There’s a Ghost in my House

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1979

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.

‘MUM? 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

Photo Credit

Houses are not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the architecture with which we surround ourselves, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts.

DEAN KOONTZ, Velocity

Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/g/ghosts_quotes.html#tUCsAlGIqY7VtQiO.99

Houses are not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the architecture with which we surround ourselves, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts.

DEAN KOONTZ, Velocity

Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/g/ghosts_quotes.html#tUCsAlGIqY7VtQiO.99

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Spirits in the Material World

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Halloween means different things to different people. Thanks to American influence it’s evolved into the trick or treat fest that we are familiar with today. We dress our children up as evil goblins, (not that some need much help), send them out into the cold night and, a couple of hours later, they stagger back in with buckets of booty guaranteed to keep them in a hyperactive state for the next few days.

In my day Halloween was about making a Jack-o-lantern and dressing up as a ghost using one of Ma’s old bedsheets. Simple times… a cheap do! I certainly don’t recall houses being festooned with Halloween paraphernalia…

Did you know that In Somerset they practice a custom on the last Thursday of October where children walk about with their Jack-o-Lanterns? It’s known as Punkie night.  This is a new one on me – I thought punkie night was a Sid Vicious tribute act down the local pub!

Aside from treats, tricks, horror flicks – there is the spiritual side to the day what is known as ‘Halloween’.

Halloween, (Samhain), is known as the time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest. A time when we remember the souls who have passed on and, if one wishes, one can set an extra place at the table in case Great Aunt Maud drops in…. Great Aunt Maud who died in 1972 that is!

Most of us who have lost a loved one would jump at the chance to see them again though, I’ll be honest, if I looked up from eating my Spagbog to see Ma sat in the spare chair, helping herself to the Parmesan…I would most likely shit myself!

The most powerful paranormal experiences are the spontaneous ones that wake you up in the early hours and leave you in no doubt that there is some kind of existence after death. I’d like to share with you an unforgettable experience of mine.

My paternal grandmother died when I was 5 years old. Her name was Gladys. I like that name – Gladys. I can’t remember what I called her. I have vague memories of her house, especially the kitchen. I’ve been told that she was very fond of me…well of course! There’s a photograph of me wearing her shoes on the beach while she looks on, smiling. This picture, (and the one below), show me what my infant mind fails to remember.

I don’t have any recollection of her death at all. She was simply there one day and gone the next. I didn’t have any understanding of death and loss at that age.

I was given her jewellery box. It was all costume jewellery but to a five year old girl it was a box of treasure. The smell of her perfume permeated into the brooches and beads. I wish that they’d kept it for me until I was older because one by one the pieces got lost or broken. All I have left is one brooch and the box itself- which my Dad made.

I have no idea why my Grandmother would choose to visit me one December morning, six years after her death but I’m convinced that she did.

I remember being woken up by a noise in the early hours of the morning…it took my fuddled brain a few seconds to realise what it was.

I had a small Bontempi keyboard – it was battery operated and used to make a whirring noise when it was switched on and it was definitely on. Though the button was in the off position. I figured it might have been the batteries playing up so I removed them.

By then I was wide awake.

In the corner of my room was a large rocking chair that had been my Grandma’s. I was just about to get back into bed when I noticed that it was rocking back and forth.

It was December. There was no heating on, (not with thrifty Ma – I should coco!), and no windows open and the chair was moving. It wasn’t a flimsy chair, it was old fashioned, built to last rocking chair and it was rocking- by itself.

The strangest thing was that I wasn’t scared.

I should have been…

But I wasn’t.

I became aware of a smell. It was familiar and It took me a few seconds to realise that it was my Grandmother’s perfume. It was strong. The scent filled the room, as potent as if I had just sprayed it myself.

These things in themselves might have been enough to convince me of something special happening but then something happened that I will struggle to describe but I’ll have a bash.

I became filled with a feeling of such intensity that, if I trawled the entire dictionary, I’d never be able to find words to justify it. It’s like the best feeling that you’ve had in your life, ever, and magnifying it a hundred times over. It filled my entire being… I couldn’t see her, hear or touch her, but I could feel what I believe to be love in it’s purest form.

And I was smiling. I remember feeling my face aching and I realised it was because I was smiling. It was an amazing experience. I know what love feels like but this feeling was totally incomparable to anything I’ve experienced before or since.

I told Ma about the experience later that day and it turned out that it was the anniversary of my grandmother’s death.

I don’t know why she visited me that morning. There was no message. There were no words. Maybe she came because she never got to say goodbye.

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Biggest Bruv, Moi (in walking contraption) and Granma

I’ve had a lot of explanations from various sceptics over the years about this experience. In their opinion, I must have been dreaming, hallucinating or having a psychotic episode!

All of these explanations are possibilities. However, if you’ve an open mind, then you will also accept the paranormal possibility as well. What I do know is that I feel fortunate to have had this experience. It’s had a lasting effect on me and convinced me that consciousness doesn’t end with our death.

Maybe you have had a similar experience or one that’s put the heebeegeebees up you? Or maybe you think it’s all a load of codswollop…

Whatever you’re doing this Halloween, whether it’s Trick or Treating with the kids, (WEARING A COSTUME OF YOUR OWN, AHEM!), or you’re disengaging the door bell, cracking open a bottle of wine and counting how many times Yvette Fielding swears on Most Haunted…have fun!

One last thing…

You might want to leave a little something on the table for absent family members because, well, you never know…

*POOF*

*disappears in a cloud of smoke*