A final farewell........

Like the Webmaster, I too have been married previously, and have two children as a result: one of each in my case!!
Although time would eventually erode the love I felt for my first partner, I was always very fond of his father. This genial, open-hearted  ex-policeman was in many ways the complete opposite of his brooding son: he and I grew very close during the first ten years of my marriage, and I was naturally very upset  when my father-in-law developed cancer of the liver.

When my youngest child was about six months old, I decided to visit my parents in the South of England: a journey of some 200 km. My first husband stayed in Norf*lk, to be near his father should the situation worsen.

A couple of days after my arrival in Maidenhead, I was changing my son's nappy when the door-bell rang: I was alone in the house and couldn't leave the baby until I had completed the necessary cleaning-up operations! Accordingly I shouted to the caller to wait a moment, pinned on a clean nappy and placed my son in his pram. Then I went to the front door and opened it, just in time to see my father-in-law turn the corner at the end of the gravel drive and disappear behind a tall hedge.

I was about to call out his name and run after him, when the complete improbability of the situation struck me……

Shortly afterwards my husband phoned to say that his father had passed away …..


Helen's Tale.....


Several years ago I was on holiday with my then fiance. We were driving around and staying at guest houses en route. We arrived in York on the Easter weekend, only to find that, apart from the really expensive hotels, all the accomodation was full.

The only reasonable hotel with free rooms was a place that used to be an old Infirmary. As soon as I walked in, I hated the place: the atmosphere was so heavy and oppressive..... I dismissed my feelings as those of a hysterical female, told myself that my imagination was running riot and that all this was ridiculous!

But my unease grew: I felt as if I were being watched and in my mind's eye I visualised an old lady standing behind me, her eyes boring into the back of my neck. I told my fiance, who thought it was a big joke, although he agreed the place was a little weird.

We had a nice day looking round, but at the back of my mind was this dread that we had to return to our hotel. I spent a very uncomfortable and sleepless night, and couldn't wait to leave the next morning. Life went on and a couple of years later I was chatting to a couple from Blackpool. The wife used to be a silver service waitress and cleaner in York. It turns out she worked at this hotel and her words to me were:

"Did you see the ghost? She's an old lady and follows people around the hotel!"

Since this rather odd incident, I have always been able to tell if there is a 'spook' anywhere I happen to be, usually finding out the fact afterwards!


Hayley's Tale.....

I was around the age of twelve when I had my first spooky experience. It was in the early hours of the morning one night when I was unable to sleep. Frustrated at tossing and turning, I decided to venture downstairs for a hot drink and to 'wind down' a little before attempting to try to sleep again.

I made myself a mug of hot chocolate, switched on the fire and a lamp on the sofa-side table, and let one of our dogs, Megan, into the lounge to keep me company. Megan was a loveable Shetland sheepdog who was very little trouble, but as soon as she settled herself infront of the fire, I realised there was something wrong: she bolted upright, wining and barking loudly, looking towards the lounge window which looked out onto our back garden and an enormous dog-pen. I told her to be quiet several times, worrying she would wake my siblings and parents, asking her what was wrong and trying in vain for several minutes to calm her down, but nothing seemed to work, which was worrying enough as she was always so well-behaved and trained to obey our commands.

After what felt like a lifetime - but which was probably only minutes - Megan calmed down, took one last look at the window and settled herself, once again, infront of the fire where she fell to sleep. I nervously sat with her, sipping at my now-cold chocolate and knowing now, I would never be able to sleep. But as I grew calmer, a horrendously loud noise filled the lounge: so loud and so frightening that I had to cover my ears for the sheer volume of it. I stood up in panic, and looked at my dog who was still quietly and peacefully sleeping. I shouted in disbelief over the noise, 'Megan, are you telling me you can't hear that?!' Scared half to death and still with my hands clapped over my ears, I made my way over to the lounge window and looked out to see the strangest and most unexplainable sight: two see-through African drums floating in mid-air in the dog pen. On the drums lay two brown sticks - the type used for other type of drums and percussion instruments. I stood staring for a long time, the vision not changing but remaining still, all the while, the deafening sound continuing, Megan still sleeping by the fire....

After what was probably about ten minutes, I sat back on the sofa, my ears still covered, and I cried with fear, paralysed and worrying too much about 'sounding silly' to wake my parents.

Some time later, I realised the sound had stopped and everything was peaceful again. I made my way to the window again and found the drums to be gone. It took some time for me to sleep that night, and it was years later before I told my mother what had happened that night. I saw her face whiten with what I was telling her but when I asked what was wrong, she told me I 'didn't need to know.'

That night was so frightening for me as a little girl, and even now, eight years later, I remember the vision of the drums and the sound they made... I'll never forget it, and hope never to have an experience like it again.