I have often been asked (understandably, given the nature of what I write) if I believe in ghosts. I answer, ‘yes’. The next question is invariably. ‘Have you ever seen one?’ Again, ‘yes’ is my response. People want details. I tell them, but, of course such phenomena can be explained away by the sceptical. ‘A trick of the light’, ‘Your imagination playing tricks on you,’ or the incredulous look behind which lurks, ‘you’re weird’. All, of course, are quite possibly true (especially the latter), but I have seen and heard a lot of things I couldn’t quite so easily explain but, of course, in order to believe as I do, you simply had pt be there.
We moved house recently and, prior to that, we divided our time between a flat in north Wales and a house in Liverpool. The house in Liverpool contained nothing particularly ghostly – although I did once see the apparition of the cat I grew up with who, at that time, had been deceased for around four years. This was a happy experience which stayed with me for days, weeks even.
The flat in north Wales on the other hand… We lived with a ghost. There is no getting away from it. In fact the building itself continues to be haunted by more than one restless spirit – and one of them was caught on camera!
The building dates from the mid eighteenth century and has gone through many different configurations – as shops, dwelling places, a combination thereof and is now a club beneath with a two floor flat above. This was unoccupied for many years until we moved in following extensive renovations. Almost immediately things started to happen. And they were mostly homely, welcoming things, as if our invisible ‘visitor’ wanted to make us feel comfortable.
We would sometimes arrive to find the TV switched on, lights on and, before you say we had carelessly left them on before we left, we hadn’t. In fact, we had checked that everything was switched off just a few minutes before we left. And no, sorry, no-one else could have sneaked in and done it either!
Meanwhile, in another part of the building, used by the Club, other things were happening. In the Snooker Room, chalk was regularly moved, as were beer mats, and then, at around six one morning, my husband came down to our kitchen, whereupon he heard the distinctive sound of the gents’ toilet flushing. This is next to the Snooker Room and on the other side of our wall. He logged the time precisely, thinking that maybe the cleaners had arrived unusually early.
When, mid-morning, he heard the sound of the Barman arriving to start his shift, my husband, who was Treasurer, went downstairs to the Club and asked to check the CCTV. Evidently the Cleaners had arrived later, at their usual time, so who had been in the Gents? Fortunately CCTV was trained on the area immediately outside. As he watched and, at precisely the same time as he had logged the flushing of the toilet, there was a distinctive, if fast-moving, waft of white smoke across the camera. He continued to watch. Nothing else happened. Other staff watched it. I watched it.
No one has yet been able to explain it. There was no one there or we would have seen them. The cameras were installed to ensure no hiding place for anyone entering or leaving the building and are motion activated. Yes, they were all in perfect working order when the incident happened.
Since then, things have continued to move from time to time in the Snooker Room and a couple of the bar staff have been so unnerved by the goings-on there that they refused to go up there. One of the staff is certain he heard his name called one night when he was locking up after everyone had gone home. So certain in fact that he answered. There was no one there.
A psychic-medium was shoved violently when she entered the room (with no prior knowledge of its reputation). I was pushed violently backwards and forwards before being thrown off the stair. The injuries I sustained were so severe, the doctors at the hospital couldn’t believe only one stair was involved. I didn’t go into all the detail of being shoved and pushed this way and that before the fall occurred. I had no witnesses and who would believe me? My arm was badly broken and I had a bone scan, as they wondered whether my bones were brittle. There was no sign of osteoporosis then or since (this happened over ten years ago). I have never been in that room since.
Thankfully, the ghost in our flat was always friendly. My husband was often aware of her moving around when he was there alone, and there was the curious incident of the washing machine – the detergent drawer was mysteriously and impossibly pushed out when it was operating one day. For all the years we lived there though, neither of us ever felt threatened in that flat.
As for our new home, only time will tell. So far, all is quiet…
We are the Thirteen and we are one
4 Yarborough Drive looked like any other late 19th century English townhouse. Alice Lorrimer feels safe and welcomed there, but soon discovers all is not as it appears to be. One of her housemates flees the house in terror. Another disappears and never returns. Then there are the sounds of a woman wailing, strange shadows and mists, and the appearance of the long-dead Josiah Underwood who founded a coven there many years earlier. The house is infested with his evil, and Alice and her friends are about to discover who the Thirteen really are.
When death's darkest veil draws over you, then shall shadows weep
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