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The Ghost Who Loved Opera

June 2000

Most of the stories I have to tell are really itty bitty ones which don't really add up to any full picture. I chose this one cos I hope it's different...

From the ages of around 7 to 14 years old I had the same best friend and we used to stay at each other's houses a lot, as you do. Whereas I was always moving from house to house she always lived in the same place, a big old ex-farmhouse about 20 miles away from where we went to school. I guess the house was kind of old and it had once been lived in by 3 old ladies who had roughly divided it up into 3 apartments. When my friend lived there it was just a big house with a separate apartment bit that her granny lived in.

My friend's room was the coolest in the house. It used to be a hayloft and was huge with a high ceiling and beams. Outside the door to it was a corridor which used to be the kitchenette to one of the apartments, it was now just a bit of a junk room. This corridor always scared me a little, I felt very unsettled around it and I can't even begin to explain it. It's more like a feeling of intense and irrational dread. The feeling was strongest in this corridor but also existed all over the house, especially upstairs.

However, it was a big old place and I was a young kid with a rather overactive imagination so I always told myself that I was being silly. When we had sleepovers all the other girls felt equally freaked out by the big dark bedroom (more often than not we'd all pile into the same double bed) so I presumed that all I had was a fear of the dark.

One night I was staying over and we were sitting in twin beds side by side talking. The light was on in the corridor and as I sat up to say something I saw a small person silhouetted in the door frame. It was about the size of a small child, 4ft or so, and it ducked out of my view as soon as I spotted them. Thinking it to be her brother or sister I called for them to come in without thinking but no one did. As it gradually dawned on me what I had seen I lay awake for hours but didn't hear any movement from the corridor for the rest of the night, no one going away or coming it. They just vanished.

After this I got into a habit of 'talking' to the corridor whenever I went there, just sort of saying hello and stuff. My friend thought I was mental, she had never had any ghostly experience in all the years she'd lived there. This all changed when one night she woke up with the feeling that somebody was sitting on her chest. She couldn't breathe and was on the verge of passing out when the pressure eased. Thinking it to be just hysterics she went back to sleep only for it to occur 3 or 4 times that night. I don't think she could see anyone, just feeling this incredible pressure. She wasn't asthmatic or anything.

The next morning she was so scared she broke down in tears at school. Later she admitted that a couple of times she'd had dreams that she wasn't really sure were dreams where a figure dressed all in black was standing in the corner of her room. She could only make out a figure but she could feel this really sense of hatred.

There was a hammock suspended between the beams in the room and my friend sometimes used to sleep there. Her room was a bit of a state and yet frequently she'd wake in the morning to find she'd managed to climb out of the hammock up in the roof on to a table covered with books and papers, make her way down and across the incredibly messy room and back into her bed with her duvet without once waking up. I used to sometimes get into the hammock during the day and had a hard time when I was awake let alone sleeping! She also had no history of ever sleep walking or stuff like that.

For her 13th birthday she had a massive sleepover with around 30 people staying. Although people were asleep all over the house a friend and I managed to find spare beds in the spare room by the stairs which rarely had any visitors in it. In the night I was jolted awake a number of times by the sound of opera music. Lying awake the music sounded incredibly loud, like I was in a room with the stereo on volume 10. My friend who was in the bed next to me didn't even stir. The next morning I asked but, of course, nobody had been playing opera at 4am and they all looked at me like I was crazy.

My friends mother was a bit of a hippy and had several friends who were a bit physic. One day she had one of these friends over and was showing her the house, including the granny annexe. As soon as she walked into the room this lady said that there was a girl standing behind where the TV set was. This was in the room below where I had heard the music. Eventually they did a blessing of some sort, I don't know if it had much of an effect.

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