Ghost Story

One of the reasons I loved my Air Force assignment in England was because my home was a wonderful place. I was very happy in this house and was sad when I had to leave it. The house was located two houses away from the town center. The town center was marked by a roundabout and major town destinations were at that roundabout including the open market (two days a week), the High Street with all of the main shops, a historic pub and the church. The house was an 18th century two stories cottage (with coal cellar) made from flint. On the first floor there was the living room and an eat in kitchen with pantry and the door to the coal cellar. The coal cellar itself was damp and cold year-round. There was an opening at the street where the coal used to be delivered. At some time in the past, metal bars had been installed across the slot. It had been many years since the house used coal for heat so the cellar really had no use. The most interesting part of the coal cellar was the door in the kitchen that gave access to the cellar. On the door were four very old, very large deadbolts to keep the door locked. When I moved in I often wondered why there were so many locks for a door to a cellar when there was no outside access. The kitchen had a door leading to the outside walled garden. Upstairs there were two bedrooms and bath (originally three bedrooms).  The original bath was an outbuilding long since gone.   My bedroom was the only one that was large enough to accommodate a double bed. My bedroom also had a very small closet which was unusual.  Shortly after moving into the house, I began experiencing odd occurrences but I didn’t pay attention to them at first. It was only with repetition that I began noticing the events. Most of the things that were happening had to do with lights, water taps and locks on the coal cellar door.  In England, during the winter, I left for work before the sun came up and arrived home after it had gone down. Despite the fact I would always turn all lights off when I left the house in the morning, when I arrived home in the evening, I would often find lights turned on – all the lights in the house or simply lights in one or two rooms.  The same would occur with the taps.  The bath tub tap was only occasionally running but the kitchen and bath room taps were frequently turned on. On the door leading to the coal cellar, I would often find one to three of the dead bolts unlocked.  Later, I would hear what sounded like someone walking on the stairs at night. All of these events were a little annoying but also intriguing. I decided there was nothing I could do about it and it didn’t really disturb me. That was until my uniform shirts were disturbed. I HATE to iron. I probably haven’t picked up an iron in 25 or 30 years. When I was in England, I had enough uniform shirts that I only had to iron once every couple of weeks. Since I wore a clean shirt every day, I would usually iron ten or more shirts. I would then carefully hang the shirts in my bedroom closet. I came home one evening and found all of my shirts slung all over my bedroom – mostly on the floor. The worst result was that the shirts had to be ironed again. I didn’t know what I was going to do but knew I had to do something. One evening I was hanging out with my buddy, Jim Hicks, after work. He and I worked together and we were at his quarters on the base. I told Jim about the things happening at my house and he was also intrigued.  At his suggestion, we went to visit another co-worker, George and his girlfriend Barb.   Jim asked me to tell them about my experiences in my house. I was a little embarrassed because I thought they would think I was crazy.  I told the story of the strange goings on in my house but, to my surprise, Barb told me her step-mother, Olive was a psychic and she would bring her over to my house the next time she was up from London.  I didn’t think much more about our discussion because I expected Barb to forget.  The same activities continued but my shirts were left alone.  A couple weeks later, much to my surprise Jim, Barb, George and Olive came to my house. Initially we sat in the living room holding hands and did some chanting, you know the Buddhist type of chant where you go “Ommm” over and over. Olive told me there was a spinster and her dog in the house. She told me that single women living in her time period rarely went farther than a couple of miles from their homes. Her life would have revolved around the church, the market and the High Street which were all within a couple minutes’ walk from the house. She said the ghost was annoyed because of having a single male living in her house.  Next, with the exception of Jim who wanted to stay in the kitchen, we all went to down to the coal cellar.   It must have been a nice evening because I had the back door wide open to get fresh air into the house. There was no breeze that night but even if there had been, I had an eight-foot rock wall around my back garden which protected me from winds.  When the four of us got into the cellar, Olive put up a cross and began praying while we all held hands. I don’t remember her prayers because I was creeped out simply by being in the cellar. At the same time Olive said we were finished, there was a very loud noise upstairs.  We ran up the stairs and found Jim standing and clearly unnerved. We asked if he knew what the noise was and he said out of nowhere, the kitchen door slammed closed all by itself. We opened to door again and stepped out into the garden where the air was still.  We talked about the door for a while and Olive said it was the spirit leaving the house.  I never had more strange experiences.  I kind of missed the spirit after that but it gave me a great story to tell.

Two of the participants in this story are Barb Brown and Jim Hicks. I only say that because this is one story that is completely true as my memory recalls it. Both of these people can confirm the story.

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