A haunted house in Farnborough....
When I was nine, I lived in a flat in Farnborough, England and used to ride with a few friends to an old abandoned WW2 military hospital, one mile away from my home.

It was not a huge hospital, probably possessing only 10 to 15 rooms. We would crawl in through gaps in the boarded up windows, using candles to search the rooms. What i remember most about the hospital was that it always had a frighteningly strange silence to it, even though a main road was only a short distance away. This made the hospital a very eerie place....

We must have played in and around the hospital for maybe a month until the authorities cordoned off the grounds. I did not know it at the time, but it was soon to be knocked down and new houses built on the site.

Just over a year later my parents told me we were going to move just up the road: to my surprise my new home was one built on the old hospital grounds!

For about a year nothing out of the ordinary happened........
Then one night, about 10 pm, I was reading in bed: I always kept the bedroom door slightly ajar so that I could see out into the hall way. I looked up from my book to see the black hooded figure of a monk walking towards me from the top of the stairway. He stopped, turned and looked at me and then seemed to wander into one of the other two bed rooms! I got up and looked into my brother's bedroom and saw nothing except my brother sleeping. I checked my parents' room but nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary in there, either....

My mother and father were downstairs watching TV at the time, so i calmly went down and told them what I had seen. They said to go back to bed and that it had all been just my imagination. I tried to convince them, but they weren't inclined to believe me.

The house had a spiral staircase, so from the bottom you could not see all the way to the top: as I walked up and around the corner, the black figure was standing directly in my way! I just froze and stared at the phantom, until it raised its hand and made a kind of peace gesture. Unsurprisingly, I screamed hysterically and ran downstairs! My parents could not calm me, and I went to stay with my grandparents. It took about a month until I had regained sufficient confidence to come home.....

We lived in that house for a further five years until we moved to Basingstoke: I now live in Cambridge, but since that night I have never seen or heard anything similar.


An impromptu seance

Like many people with psychic abilities of some sort, I tend not to discuss them with other than close friends or relations. And even then, I find that many people are uncomfortable when a conversation turns towards the paranormal: generally speaking, then, I avoid initiating any discussion of such matters!

However, at a recent social gathering, I found myself the focus of the group's attention, with intriguing results!

A senior manager at my wife's work-place had invited a large number of friends and colleagues to her farmhouse in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, to help her celebrate her wedding anniversary. I would have to say the prospect did not exactly fill me with enthusiasm: I knew no-one there and, being a vegetarian, generally find that I return home hungry from a barbecue!

In the event, the evening was not as bad as I had anticipated: and by nine o' clock, my wife and I found ourselves seated at a long rustic table with a bottle of wine and twenty or so new found 'friends'.

As I sat back and let the conversation wash over me. I suddenly became aware that the spirit of a young boy had appeared behind one of the women seated across the table. His gaze shifted rapidly from her to me: the meaning was obvious: he wished to communicate with her! During an appropriate lull, I leaned forward and asked if the name Jack meant anything to her. The woman turned to me with a somewhat sharp expression, replying frostily and in the negative. The boy's face grew even more morose..... then he was gone: but at the same instant, a large white moth spiralled down from the black velvet sky and alighted on the woman's nose! Immediately she dissolved into sobs!

'Oh! Jack LOVED moths! He was always talking about them! He said that after he died, he'd turn into a moth and come to visit me!'

I need reveal no more details, except to say that for twenty enthralling minutes I was able to help this little boy communicate with the woman who had tended him during his final months in the material world: a moving and emotional experience for all at the table. Needless to say, the rest of the evening evolved into an impromptu 'contact meeting', and I returned home extremely drained, but thrilled to have helped this caring woman achieve closure on a poignant episode in her life....


Lingering scents!

Some years ago, I bought a very old and very dilapidated cottage in the heart of rural Norfolk. This former blacksmith's house and workshop had stood empty for over ten years, and eventually took me around eighteen months extremely hard labour to modernise.

When I first entered the four hundred year-old cottage, instead of the smell of wet-rot and damp I was expecting, I was astonished to notice a strong scent of rose water! And as the cottage was gradually brought back to life, floors replaced, fireplaces exposed, walls replastered, this scent grew ever-stronger! Soon after the work was completed, an elderly neighbour came for a 'look round' and stunned my wife and I by sniffing the air before exclaiming "I see you've met old Rose, then!"

In my years as a supply teacher, I travelled around East Anglia, visiting and working at a large number of schools.

As is widely known (and despite what one sees on TV !) few teachers smoke these days, and NONE smoke at work: it's strictly forbidden in the increasingly 'PC' world of modern education.....

Nevertheless, there is a room at one school I visit that ALWAYS smells of fresh pipe smoke! I can even identify the brand: the smoke has that peculiarly custard-like smell of a Dutch tobacco called 'Clan'! After half a dozen visits to the school, I asked who the secret smoker was: you have probably already guessed the answer: some twenty years previously the room had been the domain of a now-deceased teacher who occasionally enjoyed a lunchtime pipe! I should just add that there are NO soft furnishings in the room, and that all the furniture and windows were replaced a couple of years ago!

I could cite further examples: a cottage owned by a friend that enjoys the mouth-watering aroma of new-baked bread every morning, though he and his wife have never made bread during their twelve years in residence..... a school hall that often reeks of disinfectant and chloroform that was used as an emergency operating theatre after a WW11 air raid....... a friend's lounge that frequently holds the distinctive scent of a deceased relative's perfume...

It would seem that the spirit world sometimes chooses to contact us through ALL our senses.....

A haunted staffroom?

After eighteen years continuous service in my previous employment, I found myself being marginalised by an over-ambitious new Deputy and a too-easily manipulated and weak Head......I resigned!

My new post involved travelling all over Norfolk, teaching in a wide variety of schools and filling in for absent colleagues: a refreshing change, I can assure you!

in 2001 I found myself among the early arrivals at an old school in the East of the County: I made my way to the staffroom and filled the kettle to make coffee.
Suddenly I felt the presence of someone on my shoulder: turning, I found myself looking at the smiling face of a woman of around forty-five, attired in a somewhat old-fashioned nurse's uniform.

I smiled and began a conversation: somewhat to my consternation, the object of my attention slowly ....evaporated before my startled gaze!

Mentioning this somewhat outré occurence to a few of the older staff at breaktime, I was told that this apparition is not infrequently encountered: a former Deputy Head saw her on several occasions! The school is apparently sited on the ruins of a community centre that served as a military hospital during World War 11. This was bombed during one of the infamous 'Beidecker' Raids: I need hardly add that among the casualties was a Nurse!