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