I was just a boy when I had my experience of ghosts and paranormal activity.
My parents lived in a mid terrace house on a cobbled street in Nottingham, England.
I remember the first sign that something was not quite right with the house, when our dog 'Blacky' a large Alsation ran through the house full of the joys of his new territory and then flew back down from the upstairs never to enter the house again with his tail tucked firmly between his legs.
All sorts of strange things happened in the house, curtains were opened and closed, toys were put away and mysteriously played with when no-one was in the house, a stain on the wall in my parents bedroom which refused to go after being washed with boiling water, bleach and soda crystals only to re-appear by nightfall. One night as my parents lay in bed a white light appeared over the bedroom door and appeared to take shape of something that wasn't really recognizable, but as my father kept a .303 rifle under the bed with sights on he decided to have a closer look at the cloud shaped light over the bedroom door. As he looked at the light he was aghast at what he saw; the frieze on the wall over the picture rail was actually animated and he could see people in a 19th century park, women with parasols and men with top-hats, a man on a penny farthing and kids with a hoop and a stick and ladies arm in arm in the park just wandering; of course my mother just refused to believe it and said my dad was dreaming.
What neither of them knew was that I was talking to a boy every night in my room, at least I was trying to talk to the boy; he was talking a foreign language that I didn't know at my age (About 7) but he was there every night talking to me on his hands and knees at the side of my bed. The first couple of times I cried out in the night as I woke up and found the boy there but no-one had heard me and it soon became clear that I was not in harms way. I have no idea how long this went on for, but recall a time when we were out at the fair in Nottingham and Mum and Dad had taken me along and left the younger kids in bed. In those days the neighbours kept an ear open for each others kids when they went out. My dad said he suddenly had this feeling that he should go home. We raced home, me bobbing up and down on my dad's shoulders all the way. When we rounded the corner of the street there were fire engines hosing down the house! It turned out that the house next door's chimney caught on fire and it had caught hold of the rafters in the roof. My dad thought he had a premonition or that whatever was in the house had willed him to come home.
Some period of time went by when one night I woke with a start as I stretched out in bed and felt something really cold at the foot of the bed. When I finally plucked up the courage to look, I found a baby lying across the bottom of the bed all cold and grey and the boy was still there on his knees too. I looked across the room, by now frozen with fear, and saw a man hanging from the ceiling in the stairwell. I screamed the scream of a banshee and my parents came running. The light came on and there was nothing there, nothing at all except my poor embarrassed and angry parents.
The final straw came when one day I went down into the basement while my dad was out and my brother Paul was with me, I had seen my dad light the fire hundreds of times with a drop of petrol from the can chuck it on the fire and throw a match on it; I was on fire from head to toe like a fireball running round the room with my screaming mother chasing me with a blanket, my brother meanwhile was being chased himself, (and this is where it gets really silly) the lid from the petrol can which I had left off the can was on fire on the stairs and was jumping up the stairs one step at a time after my poor brother who was screaming his head off. My mother rolled me in the carpet and the blanket and I was saved. To this day I have nether scar nor damage from the fire, not a single sign of ever having been burned. We moved out shortly after this, it all got too much for my parents after that and we moved to a housing estate on the other side of town.
Twenty years later, I was working as a security guard on an armoured car delivering wages to schools, I went to the school I went to as a child which was only 50 yards away from the house in question; the house had been pulled down but the rest of the street remained, I don't know why or how long it had been gone but it left a gaping gap like a missing tooth in a child's mouth. As I left the school having dropped off the wages, I walked toward the van when a small boy walked past and said 'Hello Ian. ' I was startled but returned the greeting, I had no idea who the boy was or how he knew me.
Being who I am and having been where I was, two and two made six and I remembered with a shudder what had happened when I was a boy in that house, although I had never been harmed I had never been so frightened and have never been so since; I have to confess to a bit of excitement, I convinced myself that it had been the boy from the house. Anyway I decided to look into the house a little and tried to find newspaper clippings where my mother had had the council round trying to show how bad the house was. She had poked a hole through the ceiling right through to the sky and told the council it was damp and falling apart and to get us out of the house. The council had refused to move us and my mum called the papers in. I remember her standing there on the front page pointing at the hole in the roof with the brush she had used to make the hole! It was very funny really...
While looking into the house history it emerged that prior to my family taking on the house, a Polish family had lived in the house,and it turned out that the mother had run away with another man and that the father had killed the children and cut them up in a tin bath in my parents room and then hung himself from the beam in the bedroom.
As I have grown older I have become more and more a logical type person, I have no belief in a god, I prayed and prayed in my youth and early adult life and still watched things happen that should never and I became more and more convinced of the arrogance of priests and the church itself.
I have no idea whether the ghosts were ghost or not, but I know what I saw and how they made me feel and anyone who has ever truly seen a ghost will know what I mean about the feeling....