Thursday, 16 October 2008
Haunted - My True Ghost Story - Part Three - Conclusion
So there I was, a happy newly-wed but I felt bad leaving my parents in that place. Although things had died down a lot, as I related previously, the atmosphere did not lighten much and things would still go unexplainably missing. Mum and Dad were to remain there for the rest of their lives but neither of them was happy. Dad suffered a coronary and together with the loss of his employment he became much quieter than normal and lost his spark and his joy of life. He ceased to talk much to my Mother and it was so hard on her . Both agreed that it would have been better if they had never seen the place.
Christmas. That tragedy would explain why the activity always seemed to peak at around that time of year, usually starting at the beginning of December and carrying on until new year. I told you that my Father was about to have his views on the paranormal changed forever so, looking back, I am not surprised that it happened as the festive season was approaching once more. It was about two weeks before Christmas when my Dad turned from a total sceptic into a firm believer.
One Saturday Mum and I decided to go shopping for presents in a nearby large town. We wanted Dad to come as well but he refused. He had no interest in it really, he hated shopping at the best of times. So we went alone. Dad asked us what time we would be coming back so he could have a nice cup of tea ready for us and the evening meal prepared. He informed us that he was going to watch some sport on television , it was wrestling I believe. We told him we would be catching the 5.30p.m. train back and thus would be home at around 5.55 p.m. Off we set and really enjoyed ourselves.
We were chatting together as we approached the bungalow and I happened to glance up and felt a pang of worry and concern. The place was in total darkness. I had expected to see the lounge windows lit (the lounge was at the front of the house) and the hall light on. Even if Dad had forgotten to draw the curtains, then the light from the television should still have been evident. Nothing. My first thought was that there had been a power cut but no, all the other properties in the road were lit. With Dad having suffered a coronary earlier in the year, I feared the worst. Mum commented when we walked up the path on the fact that the place was in darkness. Really scared, I told her to wait, that I would let myself in and find out if everything was alright. I did not want her walking into some tragic scene.
I knew that she knew what was on my mind. My hand was shaking as I put the key in the lock and turned it. I entered the hall, all dark, all still, no noise. I called out "Dad" - there was no answer. I could see very little so I fumbled for the light switch in the hall and was glad when it flicked on and there was illumination. Now, our lounge was directly behind the front door, you had to shut the front door to see into it. Telling Mum to wait outside, I pushed the front door almost closed and peered into the darkened lounge by the light of the hall. Dad was in his armchair, just sitting there, not moving. My heart was hammering against my ribs by now. I called "Dad" again, no answer. So I put the lounge light on and somehow this must have pulled him around. He was ashen. "Thank God you are home", he said. I kept asking if he was alright and he said yes, just to make him a cup of strong tea and indeed he did seem like a person in deep shock. I called Mum in and she was frantic when she saw him. Did he want the doctor she enquired. He replied that he was not ill and did not need medical attention.
When the tea was made, the bags of shopping removed elsewhere and we had all calmed down, Dad told us what had happened. He had watched the sport on the television just as he said he would, then part of some old movie. He then decided to go and peel the potatoes for the evening meal. So he had quite a pleasant afternoon in his own way, doing his own thing and preparing for us coming home.
Then he felt it necessary to pay a trip to the lavatory. My father was one of those men who always took a newspaper into the "little room". He would do the crossword and often finish reading the paper, all the little bits he had missed in the morning. It was something of a joke in our family that we had to time when we wanted to "go" because he would usually disappear for well over an hour. How he could have just sat in there that long is beyond me..... it was so small, just the toilet itself, a tiny window up quite high and when you were seated on "the throne" just a closed door in front of you.
Anyway, he had been in there doing what he had to do and happened to glance at his watch. Seeing how late it was getting and how the sky was beginning to darken outside, he decided to get back to the kitchen to add more fuel to the boiler and prepare things for our homecoming.
Then, he said, it happened. He opened the door to walk back to the kitchen and standing in front of him, as real and solid as himself, was a fair haired boy. Dressed in a sweater and short trousers, he stood and looked at my father. My Dad, dumbstruck for a moment, thought that somebody had somehow entered our property. "Who the hell are you", he yelled and started to move forward. "But" he said, "as I moved forward, I walked right through him, yes, walked right through him"! He told us he actually felt it, like walking through something that was solid and yet not solid, like wading through water and yet somehow not. He could never actually describe what it was truly like. But, my father was never one to make up stories, he was an honest man of high integrity. All this took only seconds or split-seconds and he immediately swung around to look behind him. Of course, the boy had vanished.
My Dad started to tremble. He was so shocked that he just went into the lounge and sat there, unable to move, unaware of the passing of time, just re-living it all in his mind.
However, from that day forward my father was a firm believer. If he put his keys down he would say "There you are lad, if you want them for a while you can have them, but please do not keep them long because they are important and we cannot keep replacing them." He no longer poked fun at anything paranormal and if I had one of my strange feelings or unexplained happenings, he would sit and discuss it with me.
How strange it was. He had experienced nothing in that bungalow except the taking down from the wall and the "arranging" of the pictures along the bottom of the wall. He had thought Mum and I were silly in believing the place to be haunted. It was only Mum and I who heard the sobbing and the groaning and caught fleeting glimpses of "something" . I thought I had seen "the boy" but could never be quite sure. Yet it turned out that the one non-believer, the one person who said there was a rational explanation to everything, was the one person to encounter the spirit on personal and very real terms. He never forgot it. In fact it was later to give him comfort.
Years afterwards, when he was dying and I went to visit him in the hospital, we had a long and in-depth chat about our feelings for each other, we both knew that the end was near. He told me that he had no fear, that he knew for certain that this life is not the end, that some part of us goes on, some energy, soul, call it what you will. He knew that from the experience he had. I am glad he felt like that. He died alone, we did not make it to the hospital in time when we got the call. Or maybe he did not die alone, who knows?
As for the bungalow, well when Dad passed away, six years after my Mother, our family sold it. The new owners only stayed for a short while. So it began all over again, people moving in, people moving out. In fact I think it was our family that lived there the longest.
Mike and I still live quite close to it. When more new people moved in they decided to have an upstairs built so it would no longer be a bungalow. They needed extra space for their larger family. It is said that spirits do not like alterations and that structural changes often bring about a recurrence in ghostly activity.
Since I first wrote this, the owners had made the place look beautiful. The upstairs completed, all new windows and entrance door. The garden changed completely at the front. Gone was the rockery, little pond and the small conifers. The front was block-paved with tubs of flowers placed tastefully around. I thought at last everything must be quiet and peaceful. I drove by it many times on my way home from radiotherapy. Towards the end of my treatment I saw a "For Sale " sign outside. Yes, they were moving on as well. I think perhaps I was correct and that the alterations did trigger things off again. We will have to see what happens in the future and whether anybody finally settles there to stay.
Thus ends the story of our haunting. As I sat next to my Dad in the car on the way to my wedding, I looked back at the place out of the window. I was so very glad to be leaving, so glad to be starting a new life with Mike.
Little did I know, dear friends and readers, that I was leaving one haunted home only to walk straight into another one!!!! Ah, but that is another story and if you are very good I might just tell you about it sometime, that is if you want me to.