Fleeing From Our Haunted House.

Translation Heading

Talk about weird experiences …

As a treat to the kids and to granddaughter R’s friend who was on  a sleepover, we went on Friday evening to our ‘local’ which serves the best pizzas in the world.  After  the owner had come over to say hello, and after I had given the kids a session in the playground area, we were sitting chatting when a lady came over and plonked herself down.  ‘You are the Nobles?’ she stated rather than asked.  Much Better Half confirmed this.  ‘You live at …?’ and she gave our address.  After another surprised confirmation, she barged on with, ‘Have you ever felt uncomfortable in the middle bedroom?’

We all blinked at her.  A gobsmacked Younger Daughter nodded and said, ‘It was supposed to be my room, but I refused to sleep there so my elder sister took it over.’

PassageOur minds were taken back thirty-six years by this brief exchange.  The swap of rooms had been rather unfair because YD got a room twice the size of the other – but that one has been her room ever since, right up to the present.  It stayed that way when she got married, and when she had two daughters. When those two daughters refused to move into the other bedroom, their beds were also accommodated in the larger room with mommy and (late) daddy.  There was still space to spare.

Our home has actually had four generations of our family living in it.  Late Mother-in-Law sold a house which we had shared with her, and after we bought our seaside dream we converted outbuildings into a flat for her.  Our kids grew up here, and all four grandchildren have lived here at some stage.

Now, dwindling finances have forced us to sell, and sadly we are moving out very shortly.

House front.

It has transpired that our much-loved home was known as ‘The Haunted House’ by schoolboys of the generation when we bought it.  This, in spite of the fact that a few houses along stood a far more likely-looking candidate known as ‘The Black House’.  We never did find out exactly why ours had gained this reputation amongst the boys – following some conversion from typical fifties-style, it is mainly open-plan, light, and airy.  After we moved in on 21st July 1978 we did, however, hear footsteps in the passage from time to time when there wasn’t anyone there to account for them.  Even Elder Daughter, who had swapped rooms philosophically under duress, admits she never really liked ‘her bedroom’.

Anyway, our table visitor then introduced herself as the daughter of the widowed lady from whom we had bought the house – (who had been most accommodating on price partly because she quite definitely didn’t want to stay in it alone any more).  The visitor went on to say that when she and her sister had been growing up there had been a serious dispute – she had refused to sleep in that room so her sister took it over.   Thus, the same sort of thing had been happening even before our time!  Indeed, when later her mother had rented the room to some of her students to make a little extra income, on many occasions they would invade her own bedroom in the middle of the night and sleep on the floor rather than stay there.

The cause?  Nothing specific.  Just a strong preference to be somewhere else. Anywhere else.

Right up to the present, 6-year-old R refuses to go down the passage alone.  She has to be escorted past that bedroom doorway to the toilet.  Her younger sister does not share this phobia  – but still won’t spend a night there.

It has taken us a long time to realise it, but it seems true that we have been living in a haunted house all these years.   And not only by the monkeys, mongooses, bevies of birds, and elongated slithery creatures.  Oh yes, and crabs.

Of course, there is no such thing as the supernatural, or that a place can have an atmosphere, or that anything can happen without having a sound scientific explanation.  Isn’t it funny, though, how wild imaginings so often follow the same route?

Naturally, too, coincidences are completely random things and there is no such thing as synchronicity.   There is therefore nothing remarkable in the fact that, in a particularly large suburb, it transpires that the braver daughter of the lady who sold us the house ended up by buying the house Mother-in-Law had sold to someone else when she moved out of it.  Thus it happened that while we had bought her mother’s house, she had bought ‘our’ mother’s house – and she still lives there!

© Colonialist August 2014 (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Grandchildren, History, Personal Journal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Fleeing From Our Haunted House.

  1. cupitonians says:

    What happened to them ghostbustering folk?


  2. footsy2 says:

    I do find these creepy stories fascinating. Way back in the early 80s we bought and moved into a ‘wonderful’ house – larney address, famous architect, fabulous grounds, luxurious staff quarters, four garages etc. etc. Life became horrendous from day one. I took SD, aged 9, at the time, to Checkers in Sandton City. Off loading a huge grocery buy from a rolling conveyor belt, the sleeve of her sweater got caught, dragging her hand through the rollers. ( 2 months in hospital and any number of ‘cosmetic’ operations later she now has a single scar to remind her). And that was just the beginning.

    A friend came to stay from Cape Town. She was doing a 2 month course and would spend only weekends with us. She was gang raped at the study centre – not at ‘the house’ TG, but it impacted on us all. My mother rented out her house and moved into the delightful ‘granny flat’, with dogs, loyal maid etc. Lasted precisely a week – cancelled the lease on her own home and moved back home with huge relief but couldn’t give a reason. Told me I must change the name of the house as it represented an instrument of torture. The house was built in a semi circle and called ‘The Wheel’ (and probably still is :-))

    A brand new couch went up in flames, inexplicably. My dog was run over and killed in the driveway by a visitor. Another house guest asked casually who ‘the woman in the red bikini’ he kept on seeing on the veranda was. I told him there was no such woman. (I never saw her). We did not discuss the subject further. My marriage disintegrated in spectacular fashion. ‘The War of the Roses’ had nothing on the drama that ensued. (This was good but frightening at the time).

    Other unpleasant stuff happened. Every day was a nightmare. All this in six short months……

    When the estate agent brought around potential buyers I felt an overwhelming urge to warn them, but kept my mouth firmly shut. House sold almost instantly, The kids and I moved out and it’s been pretty much plain sailing ever since. 🙂

    Was it the house? Will never know……


    • colonialist says:

      Whatever, it will certainly not go down in memory as a happy place!
      It would be interesting to know the subsequent history. I wonder how many owners, since?


      • footsy2 says:

        After writing this I checked online. House was sold again twice within 2 years of our selling it then not again (I don’t think). I looked it up on Google earth – home now at that address doesn’t look remotely like the house we bought. Raised to the ground and rebuilt????


  3. nrhatch says:

    I’ve never met a ghost . . . but I believe in more than meets the eye. What a wonderful and weird encounter with someone of shared history.


  4. The Asian says:

    Luckily your house never got egged by the boys that called it “The Haunted House”!
    It’s such a shame that you have to relinquish such an amazing property. Hopefully you’ll be able to make just as many good memories in the new place


  5. calmgrove says:

    While I’m of an enquiring mind, sometimes I’m happy enough to leave unexplained things unexplained, when the proffered explanations involve pure speculation based on ghosts, spirits or little people: this just seems like anthropomorphising (if that’s the right word) what may be natural phenomena or episodes that have in other investigations turned out to be explicable without recourse to the supernatural.

    But it doesn’t mean I don’t find such stories fascinating or that I deny people have had the feelings or experiences described. Indeed, like most people, I’ve had several such creepy or weird experiences myself. To my mind they’re like vivid or even waking dreams in which we seek to find significance and meaning in disjointed images and sequences.

    Am I unromantic? Not a bit of it. But while the emotions and physical sensations are real our need to ‘explain’ causes for the effects we observe can mean we may go wide of the mark. And that’s not to belittle our need to find causes, any causes sometimes; it’s recognising we all have the propensity for ‘magical thinking’.

    And that’s what makes us human.

    (Sorry, that’s turned into a mini-essay…)


    • colonialist says:

      The subject is one which can easily attract essays running into a number of War and Peace-sized volumes! I am inclined to the theory – not belief – that many ‘supernatural’ or ‘synchronistic’ events are simply part of natural forces or things of which we still lack understanding. The randomness whereby scientific method is ineffective, plus the fact that natural explanations are found in many cases, do not necessarily invalidate them. On the lines of a reported black cat turned out to be a grey cat; therefore there are no such things as black cats.
      I always seek rational explanations for all ‘strange’ events, but there are at least three of personal knowledge where those explanations seem even more wildly unlikely than that there was some so-called supernatural force involved. These include a UFO sighting, a knowledge of the tragic death of a young child,well before it was possible for the news to be transmitted, and an utterly inexplicable disappearance and reappearance days later, in the exact spot on a table which had actually been taken out of the room to facilitate the search, of a small triangle of wood. The search for the latter had been exhaustive, and only my wife and I had access to the area. Both believed the other was playing a trick. For various reasons sleepwalking, shared hallucination, or a mischievous intruder, are all preposterous.


  6. misswhiplash says:

    I would not dismiss ‘hauntings’ out of hand. There’s a lot to be said for things that we do not understand, some people have a sixth sense for these type of things…and if there was no such thing as haunting, why do priests go to houses or places to do exorcisms. They would just dismiss it as a load of tripe. However they take it seriously, so there must be something to it….
    As for moving house, it is sad because you have been there so long but maybe your ghost is in need of new company…so look forward do not look back.
    As I said before home is where your heart is , or will be…..
    Every happiness in your new home….is it near the sea like this one is? What is it like?


  7. We had a happy ghost when we lived in a 400 year old cottage. We used to hear giggles. There are more things in heaven earth………


  8. suzicate says:

    Thus it happened that while we had bought her mother’s house, she had bought ‘our’ mother’s house – and she still lives there!-now, that is strange, isn’t it?


  9. Colline says:

    A house with a lot of history and memories. If only those walls could talk.


  10. gipsika says:

    … just very sad that you have to leave that beautiful house with its incredible garden and view! 😦


  11. gipsika says:

    Yup, definitely no such a thing as synchronicity or hauntings. 😀

    I own a haunted rocking chair. The “ghost” is very benign (I experience it as a wizened little old man, a boggart or something; my mom experienced it as a wizened old lady, a ghost – I suspect that entity is of the Little People). It has a comforting presence, like sitting on your grandmother’s lap, and everybody who comes to visit wants to sit in that chair (but at night it can get a bit weird). My mom bought that rocking chair second-hand when she was 19, at a throw-away price, and the only thing was that the storekeeper didn’t want her to return it under any circumstances. It had apparently already been returned three times because of its ghost. My mom asked whether the ghost cost extra?


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