It was a night like any other. I’d been playing upstairs in my room, which I mostly did after tea. My brothers were out and my parents were in the living room. At some point I’d decided to go downstairs – our stairs being the kind that had a half landing then more steps. It was when I’d reached the half-landing and had a full view into the hallway that I saw her and by her I mean a young girl who shouldn’t have been there, yet was.
I stood there transfixed for seconds rather than minutes but it felt much longer.
While I couldn’t make out details, as such, it was a girl and all I could make out was that she had long hair.
I was nine years old. Had I hallucinated? Was my imagination working overtime?
At this point the sceptics will be rolling their eyeballs thinking ‘course you were, you psychotic mare!’
Or maybe it was sleep paralysis?
However, I know I wasn’t asleep. I could hear the TV in the background. Everything was as it should have been apart from this girl who I didn’t know and who didn’t belong in my home. I’ve experienced the sleep phenomenon a few times. It’s where you think you’re awake but you’re actually not and it accompanies the feeling of there being a presence (often sinister) in the room or hallucination and you feel paralyzed. It’s horrible!
This was very different..
A few months later, I was in my brother’s room – bothering him as sisters do. It was night-time. The landing light was on and the door was half open. We were sat on his bed which was opposite the door. A movement caused us both to look up. It was as if someone had walked across the landing and we naturally assumed it was our mum or dad.
I called out to them but got no answer. We searched the bedrooms and the bathroom but unless our parents had taken to hiding in the wardrobes, there was nobody there but us.
We went downstairs and interrogated them.
‘Has one of you just been upstairs, like in the last five minutes?’
‘No. Why? While you’re down here, you can put the kettle on though!’
Me and my brother were in agreement. We’d definitely seen someone (or something) cross the landing and we were like, ‘BLOODY HELL! – Not that we’d have said that within earshot of Mum!
Any subsequent discussions regarding ghosts were met with Dad’s uniform response, “There are NO such things as ghosts!”
Dad’s take on death was that it was final. End of. Finito! He was a self-confessed atheist and about as sceptical as a teabag when it came to the paranormal.
But I wasn’t convinced..
The following year we were given the news that we were going to be moving house. Dad wanted to live somewhere closer to where he worked. Ironically, he was made redundant a couple of years later..
I was desperately unhappy about the situation and stropped about the house in the hopes that they would see reason. They didn’t.
You see, I was born in that house and despite seeing random kids in the hallway, I was happy there. It was the only home I’d known but my feelings, though noted, were not enough for us to stay.
T woz ere 81
On the morning of the move, I scrawled my signature somewhere inconspicuous on the bedroom wall and slammed the bedroom door shut for the last time. I took one last look at my bedroom window as we drove away in the direction of the other side of the city.
One of the first things I noticed about my new bedroom was that I no longer needed the landing light on to be able to go to sleep. In fact it irritated me to have the door open. Only weeks before, I had needed both.
One day I was talking to Mum about my ‘experiences’. She went quiet and reached for her fags (a sure sign that she was about to impart some wisdom) and said this..
‘Well, there was something that happened..’
Possibly for one of the few times in my adolescent life, Mum had my full and undivided attention. What she said next totally put the shits up me…
‘There was a family who lived in the house a few years before we bought it and they had a little girl who fell down the stairs and hit her head on the floor. She became unconscious and never woke up. Of course, we never told you children.’
No shit, Ma!
Because, had I have known this, I would never have slept again!
According to Mum, they had no knowledge of it when they bought the house. Though a decent size, the house was affordable because it was in need of complete renovation. Mum later learned of it’s history via a neighbour.
I’ve given this lots of thought over the years and this is what I’ve concluded.
Maybe I was picking up on the residual energy from what would have been a very traumatic time. When I saw her, apparently I was about the same age as she was when she died. I don’t know if it’s relevant or just coincidence.
What I saw could have been my imagination, or a hallucination. It could also have been a ghost or an imprint.
An imprint is a traumatic moment in time that leaves an impression on the building. An imprint doesn’t interact, unlike an earthbound spirit. Though the apparition appeared to be looking at me, there was no other interaction. We’re definitely not talking Carol (“They’re Heeeere”) Ann, here. I prefer to think of it like that because it’s sad enough that a girl died without having the thought that she was stuck in some kind of limbo on my conscience.
Every aspect of my experience could be explained by normal means but that doesn’t make it the truth. Personal experience doesn’t equal proof but I’m unable to rule out the paranormal possibility. It felt real and the information that came to light afterwards lead me to believe that it was a paranormal experience of some kind.
As a society we can’t agree whether ghosts exist or not. 34% of Brits think they do and I’m one of them.
How about you?
“Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we won’t let go of them.”
“I don’t believe in ghosts,” I said, faintly.
“Some people can’t see the color red. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there,” she replied.”
Sue Grafton ~ Red is for Malice