Here is a collection of real ghost experiences by Spooky Isles writers and readers. Please get in touch if you have your own stories to share!
Real life ghost experiences
Grandma’s ghost in the Garden
I saw my Nana when I was a kid. I was about nine, came down the garden onto the footpath and saw her there just looking at me and smiling. I knew she had passed away it just didn’t register. To me it was just Nana saying hello. Been having experiences albeit not all apparitions though ever since.
– Ann Massey, Spooky Isles Deputy Editor (Ireland)
Fulham Palace phantom?
The closest I came to seeing something weird was on a investigation with The Ghost Club at Fulham Palace. About 1am I was dead tired and saw something run by the door. I went to look and there was nothing there. Was it my eyes or was it a spook?
– David Saunderson, Spooky Isles Managing Editor
Strange human blur floats up stairs
I was doing a ghost hunt at a private house, and was sitting at the top of the stairs, when I saw a strange partial human shaped thing float up the steps. It was white, and looked like the right shoulder, head and part of the torso. It vanished, just as I was pondering what it was I was seeing. I thought it was my eyes at first. I’m short sighted and have a stigmatism. And weird light phenomena carried on after I cleaned my specs!
– MJ Steel Collins, Spooky Isles Deputy Editor (Scotland)
Spooky experience in French farmhouse
One ghostly encounter that I have had was when I was fifteen, and stopping at an aunt’s house in France. A big old farmhouse, my bed was in a room at the bottom of a staircase. I awoke to see a female figure in a night dress coming down the stairs, and felt her knock the bottom of my bed before vanishing. I asked in the morning if anyone had been been up in the night, but nobody had…
– Pollyanna Jones
Dead cat still comes to visit
Out the corner of my eye, I have sometimes spotted my cat sitting behind me. Nothing unusual in that, except my cat passed away some years back, and I haven’t had another pet since…
– Richard Phillips-Jones, Spooky Isles Deputy Editor (Film and Television)
Vanishing figure seen while walking dog at dusk
One evening at dusk, I was walking the dog through the park. At the time I had to check for people walking dogs, as my puppy would charge off after them. I noticed a figure in the distance walking towards me, I looked down to check the dog, and when I looked back up the figure had gone!
– Selene Paxton-Brooks
Phone rings and clear figure stares at bed
Last year – not sure what a saw, I was lying in bed in my Mum’s place in Belfast about 1am, phone rings downstairs but everyone is in bed. I open my eyes to see a black see-through figure looking in the door, looking from the cot across the room to my bed and back again. I closed my eyes out of fear and pretended to be asleep, when I opened them again it’s still there, one hand around the door still looking over and back. Did the same thing – closed my eyes – when I opened them again it was gone.
– Janet Quinlivan
Son returns to retirement home
Whilst investigating some quite disturbing paranormal activity in a retirement home I had an encounter with what I can only describe as a ghost. Whilst carrying some video equipment on my own through the well-lit building in the early hours of the morning a young man wearing modern clothes suddenly appeared a few yards in front of me and walked into the hallway where he promptly disappeared.
This was not the phenomena I had been asked to investigate but when reported back to the lady owner she immediately said, “Oh, I’m glad you’ve seen my son, he likes to come back to his old home” – unbeknown to me her son had been killed in a car accident when he was in his early twenties.
– Andrew Homer
Victorian Ghost seen in London Library
I had a strange incident on Swansea Beach in 2001, but the time where I undeniably saw SOMETHING was in 2016 while researching for a paper at an ASSAP conference. I was in the basement of the London Library in St James’ looking at trial transcripts (not the British Library, readers can’t get direct access to the books there) when I turned around to see a man in Victorian clothes standing there.
There was nothing ghostly or supernatural – he was just a man in a very old fashioned cut of suit. We shared a bit of a ‘What the **** are you doing here look. Then he vanished in front of my eyes. That was fairly ghostly.
– Jon Kaneko James
Angel at my Window
Shirley Johnson, Manchester (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 7 March 2012)
When I was 4 or 5 years old back in the early 1970’s we lived on a new estate in Whitefield, Bury.
A lovely open spaced area with lots of fields. I remember going upstairs to bed one night, as normal, and dropping off to sleep.
I was woken up by a tapping noise, and turned round to look at my sister who was fast asleep in her bed.
When I looked up above her, there was somebody there, tapping lightly outside the window.
I can only describe it as “cherub” looking – very white, small, about 3 foot tall, with tight white curls.
Next thing I know, this being is standing on the windowsill, which surprised me, but I wasn’t scared.
We started chatting, about what, I don’t recall.
I looked around at the wall because I could hear banging again and saw two black shadows, with top hats and capes on.
They looked like they were pulling something back and hammering.
I still wasn’t frightened.
All of a sudden my Mum walked in the room and asked who I was talking to.
I looked at her and replied ‘the white lady’, and when I looked back, she, and the shadows were gone.
My Mum was a little freaked out by my tale, even though she thought I had dreamed it.
We found out off neighbours, that the new estate had been built on an old cemetery.
We moved house not long after.
My Mum and me talked about my story for many years after, and it is still clear in my mind.
I still can’t watch the film Poltergeist without being unnerved, because of the similarity of the house being built on a cemetery.
I like to believe that the Cherub was there to protect me from the shadowy figures. I would certainly be scared if anything happened like that to me now.”
My Mother’s Ghostly Doppelganger
Becky Keane (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 18 April 2015)
Since being a child I have had several paranormal experiences, I was born premature, this resulted in me being deaf. Not being able to hear at night due to my hearing aids being out, I believe has broadened my other senses.
At our family home in the 90s I would often see a young woman standing outside my bedroom, waving at me. I vividly remember her clothing and her permed hair; I would often wave back and be compelled to say “Hello Mum”. The strange thing was my mother was very much alive. I told my parents what I was experiencing and was taken immediately to see the doctor, who subsequently referred me to a school for children with mental health issues. It was soon discovered that I wasn’t actually suffering from any mental health problems – and I never did see that young woman outside my bedroom again.
In 2009, my mother and I were looking through some old photographs, to my amazement I came across a picture of what appeared the same young woman I saw outside my bedroom as a child, I remarked how much this woman looked like my mother. My mother then informed me that it was actually her in the photograph, in the early 80s she had a perm, but had cut her hair shorter soon after my birth in 1985.
I believe this was my mother’s doppelganger (a look-alike or double of a living person, sometimes portrayed as a paranormal phenomenon, and in some traditions as a harbinger of bad luck) or perhaps it was something more sinister, who knows, but this wasn’t the only experience I had in that house.
Everyone who visited the house often said the landing area had a very protective atmosphere, especially in regards children. My younger brother had medical issues as a child and I was once sent to retrieve some items from his bedroom.
At the top of the stairs I noticed what I can now only describe as a shadow figure, its head and other features where the darkest shade of black. I saw it dart into the nearby boiler room; I can still recall the sheer terror I felt inside. Running past the boiler room into my brother’s bedroom I quickly grabbed what I needed and I peered around the door to see if it was still there. I was back down the stairs in an instant, telling my parents what I had just encountered. It was a while before I had the courage to venture upstairs alone again.
Now I have my own home and haven’t seemed to have got away from paranormal experiences. In 2012, my eldest daughter and I had come back from running errands, I went to make some lunch leaving her alone in the living room. I then clearly heard a man’s voice loudly say “BECKY”. Thinking someone was at the door I went to see, but no one was there. I checked the living room and my daughter said “Mummy did you hear that?” I even checked the windows to see if I had left them open by mistake and someone was outside.
I went back into the kitchen and soon after I heard my name said yet again, but this time more was said, but the rest of the sentence I couldn’t make out. I froze with a butter knife in my hand, my heart racing I was convinced someone was in my house.
My daughter ran in, white as a sheet; she had heard the voice again too. I mustered the courage to investigate; showing my daughter there was nothing to fear. We searched the whole house together and not a living soul other than my daughter and I was there. I have no explanation.
Paranormal incidents happen regularly in my current home and we have all learnt to live with them, but I must say the atmosphere is somewhat different to the home I grew up in. I would like to think the activity is related to my late father, who passed away in 2009, wherever he may be I hope he still looks over us and visits us from time to time.
Leicester’s Haunted Retro Flat
Garrick Smith (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 4 January 2013)
Between 1 September 1994 and 31 August 1997, I lived at Number One, Equity Road, Leicester. It was a flat over what was then an AA shop. It was owned by an elderly couple called the Maidstones and let through an agent, whose name was Richard Hopwood, and it was him I dealt with. It was the first time I had lived on my own.
Viewing it from the outside, I was excited because the flat had (has) a sort of turret affair at the top (it also had a balcony, which was great). I wanted to know about the turret, and when Mr Hopwood arrived to show me round I naturally asked about it. He took me to the foot of the interior stairs, and I ascended. I found that the door that should open on to the turret room was nailed shut, with a thick piece of wood across the jamb. I asked what was in there, and the mild-mannered Mr Hopwood went mental, shouting: “What’s in there is NO CONCERN OF YOURS!”
Odd, I thought, but I liked the flat anyway, so I signed up (it was £250 a month, those were the days). I also liked the fact that it was distinctly retro, with a very 1960s kitchen and an Edwardian-style bedroom, with a very big and very old-looking bed.
My guess – completely unsubstantiated – is that it was once the home of one of the Maidstones’ parents and that after his/her death was being let for profit, but they couldn’t afford to get the furniture taken away (or redecorate, or fit central heating). This is sort of irrelevant, but took on possible significance later on.
I didn’t realise it was haunted when I moved in. My first few months there were very happy – 1994 had an Indian summer that just didn’t seem to want to end, and I had plenty of friends living nearby, who quite liked my flat, and I don’t recall any initial problem.
The fact that it was haunted sort of crept up on me. I can’t say for sure that my problems began after I broke into the turret room, but at the same time I can’t recall having any problems until that point, which was (if I recall correctly) late 1994, early 1995.
I got drunk and curious one day, and took a claw hammer to the nails.
The turret room was a dilapidated attic sitting room. Quite damp, with yellow wallpaper sliding off the walls to lie in curls on a synthetic carpet in murky sixties colours (yellow and orange). There was a chair and a settee, and in front of the chair was a pair of slippers. This detail amused me at the time, as though someone had just gone downstairs to do something and left their slippers where they’d kicked them off. There were also boxes of household junk (whisky glasses, plates, cutlery, that sort of thing) and a string picture hanging on the wall. It smelt of damp plaster, dust and decay.
The first problem that happened was a door that kept opening itself.
At the top of the interior stairs, next to the turret room, was an attic door which opened out into roof space (I had a look, and there was just an old wardrobe in there). This door was one of the heavy old variety with a ‘z’-shaped crossframe and a bolt-lock.
I was sitting in my living room one evening when suddenly it got very cold. I could feel a draught whipping under the living room door, so went out to investigate, thinking I must have left a window open or something. Investigating, I found that the attic door was wide open. “Odd”, thought I, “I’m sure I shut that.” So I closed and bolted it again.
Some time after that, the same thing happened again, and I closed and bolted the door again, thinking I must have been up there for some reason and forgotten to shut the door.
This got to be a regular thing, and I started to comment on it to visitors (who generally took me in good humour). Sometimes it happened when I had company too — the temperature would drop, and I knew exactly what was wrong and would go and shut the door. At this stage, I didn’t think anything of it, I had a lot going on in my life and what I saw as ‘preventing draughts’ was not high on my list of things to worry about. But there were other things too.
I would come home from work and find that books had been left on the living room floor. It seemed like I was always picking up books and reshelving them. I put this down to my own messiness (and something I did like doing was stretching out in front of the fire, reading). It didn’t happen all the time, just enough to be a puzzle to me.
Then I started getting dreams that I had hanged myself from the interior stair balustrade (the bit outside the door to the turret room) and that I was inspecting my own lifeless body. These dreams did alarm me, and I felt sick and anxious all day when I woke up from one. I would go to the foot of the interior stairs and look up at the point where I had been hanging in my dream, wondering why I was dreaming of this location.
Things weren’t going so well now. I had stress-related eczema, and was losing weight. This was good, I thought (I was a gym bunny at the time), but I was a bit on the thin side. I wasn’t sleeping properly, and often woke in the dead of night with my ears straining. Looking back it’s clear that I was unconsciously under a great deal of stress, but there was nothing in my everyday life that was stressing me.
I can’t remember when I realised that the flat was haunted. The realisation must have crept up on me. One clinching factor was when I was sitting in the kitchen one day and a tightly-shelved video tape leaped out of the shelf and clattered open on the floor. It didn’t ‘fall’ out, either, it travelled a good distance across the kitchen. I didn’t want to be thought stupid or cowardly, so I said nothing. And got more stressed. Constantly picking up books and shutting the attic door.
It came to a head, for me, when my mother visited one day. I was trying to explain to her how stressed I was, but it wasn’t making sense, because there was nothing in my life that I could point to as being the cause of the stress.
At that point, I decided to confide in her, and said: “And the problem is, I think this flat is hau-“
I didn’t get to finish the sentence, because at that precise moment, a wineglass broke ranks from a kitchen shelf and bounced off the top of the microwave below, off the front of the fridge (the microwave was on top) and shattered on the woolen rug. It wasn’t a huge demonstration, but it was enough to make my mum go quiet. She said: “I see what you mean.”
After that, I accepted that the flat was haunted. I couldn’t wait to get out. My tenancy turned into a prison sentence (I didn’t have the cash to move). I got more and more miserable and anxious until in April 1997 I had a nervous breakdown in the flat, by which I mean an acute episode of mental illness. I recovered, with medical help, but had to come and live in the same flat once I had recovered. I do not like to remember what life was like during that time. I was still ill, and shit was still happening, and I was still having the dreams.
Eventually, I gave in, and moved. My recovery began in earnest from that point. The thing is though, sometimes, in dreams, I am back there, in that flat, trapped, unable to escape, back with the anxiety and gloom, waiting for the real occupants — whoever they might be — to return. I want these dreams to stop. They come less frequently now. I have only had one in the last six months, I think, but that flat still has the power to cast a pall over my happiest times.
The Edinburgh Tombs
Garrick Smith (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 21 November 2012)
It was the dreary autumnal October of 2004: I was in Edinburgh reviewing a hotel with a bunch of other journalists, say six or seven. It wasn’t a particularly swanky gig, the hotel was the Radisson SAS on Princes Street. But it was free, and a good opportunity to steal soap and towels while getting drunk in a strange city, so I wasn’t complaining.
And besides, as usual when you’re reviewing a hotel or resort, the marketing people put together a package of entertainments/refreshments that you can sample on behalf of your readers. This tends to make press trips quite exhausting, to be honest. On this occasion, one of the attractions the team had prepared for us was a ‘ghost walk’, of the sort that can be found in most historic towns and cities. (York in particular has so many ghost walks going at the same time that they keep bumping into each other).
So we were all to assemble at 7.30pm by an old whipping post. We did so and found waiting for us a rather cadaverous character in a cape, who was to be our guide for the evening. Predictably he was heavy on the sepulchral delivery, but he carried it off rather well, and started by telling us how malefactors of old were whipped at this post, using a volunteer from the pack and a real whip (although no whipping was actually done, which I thought a swizz).
Then we were walked down a terraced hillside (Edinburgh townhouses, not two-up-two-downs) to what appeared to be a bombproof door set in the wall. This, we were informed, was the entrance to the Vaults, reputedly one of the most haunted places in Britain. See here for historical details.
The door was opened and because I was the closest I got in first, right after the guide. Inside was a dogleg staircase, leading down three flights or so. I followed the guide down (I am quite clumsy but paradoxically pretty fleet of foot at times) and got there just a few seconds after the guide and around thirty seconds before the arrival of the rest of the group (who could be heard oohing and aahing their way down the staircase),
At the bottom, the staircase opened out into an antechamber, with a doorway in the facing wall. The guide stood waiting for the rest of the group. I stood looking around, with the doorway to the left. All of a sudden I was gripped by the feeling that I was being stared at. This is a pretty low grade paranormal experience, everybody gets the sense that they are being stared at from time to time, and often it proves right The sense of being stared at came from the left, but I shrugged it off. I knew there was no-one there.
Almost at once it returned, and this time it was so strong that it made me wince and let out an involuntary gasp. The expression “Eyes boring into your head” fitted it perfectly. I stepped to one side under the strength of it.
I whipped round to see who was staring at me. For a moment, or perhaps two, I saw a man. Wearing a long black coat, wearing boots, and with a white shirt front, and perhaps glasses. Then it was gone, but I had just enough time to register the fact that the figure reminded me of someone. I was not alarmed by this. I cannot explain why. The sense of being stared at vanished.
I kept quiet as the rest of the group descended the staircase and gathered in the antechamber. The guide started on with his patter and the first thing he told us was that the area was haunted by the ghost of someone called The Watcher, who resented interlopers and would turn up to stare out any intruders.
All I could think was: “What a wonderful coincidence. First I think I am being stared at and then I am told there is a ghost that stares at people.” Two and two did not go together.
Then we were taken into the first room, where we were told some rigmarole about a ghost child who clutched at the hands of visitors. Perhaps I enjoyed this too much, as the guide gave me a shove so that I fell into a depression in the floor and he warned me lugubriously: “Mind you don’t fall into a hole, sir.”. This chamber had another door in it, opposite the one we entered through.
There was another story associated with this room, but I forget it because I was looking around and taking in my surroundings. I was looking at this patch of wall when all of a sudden it seemed to shimmer. The effect was like sunlight reflected off water. Bright enough to leave impressions on your retina but not bright enough to hurt you. Various patches of ‘sunlight’ merged together and an image came into focus.
This image was of a man, with his back to me, hunched over something. My first reaction was “Rumpelstiltskin”, as it reminded me of the fairy tale figure hunched over his spinning wheel. He had a bald pate, with mid length grey hair, a white shirt and a waistcoat. I couldn’t see what he was doing, but a happy feeling was associated with this vision. I don’t mean I felt happy, just that I got a sense of happiness. Hard to explain.
Then the image disappeared. I was so startled that I can remember my immediate instinctive reaction was to look over my shoulder at the ceiling to look for projectors. But there wasn’t anything there, just the solid stone of the chamber’s roof.
Then we were moved through to the second chamber. As we went, the guide gestured to the piece of wall I had been looking at and explained that this area of the chamber was associated with a ghost called the Cobbler, who apparently worked on his shoes and didn’t bother anyone.
All I could think was ”Well, that’s another coincidence, I see someone hunched over their tools and the guide tells me about a cobbler!” It sounds stupid but I really didn’t think of it any other way. Perhaps if I had I would have gibbered. Perhaps this was some obscure psychological mechanism protecting me. God knows.
In the second chamber we were told some story about a ghost that was seen with its feet up resting on the chimney breast. While this story was being told, the guide’s voice suddenly faded away and I was left with a sort of hissing silence. Then I heard a noise that I recognised – the sound of a leather soled boot coming down on bare floorboards. Ker-THUNK. Ker-THUNK. You could hear the heel and toe come down quite distinctly. This, for some reason, did bother me and I looked anxiously from face to face in the press pack, to see if anyone else could hear it. But their faces all said that they were listening intently to the guide’s narrative. I got quite panicked. The footsteps continued for another four or five paces, then the hissing silence retreated and I could hear the guide again.
Then he took us through to a sort of corridor, where he explained: “It’s around here that people report hearing the footsteps of The Watcher as he stalks them through the Vaults.”
All I could think was: “Well what a coincidence! I hear footsteps and then I am told that people hear footsteps!” I didn’t connect it to any of the two previous encounters, or even think that anything untoward was going on. Nowadays, if I thought I heard or saw something, I would be looking to make an urgent appointment with my GP.
The corridor led into a couple of other rooms. I barely remember the stories that went with them, apart from one room had some story about a witch’s bottle bricked up in the wall. The corridor led to a fire exit and we were soon back outside in the night time street.
There were a couple more stops on the tour, but I don’t remember the details. Burke and Hare figured in them. Then the tour came to a stop outside a three storey house. I forget the story associated with this venue but dimly recalled that it was something about an Earl making a bet with the devil, which I thought ludicrous.
Then the guide said to us (we were all standing round in a horseshoe shape): “Does anyone have anything they’d like to report?”
He turned to me and said: “That’s a very curious expression you’re wearing Sir.”
I checked myself and found that it was true. My face was sort of caught up in a perplexed frown.
I told the guide about the sense of being stared at and seeing the figure. About the golden light and the man with his back to me. About the sudden footsteps (I remember saying repeatedly: “It was so loud I couldn’t hear you speak,” which wasn’t quite what happened). And in each case, I explained how the guide’s explanation had followed the experience.
The guide explained that his tour was devised to as to only tell people what they might experience after they had experienced it. This way, he said, he couldn’t be accused of putting ideas in people’s heads.
I was delighted by all this, and had a couple of drinks after the tour while trying to tell my fellow hacks about the experience. None of them believed me.
I stayed a couple more nights in Edinburgh and had a damn fine time, never thinking about ghosts or suchlike. Then I flew home and on my first night alone had a proper whitey and had to sleep with the lights on. Not that I slept much. I was too frightened.
To this day, I cannot explain why (a) I was not more alarmed by the experience as it unfolded or (b) why I was so scared in a sort of ‘delayed reaction’.
And that’s it. Just words on a page to you, but my attempt to explain something that has affected my life.
Pub Spirit Clearing Time in East London
Barbara Lowe (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 14 June 2013)
I was called to do a psychic clearing at a pub.
I won’t say the name of the pub but let’s say the staff refused to go downstairs to the basement on their own as one of the staff had seen a child down there.
They hated it because stuff would always happen when somebody was down there on their own – being touched by unseen hands, being watched, footsteps heard following.
But the bar was just as bad.
They even had a charity money box start moving on its own and a glass getting thrown at a member of staff.
I think that was the last straw, so I got called in. I was recommended to them by a previous client.
When I got there and had a look, it was bad. The pub went back to the 1700s.
It was haunted alright, but not by a few but hundreds.
The location was a holding area for highwayman gangs.
It was also used for a holding overnight area a lot of bodies from the Second Great Fire of London before they went to their final location.
There had been murders there, a violent assault. The pub was also on a ley line that ran across the bar area as well.
When I started to cross the spirits over, the owner started to feel very sick and felt faint, so we took her out for some fresh air while I continue cleansing the bar area with White Light.
She came back in when she felt better.
The next minute, I got called back as she had started to go into a trance.
I got her to come back from the trance and gave her water to ground her and asked her if she wanted me to carry on, as somehow she was reacting to the clearing.
She said she was fine and said for me to carry on. So I carried on in the main bar area, crossing the spirits over and cleansing it with light.
After 15 minutes, a team member called me again saying the owner was in trance in again, this time she was transfiguring as well taking on a new face.
Well, I thought I have so got to find out who this spirit is.
I did ask the spirit what she was doing with the owner and the spirit said she was hers.
Well, I got the owner back. She was so shaky and upset. It turned out she had an attachment since she was 14, as she dabbled with the occult.
So I stopped for the night to rest as I now had to deal with the attachment as well as the pub.
So the next night, I had the removal decrees with me and I did warn the team this is not going to be pretty.
The first port of call was to remove the entity from the owner with the decree as she read it out loud me and some of my team stayed outside as its dangerous, even to mediums – it’s that powerful! But I had one of the techs in there, we got called back via walkie talkie.
The decree then was burned and I asked my guide to stay with her for the night just to make sure she was OK as it would take a while for the removal to start. She started to not feel well so she went to bed.
I phoned her the next day and she said she had no sleep as she said it felt like water pouring out of the back of her neck and I knew it had worked.
I made sure she was OK before carrying on with the removal of the pub spirits.
I went back and carried on with the team to finish the job.
The pub is now clear and is ghost free but I did get two new guides out of this clearing as I call them the Monks of Laurel and Hardy as they won’t tell me there names. They don’t talk much. I still have them to this day.
The client on the other hand is fine and it was an experience she doesn’t want to repeat in a hurry.
My Dead Dad still visits Me
Tom Buzer (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 31 January 2013)
My dad died when I was quite young, but I have felt his presence around the house and beyond all my life. From one of his rings setting off an EMF meter, to things being moved around the house.
The animals seem to notice more than I do though, well, that’s always been true.
The dog barking at something unseen, the dog and the cat both staring at a spot, almost transfixed.
Then there is the more tangible, strange bumps in empty parts of the house, strange breezes and smells, including the unmistakable smell of coffee. I’m the only person in the house that drinks the stuff and I know I didn’t have any.
Smoke alarms go off sometimes too, usually accompanied by the smell of cigarette smoke, even though there isn’t a smoker in the house, although my dad did smoke.
Stranger still, I left a digital voice recorder on in my room one night, the next day, listening back, I heard ‘why can’t you hear me?’
“Now I never said that, and I doubt my cat did, and it was just me in my room, I know, I was still awake when the recording happened. Apparently it sounded like me, or my dad, I’ve been told we sound the same.
“The last strange thing I’ve noticed was just after i had tuned my guitar.
I used a pitch pipe and if you have ever heard one you will know how distinctive they are. Well at this time I was moving rooms, so my guitars were in one room, my bed another.
I had gone into my bedroom, having put the pitch pipe in its case in a drawer. It was only me upstairs, when I heard a note played on the pitch pipe.
When I checked the pitch pipe was exactly where I left it. If you can explain that you’re doing better than me.
Floating Body Parts
Lisa Mundy (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 4 July 2012)
From my childhood I’ll never forget the three storey house we lived in.
I hated everything about this house from the attic to the basement.
It was always dark and huge.
Being a child at the age of 5, I always believed in the monsters under my bed and the boogeyman, so I guess you could say that maybe this is just my imagination but even today 23 years on I can still picture it.
All of it.
It only happened one night (luckily we moved out not long after).
I was in bed lying awake talking to myself (as 5 years olds do, I guess), I could hear my brother (he would have been 8 then) singing in his room.
It must have been about 9pm and very dark.
I looked at my bedroom door thinking I’d go and see my brother and maybe ask him to shhhh!
As I looked at my door, I saw an A4 size image of a brown, hairy ear, it almost filled the page.
I watched this image slowly glide across my bedroom wall to the window.
As this image hit the side of my window, it suddenly floated under my bed.
As it went under i saw another image, this time of a mouth, this one also glided across the wall and floated under my bed.
I saw at least six images float under my bed of body parts, ear, mouth, nose, eyes and hands.
At the point of seeing these hands I decided I was getting out of my room.
I very slowly pushed off my duvet and moved at the slowest pace I could go.
As both my feet touched the floor, I felt hands grab both my ankles.
I jumped, screamed the place down and curled up under my duvet as fast as I could until my mother came to my rescue.
She switched on the light, asked what was wrong, I told her, she checked under bed and everywhere else in my room, there was nothing there. That night I slept with my parents, I had nightmares for days.
A few weeks after we moved into a smaller house, two storey house.
My first night in my first bunk bed. I heard two girls under my bed whispering the word “Let’s get Lisa”.
After that I refused to sleep in my room and took over my brother’s, much to his disappointment.
The Phantom Breather of Kilburn, London
John Morris (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 13 May 2012)
It all happened a long time ago. Phil, Geoff and I met in London and became friends back in the late 60s; we still keep in touch to this day.
We were in our teens then and wanted to get our own apartment.
We found the ideal place. An attic flat in Brondesbury Villas, Kilburn (‘Little Ireland’ it was known then).
It was just within our budget – £10 per week – but we couldn’t move into it right away because, we were told, the last tenant, an unbalanced old lady, had tried to burn the place down – starting with our flat! So it needed gutting and complete renovation.
It was an old, four-storey Victorian terraced house.
The Landlords, a nice elderly couple, Polish Jews who both had the blue Auschwitz tattoo on their forearms, lived on the ground floor.
Other tenants occupied converted flats on the first and second floors.
Our flat had a large living room and two bedrooms: a small one in the front, a larger one with two beds at the back.
I think I lived there for maybe three years.
One night, after a year or so, we had all gone to bed.
I had the single room at the time, Geoff and Phil shared a bedroom but we rotated periodically so everyone got the single room every so often.
If someone brought a girl home, the rotation moved that much quicker.
It was pitch-black in my room.
I was just dropping off to sleep when I first heard it, the sound of someone breathing right next to my bed.
It was a regular in-out, in-out sound, as though a bit breathless.
I thought one of the guys had crept into my room and was doing it for a joke.
Now fully awake, I lay there for a few seconds waiting for whoever it was to shout something to scare me (we knew how to have fun in those days) but nothing happened and the breathing sound continued.
I turned on the bedside light, the sound stopped immediately, I looked about but there was in one in the room.
I thought it was odd, or perhaps my imagination playing tricks on me, but I was tired so I switched out the light intending to get to sleep.
Immediately, the breathing noise started again.
It was same steady, rhythmic sound of someone steadily breathing in and out but this time, in a heavy, more laboured sort of way.
This time I definitely thought it was peculiar so I got up, went to the other bedroom, and told Geoff and Phil to come into my room for a bit to see if they could hear it too.
All three of us sat on the bed, I turned out the light plunging the room into darkness, and we sat quietly and listened.
The breathing sound resumed and we all three heard it clearly.
We could actually pinpoint where the sound was coming from.
It was in the room at a point about waist high between the bed and the door.
We remained there on the bed not moving, just listening for perhaps a minute or two before the regular breathing slowly changed into something more gasping, and for a few seconds became, ‘grating’ or ‘throaty’.
It was a very unpleasant, eerie sound and it lasted only for a few seconds before it suddenly stopped dead.
There was then a total, empty silence.
We waited for a while, but there was nothing more.
Even now, I find it very hard to describe the last sound that we heard, and it was something I only came to recognise later.
But I didn’t know at the time what it was.
We turned the light back on and looked at one another, trying to figure out what it was we’d just experienced.
None of us had any idea.
There was no natural explanation for it like the water pipes or anything.
Someone cracked a joke and we laughed the whole thing off.
I noted by my alarm clock that it was almost midnight and we all had to be up for work the following morning.
Geoff and Phil went back to their beds, I didn’t like the idea of staying in the room after that, so I went into the living room where I slept on the sofa till sun-up then I went back to my own room and dozed till the alarm went off.
I can’t remember if anyone said anything about it the following morning.
We had different schedules and all of us were hurrying off to work.
I would have forgotten the whole thing had it not been for what happened next.
I left, slamming the door behind me, and raced down the stairs.
As I reached the hall leading to the front door, the landlords, Blanka and Leo Squarenina, came out of their flat to meet me.
They were a nice old couple and very kind to us, and even after I left their home, I continued to correspond with them for several years until they both died.
To this day, I kick myself for the opportunity missed, by not thinking to ask them to relate their first-hand wartime experiences to me.
Both white-faced and looking very serious, they stopped me in mid-flight.
One of them said, ‘You remember we told you about the old woman who lived in the flat before you,’ I must have told them I did. ‘We just heard from the home she was taken to that she died last night, just before midnight.’
I remember being shocked and thinking back to the night before and the peculiar, inexplicable sounds we had heard.
Had we heard the old woman breathing her last breath; her death rattle?
I don’t know. I can’t explain it; what we all experienced. All I know is that it happened.
Spirit Intervention saved me from burning to death
Chris Ieronimou (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 11 February 2013)
When I was about 15 years old, I had to go to Greek Church, dragged by my ear if necessary.
It was the same every Easter!
My mum would bully us to get ready.
We would get to the Church for around 10pm.
We would buy some candles and hold one each.
I would endure the ceremony for nearly two hours.
Eventually at the stroke of 12, the lights were turned off and you would see a single flame at the altar become two then three then very quickly radiate out through the crowd.
After lighting my candle over the shoulder of the person in front of me, we would start the journey to bring the holy flame home, navigating all the hazards that would entail, like the wind, funny looks from the drivers at the traffic light wondering “What are they doing with a lit candle in a car?!”
He probably thought our heating was not working!
Once home we would cross every doorway in our home.
I would put my candle by my bed for a while with the intention of blowing it out before I fell asleep but on this occasion I fell asleep without blowing it out!
The candle had a round piece of thin card half way down to stop it dripping on your hands.
At that age I did not have trouble with sleep, once out I stayed out!
This night I remember I was dreaming.
I don’t remember what the dream was about but I heard a distant scream quite detached from what was happening in the dream.
The scream and whoever was screaming shot up to my face in a second!
The volume and sensation was as real as a bucket of cold water, would separate a dream state to the here and now!
The shock was so strong my body convulsed I opened my eyes expecting to see someone in my face but instead I saw my blanket on fire!
I threw the blanket down and stamped it out.
It was around 3.30am.
The candle burnt down to the card which lit up and fell onto some crochet on the bedside drawer and lit the blanket next to it.
I could not sleep the rest of the night because of the realization that there was a spirit intervention!
Had I not woken up I most probably would have been burnt to death!
I believe that my life was saved by someone from the spirit realm and as a result the words ghost or spirit do not hold automatic negative connotations!
Welsh scouting nightmares
Jon Rees (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 28 March 2012)
I’m a pretty big sceptic when it comes to the paranormal. I don’t believe in spirits or contact with the dead and I think that in the unlikely event ghosts exist they are inanimate recordings on an environment, but I’m even pretty sceptical of that.
Halloween weekend was an interesting experience though. We took the Cubs, Scouts and Brownies to Broneirion – Girl Guiding headquarters in Mid Wales – a 19th century manor house.
On the Thursday night I retired to my room, a single bedroom on the top floor (so probably in the old servants quarters). Walking in, the room was freezing cold even with the fire on and didn’t feel very welcoming. I settled into bed and turned the light off. About a minute later I put the light on. I had a overwhelming feeling I was being watched by someone at the foot of the bed. I tried reading and sleeping with the light off, but still couldn’t shake the feeling of discomfort. I left the room after about an hour and went to sleep in the Library downstairs on a sofa. The next night I moved into a vacant room where I slept on a mattress.
On the Sunday we found out that very few people can spend the night in that room, the staff hate cleaning it and during a walk around the house by the adults before leaving where we all shared our weird experiences no one liked the room at all!
The next morning a few of the rest of us had shared spooky experiences. One of the Guiders with us swore that during the night she was disturbed by a ginger boy running around her room. This appearance was later collaborated by the cook, a member of staff and our bus driver who walked into his apartment across the courtyard from the main house on Saturday night and found the red-headed apparition sitting on his dinning room chair!
Other weird goings on there similar feelings in other rooms to what I experienced, a Guider feeling like she was being “tucked in” by an invisible figure when she got into bed, the smell of wood smoke, one of the leaders young children reporting seeing someone “hiding under a bed”, and footsteps and doors opening with no one around.
The house staff were at first reluctant to talk about it, but once we told them what we had experienced they opened up. One told us that the staff hate cleaning in several of the rooms we described and that the last month the “activity” in the house had greatly increased, and our weekend was the busiest she’d ever known the spooky goings on to be. Several of the staff had also had spooky experiences they couldn’t explain during the weekend.
So were our experiences at Broneirion caused by ghosts or more rational explanations? I genuinely don’t know. Mine could be explained by phenomena such as infra-sound, but others such as the little boy are hard to explain as the corroborating sources seemingly didn’t know about what had been seen already before talking about it. Ironically though the kids were not aware of any of these goings on (unless they just didn’t tell us!) and had a perfectly normal time while there.”
Unseen forced attacked me in my brand new flat in Moseley
Fiona Glass (Originally published on Spooky Isles on 24 January 2018)
Back in the early 1990s I bought my first ever flat, in a quiet street in the leafy Birmingham suburb of Moseley. It was pretty small, but it was brand spanking new, it had central heating and a nice view out over a courtyard garden, and it had all the mod cons. The one thing I didn’t expect it to have was a ghost.
I didn’t notice anything at first, but gradually over the weeks and months I became aware of an odd feeling. There was a cold spot in one corner of the bedroom (in spite of that central heating!) and no obvious source of draughts. There was a sensation of not being alone, and worse, of unfriendliness. And then things became more “hands on”, in a surprisingly literal sense.
Once when I was completely alone I felt a hand on my back, low down at the hip. I was staring out of the window at the time, and told myself it was the curtain which had flapped across and hit me. But I hadn’t seen it move, and in reality it was far too short. Soon after that, my fiancé was in the living room and felt a sudden, hard shove in the back. He and I were the only ones in the place at the time, and he was staring straight at me as I cooked in the kitchen several feet away. It shook him, even though he described himself as “psychically dead” and was utterly cynical about ghosts.
We never did find an explanation for those events, but things started to get worse. Waves of unfriendliness, and even darkness, rose upwards in that same corner of the bedroom, as though something was coming up through the floor. Soon afterwards, the neighbour from the flat downstairs asked me, completely unprompted, whether I’d seen the ghost – so it obviously wasn’t just me who had noticed something strange.
And all this was happening in a building so new that it hadn’t even been finished when I bought my flat!
We did some research, but couldn’t find out much. There was obviously no history of death in the apartment block because it was too new for that. However, shortly before I left we had a very long dry spell, and when I glanced out at the courtyard garden I could see scorch marks in the grass. These marked out the lines of the houses that had been there originally – terraced Victorian houses like so many in Birmingham. And calculating sizes and positions from those lines, I could see that the cold spot in the bedroom was right where the old house’s stairs would have been.
It’s not proof, of course, but it could explain why I always had the sensation of the presence coming up, through the floor, into my room. And a little more research suggested that there had indeed been a violent death in one of those Victorian houses, before they were pulled down.
I’ll never know if there really was a ghost, but the circumstantial evidence is fairly strong. And if there was, I’d be fascinated to know if it was something new that came along with the flat – or whether it was left behind, still occupying the same space, from when the old houses were destroyed. I’d love to know if anyone else has had a similar experience, and whether they think ghosts can exist in new buildings, or are left over from the past.
Have you had a real life ghost experience? Tell us about it in the comment section below!