The Shared Diary of a Novice Paranormal Investigator, aged 52 and Three Quar

When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer.

(Stevie Wonder)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamed of in your philosophy.

(Shakespeare)

Ri fol ri fol tol de riddle dee.
(Traditional)

Tuesday

Haunted Holiday

Rifol, as you may already know, inhabits a different time.  She has reached the middle of February, and she has just had a short break in a very old property.  Some of her guests expressed surprise because nobody sensed a spook...

 Renting a holiday property can be an adventure.  You do not always know what you are going to get.  One Easter, we had an extra, uninvited guest.  When the children were younger, we often rented the same isolated farmhouse up a steep track from a Welsh village.  It was tatty-comfortable with wide views of the estuary, mad chickens, wandering sheep and black cattle.  We loved it.  The owners still lived in the back part of the building, and she gave us huge eggs with deep yellow yolks.  Once, she found an injured racing pigeon and rescued it. 

That Easter, as usual, we had another family staying with us for part of the week.  You could fit any number of small children in the quirky bedrooms under the eaves.  One bright morning, I woke up very early, feeling suddenly alert, with the last few chapters of a thriller on my mind.  Only parents of small children know what a joy it is to wake before the rest of the family and sneakily read alone in the kitchen.  If anyone could bottle and distribute that feeling, then the world would be a better place.  I slid out of bed, grabbed the book and made my exit.

From the landing, a short straight staircase led down to a little entrance hall.  Directly in front was a heavy front door.  To my right, the hall led quickly to a large sitting room with saggy sofas and a malfunctioning TV.  To the left, another door led to the cosy kitchen, full of mis-matched furniture and all our holiday goodies. 

On this particular morning, as I stood on the landing, I saw a woman of about my height, with light brown shoulder length hair, wearing a long baggy cream or beige jumper and dark trousers walk into the kitchen.  I thought it was my friend.  Goodbye to the d√©nouement, I thought.  Still, there would be tea and a chat, so I dropped the thriller into my pocket and went into the kitchen to join her. 

It was empty.  There was nobody else awake.  The person I had seen had not been there.  There was no other way out of the kitchen.

To date, this has been my most startling unexplained experience.  There certainly had been somebody there, who looked as live as any of us, then suddenly there was nobody at all.  If that is not a strong example of the paranormals, then I do not know what is.  It was surprisingly bland, however, and not at all nasty.  I had no sense that anyone or anything had communicated with me, and I had no feeling of unease.   Once in the kitchen, I made tea and finished my book.  It was very good.  Everyone else got up later.

I never saw the extra guest again, and it was a long time before I told anyone else about her.  I have heard stories of images of people being seen
re-playing old routines years later, and I have sometimes wondered if this is what I had witnessed.  I understand that paranormal buffs refer to this as a ‘residual haunting’.  They believe that buildings can record events, just like a camera can record a picture.

 I sometimes think that it may have been a picture of Mrs Farmer, from 20 years ago, when she used the whole house for her growing family, and when she went into that kitchen at the same time every morning, to get breakfast ready for them all.  Can one really see an image that looks like flesh and blood, when the real flesh and blood person is only yards away, possibly asleep, behind a thick wall?  Apparently you can, and this is called having a ‘double’.  It means there is an extra part of yourself, which you might accidentally send off on its own from time to time.  I am sending mine to work next week.

So… holiday properties, extra guests… You would imagine a very old house would have at least a spook or two, and our latest, ancient holiday let had history to spare.  The odd thing was, this was the least populated building I have ever been in.  There was absolutely no sense of anything unseen, even in the pokiest, darkest, woodiest corners.  By the end of the week, two other people had commented on this.  Now if a building being empty of supernatural presence is a thing worthy of mention, by implication, a building having a presence is so common as to be considered the norm.  I am starting to realise how many of us must experience some low level of phenomena, or slight sensations of disturbance as a regular feature.  As the teens were telling me not long ago, there is a lot of it about.  Of course, nobody knows what it is, exactly

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