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My Life of Ghosts

Lee Manning, Suffolk, UK
May 2010

I have quite a few ghost stories, all true, but some set in different areas. I have shared houses with ghosts and had many extremely spooky moments. Some don't sound too scary but you have to put yourself in my shoes.

The first ghost experience I've ever had was in my house in Cambridge. We moved in and immediately a very ghost-like thing happened. It happened to my mother and only myself and my mother were living there, although my mum didn't tell me about any ghostly activity until I witnessed some for myself.

We'd just moved in, and my mum had invited some friends round. Just as my mum went to go and boil the kettle, she burnt herself. The kettle was boiling hot, as if it had just been used. We'd only just unpacked it and hadn't made a cup of tea (or coffee, hot chocolate etc.) yet. My mum said that herself and her friends all heard some creaking in the front room like the sound of a rocking chair swinging back and forth. She shrugged it off, but was still highly suspicious. A few weeks later, my mum spoke to our neighbour and told her all about the experience. The neighbour said that an old lady, Mrs. Kilbey, had lived there before.

She died in the house when she was 104 (old, I know!) and she used to sit in the lounge near the window in her rocking chair drinking her cup of tea. My mum then became instantly positive that our house was haunted by Mrs. Kilbey. The thing you should know about me and my mum is that we're very gullible. We believe anything anyone tells us.

Nothing happened for a long time after that, until one night I woke up bang-smack at midnight. I heard footsteps downstairs, but obviously thought it was my mum, as I wasn't aware that our house was haunted. The same thing happened the next night. And the night after. I spoke to my mum, complaining that she wakes me up in the night. But she insisted that she didn't get up, and that's when she told me the house was haunted. You're probably thinking that this isn't scary, but I'm getting there.

Once I was aware of the ghost, the footsteps were heard every night. One night, whilst lying in my bed, I heard the footsteps again. The footsteps came up the stairs this time, and walked across the landing, and stopped outside my bedroom. I always left my bedroom door wide open because my door was so old it wouldn't close. I just shrugged it off, but 5 minutes later, I felt someone tugging the covers off of me. Naturally, I tugged back. The duvet was tugged again and then I felt someone nudge my ribs as if just messing about. I told my mum and that was when I discovered I'd had a duvet tug-of-war with a ghost. It was obvious the ghost didn't mean any harm. A few weeks later the same thing happened again, but I kept my sense of humour and started messing about and treating the ghost like a real person. I've always been very open-minded, and as long as nobody means me harm, I'm open to having fun, even if they are dead.

The next week, early in the morning, my mum was in the bath, when a tennis ball rolled in. She called me and asked if it was me, but I was in my high sleeper so if I had thrown the ball, you would have heard me getting out of my bed. I came in and the tennis ball was lying there, which the night before was lying at the bottom of the stairs. We laughed it off, and my mum had a medium come into the house though not to see if our house was haunted. But just wondering, my mum asked the medium if our house was haunted, and she replied that it wasn't, but Mrs. Kilbey had passed through a few times, just to check on us.

We then moved into my mum's boyfriends house, which was were extremely scary things started happening. Peter, my mum's boyfriend, and I hadn't always see eye-to-eye. His house was a lot bigger than our old haunted one and it was down a very posh close. I'd seen pictures of the close before the houses were built on it, and it was fields and farmers. There were still at least three miles of fields out the back of the houses. My room looked out onto the fields. I'd always had a very negative feeling about the house, and certain rooms I would run out of, because I felt very pressured.

I always thought I felt negative energy because of the relationship between my mum's boyfriend and myself. But once I moved in, there would always be an extremely eerie part of a room that I would naturally back away from. Especially upstairs. To this day I have no idea why I felt like that. I used to hate the landing upstairs because every time you went upstairs, you would see a shadow under the very harsh light, but the shadow wasn't mine. I hated the spare room because I always felt very watched. I hated my room because I felt watched and extremely pressured. Another reason me and my mum's boyfriend didn't get along was because I spent a lot of my time downstairs because I hated going upstairs.

I then had a sleepover with 3 of my friends. We slept in my room, but on the dot at midnight we heard footsteps in the landing, and then severe galloping, like a horse running up and down. The house was built on an old farm, and I occasionally could make out the figure of a woman (looking like a maid or a farmer's wife) in my bedroom. I then felt followed by a dog, and I would hear barking when I was alone in the house and scampering, but I was positive that the dog was protecting me. As for the maid ghost and whoever was riding the horse, I was positive weren't very happy with me.

I remember a day, when it was thundering and flashing with lightning, and my mum and her boyfriend were working, I was in the house on my own downstairs watching television. I heard someone walking down the stairs. On the fireplace, we had a big shovel for the coal, and I sat with my back to the door with a shovel in my hand. I then heard some furniture moving upstairs, and then heard and felt someone constantly kicking the door of which my back was to. Whatever it was walked away, and I darted into the kitchen, grabbed the phone and sat outside in the rain, lighting and thunder calling my mum. Just as I was in mid conversation, the power lines went off. I don't know whether it was the weather or if it was the ghost but I waited for a whole two hours until she got back. I hated going into the house, and at that moment I felt extremely threatened. We moved out of the house a few months later, but not for the reasons of the ghostly activity. I did think that it was a burglar, but we were on a neighbourhood watch site and they were all home, and my mum had asked them if they'd watch me.
They all said that there wasn't any burglars or any people inside the house that they knew of.

I told my mum about it, but she thinks I'm mad. I told my Grandma, and she believed me 100%. My Grandma is slightly psychic. Not fully, but she can instantly tell if a place is haunted, even if no ghostly activity has happened. One time, she went to a hotel, and after instantly walking into the hotel, she almost fainted. She felt very drowsy, and almost passed out when she walked under the banister. She asked the hotel manager if anything had happened around there, and the manager said that the hotel was haunted, and that the ghost had hung himself from the banister. Whenever we move into a house, we always bring Grandma as well, just to see if she has any feelings. She said she'd always had a very bad feeling about my mum's boyfriends house anyway, but never told us.

My auntie has also had some ghostly activity. She moved into a house in Cambridge, and she said that her wardrobe moved in the night. Keep in mind the wardrobe took four men to carry. She then had her answering machine playing up, and certain parts of messages would constantly play over and over again. She moved out after about a month.

Another weird experience was at the Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel in Derbyshire. Everyone knew that the magnificent hotel used to be a nunnery. People have said to have seen some nun ghosts wandering around the grounds. But the most haunted room in the castle was in the highest tower, where a lot of the leader nuns stayed. Legend has it that two of the leader nuns were murdered on the grounds and haunted the tower. We never believed it until we were assigned the tower room. At first, we weren't scared at all. But my mum went downstairs to help her boyfriend with the suitcases, and I was left on my own in the most haunted tower in the whole hotel. First the television turned itself on and the channels started changing. I just laughed it off, but then I walked into the bathroom, and there was makeup smeared all over the sink, toilet, shower and mirror.

Obviously, I got the blame. But that night, two figures constantly walked around in circles in the room. I remember sitting bolt upright, just staring at these nun ghosts doing what looked like a little dance. I knew that they didn't mean any harm, but all of a sudden they stopped in mid circle, turned to me, and then turned their heads to the window. I looked out the window, and I saw a figure, a man figure, sitting on the ledge outside. He looked at me in a very eerie way and the nun ghosts fled the room with a very frightened expression on their faces. I didn't know what was happening, or whether I'd had an extremely weird dream. But the next morning I spoke to the waiter who had worked at the hotel for years, and he told me that the man figure I saw was once a visitor, who was also murdered on the site, and could of in actual fact been the murderer of the nuns, which explains why the nuns looked so frightened. I've been back a few times, but never stayed in the room, as I was far too scared.

I'd always believed in ghosts, and always been fascinated by the dead. I remember thinking I had 'the gift' when I was in school. I looked out the window and saw a very eerie and creepy white man walking around the school field. I nudged my friend, but she couldn't see anything. I then looked up five minutes later, and the eerie man was standing right up against the window. I was petrified and screamed to my teacher to get the man away. She looked out the window, and saw nothing. I humiliated myself, but the man was still there, giving me this nasty look. I heard that once I left, another student had seen the man. So I wasn't completely bonkers.

But the scariest thing that happened was when I was staying at my ex-best friend's house. She lives in Willingham in Cambridgeshire, in an old 5 storey pub that had been made into a house. The pub/house was notorious for drunk men having fights, and even one guy was killed. My friend's dad had joked before that he'd seen to big ghostly figures before, but he was only joking, we thought. I'd stayed over a few times before, but only heard a few bangs in the night. I assumed it was one of her family, because there's at least two people on each floor. Anyway, my friend and I had always joked that the house was haunted, and there were two lumps in the garden that looked like graves. We'd been having so much fun but then down the corridor, we both froze and saw two man figures. We shook our heads and ignored it. We joked her house was haunted by rugby players. Everything was fine for a while, we'd been too busy messing about to notice anything. We'd take pictures, and there were at least four orbs in each picture, but we said the camera was dirty.

My friend's bedroom was on the highest floor, and in the landing was nothing but an old rocking horse. My friend always kept her door open, for a simple reason that her room got to hot at night. We were in her room, and my friend was fast asleep. My friend wanted to be a fashion designer and had got a dummy in the corner of her room.

Instantly, I was petrified at this shadow in the corner. I then figured it was just a dummy. But I was naturally shaken up. I then lay wide awake for about half an hour, and I heard loads of crashing from two floors down in the kitchen. It sounded like saucepans and knives and forks all being swiped off a counter. I heard them all crash to the floor, but in my head I was making up excuses that it might have been someone getting a glass of water. I looked across the hallway, still sitting in bed, to see if my friend's sister was in her bed or not. She was fast asleep, but I was distracted by the rocking horse. It was violently rocking back and forth, and I thought it was going to break or crash. The horse toppled over onto its side and I saw a shadow near the window. I then covered myself with duvet, hoping I was slightly mad. I then heard what sounded like a knife being scraped or picked off the floor from the kitchen. It was very echoey in the house, so you could hear everything perfectly. I then heard footsteps climbing up every staircase, until it reached the door to the small staircase leading up to the top floor our floor.

The footsteps walked up the small staircase, but stopped at the door to the landing. By this time I was so scared I could have wet myself, but unaware that my friend was awake, I looked across and she had some light up SpongeBob T-Shirt wear only his eyes and mouth glow in the dark. Upon seeing this, and with all the activity that had just happened, I let out a small scream. My friend laughed, thinking she'd scared me, but what I was really screaming at was much worse. I looked out into the hallway, and pointed. My friend looked, and for a minute or so, we both stood, staring at the hallway. In the hallway was a man, looking rather evil. He was white, had a long face and was holding a knife. We sat with our mouths open, tears running down our faces. The ghostly man glided very quickly towards us, with an extremely creepy expression on his face, but vanished at the bottom of the bed. In the corner of my eye, I saw a child figure lifting up the rocking horse. She seemed sweet and apologetic. I think that they must have been father and daughter and the father was very strict, but that's only a guess. I later asked my mum, who had stayed over that night and had slept on the sofa in the room across from the kitchen. She said she'd heard a couple (that had also stayed over) having a row in the kitchen. She said she heard things crashing, but the couple then left in embarrassment. It still doesn't explain the ghost with the knife.

I've moved away, and luckily don't visit my friend anymore. I live in an old house, but so far, it's not haunted. The only unexplainable thing that's happened so far, is the sound of someone walking into my metal blinds in the middle of the night. We don't think it's a ghost, but we're always open to possibilities. I just hope I don't have to experience ghostly stuff ever again.

Lee Manning, Suffolk, UK
00:00 / 01:04
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