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One Summer Night In Wales

October 2005

When we were growing up, my brother and I made friends with our next door neighbour's grandchildren. They were about the same ages as we were, and from a very early age we spent most of the school holidays together. They lived in Wales, but often came to stay with their grandparents, but in some summer holidays, we would go to their house in Wales.

My brother and my friends brother soon stopped being as friendly as I was still with Harriet, but she and I went on to be very close, and still are.

The story I'm going to tell is about one night during a summer when we were about 16 years old, when she'd just moved to a new house. This house was at the end of a mile long drive way and was on farmland. The nearest house was about a mile away. From the outside it was a rather beautiful Victorian farm house, but always had a grey look to it, and the windows always seemed to be dark, even in the height of summer and when there were flowers growing up it.

Her parents had gone out for the evening, and her brother had also gone into town. We had the house to ourselves and were sitting in her bedroom when we decided to go down the corridor to her brothers room to look for cigarettes we could steal. So we walked down to his room and found one, and then started to mess about in the corridor. We were trying on clothes and being silly, and then decided to go downstairs and smoke the cigarette and get a drink before going to bed. It was about 11 at night.

Down the stairs we went, and through the pantry into the kitchen and sparked up the cigarette.

Suddenly there was the sound of running footsteps coming from the corridor above us, where we'd been a little while earlier. We both stared at each other as we knew we were in the house a lone. Not only were they running steps, but from the sound of it they were children's footsteps, not very load, but we knew they were human, and not one of the dogs that they owned. However, we did check quickly to see if all the dogs were with us in the kitchen where they were supposed to be and they were. They had also noticed the running though and were starting to growl and whine. Harriet and I both stood up and we were asking each other what to do, was it someone that had broken in, or was it something worse? Then we heard the door at the top of the stairs open, that led down to the pantry and into where we were sitting and the dogs really started to bark ? their heckles went up and they started to back away from the door. At this point, Harriet and I moved back towards the opposite door as well and moved through it and slammed it behind us, leaving the dogs in the other room barking.

From there, we went through to the next room and shut that door behind us too. Now we couldn't hear the dogs, but it didn't matter and we ran to the front door. As we threw it open, her brother was standing there trying to put the key in the lock. He asked us what the matter was and we both told him in unison what we'd heard. He came in with us to the house and told us not to be so silly. We followed him back through the house to the kitchen and there we found the dogs, all looking very pleased to see us ? one of them growled when we walked in but jumped up and looked very relieved when it was us.

We stayed sitting in the kitchen for a while and talked to her brother about it and he confessed that a few weeks before he he'd also witnessed something odd, where all the dogs started growling and whining, and their heckles went up and had been staring at the window. When he'd looked up, briefly ? he said, he'd seen eyes watching him in the dark, but they seemed to be red eyes, glowing.

Since then, the whole family have had strange things happen to them in that house ? Harriet went to bed one night and was woken up by someone opening the door to the room and switching the light on. Another night she was woken up by someone sitting down at the food end of the bed ? she sat up immediately and switched her bed side light on, and found an indent where it looked like someone was sitting. She ran from the room to her parents house, and her father returned to see what was going on. He got there to pitch black and couldn't get the lights to work so went off to find a torch. When he came back, he shone the torch into the room and the light from it stopped, as if hitting a brick wall, just inside the door. The room was freezing cold and he decided that Harriet should sleep with them that night. She's never gone back to that room to sleep.

Her mother would also experience being woken up in the night by the door opening and seeing a hand come round to turn the light on. Her husband next to her would not wake up at these times, nothing she could do ? shake or shout or throw water over him, would wake him. After she'd got up to investigate, he would wake up as if nothing had happened.

I've not been back since that summer, it does make me curious, but not enough to return.

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