Vivid memories living on...

titch2k6

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I experienced 'unexplainable things' as a child in the family home at the time. Experiences that I still have very vivid memories of to this very day - 44 years after the events.

I do not want to bore you with unnecessary information relating to the period, but I will briefly outline the house layout as relative to the subject.

From my birth in 1971, and until 1976, we lived in a semi-detached, two-storey house on Southfields Avenue, Stanground, Peterborough. It was nothing spectacular and of typical British layout - Lounge, dining area and kitchen on the ground floor; two bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper floor. The main feature of the house was a vertical striped glass partition that ran the full length of the stairway (plasterboard wall from floor level to just above the stair treads, then glass to ceiling) on the lower level. This would allow you to see anyone coming down/going up the stairs, and would make them appear distorted due to the stripe effect. It was always funny to watch.

We had a 3-seater sofa against the bottom wall of the stairs (I will reference this as '12 o'clock') where my parent's commonly sat together in the early years and a single chair at 3 and 9 o'clock. Sitting in the 9 o'clock chair, and became my usual chair to sit in, you had a view of the stairs in their entirety beyond the glass. At the top of the stairs was a small landing, with my bedroom door just off slightly to the right and in front of you, to the right of that, around the corner, was the bathroom and then right a bit more, my parent's bedroom. As you looked into the door of my parent's room, there was a large heavy dresser unit against the wall shared by the bathroom. On this, my mother used to have a white polystyrene mannequin wig/hat stand, similar to the one pictured below:

stand.png


From the earliest age I can remember, I used to see black shadows creeping around the floor of my room. They would always come in three and there was never any sound with them - no growling, no shuffling or footsteps. Although initially I remember being interested in these things at first, it got to a point where I would feel afraid, hiding under my quilt and start crying, much to the annoyance of my parents who had to come in at all hours to comfort me. I can't remember exactly how long this lasted, but I do remember that it stopped as suddenly as it started.

Things, visually, settled down for a while although other strange things were starting to happen around the house - strange noises, things being moved all the time (which I was usually blamed for). The main item of interest was my mother's wig/hat stand. This was constantly being moved, especially whilst we were out of the house - even with my parent's ensuring doors were closed throughout. I remember we went to Hunstanton one-day for a 'treat' trip. On returning, we found the stand in the centre of the dining table. My mother was adamant that she had left it in their room, and the bedroom and stairway doors were all shut.

When I turned four, and now with a little sister in the house-sharing my room, things took another turn. She would wake at night, screaming and seeming very distressed. She does not, nor has ever recollected anything unusual, but I often wondered if 'they' had returned......

Occasionally, sitting in my '9 o'clock' chair in the early evening during the winter months, and when getting dark early, I would see a figure moving up and down the stairs. Now, the stairway would get illuminated from the TV, which faced the glass partition, whilst it was on and you could clearly distinguish the lightly coloured wall behind the glass. This figure was approximately the height of a child and certainly wasn't as tall as an adult. It would come down and stop, before coming down a bit further, before stopping again and so on until it had reached the bottom of the stairs and stood behind the glass door at the foot of the stairs which lead into the lounge. Then it would repeat, heading back up the stairs to the upper floor, pausing on occasions.

I remember telling my parents about this on more than one occasion, but as usually is, it was dismissed as an overactive mind or shadows cast from the TV, which I can categorically say now, that it was not. It was not a normal light shadow - it had a slight definition and obscured the light travelling between the glass and the stairway back wall.

Things came to a head in the summer of 1976, a few months before my parents divorced and we left the property with my father. We were all in the lounge area. My father was sat on the sofa near the stairway door, my mother at the other end of the sofa near the kitchen. My sister was in her bouncer on the floor and I was in my trusted '9 o'clock' chair. I want to say it was mid-day, but not certain about that, but it was daytime and there was lots of light in the house from the windows. We were all watching something on TV when something caught my attention moving at the top of the stairs, viewable through the glass partition.

I did not recognise what this thing was at first. It was not until the object started floating down the stairway, a short distance above from the treads, that I recognised it instantly. It was my mother's wig/hat stand. It continued down to about mid-point of the stairs before turning towards the lounge and I swear to this day, it was looking right at me with those lifeless 'eyes'. I was petrified. I wanted to call out to my parents but was literally frozen with fear. I tried to turn away from it's 'gaze', but again. I could not. We stayed locked in this unnatural staring competition for what seemed like an eternity before it turned back and floated back out of view.

I screamed.

My parents, instantly shocked, jumped up and rushed over to me as my sister started crying. It took them a while to calm me down and I remember pointing to the stairs where the stand had come to rest half-way down and sobbing, "Was there! Was there!", much to the confusion, and panic, of my parents.

My father, thinking someone was in the house, went to look upstairs and a few moments later was shouting at my mum for not putting "that bloomin' thing in its proper place" when he discovered the stand on their bed - its 'head' resting on my mum's pillow. Once again, she was adamant that it was on the dresser when she had come down earlier that day.

I never experienced anything like it again after leaving the property (although I have had a 'minor incident' at another property I lived in with my father, sister and step-family years after, and actually had a dream about only a couple of years back, which is REALLY strange for me - I am not a dreaming kind of person) and I have spent many years contemplating if what I experienced was real at all. I have no evidence other than my memory, feelings and senses at that time. The fact that I can recollect this period with such clarity presents the real possibility of a trauma memory, suggesting that this was something I experienced and not a fabrication of an overactive mind, despite my age at the time.
 

Lynne

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Thanks for sharing your experience. That had to be very traumatic for a kid. Have you ever considered that whatever was in the house may have caused the problems between your parents? Haunted locations have often been blamed for influencing behavior and causing divorces, suicides and illness. Have you tried discussing those events with your parents now that time has passed they may be willing to give you some validation now.
 
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titch2k6

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Doing what I do now, and my greater understanding of the paranormal, I have wondered about that and a possible effect on my parents. Unfortunately, I have not been in touch with my birth mother since my step-mother stopped visitations when I was 8-years old. I also did not grow up with a close relationship with my father due to certain events during the time I lived with my step-mother, who was quite abusive, and the fact that he was hardly around in our lives.

I did find out the house number that we lived in at the time a few years back and am aware that the house still stands. I am really tempted, without scaring the living daylights out of the current owners, of making contact to ascertain if there has ever been anything experienced, or reported, in relation to the property.
 

Duke

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I did find out the house number that we lived in at the time a few years back and am aware that the house still stands. I am really tempted, without scaring the living daylights out of the current owners, of making contact to ascertain if there has ever been anything experienced, or reported, in relation to the property.
You might want to consider showing up under the guise of having grown up there and just wanting to see the old home again. If they are having experiences, there's a good chance they will bring up the subject to you. That happened to me when I visited the rural farmhouse where I grew up. The lady who lived there asked me about "anything weird" as soon as she could get her children out of earshot. They were seeing the same shadow figure/hatman I'd seen 25-30 years earlier. A similar thing happened to a colleague when he visited the haunted home he grew up in.

 

garnetsilver

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What a fascinating story! I wonder why the wig stand was the recurring phenomenon?
 
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titch2k6

titch2k6

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What a fascinating story! I wonder why the wig stand was the recurring phenomenon?
My theory, and that all it is, is that we know that Polystyrene is a very good insulator, meaning that it quickly accrues electrical charge. This gives it a strong electrostatic attraction, causing it to readily stick to things. It is also quite light as a material.

Maybe whatever was manipulating it with its energies just found it easy to do so through the benefit of these properties?
 
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garnetsilver

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My theory, and that all it is, is that we know that Polystyrene is a very good insulator, meaning that it quickly accrues electrical charge. This gives it a strong electrostatic attraction, causing it to readily stick to things. It is also quite light as a material.

Maybe whatever was manipulating it with its energies just found it easy to do so through the benefit of these properties?
That's a good insight!