Happy Day Before Halloween!!!
One more sleep until the big day! I hope you all have great plans for tomorrow but in the meantime Shehanne is here to tell us about the ghost she lived with for many years…she is braver than I am, that is for sure 🙂
“I know what you think you heard and felt but I swear to you, nobody’s there.”
Sitting there that autumn evening, I couldn’t have been more truthful. Nobody was there. If I’d said to my twelve year old daughter nothing’s there, now I’d have been lying. Something was. And that something was pacing back and forward across her attic bedroom floor, inches from my own toes as I sat on her bed. That something was the house ghost. The presence we’d at that point shared our house with for over that twelve years.
Are you sitting comfortably? Or is your hair beginning to prickle all along the back of your neck?
Firstly I want to thank the lovely Angela Scavone for inviting me here today to her wonderful blog.
Secondly, if you’re sitting really comfortably let’s begin at the very beginning. I do like quoting certain songs.
I was so excited to move into our new house. A big Victorian, with lots of space, overlooking the River Tay in a quietly suburban area?
Who wouldn’t be? It was roughly day 3 and I was busy putting the sitting room into some kind of order when my older girl tapped me on the arm. I remember it very distinctly because I tapped her hand back. I tried to clasp it anyhow. ‘Mama’s just coming, ‘ I said. But the thing was, she wasn’t there. The room was empty. Then I heard her on the landing upstairs. The thought went through my mind. If that was her up there, then who was that down here who had just tapped me–with a somewhat icy hand too?
Over the next few days, every time I stood in the bathroom –which was two rooms knocked together– I could feel someone screaming at me to get out. This wasn’t my house.
We had bought the house from my sister, and my niece had often told what I had always thought were fanciful tales of a ghost locking her in her room, of something pacing the attic floor at nights. Was it possible these weren’t fanciful?
There was the time someone drew our bedroom curtains. I heard them and thought it was my husband but it couldn’t have been because he was outside at the time. The time someone knocked on the bathroom door when I was in the bath–there was nobody there when I opened it. The time Christmas decorations fell ‘up’ as if they were being yanked, not down, things were switched on that were off, things went missing and were later found where you just knew you hadn’t left them, the time a toy portable typewriter lying flat on the floor stood up on its side, the times the linen chest in the bathroom creaked as if someone was sitting on it.
My daughters both asked if I thought the house was haunted. Despite having lived in the house at one stage, my sister refused point blank to water plants for us when we were on holiday, after being told to ’get out’ one day , my niece, would never go upstairs when she visited, then there was the incident of the flying plant and kitchen cupboard contents. We had been getting the bathroom redone and the builder wanted to let his wife see. She fled after a plant flew at her off of the top of the boiler. ‘ To let you understand,’ she said, ‘that plant never fell, it was thrown.’
So who was doing the haunting and why did we stay?
A lot of the incidents happened when we had the attic properly converted. We wanted to give our younger daughter a big bedroom. A few weeks after it was finished my sister asked me how my daughter was liking it. I had to say she was sleeping on a couch in her sister’s room, insisting the attic was haunted. I thought she would laugh. My sister is a very sensible lady.
Instead she said, ‘yes it is’ and they had experienced everything we had. Also, she’d seen this spirit at the foot of the attic stairs one night and it was a soldier. At that time she’d spoken to the old lady next door– this was the 1970s and the lady had lived there almost all her life–she identified the spirit as Robert who had gone to the First World War and never come home.
So, the following week I was teaching a woman who was a newspaper psychic and she came down from the bathroom to say she had seen a soldier. Despite everything, I am actually a hefty sceptic. I said, ‘ Yeah, as you do.’
‘His name is Robert Wann,’ she said, ‘and he’s furious that you have taken his chest of drawers.’
I kid you not. I also kid you not that a few years after this, I had a roofer in to look at a leak in the bathroom roof and he was out of there in ten seconds. His wife was a medium, he had a slight gift himself. ‘You are not alone up there, are you?’ he asked.
The thing is I had never taken anyone’s chest of drawers but his wife did come out to the house and she had the same story. The little room that had been taken away when the two rooms were knocked into the bathroom by my sister’s husband– not by myself– had been his. He also had no idea what any of us were doing in his house and wanted us all to get out.
The time had come, not for us to go but for him, really, and this lady agreed to help. Let me kid you not about this either, a black pall descended on the room. I have never experienced the likes and I hope never to again. If ever any doubt lingered, or lingers to this day that there is another world there, that moment dispelled it.
Before anyone asks, we don’t live there now. We live in a ghost free Edwardian house!
I did look for Robert’s name on the local war memorial. It wasn’t there. Nor was it further along the road at the other war memorial either.
A few years ago I was editing a local history magazine. A local author asked if we would review his new book. It was about the local war dead. The name was there all right. Not on the memorials but on a plaque inside the local church.