Tuesday, 20 May 2008


From last Friday until this morning, my high-speed Internet connection was travelling at a snail’s pace. Which I calculate as seven-times slower than dial-up!

According to my ISP, there were no problems with the service. So I assume this must have been another manifestation of life in a haunted house.

I moved here in August 2006. And the first ghost I saw was a little girl, about 8-years-old, peering at me through the wrought iron gate of the walled garden. That first summer and autumn, I saw her several times. She always took a quick peek at me from exactly the same spot. She had short, mousy-blonde hair and wore a red sweater. I liked her, and was quite happy that she enjoyed playing in my secret garden.

I’d lived here for about two months, when I awoke one night to see what I thought was my maternal grandmother standing in my bedroom. She wore a dark-beige cardigan and jeans, and her wooden walking stick looked freshly polished. Just like the little girl, she looked straight at me.

But my grandmother NEVER wore jeans. She wore a dress and hat until the day she died. (I have her mink hat in a cupboard in my office.)

Though I wasn’t particularly interested in the history of the house, it has been thrust upon me. The old man who delivers the free local newspaper lived here until the mid 1970s.

One day, a late-middle-aged man was jogging along the pavement, and stopped me as I headed towards the car. He told me he was born in this house, in what is now my bedroom. He told me about the number of deaths of men from this street, and the impression that made on his uncle, who, as a child, lived here during the First World War. At one point, only two of the sixty houses did not have a black ribbon on the door.

He told me about the family who lived next door, and how his grandmother helped nurse their children before the youngest daughter died of TB. The land that is now my walled garden was part of a communal clothes-drying area … where the little girl loved to play.


Katie Alender said...

Eek! I love reading about other people's ghost sightings.

Mary said...

Me too, Katie!

I had a great-aunt who saw ghosts on a daily basis. She talked about them as if they were old friends; I believed every word.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Most of my immediate family claim to have seen ghosts but not me alas. Maybe because I don't really believe in them - isn't that awful, a horror writer who doesn't believe in ghosts. Would love to be proved wrong and see one - I think!

Mary said...

Cate – I hadn’t seen any before moving to this house. But perhaps you have to believe in them in order to see them.

John said...

Did the poltergeist return your notes?

Beth said...

ohhh.....your story gave me goosebumps !!!

but I'm such a believer in the afterlife, that people laugh at me !!

I saw women ghosts {twice} while I was on bedrest while pregnant with my first baby. They looked right at me and even after I turned my head and looked back, they were still there.

It was a few months later when I shared this story with a neighbor who seemed surprised that no one had told us that the whole subdivision all of our houses were built on, at one time had been indian burial grounds....

well from that point on...20 years now....I BELIEVE !!!!

Mary said...

John – no, I’m afraid it didn’t. These ghosts are getting out of hand!

Beth – wow!

And this part made me shiver: “They looked right at me and even after I turned my head and looked back, they were still there.”

That is EXACTLY like my experiences.

When I’d previously imagined what it might be like to see ghosts, I never thought they would look straight at you… but they do. And In a way you know you will never forget!

Eamon said...

Hi Mary

Thanks for your comment. Hope you are well. Been really busy setting up business (taking longer than I thought it would - should have known better). Not going to be able to blog for a whole i think. Best wishes Eamon

Mary said...

Hi Eamon! Setting up a business takes all one’s got. And (from my own experience) I think if we realised ahead of time how demanding a venture would be, we might not attempt it in the first place.

The blogosphere will be here when you’re ready to come back.

Wishing you lots of success!! :)

ORION said...

I absolutely am dying to see a ghost when I go to London. I was promised one! I have high hopes as I am staying at Hazlitts in Soho...it's very old - somebody has GOT to have died there at some point LOL!

Mary said...

Pat - Hazlitts is lovely!! (Definitely haunted.) And Soho is GREAT, lots of cafes, bars, private clubs, etc. You’re going to have a totally wonderful time!!! :)