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My Many Experiences

Bekka, Devon, UK
October 2011

My name’s Bekka and I would like to share my stories with you. None are particularly scary, depending on your view of the paranormal, I suppose.

My first encounter was when we lived in an old Mill outside of Royston, UK. It was a semi-detached house with 4 floors. At the top of the stairs on the - what would normally be - the first floor, leading to the "basement" (which lead to two bedrooms and a bathroom which belonged to me and my sister at the time) always seemed very cold, no matter the weather. I was about 4 or 5 at the time and a big house in the dark is always scary! I had woken up in a cold sweat and was really thirsty so I gathered my blanket around me and began my mission up to the kitchen. In the dark. Halfway up the stairs I could hear a weird wheezy sound. I assumed my mum - who has brittle asthma- was up and was sitting at the dining table. I was completely wrong.

I was nearly at the last stair when I felt this presence press against my left side and it was freezing. I didn’t want to look but something just compelled me to and what I saw was one of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed.

In the wall at the top of the stairs was a double panel; like pipes that have been boxed in, and for a moment, it was like the whole panel had just popped off and there was a wounded soldier sort of strapped into this tiny little space. He couldn’t move and I presume he couldn’t talk either. I couldn’t help but scream at this strange man staring at me through a solid wall, in my very own house! In an instant he’d gone and the panel was back in place. I got my drink and crept back to bed hoping I hadn’t woken my sister up and just lay there all night wondering who this man was and why he was stuck in the wall.

My second experience was when we moved to France. We only lived there for 5 years and I hated to leave it behind. We lived in what I think would be called a Rectory and it was only 10-15 metres away from our little village church. We were basically in the church yard. It was a really early morning, about half 6, and it was dark and rainy and extremely dull. I had just stepped out onto the driveway ready to take the dog out when I suddenly just burned up. I went to turn back to the house when a figure on the road stopped me dead in my tracks.

He had a gun and what I think was a whistle. He seemed to be directing something towards the end of the garden and this massive white light shot down the road and the man charged after it. It only lasted about ten seconds when I heard a shout and something ran towards me and my dog but I just couldn’t move! It was getting faster and faster and then, nothing. Everything went black and I thought I was burning alive. My mum came out to see what was wrong and I just couldn’t speak, couldn’t make any kind of sound and burst into tears.

We later found out that our house used to be divided into three tiny little houses and the vicar and his wife were pretty much taken prisoner and were forced to care for the wounded German soldiers that fought across the fields surrounded our house. The barn at the end of the garden used to be a make-shift hospital where the wounded were treated. I’d seen many soldiers after we found out the information, wearing the French uniform, and I felt lucky that they would show themselves to me and protect my family from any German spies that would try to invade our lovely, peaceful garden. The other presence in the house was a little boy named Tom, I’d never heard or seen him but my toddling sister used to sleep under the stairs and talk to him. If I ever could have met him I would have liked to thank him. He taught my baby sister how to count to ten, all in French.

My last few experiences have been since we moved back. We rented an enormous country manor that had 5 bedrooms, two living rooms and an amazing kitchen with original Aga. The previous tenants had converted the old maids quarters - the loft - into what they classed as their family games room. It just looked like a musty old loft to me. All the walls of the room were storage panels and there was a tiny little crawl space at the top of the narrow staircase up to it. Being adventurous I decided to crawl in, torch in hand, and see what I could find. After passing many a tiny mouse carcass I was beginning to think it was a bad idea and decided to turn around a crawl back when a little light caught my eye and I decided to follow it. I’m pretty sure I managed to crawl halfway round the house by that point and I was terrified that I would fall through the ceiling, but I kept going when I came across this makeshift doorway/curtain. I pulled it back and found a small bed/cot and various faded letters all strewn about that belonged to a girl named Elizabeth. I wondered if maybe the previous tenants daughter was named Elizabeth and she used to crawl up here for solitude, but no, Elizabeth was one of the young maids who worked for the family that built the house and died when she was pushed down the stairs by a guest (which we’ll come back to later) that had been staying there. I felt bad for intruding, no matter how curious I was, and left. It wasn’t when I was nearly at the little door to the loft when I felt something touch my ankle, and me being a little squeamish of creepy crawlies started to crawl faster and try and get out when the "something" clamped down on my ankle and stopped me from moving. I couldn’t help it, I screamed. I felt bad afterwards when a teary Elizabeth apologized and vanished. She just wanted the company, I think.

At the bottom of the loft stairs was the door to my sisters’ en-suite (it also had an external door). We’d just finished painting our spare bedroom when we heard a swishy noise, like a curtain in the wind or linen being shaken. We went to see what it was and at the bottom of the stairwell was this shadow-y "Gentleman". He had a cape, cane and a top hat. He wasn’t there for long and we went about our business cleaning the brushes and scraping the paint trays when we heard a massive bang and a scream and then a deafening silence. Like standing next to a canon being shot and being deafened for a few seconds. We never found out was the noise was, or who our ghostly screamer was, but since that night many people who have visited the house seemed to be aware of a presence trying to push them down the stairs or blocking the way into the bathroom through the external door. I also witnessed the man run down the main staircase and straight through the main door to the house which can be seen by the chair in the living room which sits in the bay window.

There have only been 3 other lady ghosts that I’ve encountered thus far and the first being, whom we like to call "The Grey Lady". The owner of the houses’ mother had the extension and conservatory built as the right wing of the house. We often used to see her knitting on the chair in the window looking onto the grounds. Or preening invisible vegetables in the once, vegetable garden. She was a very nice lady and she always waved. Even the dogs used to like seeing her about.

The second lady I have only seen and heard once. We had been messing about and taking photographs of each other in the spare room for our scrap-book when I sat on the window seat so I can take a picture of my friends all jumbled up making silly faces on the bed. I kept hearing music throughout the night yet no one had been playing any. I leant back against the window to try and get them all in the picture when the singing got louder. I looked to see if there was anyone in a car parked down by the river that ran through the forest and the bottom of the garden when I saw a very beautiful woman with a basket full of flowers walk down the pathway past the two reception rooms and down through the archway that lead to the owners bunker (that had all of the antique furniture from the house that belonged to his family when he was a child). I can’t recall the tune she was humming but I was really awed by not only the beauty of the song but the beauty of her person.

The third person is a little girl whose father used to be a tin miner who used to sail down the river ward which passed through the garden.

Our neighbour told us about her when they saw her one day in the field which was home to their ponies. In 1937 there was a flood and the river burst its banks and flooded a major part of the forest. The boat, not having any lights, hit a tree and the little girl drowned with her father when they got tangled amongst the tree branched and overgrown weeds underneath them. We often used to see her giggling and running through the trees; either playing a game with herself or her unseen father. It’s extremely sad but heartwarming that even though she’s passed on she can still be happy and play games with the spirits of the forest.

I’m sorry to disappoint any of you who were looking for a scary story but thank you to everyone who read this and hopefully enjoyed it.

These are only my experiences and I’m sorry if you didn’t find them scary or even exciting; not all of our ghost friends are evil you know!

Bekka, Devon, UK
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