Ghost House?

For starters, I've never believed in ghosts. I'm 16 years old now, and sure- ghost stories are great to read, but I'm so skeptical about everything. But then again, things happen that just can't be explained scientifically- or I can't anyhow. One event in my life in particular...

When I was 14, my mother, grandmother and I toured around Britain in a hire-car. We had completed most of our journey around southern England - and planned to spend a night in Wales before catching a ferry at Fishguard to Ireland - but we didn't make it that far... We entered Wales in the late afternoon - but we couldn't find any accommodation in Cardiff, so we decided to just keep driving, and maybe we would find a B&B - we would usually have gone to a tourist information bureau - and found out what was available, but they were all closed as it was around 5pm. So, we just drove. Then around 6.30pm- my mum said 'Look there's a tourist info center!' my grandmother told my mother 'It can't be - they are all marked on this map, and that isn't marked on the map!'... but my mother insisted that it was, so we pulled off the side of the road. Surprisingly, it was open. But it was the tiniest and most poorly conditioned little hut... my mum went in, and came out a few minutes later and said 'Right! We've got accommodation for the night!' As we were pulling out, I saw the old man who was in the tourist bureau turn the sign on the door to 'Closed'. 'You would swear he had been waiting for us!' I heard my grandmother mumble.

Anyhow, we drove on. However, the address we were given wasn't marked on our massive road map. So we decided to ask some locals - the first four people we asked hadn't a clue what we were talking about when we showed them the address - however one said it was probably a private road - and directed us off the main street to a more narrow road. While going down the road, we saw an old man, dressed in shabby brown, really old looking clothes. My mother wound down her window and called to him. She told him the address we were looking for, and he laughed and said - 'continue along this road, go left, right then left again and you'll come to some grand gates - drive across the bridge over the little river and you should see the big house.' We thanked him and drove on. It seemed to take forever - longer than we expected. But as we drove we seemed to be going into dense, over grown forest and just on a track, not a road. Sure we went through the big gates but they weren't what I expected, one of the gates was fallen down the other in bad disrepair and everything was so overgrown. Same for the bridge, hardly a wooden plank left on it. Anyhow we made it. As soon as I saw the house I said 'oh god mum lets go- we'll sleep in the car!' It was the most menacing, old, falling down, spooky place I had ever seen in my life! Dead vines covered it, windows were boarded up and the thatching on the roof was partially coming off. It was like something from a horror movie! Typical ghost house! My mother went to the door and banged on it.

Nothing.

She banged it again.

This time, she said a young woman came to the door dressed in a long brown dress... when she saw my mother she said 'excuse me', and closed the door again. Then about a minute later, to my mothers shock the door opened again, this time a young man who was filthy with Long hair, old, torn muddy clothes appeared. He apologised for the wait, and said that they had a room for us.

Me and my grandmother got out of the car with the suitcases, and followed my mother inside which was worse than the outside. How could these people live here? I remember thinking that everything was covered in dust and cobwebs as if it wasn't lived in at all!

He lead us upstairs and we each got a separate room but we all shared a bathroom as we were the only guests there. I remember grimacing about the fact that there were no electric lights in my room which also meant no television. I opened the large, dust ridden, green curtains and remember looking out at the severely overgrown garden which seemed to have sort of what was once a pergola or summer house, and a memorial of some kind possibly a gravestone.

By this time I was spooking myself, so I decided to have a bath and go to bed and then we'd be going in the morning. The bathroom was old like the rest of the house. A large room strangely it was carpeted. But, embarrassingly I admit, after I had used the toilet, when I pulled the chain it wouldn't flush. I reluctantly went outside the bathroom and luckily I saw the young girl that had first answered the door. I was so embarrassed telling her about the toilet not flushing but she just laughed at me and said she would be back in a minute. When she came back though, she had a wooden bucket filled with water. I was thinking 'huh?' she tipped the water into the toilet bowl... smiled and left. 'whatever!' I thought. No electricity, the toilet doesn't work- what kind of place is this!? But the worst was yet to come.

It was a cold night even though it was the middle of summer. I closed all the windows, put on all the blankets but still couldn't get warm and still felt a breeze coming through somewhere even though there were no air vents. However, around the time the big clock in the hall struck 12 I heard them. Even though we were on the top level of the house there were footsteps. Back and forth above me. Obviously the attic. Then bangs as if someone were knocking at the ceiling. All night it persisted the footsteps, the banging, the cold wind... However I did eventually doze off for a couple of hours.

But when I woke up in the morning I was incredibly incredibly sick. Fever, giddiness, nausea, you name it! I didn't feel like breakfast so just my mother and grandmother went down. When my grandmother came back up again, she said to me "I swear those people are dressed as if this is the 1800's!" I just laughed, but when I saw them as we were leaving, I too was shocked, the dirty boy, this time was clean, but was wearing this white shirt with puffed out sleeves and sort of a lace frill instead of a tie, more 1700's I thought. However before we left, I did ask him one thing when was the house built? 1690. My mother asked him if there was a doctor for me in the village he said there was. We got out of there as quick as possible! It had spooked us all out we had all heard the sounds in the night, and all agreed the people were pretty freaky. My grandmother even said the last date in the guestbook was 1979. Even worse I thought. We cancelled our trip to Ireland because I was so incredibly ill. It may have been a good thing though because there was a storm that day and the ferry across was cancelled anyhow. However, after I had seen the doctor and got some medication, I realised I had left my book in the room at the house. We reluctantly drove back to where we thought the house roughly was and thought we must have the wrong street because it wasn't there. Just shrubs, and some stone rubble, then I saw what seemed to be a memorial poking out from amongst the grass. Identical to the one I could see from my room. I didn't say anything at the time. I still haven't. My mother would think I was nuts. And I don't believe in ghosts but I can't think of any other alternative in this case.

Submitted by Queensland, Australia