A few weeks ago, I was enjoying a five day stint taking care of a client’s house while they were on a 5-day vacation (or a “holiday” as they call it here in the UK). It was easy, relaxing, and uneventful… until day three.
I walked into my room, heard the click of a light switch, looked over at where the noise came from, saw that the closet was open, and the light was on. I’d never opened the closet and the only other person in the house (the owner’s daughter, who I’ll call “Sally”) was in her bedroom.
At that point, I was actually hoping it was a burglar hiding in the closet, not a ghost.
I stared at the closet for literally a minute straight, trying to convince myself, “well… hey… maybe that other house guest is playing a trick on me. I’m not going to fall for it,” knowing full well that he left about eight hours before this happened and that he wasn’t going to be home until later.
Then, the light turned itself off.
Sally came out of her room and I didn’t waste any time asking, “So, um, is this house haunted?” She had a nervous smile and said, “what do you mean?” I explained what happened and asked, “Did you open that closet?” She confirmed, “No, I never come in this room.”
Like a champ, she walked confidently and quickly over to the closet, “But there’s a motion detector light in the back of the closet, so that’s why it turned on when you walked over to it, then it turned itself off.”
“I didn’t walk over to the closet, though. It turned on right when I walked into the room.” The master bedroom where I was staying is extremely large; the door to the bedroom and the closet door are in opposite corners of the room; and the motion detector is all the way in the rear of the closet.
“It must’ve been Izzy (the dog).”
“No, she’s downstairs right now.”
“Oh, ya, then, I don’t know. I do know that it’s very temperamental, though.”
There’s a latch on the closet door that, when not in use, leaves it open about an inch. She and I agreed that the dog must’ve opened the door because she tries to bury things in that closet from time to time. But that still didn’t really explain why the motion detector light turned on.
Later, Sally admitted the house is haunted and told me three ghost stories from when she’s lived in the house (although, I got the impression that she could’ve told me a lot more than three stories).
When Sally was young, she saw a little boy at the foot of her bed. A few days later, her mom said she had a dream about a little boy begging her not to move away. Her mom described the boy from her dream and what he was wearing. Sally said the description matched the boy she saw in her room exactly. Sally spent the next three months sleeping in her parent’s room.
The second story she told me was when she saw a little boy (I believe he was the same little boy from the first story) staring up at the trap door in her second-floor bedroom ceiling. As the story goes, hundreds of years ago, the hired help lived on the top floor of this three story farm house. They weren’t allowed to use the stairs, so they had to climb the ladders which were attached to the trap doors in each floor (you can still see these trap doors today).
She mentioned that the little boy was looking up at the trap door because he was scared to go back up where he was supposed to be. He said the other ghosts (believed to be his parents) were always mean to him when he returned from venturing out from the top floor and he knew they were going to yell at him when he returned.
How did Sally gather all this knowledge from a single sighting? She didn’t. The family has invited mediums into their home to conduct seances, and that’s where the information came from.
A little background for the third story. When she was a kid, Sally and her brother would play rough before bed time and try to sneak up on each other, because you know how kids can be sometimes – they didn’t want to go to bed yet. Apparently, the ghosts had been watching and they wanted to play, too. One night, Sally’s brother saw a little girl sneaking around his bed. He thought it was his sister and tried to kick the girl in the face (ya, I know, not very nice). When he didn’t make contact with anything, he was confused, looked around, and went into his sister’s room. There she was, asleep.
To make things even more interesting, there are mirrors all over the house in nearly every room and hallway. Before hearing Sally tell me these stories, the mirrors were just mirrors. After the stories, let’s just say I didn’t want to look into any of them.
Like you, I’ve watched some of those TV shows where people go into known so-called “haunted houses”. I’ve always wondered if they were just faking it, if people’s minds were playing tricks on them, or if ghosts are, in fact, real.
Knowing that I was basically living in one of those TV shows, I really, really, really hoped ghosts didn’t exist. Thankfully, I didn’t experience anything else abnormal after the closet light incident during that first 5-day house sit.
I left their house for London with an offer on the table from the home owners to come back for a longer house sitting stint in a couple weeks. Despite the fear of being potentially scarred for life from a traumatic experience, I accepted their offer. It was just too good of an opportunity. I get to explore this part of the UK much better than I did the first time, time to relax, help out around the house, and I get free accommodation. Also, the home owners, their daughter, and their house guests are incredibly enjoyable to be around. The owners have done so much for me and I’m very grateful for their generosity. So, here I am, back in the supposedly haunted house.
One more story: remember the closet light incident? Well, when I asked one of the homeowners if I could hang up my clothes somewhere, she said, “Sure, you can use that closet,” and she pointed to – you guessed it – the same closet with the ‘lighting issue’ from a couple weeks ago. I opened the closet. No light. I stared at the motion detector light in the back of the closet and thought, “you gotta be kidding me.” I looked for a switch or some rational explanation. I couldn’t see any reason why it didn’t turn on.
When I opened the closet the next day, the light turned on immediately.
Great. Just… great.
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