelings & emotions, you brought me there on that path with you – I had a similar experience while I was sleeping, and when I woke to find myself on the floor – where my dream had taken me, I knew there was a “greater” power at work around me and my guides had come to save me.

    We question so much of the “unknown” because of our thirst for knowledge and understanding, it’s hard to let it go with out a reasonable explanation. But until we are truly on the other side of the veil, we may never know the true answer.

    But knowing, there are spirits watching over us, guiding and assisting, should suffice for now.

  6. I am always fascinated by this sort of thing. I have very many similar tales, usually of where I acted in a strange way without knowing why. The most noteable was I delayed my ex going to work one day and there was a big pile up on the junction he normally used. He rang me afterwards in quite a state because it was the only time in several years that I requested he stay and have a coffee before he went.

    The other thing that I did relate to was your instinct – I once went on a course which was aimed at women. This particular element was geared towards not becoming a victim. One of the big things that was discussed was listening to those inner instincts because it was pointed out that nine times out of 10, they are usually right.

    I worked at a series of prisons early in my career and now and then, I met a few people who made me feel uncomfortable. If I get the same feeling now, I trust in it.

    I certainly don’t know the answers but I do know that some things cannot be explained. Sometimes, perversely I am glad, it adds to the whole mystery of life 😉

  7. Dear Lilly, Eric, Tamera, Liara and Susie ~ Thank you so much for your comments. They are so interesting and honest that I have decided to do a post based on them because they have raised so many interesting points. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from “Exploration Fawcett” by Lt.Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett, who explored South America between the second and third world wars – Fawcett, apart from his name sounding like a refugee from Monty Python’s Flying Circus – surveyed the Brazilian forests…

    “It was a miracle that saved us – at least, for me it was then, and always will be, the nearest thing to what we like to call a miracle.
    On October 13, feeling that we had come to our last gasp, I did what I had never known to fail when the need was sufficiently pronounced, and that is to pray audibly for food. Not kneeling, but turning east and west, I called for assistance – forcing myself to ‘know’ that assistance would be forthcoming. In this way did I pray, and within fifteen minutes a deer showed itself in a clearing 300 yards away.
    The others saw it at the same time, and a breathless silence fell as I unslung my rifle. It was almost hopeless range for a voilently kicking Winchester carbine; and at the end of one’s tether from hunger or thirst the sight is not reliable, nor is it easy to hold the rifle steady.
    ‘For God’s sake don’t miss, Fawcett!’ The hoarse whisper came from close behind me. Miss! As I sighted along the shaking barrel I knew the bullet would find its mark. The power that answered my prayer would see that it did. Never have I made a cleaner kill.”

    I think that account rings so true. An answer from the universe or spirit, in direct proportion to the ‘intention’ of the request for help.

    Anyway – more of that in the post that your comments have brought into an ‘intended reality’



  8. Hi Chrissy ~ thanks for your comment. You are so right about instinct.

    I was writing my comment at the same time you were writing yours, so the section about ‘Fawcett’ applies to you.



  9. Hi Henry,
    Thank you so much for your comments on my blog. You inspire me to keep on blogging. I can relate to you post. That is why I am working on the series My Intuitive. We should learn to always trust our instincts. I believe their are forces or angels as I would like to think out there to guide us.
    Your the best,

  10. ~henry

    Having been at both sides of the door, at times in my life… I have seen such,

    What a fantastic, expression of the nature and mystery of man and those that interject.


  11. Henry, an incredible realism echoes from between the lines of your posts. You remind readers how words are not always necessary to evoke the feelings people are conditioned to repress. We each have access to profound and unlimited inner knowing. During the creative process, as fear is acknowledged and eventually transcended, the intimate journey expands even further to unimaginable dimensions.

  12. Absolutely beautiful, Henry! Your writing here reminds me of one of my English favourites, Wilkie Collins. I perceive a difference of age too, a little like that of which Liara writes, though in different terms. I understood your feelings here looking back through a lens of my past when I had the imagination to encompass the possible realities of that night long ago. Now I might have lain beaten by thugs in the street. I loved your quote from Carlos Castenada. Perhaps this is the best comment of all on what you have written here…and in a way it’s your own!

  13. Another thought comes to my mind about this expeirence you so generously share. Perceived evidence of spirit, angels or, ‘the hereafter,’ has nothing to do with stages of soul growth. A person may be able to register and receive energies from the spirit plane, but this does not mean they seek evidence that life has continuity. You have already connected to a kind of inner knowing if you are able to “see.”

  14. Captivating.

  15. Oh My God, Henry! You got my heart pounding!

    The story made me so speechless.

    “That door is never unlocked”

    “I never come this way on my rounds – I don’t know why I did tonight”

    Yes, I am speechless!

  16. Henry, just cheking in to see how you are going and if all is well with you! Lilly

  17. You captured the other-worldly quality of this sort of event so well Henry. Though I’ve experience similar, I doubt I could frame it words as cleanly, as evocatively as you have. My breath seized in my chest as turned into the unknown driveway, the beasts advancing, and I don’t think I let the breath out until I heard the click of the lock.

    I write a great deal in my paper journals . . . someday I will make the attempt to recraft some of those ink-recorded events into something fit for other’s to read.

    Anyway, winter-season blessings on you. Thank you for sharing that.

  18. […] you have read The Angel of Inverness (next post down), you may have recognised the symbols of a gateway into a yard of danger with the […]

  19. What if we live in a holographic universe? Then, glimpses of angels are like the parting of curtains of illusions. It is not such a far-fetched concept.

  20. My…I was just watching the last scene of “The Green Mile”, in the wee hours and drifted off. I awoke with a start thinking, “This reminds me of the story of the Inverness Angel”, which is ridiculous because, I’m in Canada and for heavens sake, I was watching the “Green Mile!” Anyway, the computer was humming anyway and like any keen clairvoyant, I thought I’d check it out. Sure enough….there’s your wonderful story, which entertained me far more! My dear, they could use your writing in Hollywood! Thanks! Maire dia dhhuit! Pegan

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