The Happening

This is a very true story, something that I’ll never forget...

The year is 1988 where Mike, Blair and I rented an old house in Sundowner, Johannesburg, South Africa.

We had met through the office where Mike was still getting over the death of his previous wife and was trying to be a mother and father to Blair his only child of two. We had got to know each other when Mike proposed and Blair was very happy having a mum again. This took much of the load off Mike when it came to kids and we were really been one big family.

We were in the process of looking for a house to rent when this ’special’ was advertised in our local paper. Cheap, isolated plots of land and a view to die for. The house was old, it had lots of space, plenty of cupboards, and close to all amenities, Mike worked in Randburg as representative for Bekker Mining and Blair went to school at Bordeaux Primary. The school was about 20 minutes drive from the old house and I used to drop Blair off in the morning before going to work at the power station in Kendal.

It was in the winter when we first moved into the place and although it was isolated, remote and partly out of town we thought we had it all with a pool, large trees and a fantastic view. We were happy for a time and decided to get a tenant for the small granny flat which was attached to the main house. At the time the flat was empty and with Mike working away having another person on the property would be security for me and Blair in the evenings that lay ahead.

Mavis moved in a month later after us into the little flat and although the place had a chill to it we thought nothing at the time because of the harsh winter we had been having.

Mavis was a warm loving person who worked for the British Embassy and who decorated her flat out in bright colours, having said that, she needed something different for the wall for the entrance to flat. I had just come back from Bangkok and Greece a few years earlier and had brought a few Grecian wall plates and a paper and wooden umbrella but never put them up as I had always kept them as mementoes of the places I has visited on my travels.

I suggested to Mavis that the blue plates and umbrella would look good at the entrance and she agreed. The day after we put the plates securely on the wall and the umbrella in place strange things started happening.

One of the things that I remember was, one morning when she knocked urgently at the door to our place and asked me to look at the plates and the umbrella. As I walked in I felt very cold and there on the wall the plates were sliding and moving on the wall and the umbrella was rocking side to side at that moment the plates fell and smashed to the floor while the umbrella was still rocking. Mavis and I couldn’t believe what we were seeing, yet it was happening right in front of our eyes. As it started minutes later it stopped dead still. There were no windows were opened, no door opened yet there was this feel about the place.

Something I couldn’t explain, yet it seemed I needed an answer, that when I started noticing other things...

Firstly, Blair’s room also had a very cold feel about it and I put it down to the winter again and the fact that the room as south facing, that was my explanation and at the same time I was skeptical and didn’t believe in ghosts or anything paranormal or strange, as far as I was concerned those things are part of one’s imagination or tall stories, so I thought....

The one particular day after collecting Blair from school we both noticed lots of insects around the house but for some strange reason not in her pink room, in fact the ants wouldn’t cross the entrance to her door and just backtracked. Then looking at the walls they looked damp, I put it down to moisture in the walls or in the air, so I brushed that aside until I decided to have a closer look. On touching the walls they were indeed wet, like someone had used a fine spray on the walls, it was rather odd, yet I still was not convinced of anything.

I spoke to Mike about it and he said the house seemed to have an odd feeling about it, something that just didn’t add up, yet we still had a laugh about it and thought nothing. Weeks went by without any ’happenings’ until one night Mike said he would be working away for a few days and that I must not worry as Mavis was there in the evenings and also I had the dogs to protect me, not that the puppy Abeygale could do much. At the same time I didn’t want to bother the old dear next door, so I was kept busy with Blair and TV in the evenings.

The one particular late afternoon on the weekend while Mike was away, I remember it was round five I was sitting in the lounge room looking at the TV when I saw a reflection of a person go past the glass doors directly behind me. I got up with a fright and thought someone must be coming in from the back, it was strange because the dogs never barked. As I got up to look outside there was nothing and not a person in sight, yet I definitely saw a shadow. That gave me the creeps, but I still thought nothing and having a glass of wine I was convinced it was my imagination and that I was seeing things. Blair was happy in her room playing with her dolls, yet the hair on the back of my neck was standing on end. From that moment I made sure the dogs were inside as much as possible and around Blair.

The following evening before going to bed, I switched off the lights and locked all the doors as usual, when something out of the ordinary happened.. The lights in the passage started to flicker, so I just thought they must have faulty globes, so decided to change all three of them. Having done that they started to go on and off again, then I noticed the front door that I had locked was standing ajar. I let the dogs out one more time to make sure the place was safe and that nobody was walking about.

They barked once or twice and came back in with their tails wagging, this time, unlike the cat he was nowhere to be seen. Once again I switched off the lights and locked up, again the lights started to flicker and this time I was convinced the house had something about it. As I entered the main bedroom I felt a hand brush over the top of mine, a really creepy feel almost like hairs on top of mine, yet once again there was nothing in the room, but the house did seem to have presence. At that stage I was really scared and took Blair to sleep with me in the same room as there was no way I was going down that long dark passage with the lights flickering on and off again, so there we were the two of us frightened as hell.

We did hear movements in the house at night but put it down to the dogs and tried to sleep as much as possible, until the next morning when a cry of a child got be out of bed. It wasn’t Blair as she had slept with me and was still sleeping. Looking down the bottom of the passage towards the dining room the cries got louder and when I entered the room it stopped and there was nothing once again. This time I was spooked and really baffled as what it could be. In the meantime Mavis had also heard and saw strange things happening in her flat and happened to ask me what was so odd about the place. I do remember telling her that I was unsure and that I had seen the strange things that we taking place and from the bottom of my heart I still didn’t really believe that ghosts existed. I mean if I had mentioned this to a friend that most probably thought I was mad.

Anyhow things started to add up, first the damp walls in Blair’s room, the flickering of the lights, the front door just unlocking, the umbrella, plates on the wall that fell off and the reflection of a person that crossed the glass doors, was this my imagination? Or was it really happening to me? As far as I was concerned it was real and the feel of the ’thing’ that brushed against my hand as I went to put the light on in the main bedroom.

As the months past things were getting no better, Mike was still working away, Blair had started school and I was still working out at the power station 3 hours away from home every day. So when it came to the evenings after the long drive home and collecting Blair at 6pm from school we really were not in the mood for fun and games especially on the remote plot of land where we lived.

One evening I remember, I had just put Blair to bed after reading her a story and decided on a nice hot bath to relax. While I was lying there, I happened to glance at the mirror next to me when I saw this, what appeared to be some sort of figure from the neck down glide slowly past the bathroom door. It was a woman that part I could make out from the neck down was a white dress, there appeared to be no head or face, she walked past the bathroom door and as I got to see if there was someone there she was gone. It was the creepiest, sighting I had ever, was this the ghost of Blair’s previous mother that I saw? Or who was she? And the cries of a child from the dining room? What had happened here?

Once again, I concentrated on my day to day things of the next couple of days without mentioning anything to my parents or to Mike or Mavis hoping they would just disappear. Then things were quiet for a while perhaps a few days. Then one morning while waiting for Blair to get ready for school I, went to start the car and when I got there the car door was opened and my mirrors was all turned inwards, that was one thing I couldn’t understand. Yes, I might have not locked the car when I came home the evening before, but the mirrors turned inwards, was that because I had seen the figure in the bathroom mirror a few days earlier?

Then my kitten I had disappeared overnight, I thought I had seen a snake under the paving outside Blair’s room and really believed that a snake had eaten my cat, as the kitten never roamed I found it strange that it was gone without a trace.

All these things was still going on and one day my parents said it would be better if Mike, I and Blair had a holiday and they would look after the dogs for us, which we did. Two weeks later on our arrival back home my parents told us that there were times when the house locked itself and that the keys turned but they couldn’t get in or sometimes when they arrived there all the doors were standing open, how could that be? My parents needed answers and I couldn’t give it to them neither could Mike.

The last straw came when Mike was working away again and one afternoon while watching TV my the fireplace the pots started spinning, pictures swaying on the walls and it was so frightening that even the dogs ran out of the lounge room. Who or what was there....

About a month later after little or no sleep we found a new place to rent as we couldn’t take the ’happenings’ any longer. A couple that moved in after us that we knew were there 3 weeks and said the cries of the child or person got louder. They said a demon or thing was there, they moved out almost when they arrived. Whatever was there didn’t want humans living there.

To cut a long story short, I tried to investigate the old house from the landlord and was told that it had been built on a ’burial site’ and that a person had been murdered on the property. How true is this story I will never know, but it worth finding out. Who was the woman in the passage? The cries of a child? The damp walls? And what really happened to my cat? Why did the umbrella move rapidly on the wall and why did the plates fall off?

Mavis was never worried and as far as I know she did leave the place shortly after we did.
Today I do believe the place was knocked down to make way for a shopping centre and I wonder if any strange things are happening there.

Submitted by Anonymous, Queensland, Australia