As soon as I went into the hallway, there was a sudden feeling of my stomach turning, I didn`t understand it, because moments before, I had felt so happy. I tried to shrug the feeling off, but I began to feel sick. My head became heavy, I just told myself, `maybe it was just the build up of moving over the last few weeks,` and I carried on with my work.
I was in the dining room, laying the wooden flooring, and I put my hammer down right beside me. On a number of occasions I reached out for the hammer and it had moved. I started to feel as though I was mad, thinking that I had forgotten where I had put it a few moments beforehand, I mean we all do it from time to time don`t we…?
Then the footsteps began upstairs. This was the first time I was to hear what would become a regular happening. By this time, I had had enough and rang my husband to come and get me. I told him all what had happened, and right then, I think if the house had been ours, we would have put it up for sale. But the council had re-housed us, so we really did`nt have a choice.
Over the next few weeks, I went back to the house along with my husband, and it seemed nothing really happened. I started to feel as though I had just imagined it, or being on my own, had triggered an over active imagination, I tried to forget it, but all the while I started to feel rather depressed and sick in my stomach, that feeling when you know something bad is going to happen, but don`t know what.
We moved in and all went well with the move, the kids were excited because the garden was lovely and big and they had been promised a trampoline once we moved somewhere big enough. The girls picked what room they wanted, and the oldest girl had the small box room to herself. All was exciting. A new start.
Over the next year or so things were settled. Although nothing was happening I had this growing sensation that I was not wanted. The feeling of depression grew, and had constant headaches. I felt really low on self esteem and just cried without reason.
Then, one day, whilst dozing on the settee in the living room, my husband was in the kitchen washing up and getting the dinner on. The television just suddenly switched on by itself. It made me sit up with a start, I called my husband and he just passed it off as a power surge. I was sure I had felt someone with me just before it had happened.
Then, the footsteps started. Every morning at 2.15am, the footsteps ran across the bedrooms upstairs, across the hallway and downstairs. Every morning at this precise time without fail. The kids began to want to sleep downstairs, and the younger boys became so afraid, that they asked to go to the toilet in a bucket rather than go upstairs to the toilet. They became increasingly naughty and only wanted to fight one another all the time. Their behaviour changed so much and my eldest boy became unrecognisable. Even jumping out of the bedroom window on one occasion, when he didn`t get his own way.
It became very frightening, I felt as though I had no control of the a sudden over my whole family, and above all over my own emotions, and I just did`nt know why.
Then, the cupboards in the kitchen started. When I was in the kitchen, washing up and tidying, I would go into the living to tidy or go upstairs, and when I returned to the kitchen every cupboard door and draw was open. I was the only one in the house on these occasions. Following this the footsteps would start upstairs. This all started happening now during the day, when I was alone, as though someone was playing a game.
My eldest daughter was left alone one day. Under protest, but at the same time she did not want to come shopping. Upon my return, she was sitting on the doorstep as white as a sheet crying. She did not want to go back into the house. She explained she was watching the tv, music to be precise, singing along, when at the corner of her eye, she spotted the outline of what looked like a girl, a small girl in a long nightgown. Watching my daughter with interest and smiling. My daughter immediately was able to run from the house.
As time went on, the footsteps continued. The cupboards continued, and the feeling of disfunction, the naughty behaviour from the kids. Outbursts for no reason. Crying from me and feeling of depression. All became so overwhelming.
I became rather ill. I started on anti-depressents.
Then my eldest daughter had rather a nasty experience. She went up to her room one night opened the door and said the room was so cold, although this was in the summer months. She ran down the stairs screaming saying there was someone laying in her bed. This time she swore it was a women, who looked at her.
She never used the room to sleep in again.
Then we all took to sleeping in the living room every night, huddled together on the floor. None of us wanted to sleep upstairs. My husband had to work nights, so it was just me and the kids every night. On one occasion, all the kids were asleep, and I was watching the tv, I always kept it on continuosly, just for the noise really, this night I just felt like someone was watching me again. As I looked towards the living room door, through the glass was a young girl, just watching me. She was no older that around seven, with blond hair, and wearing what looked to be like a white nightgown, lacy on the shoulders.
I looked away, and pretended to carry on watching the tv. I felt almost paralysed, but after a few minutes, looked towards the door, and the girl seemed to be gone. Then 2.15am and the footsteps began again.
Another experience I began having, was the feeling of being dragged by my feet, I awoke suddenly to this feeling, but felt almost as though I were floating along with this feeling. I thought perhaps that I was just dreaming, but my daughter relayed the same experience to me on a number of occasions. My eldest daughter again. Whatever this was, seemed to be concentrating more and more on my eldest daughter as well as me.
Then, the footsteps came downstairs, running through the front door, with the sound of the door opening and slamming and running through the back door, all the time the doors were locked.
I couldn`t decide sometimes on whether the feeling of the house was bad or good sometimes, I certainly felt that on most occasions there was just the presence of one person, a child, but sometimes there seemed to be someone else, a woman I think. I don`t know if the child made me feel unwell, or this woman. All I know is I was perfectly fine before moving into the house in Thornbury Road.
We decided we just couldn`t take anymore. We got the chance to move and took it. On the day we emptied the house, I went back just for a last look around, I don`t why, after all that had happened you would think you would just get out and not look back. But here I was walking around the empty house, I went from room to room and spoke out loud, `I am going now, you got what you wanted` A sudden feeling of upset came over me, and I cried. I cried to the point of sobbing. Why was I doing this?
I closed the door behind me. Not looking back.
Within months of moving out, I felt less depressed. The kids behaviour improved so much. Now they just want their own rooms and privacy!
I still want answers, I try to rationalise all the happening, thoughts and feelings we had, I have tried to look up history on the property, without any success. What we did discover is that the neighbours had a cousin who used to play around the house, with the previous owners daughter, and this cousin had died when she was very young. But other that that, I couldn`t find out anything.
I continue to have a very open mind."