I’ve been told, as we all have, many ghost stories over the years. Our friend says her wardrobe is haunted by a man dressed in a top hat for example but I wasn’t convinced until I met hubbie and I moved into his house in Glossop. An old 2 bedroomed, stone, terraced cottage that had been altered through the years so whilst the row of cottages looked identical from the outside each one seemed to have their own, unique, interior.
I was washing up looking out into the garden and I felt that hubbie (then known as ‘Mr L’ by the children I taught) was behind me and turned to say something to him. I was expecting him back for lunch so although he wasn’t in the house he was expected back. I turned round and there was no one there but the sense that someone was there was amazingly strong and always seemed to come from the coat hooks that were at the bottom of the steep stairs that cut across the 2 small rooms. I mentioned it to Mr L and he didn’t seem that bothered. Time passed and it was a while before anything else happened.
Mr L spent a night away and I was uneasy in the house on my own. I didn’t understand why but knew this wasn’t imagined, it was a real feeling and I couldn’t wait until he came back. Mr L had a black Labrador called ‘Dexter’ and I brought to live with them ‘Megan’ my Jack Russell. She quickly became queen of the roost and bossed Dexter around but he seemed to like to her, he prodded her to play and she let him, something that she didn’t anyone else. We were sat in the little room on the sofa watching the telly that was in the right hand corner of the room next to the window. Suddenly Meg started to growl and then she got up onto the arm of the sofa to bear her teeth and then we all watched the door of the room, that was always open with nothing holding it open, slowly shut. Mr L and I looked at each other and Megan was beside herself…
Mr L still wasn’t convinced. He was still trying to explain away what had happened. He said the back door must have been open creating a draft –it wasn’t. He said Megan could have heard something else and was growling at that –she could have but she was pretty sure in what direction she thought she saw/heard something and that was at the closing door.
While all this was going on I was really uncomfortable sleeping in the house. We had moved our bed in between the 2 windows so we woke up to light every day. I was having dreams of pressure on my forehead which lead onto to feeling I was in the middle of something heavy. Mr L thought this had all lead on from the door incident and that I was becoming too sensitive to the house. This could have been true but I haven’t been that ‘sensitive’ to a house before or since. The house was full of bumpy bits so I started doing a bit of investigation, I chatted to the neighbours who told us that the house originally had 3 bedrooms and the stairs had been moved from going straight up from the front door to horizontally across the 2 downstairs rooms as they were now. I then went off on a ‘must find the 3rd bedroom’ hunt and after looking at the ceilings, the bumps on the floor I found it. The wall that split the large front bedroom ran straight between the 2 windows where we had moved our bed to. My head was right in the middle of the old wall. This, as far as I was concerned, the cause of my pressure dreams and I told Mr L who was finally coming round to the idea that there was something going on in this house.
Things escalated and one night Mr L went to go downstairs but he had a feeling that he shouldn’t. He said he looked down the stairs into a deep blackness that hadn’t been there before. Dexter came to see, heckles raised and he was growling. Mr L came back to bed with goose bumps saying that he now believed me. There was something in this house that we both (and our dogs) couldn’t explain.
The stairs having been moved meant that when you looked down them at the coat hooks at the bottom this would have been the old under stairs cupboard. I felt Mr L was behind me when I washed up and the coat hooks was where I thought I cought sight of him from the corner of my eye. Looking down into the deep black that night this was the same spot that Mr L was looking at and the door slowly shutting from the living room shut right onto the coat hooks also. But could a spot be haunted?
The final straw came when I walked along the corridor to the bathroom and at the end on the long, narrow room there was a window. On the window sill there was a candle that I had put there but I was a bit safety conscious so it was just there as decoration rather than actually used. I walked in this morning to find it lit..
I ran back down the corridor to tell Mr L, I was angry, I thought he had played a trick on me. I felt that was so unfair as I was genuinely having problems with the house. I wasn’t comfortable there for very good reasons and I felt this was a step too far. He swore blind that he hadn’t lit the candle and I believed him. He’d been visibly shaken by the stairs incident and he knew that that wouldn’t have been a funny trick to play. We both knew, and accepted, that there really was something with the house.
We finished restoring the house, we had it valued and sold it. Should we have told the new owners about ‘George?’ (We had named him to make him friendlier to us!) We didn’t and do sometimes wonder whether they had the same problems as us. Did George make himself know to them as he did to us? Did he like them and was happy to have them in ‘his’ house? I don’t know.
We’ve since lived in a flat, a 16th century house, a small 1 up 1 down cottage and brand new house and now another 16th century cottage. I feel calm and peaceful in this house we’ve moved to. It’s a friendly house, light and airy but with bucketfuls of character. So it was a little disconcerting when we were putting the bed together in the spare room at the weekend ready for visitors, Ollie was helping Hubbie and I and he said ‘Can I have half a crown for helping you when I’ve finished…?’ Hubbie and I looked surprised and asked him what he had just said, he just repeated it. We asked him what a ‘crown’ was and he said ‘money’.
Are we being visited again as this isn’t the vocabulary that Ollie (who has a wonderful vocab) normally uses? We shall have to wait and see…