Living with ghosts is a unique experience. However, it does depend on your perspective and physic make-up. No matter where you live people are fascinated by the ‘life’ beyond. Some in fact are so desperate to make a connection they will do or pay anything so that they can heal a breach in their own lives i.e death of a loved one or to find reasons for their existence.
Of course having a ghost living with you, especially a stranger rather than a family ghost can add an extra twist to things. Family ghosts tend to exude familiarity in the way they’re addressed ‘Oh, that’s just Auntie Nelly wandering down the hall’, whereas your stranger has got to be taught that he doesn’t waft through the bathroom while you’re having a shower, he doesn’t leer when you’re getting changed and unlike the film ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ he does not watch TV all day or invite his friends round.
Looking through various web-sites it’s no surprise that we’re are so attracted to ghosts and the after-life. Many experiences mirrored my own, others were far more bizarre and downright scary and some...well you have to make up your own mind about them.
As a child I loathed the dark, its sticky silence seemed to squeeze the air from the room and as I lay there flashes of light which merged into one long line of flickering pinpricks. Small wonder that I suffered so badly from nightmares! It wasn’t until years later that I found out that I wasn’t the only member of my family to experience such things. As a child my mother was terrified when a man suddenly walked through her bedroom one morning and only years later, through a spiritualist did she eventually find out why. The man had simply lost his daughter in that room. She’d been the same age as my mother, had also been ill and subsequently died. He was mortified that he’d scared her and came back carrying a bunch of snowdrops as a way to say sorry. He was simply searching for his daughter and was committed to his eternal searching. What worried my mother the most and still does is that the man bore a family resemblance.
My grandfather used to tell the tale that one day he was in a pig pen when a pig rushed at him. As he braced himself for the impact he suddenly realised that the pig was no longer there. It had never existed except in its ghost form. Animals, I’ve often found, are easier to see than humans. After our dog died we would often see her pottering about the house and garden, following the same routes as she’d done when she was alive.
Since moving abroad and living in an old run down, derelict property I’ve experienced more sightings. Our most permanent is a black cat who we’ve named ‘Sooty’. She suddenly appeared from nowhere, dived behind the back of the sofa and vanished. After this initial sighting she became a more permanent resident and can still be seen trotting down the path or jumping out of the bushes. Her favourite pastime is sleeping on the bed. A soft padding of feet alerts you to her presence as she chooses the comfiest and warmest place for a celestial snooze.
One of our most dramatic events was when one of our cats was poisoned. He died within minutes of making it home. After his death and for about three weeks afterwards a strobing energy remained under his favourite tree. Our other cats (living) would all visit but refuse to stay, as if, accepting that it was his place. Strangely enough, people talk of huge spectral dogs as well as other pets but, I was unable to find any information on ghost cats, perhaps it’s because they are more closely associated with witches.
With a waning personal relationship the negative energies were gathering in the house and it was inevitable that we would attract something more powerful into our lives. Funnily enough we named him as well. The first signs that ‘Ralph’ had moved in was when he’d sit on the bed or stand over me while I was sleeping. On several occasions I would wake telling him I knew he was there. In his more playful moments he’d jab his fingers into my ribs and breathe heavily in my ear. Annoying perhaps, but not really scary. It was my brother who started complaining that the house felt strange. ‘There are cold spots’ he’d complain as he darted into the house and back out again stating that sudden draughts would grab him by the throat. The house was cold and damp so I really never noticed. It also didn’t bother me because I was angry and lonely. Whatever Ralph was doing he wasn’t harming me and anyway he’d found someone far more interesting to torment – my partner. Funnily enough and despite the upheaval he loved what my parents were doing to the garden. When we moved in the weeds had been waist high and the whole place littered with beer bottles and other rubbish. One day my mum was standing by one of the old trees and had just finished telling herself how beautiful the property was when a male voice behind her said ‘yes it is’, when she turned round there was no one there!
Ghosts I’ve found can be very physical and it’s not unusual to find yourself being crushed under the covers or to find them touching you intimately or otherwise. A friend of mine used to run a holistic shop and would often laugh at the ‘playful’ spirit who lived there. He’d often would push past them or pinch them and run away. Others have come forward and talked about having sex with ghosts and incidentally, it was the best sex they’d ever had. However, in many of the accounts I’ve come across the recipient of the ghosts’ attentions have been more terrified than excited. Some have just woken to find a ghost lying beside them; others have felt them trying to pull something from within them while others as in my case have felt the ‘spirit’ rampage across the bed in order to dive into their body. Mine was promptly told where he could go and that he would not be staying. Others mention having experienced paralysis and the inability to make a sound.
As the months passed Ralph became more destructive. To grab my attention he would ‘drop’ things that couldn’t possibly have fallen on their own. He started running through the bedroom in the early hours of the morning (again it’s extensively documented that most ghost activity takes place between 2.30 to 3.30am). I even checked to make sure none of the cats were playing tricks in the room. It wasn’t until I smelt evil in the bedroom that I really began to realise that we had a problem especially as my partner was beginning to be tormented with visions of snakes slithering up the walls, children playing at the bottom of the bed and rats guarding the doors. Yet I was loathe to interfere. Having talked to our local vicar, he assured me that although disturbing he wasn’t exactly throwing furniture or being physically violent and that meddling could have serious repercussions. Providing there were no men in the house he behaved although, he decided to express his opinion on my mother’s art. Fancying a change round my parents moved all the paintings only to find that the next morning they were all standing on their ends. This happened over a number of days so in the end by trial and error they found out that his favourites were a pen and wash of an abandoned cottage and a vibrant silk painting of a dragon. They now remain on their respective wall. But ghosts are funny like this. For instance a family we knew moved into a new house and found a photograph of a child under the carpet and removed it. For months they were subjected to the cries of a wailing child, furniture and ornaments moving around the room. Luckily for them they kept the photo, hoping to identify her at a later stage. By replacing it the trouble stopped and they had no further problems.
On a lighter note, mentioning that you have a resident ghost can play havoc on your sex life. No man or woman wants to think that there’s someone there taking notes on their performance. Likewise friends, unless, similarly open minded find ghosts difficult to take and may not appreciate your rather blasé attitude towards them. I once joked, in rather bad taste that I was going to teach Ralph to become a poltergeist so that while he was throwing the ornaments about I could throw him a can of furniture polish and a duster to encourage him to help around the house. The joke fell flat and in the end I was the one that moved out.
I recently read an article that suggested that ghosts were happy, smiling and loving energies. After reading the different accounts from around the world these types of ghosts are in a minority and that those whose lives have been ‘touched’ by ghosts have all experienced something they are never liable to forget. Besides, if ghosts were really happy would they want to stay here?
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