blue sky

Home     Display     HandyHints

The Ghost House

The many questions surrounding the mysterious death at the old Priory were never answered. Neither were the strange visitations at the guest house which was eventually sold. My parents bought a small hardware shop further down the same street, keeping in touch with the new owners who would pop in occasionally for a chat. They were continuing on with the same business, taking in guests and fairing reasonably. But it wasn't easy, confided John, the one it seemed, who did most of the work. His partner, Gordon, was inclined to be somewhat liberal with his favours and often had his actor friends to stay at no charge. "I wouldn't mind so much," added John, "But they always find something to complain about!" Then he went on to ask sheepishly: "Did anything strange happen while you were in the house?" My mother looked puzzled and prompted him to explain. "Well," he said, "One of Gordon's cronies claimed he had a sleepless night because it sounded like someone in the room above was moving furniture around all night. I told him the room hadn't been let. In fact, the whole top floor was empty." Mum asked which room Gordon's friend was in, to which John replied: "Number three." Room three just happened to be directly below number five, Steve's old room! The ghost, it seemed, was still around and making her presence known. In a way, it was a relief to believe that the house alone was the object of its attentions and it had elected to stay there.

Over a period from the mid-sixties to 1972, our entire family emigrated to the Antipodes. I eventually settled in Western Australia and built a new house on previously undeveloped land which, to my knowledge, had no remarkable history. The neighbouring house had been constructed just months before mine and was similarly free from concerning associations. When it was put up for sale, I encouraged my mother to buy it. She was a widow by then and I felt she would benefit from being close to family in her Autumn years. It worked well. We saw Mum every day, maintained her garden and the property in general, shared weekend meals together and even our cat spent half of its life asleep on her bed. They were happy times and when she died peacefully in her sleep we liked to think that she had closed her own book quietly and with few regrets. Her house had never experienced any traumatic or bizarre events, definitely none that might leave a lasting impression. So, it came as something of a shock when, shortly after moving in, the young couple to whom it was sold asked whether anyone had died in the house. They would have known that it was part of a deceased estate, but we had thought it wise not to mention that Mum had actually passed away in the master bedroom. We countered the awkward question with one of our own, curious to know why they thought that might be the case. The young husband explained: "On a few occasions, the television switches itself on after we've gone to bed." To which his wife added: "And something odd happened in the kitchen last night. We heard pots and pans being moved about. We got up to investigate and found the cupboard doors open! It's really weird."

It certainly was and it sent shivers down my spine. Despite having never witnessed these, or any events of a supernatural nature, I have no reason to disbelieve those who claim they have. Can buildings or the ground they stand on be haunted by unnatural entities? Might those forces be attracted to a living person to such a degree that they would attach themselves to that particular individual and travel with them wherever they might go? Or is it possible that a living person could be so receptive to individuals on the other side that they might invite them to return to the present? Even if she had stirred something from the dark past of the old guest house that continued on after she had left, it wouldn't explain the strange visitations in my mother's new Australian home. Not unless she had brought the spectre with her.

There is one other thought: the ghost was her all along, having returned from a former life to spend time in the London dwelling where she was once in service, then later lingering a while to continue gracing her much-loved Australian home. Only my mother knows whether any of this is true, and unfortunately she has gone now. But perhaps I will be able to ask her about it if, at some time in the future, she decides to pay us a visitation.

Previous page

Click this Click for PDF file image to view or print complete article.

  Back to beginning of article

Money Fruit Food on plate Spyglass ereader Popcorn

Where every effort has been made to be accurate and fair-minded, comments and opinions expressed on this website are based on personal experience and do not necessarily reflect the views of the wider community or those groups and institutions mentioned. A Season of Happiness and its staff accept no responsibility for any outcome based on suggestions offered. What works for us may not work for you. Please bear this in mind.

copyright © 2011-2015  All Rights Reserved