Not a ghost of a chance

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ANY dinner table conversation that turns to the lively topic of ghosts invariably raises the spectre of haunted houses. I wonder how many of us would venture through a remote cemetery during the hours of darkness.

A man of many descriptions but the term wimp never applied to me. I do however concede that I took a detour rather than take a short cut through an old cemetery in Chester after the fall of twilight.

There are many people who claim that ghosts do not exist. Fine, if that is their belief then I don’t have a problem with that or their religious faith.

In my experience, which is shared by many others, some people are simply more sensitive than others to the spiritual world. The finely tuned are believers. Those who couldn’t pick up a signal from a ship’s foghorn if standing beneath it are the sceptics.

My half-brother could sleep quite peacefully in the Chamber of Horrors. Occasionally, if working late, he volunteered to stay overnight at an old house where we worked.

Alone in the rambling property one night he said he was awoken by the clear sound of the inside door bolts being drawn back. Horrified, I asked him what his response was. He told me what he went back to sleep. On checking the next morning the bolts had indeed been drawn back.

Whilst on shore leave I lived in a very old Victorian family house; think of the house in the movie, Psycho. The manse-like 13-room building was situated where many homes are adjacent to mews and stables. There was no way that I would venture into the cellars or the empty loft rooms after the hours of darkness. A sense of macabre menace pervaded our family home.

I recall many instances of supernatural happenings. My mother, as level headed as they come, was sat quietly reading past the hour of midnight. Startled by a sharp rapping on the living room door she naturally wondered who on earth could be calling at such a later hour.

“Come in,” she called. The response was more rapping. She again called out, “For goodness sake, what is the matter with you, do come in.”

Exasperated at yet another sharp rapping my mother opened the door, which was a just metre or so away. There was no one present; she was alone in the house.

It is with reservations that I say she was alone in the house for she never was. She knew it and the family knew it. That house was constantly occupied.

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