Fortean Times: ‘It happened to me’
Fortean Times has a new story for their “It happened to me” section.
Taking place in Nottinghamshire, this young mother of two finds out that her daughters are not to pleased with the ‘lady from the stairs’. If you are a believer or not, it’s always interesting to read these personal stories.
Full source: Fortean Times
Following my divorce, our two-year-old twins and I were obliged to go into rented accommodation. Having settled the girls at the local playgroup and started my self-employed new career in the Lincolnshire village, I was loath to go far and couldn’t believe my luck when a 19th-century farmworker’s cottage came up for rent next to the church. I could afford the rent and, although a little isolated, it was in a lovely position and clean and tidy.
We moved in on a cold April day in 1991. I turned the heating up full and lit the fire in the sitting room as the place had quite a chill. I then set about unpacking in the kitchen looking out onto the beautiful west end of the church and graveyard. I could hear the girls chattering away to themselves and exploring the rooms. Eventually they joined me in the kitchen.
“Do you like our new house?” I asked, keen to get their approval.
They looked at one another, made a grave face and said very quietly: “We like the house, but we don’t like the lady on the stairs”.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up. “What lady? There is no lady here, just us – this is our house now.”
They looked unconvinced. “No, there is a lady, in a long brown dress with long brown hair pulled over her face, and she’s angry, she’s very angry, she doesn’t want us here!”
I could see they were getting upset and so decided not to question them any further; I assumed they were unnerved by the change of surroundings and thought ‘the lady’ would go away.
But she didn’t. Night after night they talked about her, where she was in the house, what she was doing and saying, and how she was getting more and more angry. I saw nothing, but several times when I went into a room I got the feeling someone had just left… also a fleeting smell of pipe tobacco smoke… strange for a lady.
One night I had a friend visit. She needed to use the upstairs bathroom and I gave her directions. I couldn’t believe how quickly she returned, nor how pale she was. She said nothing to me until we left the house but then she told me she walked into a cold damp mist on the upstairs landing that took her breath away.
The bedroom light was over near the door, so every time I went to bed, it was a quick glance round the room, switch off the light, dive into bed and pull the covers over my head, and hope the girls didn’t call for me in the night. One night, I had just performed this routine when I heard a rustling noise followed by a huge bang. My heart was pounding so much I thought it would explode, but I knew I had to get out of bed and switch the light on. I found a mirror had come off the wall and slid down behind the dressing table. I laughed with relief until some kind soul the next day told me that ghosts hate mirrors.
In a vain attempt to catch the girls out, I questioned them separately to see if the lady was a twin imaginary friend, but they always had exactly the same story – where she was and what she said. After four months in the cottage, I couldn’t stand it any longer and decided to forfeit the remaining three months’ rent and move to a modern property nearer the centre of the village. I was apprehensive that the lady would come with us… but she didn’t, and the twins never mentioned her again.
For weeks, I tried to fathom the mystery. I asked the locals and did research on the area. No one had experienced anything unusual in the cottage before; however, I did discover it was built on the site of the old monastic priory.
Long Bennington, Nottinghamshire
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