Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Samhain Spooks

Happy Halloween everyone!

So it's that time of year again, the night when the veil between our world and the next is at it's thinnest and the spooky things come out to play. Or at least in my street it's the night when the kids come knocking on my door looking for sweeties.

I must say I've had a few experiences with things that go bump in the night. My best friend's childhood home was definitely haunted.* There were at least two ghosts that enjoyed making life interesting for her family and their visitors. The first was actually in my best friends room, the second downstairs on the ground floor of the building.

She and her family had lived (and died) in this house for generations. A huge town house of at least 200 years in age they had revamped it so that they could run a business from the ground floor, with family bedrooms situated on the second level and the living room and kitchen on the third floor. My friend stayed in an apartment sized room in the attic, in what would have been the servant quarters.

It started off quietly at first, noises in her room, like someone coughing or rummaging through her things. Then the lights would turn themselves on and off. To sort the problem her parents had the place re-wired to no avail. Things would get moved about when there was no one there to have moved them and would go missing only to turn up again in plain sight.

Her stereo was the strangest thing. It would turn on by itself. It was an old stereo and we just assumed it had gone a bit wonky. She got a new top of the range three CD changer to replace it. Suddenly it upped a level. The stereo would turn itself on, play a track from one CD, switch to another CD play a couple of songs from the middle of an album and then move on to the next disk. It seemed to have favourite songs, ones that it would play more than any others, Sigur Ros was particularly popular. There is no technical explanation for what happened, not a power surge - nothing. Once it played when it wasn't even plugged in. It could get really annoying (especially when it started blasting at full volume in the middle of the night) but if you asked it politely to stop playing it would, but shouting at it never worked. She obviously had a ghost that believed in manners. It could be decidedly unsettling, yet in all the years that she lived there we never once felt afraid up in that room.

Downstairs was a different matter.

There were cold spots downstairs. A tall, thin man dressed in black was spotted regularly, even by people who were the strictest non believers. One friend- an atheist- was so scared by what he had encountered there that he refused to go downstairs alone.
One night after returning from the cinema (sober I might add), my friend waited for me by the front door as I ran to use the bathroom along the hall. As I walked back towards her I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks. I had become ice cold, but not from a draft. The only way to describe it is that I became cold from the inside out. Colder than I have ever felt in my life. I could feel and hear someone breathing on my shoulder. I bolted. Reached my friend and spun around, wondering if her older brother was playing a trick on me, but there was no one there. She had seen nothing, but said that I had stopped deadly still for about 2 seconds, almost like a cat that has it's hackles raised, and then ran faster than she'd ever seen me move in her life.

To this day I refuse to be in that hallway with the lights out.

So, do any of you have any spooky experiences to share on All Hallows Eve?

*I know what you are thinking, and no, I'm not mental.


Del said...

Well, I'll sleep well tonight, thanks for that.

In my flat in my 3rd year at uni, I heard someone ringing the glasses on the table in the living room, as I walked past the door. I was in the house on my own. I did the obvious thing which was to go back to bed. Let sleeping dogs lie, I say.

And the Sigur Ros loving spook had great taste.

StacieFunkee said...

Oooh i'm a believer too. Soo many unexplainable things have happened in my house. My parents tell me not to be silly because our house is at the most 15 years old but i guess what its built on is what counts.
Anyway our computer is in our dining room and i've been the only one downstairs and i've heard someone sort of go "dklsdgojughbb ivSADFB" on the keyboard, i've also been sitting in the middle of our living room and out of the corner of my eye i've seen a figure of a girl who i thought was my sister at first, stand in the doorway yet when i turn around no ones there. Both of our cats also like to suddenly directly look at a corner of the room at the same time, of course that could just be cats being cats.
Yay i sound like a crazy person now!

When me and Rachel went to Stratford we also manage to freak ourselves out by finding out that the hotel is haunted just before going to bed.

I'm going to shush now and go to bed as i might have just wrote your longest comment yet.

homo escapeons said...

That was creepy..OK I am a devout empiricist and agnostic but the religious instruction of my youth has planted deep deep roots and I am mortified to confess that this ghost stuff gives me goose bumps.

When I was about 8 years old I remember going down for a drink in the middle of the night when I was over at my Grandmothers house. As I made my way to the foot of the stairs something made me turn towards the living room where a vase hovered in the air and slowly spun in circles for a couple of seconds..I get chills just typing this..
anyway the vase carefully landed back on the end table and I froze...I closed my eyes and kept them shut as I felt for the steps with my feet and slowly snuck back into bed and under the covers....
when my grandmother passed away I was offered the vase but I declined.

Did I mention that I don't believe in the supernatural.

ill man said...

Funny thing about me is I never sleep with the light off. It got to such a stage that my room ended up being the first to be fitted with an energy saving lightbulb. An over active imagination and sensory deprivation can do funny things to you. Like HE, I don't believe in spooks, but I have to say you make the bedroom bumpings in your friends house sound quite amusing and fun.

Inconsequential said...

if you are a looney, then so am i :)

Jules said...

How interesting! A happy - if rather belated, sorry - Hallowe'en to you too. :)

Skeadugenga said...

There have been places that I just didn't feel comfortable in. The converted loft of a fisherman's cottage in Appledore (Devon one), the grounds of an abbey in Swaledale just as dusk was falling. I'm not psychic and thank goodness for that, but I do believe there's more out there than we can see.

Dave said...

A few weeks ago you wrote: 'I'm annoyed at myself for letting my blogging fall to the wayside of late and I fully intend to blog at least once every couple of days in future.'

Hope you're OK.