Blather correspondent Lyra is living in a haunted house. No, really. Read and post comments… tell us what YOU think!
In May of this year I moved house. My new home is an ordinary semi-detached mock Tudor house, around 20 years old, situated in a housing estate here in Galway. The area is quiet and the house looks onto a piece of old woodland, which is quite pleasant. In fact it was the woodland that really decided me on the house.
I moved into the house alone on the first of May (which is tempting fate as far as faeries go!). My flatmate Megan was to be joining me in a few days and we had yet to find a third flatmate.
So I was alone on my first night there, all except of course my trusty hound Lola, my bull terrier cross. I was not unnerved by this, having lived in many remote places alone in the past.
As I was lying down to sleep that night, suddenly there was a commotion at my bedroom door. It opened and someone seemed to enter. Terrified, I got up and turned on my bedside lamp. Although my door was open, I felt sure, as my dog seemed to, that there was someone in the house. There was also the sound of footsteps on the landing. I managed to call my boyfriend on my mobile phone, who came over at once and together we searched the house. We found nothing.
The next few months were quiet, though I sometimes couldn’t shake off the feeling of a presence. Also, I had just taken in a little stray cat at the time and would ‘see’ him, or a small animal like him around the house – when he would actually be asleep or out somewhere.
We had trouble finding and keeping another housemate. Megan and I joked that the house didn’t want a third person!
We had a strange Spanish housemate who climbed into Megan’s bed one night drunk… because he claimed he couldn’t get his bedroom door open! We had no such trouble showing him the front one.
Then an American girl moved in and right back out again claiming the room ‘didn’t suit her’. Naturally, we were a little paranoid but as we were clean living and mostly sane girls, we felt optimistic.
Eventually Sorcha joined our ship and she seemed quite happy. She did, however, remark on ‘feeling a male presence’ in the room. Then Megan left for America and the flatmate hunt began again. People came and went. Again i joked about our stubborn house…
On the of 5th August, I went away on a short trip with my boyfriend. While away, Sorcha rang me to say we had got our third flatmate – a sturdy minded psychologist, who would move in later in the week.
When I got back, Sorcha was slightly unnerved. She said she had been having some strange experiences while I was away, and as I found out, had been having them for a while before that too.
On Thursday afternoon, the 5th, she had been in our sitting room with a friend, when she saw what she thought was a man going upstairs. She checked the house but found nothing.
Later, when going to bed, she heard a thump from my room, ‘like the sound of feet hitting the ground after jumping from the bed’. There were footsteps to the door, and after sounds of a struggle, the door opened. Sorcha was terrified and while phoning a friend on her mobile (for support) investigated my room. As she passed the bathroom she was overwhelmed by the feeling that there was a presence in there. Her friend on the other end of the phone became concerned and quickly came round in her car. She took Sorcha to stay at her house for the night.
Sorcha also told me of other phenomena that had been occurring. She had returned to the house on several occasions to find most – or all – of the kitchen doors open.
She too had seen ‘the cat’. One day, while in the sitting room, she heard a ‘miaow’ and noticed a cat standing behind her. She thought it was my cat – Crowley – but then realised she could hear Crowley eating his Kite-Kat in the kitchen.
In the following weeks activities increased. I’m not sure if that was because we were giving energy to the idea of ‘it’…
On the 11th of August, Sorcha awoke to the smell of aftershave in her room. And it wasn’t even good aftershave!
On the following nights, she found herself waking at four and five in the morning with a feeling that there was a ‘presence’ in the room. On one occasion she even saw what she thought was a young man.
On the night of the 14th, my boyfriend stayed over with me. The next morning we awoke to find a chair moved to the middle of the room, almost up against the bed. Both of us were certain that we didn’t move it during the night. Why would we put it in the way? It’s usually up against the wall and is a heavy chair. I’d prefer to think it was me sleepwalking…
On the 16th I had a restless night. I felt a cold hand touching my back and turned to see the figure of a young man – it quickly faded. On the following nights I heard sighs and also a ‘thump’, like the one Sorcha heard of, like someone jumping off my bed… a bump in the night. The following two weeks seemed quiet. We had thrown salt in the corners of the rooms and burnt sage. These actions are said to cleanse unwanted energies from a house. Our new flatmate Ruth seemed to notice nothing, and we didn’t tell her about it anyway.
I did see the cat very clearly on two occasions: once on the 25th walking by the sitting room door; and on the 6th of September. He appeared very solid – almost in black and white – then started to fade, head and tail first…
On the 9th, Ruth, Sorcha and I were sitting down to have dinner together. We were chatting away when we heard the front door bang, as if someone had just come in. I ignored it, expecting it to be my boyfriend. Then I remembered he was working that evening. There were more bangs upstairs and a dragging sound. We were all concerned that we had an intruder and rushed to investigate. As before we found nothing. Ruth was very confused so we explained to her what had been happening before. She was a little disturbed but was better after lots of wine.
During the same evening, the animals were reacting to people who weren’t there, particularly my dog. Her head moved as if she was watching something, and she adopted the body language she uses when approaching a new person.
Since that last encounter we’ve decided to take some action. At he moment these include voodoo rituals, cleansings and a house blessing from a local rector who’s experienced in this kind of thing. Watch this space…