Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Ghosts - a new anxiety

Mid-morning, on a quiet residential street. Maureen is opening the gate to her driveway and her next-door neighbour Fred is walking past.

"Hello Maureen," says Fred, flashing her a friendly smile.
"Oh hello Fred," replies Maureen who has just noticed him and is securing the gates in the open position. "Did you have a nice Christmas? Lots of family around?"
"Yes, very nice time indeed. My daughter Jane and her family came to stay with us for a few days over the holiday period." Fred's house, like Maureen's is capacious and seldom fully used.
"We had Karen staying with us and then Kim and Gary her family and his family all came here for Christmas dinner, so we had quite a full house," says Maureen.
"Yes, we noticed that you were having a fancy dress party on Christmas night. We thought it was a good idea. Victorian theme, was it? Or Georgian?"
"Victorian? Georgian? What made you think that?" Maureen looks puzzled.
"Well, you know that we have a clear view of your upstairs landing and hallway, don't you? On Christmas night Jane called out to me and her mum, 'Look mum and dad - they're having a fancy dress party next door. Come and see the costumes!' We had a look but all we actually saw was one lady wearing an old-fashioned fancy dress and a bonnet. She was walking along the hallway. I thought that it looked like a Victorian outfit, but my wife thought that it could be Georgian or even older."
"I don't know what you saw," says Maureen, but we didn't have any party, fancy dress or otherwise. Just people over for Christmas dinner.

It's Fred's turn to look puzzled.

"So who do you think we saw that night...?"

There is no answer to that question, and the question hangs in mid-air.

Maureen is aware that her house has a reputation for being haunted, although she has never had any paranormal experiences herself. Her daughter had reported feeling "drawn" down the first-floor hall towards the end bedroom. The last owner of the house claimed that she had seen some objects move of their own accord. A man had been found dead in the house many, many years ago, and Maureen always assumed that the ghost - if there was such a thing - was this man. Now she has some new material to consider...

Maureen is Marie's mother, and this is the recently acquired family home in Weymouth. We used to spend one weekend a month at Marie's parents' house - the old house - but Marie has never felt totally at home with the new house. Too big for comfort for an agoraphobic. Joseph, who has never been told about the house's history, spent a week here in October and since his return has refused to go to sleep unless the light is on and his bedroom door open. Too scared, he says, but he doesn't know what he is scared of. Coincidence? I am ambivalent about this. Insufficient evidence. But for Marie, this has given birth to a new anxiety, and I think our weekends in Weymouth are, at least temporarily, over.


SarahC♥ said...

Flipping heck - thats scary. Its enough to put anyone off, not just an agoraphobic.


Aff said...

That's freaky... Ghosts rarely hurt people though. I mean - if they exist - according to all those shows that I inevitably watch to scare myself before bed!

Weymouth sounds like a nice place, by the way. I've always liked the name for some reason.

Just Deb said...

Creepy, but not terribly frightening. I would find it more interesting than scary. But, that's me and we are all very different.

hugs to both of you!

Deb at Caged Shadow

maz said...

Wow what a tale!

I wonder if now your ghostie has been seen she'll appear more often!
I have heard it said they only appear to people who beleive in them but who knows!

Are you going ghost busting or are you going to leave well alone?

I'm a bit of a sceptic really but hey I'm always open to things and to be honest nobody really knows do they?

I can see why it would be a bit un-nerving and don't think I'd be keen to stay in the room in question myself either!

maz x

Robert said...

Hi maz -

Although I'm a skeptic, I've a completely open mind about anything I can't see/haven't seen. But no, I won't be ghost hunting.

I'd really LOVE to see a ghost! Hopefully it would be able to talk so that I could ask it lots of questions about life (if that's the correct word!) as a ghost. So when Marie feels ok about staying at her parents' house (I expect filial ties to eventually overpower fear), I will suggest staying in "the room", to see if anything happens. Although I not expecting anything.

Coffeecup said...

My that house is incredible, I'm postively green with envy. Spooky story Rob, shame they didn't take a picture of this 'lady', then we could have had the hair really stand up on the back of our necks to see it too. I've got some theories as to dismissing ghosts, but I used to live in a rambling old vicarage and I will confess that it scared the living daylights out of me to live there at times. Some strange things went on, and everyone in our family has a few weird experiences to report. I'm totally skeptical mind you, but I can fully understand why such a story would freak Marie out!

Gary said...

Hi Robert
Thats a very interesting story!
And a really nice blog you have!
I've added you on my site as a link, hope you don't mind.