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bureau with drawers open

image courtesy of dollshousespastandpresent.com

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“When they talk of ghosts of the dead who wander in the night with things still undone in life, they approximate my subjective experience of this life.
Jack Henry Abbott

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As strange as it may sound, the first physical evidence of my other worldly visitor came one sunny day when I was at home alone.  I was studying for exams and it was very quiet – without my brothers around! I was sitting in the lounge, surrounded by my books when I thought I heard a noise upstairs. At first I put it down to the neighbour moving things around, but a check revealed the neighbours were out.  Ten minutes later there was another sound, louder and longer, the sound of furniture being pushed across the floor, coming from my parent bedroom.  You simply cannot mistake the sound of a heavy bureau being pushed across the floor.

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I stopped, listened intently and was about to begin studying again when I heard one of the drawers being opened. This particular bureau was quite old and the drawers had swollen,whch meant they squealed loudly when they were opened and closed. This had now become something I was feeling decidedly ‘not amused’ about. Not only were strange and unexplainable noises coming from directly overhead but there was no-one within cooee who was at home or expected home any time soon.  Then there was a flurry of drawers opening and closing in rapid succession!

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Books closed and held tightly I sat there staring towards the ceiling. I have no idea what I was expecting to see, thankfully nothing.  Quiet ensued. I was just beginning to persuade myself that I had imagined the entire episode when the cutlery in the kitchen bureau, directly behind me suddenly rattled as though someone was rifling through them. OH NO!   I was not impressed. I couldn’t decide if I was outflanked or trapped.  The only way out was through the kitchen, right where the kitchen bureau was. This was developing into a Laurel and Hardy comedy, only I wasn’t laughing.  Over heated imagination? No-one would ever convince me of that.

someone getting a fright

image courtesy of jigsawslair.blogspot.com

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Heartbeat returning to near normal and determined to remain inside to continue studying, I had just laid out my books again when I heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps, footsteps laboriously coming down the stairs from our bedrooms. My eyes glued to the door into the lounge as I grabbed my books as quietly as I could. Why? I have no idea, my visitor knew I was there so who was I kidding?  The footsteps continued slowly as I counted the steps down.  At the bottom there was a pause. As the door suddenly creaked open I was rushing madly for the kitchen door. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden studying, alternately watching the upstairs windows and the kitchen door.  Whilst I saw him in my brothers window looking out I thankfully didn’t hear any further noises downstairs or near the door.

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That was my one and only scary episode. I still saw him in my parents room and the cold became even more intense from there. So much so that my mother remarked on it. They never mentioned the bureau being moved so I cannot explain it, except to say that’s exactly what it sounded like and the picture in my head bore that out.  I felt his cold ethereal presence in my room on occasion when I couldn’t sleep, or if I suddenly woke, and at those times I feigned sleep.  He didn’t make me feel comfortable enough to let him know I was awake.  It was the same feeling I got when I was walking around Port Arthur many years later, where I know unimaginable horrors occurred.

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The epitaph to the story. I learned that the previous owner had been left by his family and he had become terminally ill. He had committed suicide in my parents bedroom.  Apparently the house had remained empty for a long time, several people had bought it but hadn’t stayed long before reselling it.  The rest of my family didn’t feel or sense the unhappy fellow, although Mum made some unusual comments many years later about feeling uncomfortable in her room at night, on occasions, and how cold the room became.   If I had known then what I know now it may have been a different story.  As trite as it sounds I know I was fortunate not to ‘come face to face’ with my spirit at that time. He was upset and angry and I was ill prepared to handle that.

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Perhaps I made a small difference though. I heard from the new owners several years later that they were extremely happy in the house and there were no unusual happenings any longer.  ( A small town and everyone knows the history of  what had happened there). That being so I’m grateful I may have been of some small help to him. I know I prayed for him many times.  Perhaps that was why he was drawn to me.  I’ll never really know. It was an interesting time, exciting, a little frightening and  very enlightening.  If it happened again I would know how to handle the situation instead I made it into a comedy of errors which amused my family for a long time.

Patrick Swazye Ghost
image courtesy of  justpressplay.net

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One of my favourite films which shows Patrick Swayze about to go into the light after he had finished protecting his wife. Beautiful!

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