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Aug 8, 2008

HOUSE GHOST


Practically everyone in our family seems to have a ‘house ghost’ of the common-or-garden variety: i.e., opening doors and blowing draughts down your neck - just when you’ve got comfy in front of the telly; hiding your specs, shoes, door keys; souring the milk and causing the tap to drip in the middle of the night…etc. But all of this is minor stuff compared to the antics of my auntie’s house spook...

Eons ago, whilst still a teenager, I was visiting my aunt when she suddenly exclaimed that her cup of tea had disappeared. Thinking that she might have walked into the kitchen with it, we searched there and even checked the cupboards to make sure she hadn’t absentmindedly finished the tea and rinsed the cup and saucer and put them away... but no luck.

‘Perhaps you took your cuppa up the garden with you when we went to admire the runner beans’, I ventured.
And so we searched the whole garden and even looked in the dustbin, thinking that she might have drank the tea and (again) absentmindedly thrown the empty cup and saucer away - but all to no avail. Cup, contents and saucer were gone - apparently vanished into a parallel universe(!)

A few years later, after I had moved to The Netherlands, a Dutch relative by marriage, went to England on business for a few days and stayed with my aunt, in her big old spooky house. But on returning home, he told me he would never stay there again!

Me: Oh, why on earth not?

Him: Well…on the first night, I was almost asleep when I heard the coins I’d put on the dressing table being moved. Not toppling over, but being methodically moved- you know - one by one… I thought it might be a mouse…

Me: Haha! A mathematical mouse? Ahem. Sorry, what did you do?

Him: I put the light on - but there was nothing there. Then on the second night, I woke up suddenly to hear the bedroom door handle rattling, so I leaped out of bed and rushed over and grabbed the handle and pulled, but the door wouldn’t budge. It felt as if someone was holding it, so I gave it a big yank and there was suddenly no resistance and I rushed out onto the landing – but there was no one there!

Me: A suction draught perhaps? From open windows..?

Him: There weren’t any windows open… But then on the third night, I was laying in bed listening to your auntie snoring when I heard the stairs creaking, one by one, from top to bottom… (shiver).

Me: Well perhaps Auntie was sleep walking?

Him: No. The snores were coming from her room. I checked. But when I was back in bed the creaking started again and there was a rustling noise like someone going through the coat pockets in the hallway downstairs. So I rushed downstairs to look and even called out – but once again, there was no one and nothing there....

Me: More mice…. perhaps? (Said without conviction).

Him: (Pale faced by now). No. Then on the fourth and last night, after I’d put the light out in my room, I saw a shadowy figure standing by the window (!) but when I put the light on again, it wasn’t there. Might have been the fall of the curtain…but I…er… (sheepishly) left the light on all night.....

Me: (Even paler). Oo-er….Did you tell my aunt all this?

Him: Yes, just before I left.

Me: And….?

Him: Well she didn’t laugh at me or anything, in fact she was seriously interested, staring intently at my face all the time - although by the time I had finished I was sure she was mocking me!

Me: Why?

Him: Well, after telling her all that - and feeling like a right fool, all she said was:
'Tell me my dear - was that shadowy figure by any chance carrying a cup of tea?’

12 comments:

Jay said...

ROFL! Oh, I'm laughing so much I have tears! Your aunt sounds like a great lady!!

Seriously, all that would freak me out completely, especially after watching 1408, which was the biggest movie-watching mistake I've ever made - it was the Director's Cut too, with the extra creepy ending. What was I thinking?

I'm glad your aunt's ghost appears to be benevolent, even if it does steal cups of tea.

Geri Atric said...

LOL! Hi Jay - Yes she is a character and has always been my favourtie Auntie. Her house ghost has played plenty of other tricks but thank goodness, as you remark, it has never been more than a prankish ghost.

I have not seen 1408 - although I was highly nervous of my kids for a while, after watching 'The Exorcist'!

steph said...

I'm scared now!

Geri, I think you'll have to go back to stay with your aunt again sometime and update us when or "if" you get home....woooooh!

Geri Atric said...

Hi Steph ~ my aunt has asked me over for Christmas...gulp. Think I'll stay with my brother and his family nearby and just pop in on auntie during daylight hours (!)

Daily Blissings said...

oh that's hilarious!

I've got a ghost too, found you while searching for ways to help the poor old love cross over. I'm glad I did find you!

xx
Anita

Geri Atric said...

Hello daily blissings ~ welcome to AU!

Have you found a way to help your 'stuck' ghost yet?

My auntie's house ghost is still wandering around swiping and moving things - but since auntie is getting on for 90 and never sure whether it's the ghost or herself moving and losing things, they carry on in bumbling harmony!

Blue Footed Booby said...

That Aunty of yours sounds like a grand old lady.
When we recently mooved into our house with one of these double ovens we turned the time clock on: nothing happened. Phoned the previous owner who felt horrible, sent an electrician immediately: nothing again.
So we just left the switch on...and after two days it suddenly came on.
Our ghost decided it liked the new owners...phew!

Geri Atric said...

Hi blue footed booby ~ Oo-er.. a ghost that lives in the electricity system? Well I'm very glad it's accepted you!

'Ghost in the Machine' (1994) comes to mind. (No no! Forget I mentioned that)!

Annie said...

What an adorable story!! I love ghosts, sometimes they fill the empty spaces!!

Geri Atric said...

Hello Annie, welcome to AU!

Yes, little house ghosts are definately interesting company (!) Like mine for instance, who now appears to have hidden one of my winter boots...
I know I stored them away together at the end of last winter, so what other explanation can there be (?)

Ah well, it is Halloween tonight, so if all I 'suffer' is one missing boot, I'll consider myself let off lightly.

Happy Halloween!

Kate said...

Oh Geri!
You do make me smile.... I used to live in a house like that - and my ex-husband didn't believe me when I said what had happened - one night we were sitting watching TV when the little Christmas tree on top of the TV suddenly rose in the air and landed on my husband - he sat there covered in tinsel and all I could do was laugh! He believed me after that! x

Geri Atric said...

Hi Kate,

Hee hee - the ghost of Christmas 'present' at work again?!