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Ghost With A Mothering Instinct?

July 2000

Sorry this story is so long, I tend to get carried away by details. However I hope it's a good story although it's not very scary....

In 1995 my parents and I moved into an old mill house, it was around 350 years old and quite isolated. Naturally a house that old has some sort of 'presence' about it but we always found it had a nice vibe and we felt very comfortable there.

Although my dad and I believe in ghosts my mum is a bit of a sceptic. However she was the first to admit that a lot of the time she felt that she was not alone in the house. Often she'd be standing in the kitchen and be certain that either my dad or I had walked into the living room.

Also, the house backed up against a chalk cliff front which was only accessible if you walked through the house. A footpath ran in front of the house so we were quite used to seeing people walking there. However you used to often see figures moving passed the windows at the back of the house and a number of times my dad used to go out back to see who was there, only to find that the yard was completely empty.

If ever I got home from school alone during the dark winter I would tend to stay in the living room and shut the door to the stairs. I'd turn the light on and have the telly up loud. In particular I was unsettled by the stairs and the landing at the top. Often I'd get the impression that someone was at the top of the stairs watching the front door. It was quite freaky.

The house was rented and one day the landlord came over for a visit with his wife. They used to lived in the house when their children were small. The children slept in the bedroom at the top of the stairs and often their parents would hear them chatting away to someone, not each other. When asked they said they used to talk to the lady who came in to tuck them in at night.

After this the landlady used to see a woman standing at the top of the stairs a lot, as if listening outside the children's bedroom door. Although this naturally freaked her out a little the children weren't scared at all so she decided to just hope they'd eventually grow out of her nightly visits.

After I learned this I was a bit unsettled but I never used to see anything so eventually I kind of forgot and got on with stuff. One time a friend I had who was a bit psychic come over. As we were sitting downstairs watching telly she asked me if my house was haunted. When I asked her how she knew she told me she'd just seen a woman walk in through the living room door and across the room and thru the opposite wall. The door into the kitchen had been moved sometime in the last 100 years, it looked like she was walking through the old doorway.

One night I had run a bath and was just about to climb in. The bathroom was off the upstairs landing and had opaque glass windows on to the hall. As I was stepping in I saw a woman's silhouette walk past the hall window in the directions of my bedroom. I figured it was my mum and called out to her but she didn't respond. It wasn't until about 15 minutes later when my mum really walked up the stairs that I realised I had seen the ghost. The floorboards creaked and it was dark, you needed to put the light on. The figure I had seen had passed by silently, in the semi-dark.

I was quite fascinated by our ghost and although it was a bit nerve racking at times (I am not too brave and have a terrible imagination) I wanted to find out more about her. Unfortunately after we had been living in the house for just 6 months it caught fire. The roof was thatch and it ignited, causing the entire top floor to be gutted by the flames. In the bedroom at the top of the stairs the flames were so intense that they burnt through to the ground floor.

Although the fire was probably unrelated to the haunting (although the cause was never pin-pointed they reckon it had to do with an obstruction in the chimney) I later found that the house had belonged to a family in the 1700's who had a daughter that died of polio. She died in the room at the top of the stairs. When she got too ill to go out her father, the miller, built up a bank of earth at the front of the house so that she could see the flowers from her bedroom window.

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