I thought I’d share with you all my own story, and it’s quite topical as I actually have my Mum laid up on my couch here in Sydney, Australia while she recovers from an ankle reconstruction. We got talking about this last night, so I thought I’d share it while the memory was still fresh. First off, I’m going to throw a caveat out. This story is true, I haven’t embellished it (which makes it even more creepy) and everyone in my family who visited us while living in this house backs it up. Sorry the story is a bit long, but a lot went on. Hope you packed a lunch!
It all goes back to about 1982-1985, I was but a 3-5 year old (I have a sister who is 1 year younger) and my parents had just moved into a house in Brisbane. My dad was a journalist (now passed away) and my mother is a midwife who at this stage had taken some time off to be at home with us. The house itself was a single storey at the front, and went into a double storey at the back. The front of the house had the living room, and my room, while the back of the house was joined by a carpeted landing with stairs that went up to a master bedroom on the left, a nursery straight ahead, and a bathroom to the right. At the bottom of the stairs was a side door leading onto a entertainment/bbq area with the backyard out the back. If you turned right at the base of the stairs (and not went out the side door to the concrete entertainment area) you passed under an arch frame that led into a large L shaped concrete rumpus room under the house. Inside the L shaped rumpus room (and under the stairs above) was a dark tiled laundry. At the back of the rumpus room was another back door leading directly out to the back yard. Got me so far? Good. Sorry for the architectural intro!
Dad would often work late at night, so was barely home, (do the maths on that one and work out why they later divorced….lol) so Mum was often left in this house at night with my brother and sister for company. Mum said the first thing she noticed after a month or two of living there was that our old dog Mandy would refuse to enter the house, and spent all of her time in the backyard in her kennel. Apparently if Mum was bringing in the washing, the dog would happily follow up until the back door, but as soon she reached the back door her tail would drop and she would start whimpering. Mum thought it was odd, but nothing more got said. She put it down to ‘the dog being a dog’. Then weirder things started happening. The laundry would flood for no reason, with adjacent rooms left completely dry. Mum and Dad would walk down the back of the house to find light bulbs shattered from their sockets. Mum said she absolutely detested walking in the back of the house at night, as she said that as soon as she entered the stairway/landing area, her hairs would stand on end. She told me ‘it felt like someone was watching me as I walked past or on the stairs’. As you can imagine, checking on my baby sister at night soon became an event to dread, when ordinarily she should have been happy to do so.
The weirdness continued, however it started to ramp up over a few months when Mum and Dad said they used to hear shuffling feet coming from the rumpus room below when they would be lying in bed at night. Often Mum said she would be knitting or watching TV at the front of the house by herself, only to hear laughter coming from the back of the house. She’d get up to check, but of course I would be asleep, and nothing would be there.
One night my aunt and my 18 month old cousin came to stay while my Dad and my uncle painted my grandmother’s lounge room walls one night after work. My Mum and aunt both chatted about their babies (me being a toddler, and my sister a year younger) and my aunt mentioned that my cousin was currently going through teething and was spending some nights crying. This night in particular, my cousin was a little bit in pain so my mother volunteered to drive down to the local pharmacy and pick up some Bonjela (teething gel) to help numb the pain, as we had run out. My mother said to my aunt, ‘Look Jenny, I think there is something wrong with the house, but Phil (my Dad) doesn’t believe me, so I’m just warning you, if you hear something I want you to let me know.’ Aunt: ‘What do you mean?’ Mum: ‘Well I have been hearing some weird things that I really can’t explain, and frankly, I’m a little bit scared.’ Aunt: ‘Oh rubbish! I’m a very spiritual person and I have been in a friend’s house that was apparently haunted and I picked up on it, so I can tell you there is nothing wrong with this house!’ Mum: ‘Oh…ok, well just wanted to let you know. I’ll be back in about 20-30 mins anyway, see you soon.’
Mum got back from the pharmacy to find my uncle’s car in front of our house. Sensing something wasn’t right, Mum walked in to find my sobbing aunt trying to be consoled by my uncle, while my Dad was poking fun at her. Dad: ‘Get spooked did you Jen? guffaw’ Mum: ‘You heard something didn’t you??!?’ Aunt: ‘After you left, I could feel thumps coming through the floorboards and something called my name and laughed from the back of the house. This house is bullS&%#!’ Petrified, my Mum tried to find out what was causing this. She got chatting to a neighbour who said that ‘the previous renter went a bit crazy and went downhill after a messy divorce. She got into some ‘weird’ religion and often would have people would come by the house every few weeks where they would hold ‘seances’ in the house. Being a churchgoer (at this stage) Mum said she felt a shiver go up her spine as she started realising what may have been an explanation for what was going on.
Turns out the woman was a Satanist. Mum asked ‘Where did they used to hold these seances do you know?’ The neighbour replied, ‘oh we used to see them put candles in the rumpus room windows, so they used to hold them in there.’ Needless to say, Mum was determined to move out from that point on. Dad of course really didn’t believe her so they were staying put. Needless to say, despite all our toys/trikes being in the rumpus room, Mum said I would NEVER play down there. She had just put it down to kids not wanting to leave their mother’s feet at such a young age! My older cousin, who was a year older then me, flatly refused to go down to the rumpus room when she visited. She told my aunt and Mum that ‘things down there spooked her out’.
A few more months went by and apparently I started complaining to my mum of a ‘man who sat on top of my wardrobe looking at me’ at night. She got rid of the wardrobe. A few weeks later she was getting changed in her room at the top of the house (I was down the front of the house watching Sesame Street) and when she went to get out of her room she found the door was locked. She started shaking the door, but it wouldn’t open. She called out to me, but I wouldn’t have heard her. 7 months pregnant with my baby brother (4 years younger than me) at this stage, she was forced to shimmy down the drain pipe and onto the side entertainment area (a dignified pose for a pregnant woman!). She came back up through the side door, up the stairs, to find her door wide opened and unlocked. She came and scolded me and said ‘Mark don’t ever lock Mummy in her room again!’. I apparently claimed black and blue that I hadn’t stopped watching the TV. Mum believed me.
About this time she decided enough was enough, and so she approached their local pastor to ask what to do. He suggested two options, 1. they ignore it and hope it went away, or 2. they play loud hymns and read Bible verses to try and anger whatever was there into leaving. He also said though that it could anger them, and they might throw stuff around.
My great-grandmother, who was a VERY religious person, walked into the rumpus room one day and told my mother ‘there are evil, evil faces looking at me and leering at me down there’ after walking downstairs to get a toy for me. A pastor later confirmed that, ‘take it or leave it, and you might think I’m mad, but you have 2-3 demonic manifestations/entities residing in the back of your house.’
That was the last straw. Mum packed our stuff, and started looking for another house. My Dad and her were divorcing at this stage so he was gone frequently. But this wouldn’t be the ‘evil’s’ last parting shot. My mother, about a few days out from moving, went to check on my sister (who was now 2) while she was asleep in the top storey nursery…now her room. On checking her cot, she found it to her terror to be empty. The window above it (and it was one of those old design HEAVY horizontal sliding windows with a vertical latch halfway up one side) was wide open, and the fly screen behind it had its rubber seal hanging in the breeze, with a flap of fly screen swinging in the breeze. Underneath her window was an annex over the back door, which now had a huge dent in the fibreglass of it, and its supports were broken. There was my sister crawling around the backyard, with the dog playing beside her. Mum freaked out, and rang the doctor ASAP who came and checked her out. She was fine, but had a bit of a concussion. When Mum, Dad (he was home at the time) and the doctor asked what happened she exclaimed ‘Doggy down down down!’. Evidently she had fallen (although ‘falling’ out of a window that she couldn’t climb out of nor reach, nor open seems a bit too convenient) out the window and had seen the dog running around the back yard beneath her. Needless to say, we were gone that day.