HAUNTED WORDS. By 'The English Rose'
I've been noticing lately that some of the PRP ladies write stories which have ghosts as one (or maybe more) of the characters, and as this is the month for ‘ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night’ I was just wondering if you really had any experience with such things? Or are the stories all written from the imagination? Or maybe you tell people it’s all from the imagination, when really you have actually experienced such goings on, but worry about what your friends will say if you tell them about your experiences?
I have been lucky enough to have had various ‘other worldly experiences’ over the years, hearing, feeling and seeing things which could not be rationally explained. To date I have never written anything where I could include any of those experiences, maybe one day I will though.
When I was in my teens, the family moved to live in a 300 year old coaching inn, which was where most of my ‘experiences’ occurred. It was a big stone built place, with a large red brick ‘barn’ attached, which would have been where the coaches and horses were housed. Down the large garden was a small stone built shed, and the path past the shed led on down a slope to a wide river at the end of the garden, surrounded by big old trees.
In the winter, the river flowed fast and high, and I used to sit on a bent branch of one of the old trees and get as close as I could to the fast, brown water! I never gave a thought to the fact that I couldn’t swim, and should I fall in, I’d be lost. For some reason it never even crossed my mind.
We had a coin meter for the electricity, and it was situated in the basement, a cold place with steep stone stairs and an arched ceiling, it was where beer and provisions for the inn used to be stored. I was terrified of that basement, there was a sinister ‘feeling’ in there which always made me want to run out as fast as I could and lock the door tightly behind me! It was almost as if something was reaching out to take hold of me.
After everyone had retired to bed, I often heard the sound of a girl crying. I have two younger sisters, one of whom was only about five at the time. At first I thought it was her crying and got out of bed at 2 am to investigate. Both girls were sleeping soundly, but I could still hear it, when I reached the door to the attic room, the sound stopped. This happened regularly. In the end I stopped going to look, there was no way I was going up in that attic to investigate either.
Then one night, I woke up, knowing there was someone in my room. I was sleeping face to the wall, but I knew there was someone there. At first, I couldn’t move, then I had an overpowering feeling of peace surrounding me. I turned to see a monk standing in the centre of the room and I knew what he wanted. When we had been renovating one of the rooms we had found a thin silver ring, which fitted me perfectly, and which I left on my dressing table. The monk was there for the ring. He bent over the dressing table, turned and disappeared out of the wall. The next morning, the ring was gone.
No-one believed me when I told them, my sisters were blamed for taking the ring and of course they denied it, I was accused of frightening them and so I shut up. I didn’t say much when a few months later, the monk returned and replaced the ring in exactly the place it had been. He bowed his head to me in thanks, then vanished through the wall again. I still have that little ring.
The strange thing is that, after my family had moved out of the inn, and another family with two young sons had moved in, one son woke up one night thinking his brother was walking about dressed in a sheet trying to scare him. He was sleeping in what had been my room, we had never mentioned any of our experiences to the new family.
The barn too had its own resident. It was a lovely big place, we used it as a garage, but I didn’t like going in there at night, there was something cold and creepy about it then. One night, Mum came home and parked the car in the barn, she was about to leave by the small side door, when ‘something’ rushed up behind her and pushed her over. When she came in she was shaking and covered in cuts and bruises. She never went in there at night again. We found out much later that someone had hanged themselves in the barn, about a hundred years before.
Now I come to think of it, there were so many more ‘experiences’ in that house, maybe I really should write something about it?
So, come on ladies, recount your own ghost stories, and let us know if you’ve used your own experiences for any of your stories? And I’ll give some thought to using some of mine!