As many of you may already know, I had a strange and psychically troubled childhood some of which is documented in my book Inner Journeys. along the way, I bumped into a few ghosts too….
We lived in a typical semi-detached house on the outskirts of Hull. So far as I know, it was built in the 1920’s and had little history that might make you think it could be haunted. I recall my first impressions of the place though as a young boy. It was cold with no central heating, felt damp and gloomy and the bare floorboards and old wallpaper added a certain creepiness to the place. Of course, my Dad was an amazingly resourceful man and very soon, the entire place was redecorated and central heating added. Still, it always had an atmosphere so far as I was concerned. It wasn’t long after moving in that my worst fears were confirmed. I shared a room with my brother Chris. On the other wall, our father had built fitted cupboards with a desk in between for homework. One night as I peeked out from under the bed clothes, I saw a white outline type figure sat close to where the desk was scribbling away. The figure wore a broad brimmed hat and was dressed like a Cavalier. Not being the bravest of souls, after recovering from the shock, I screamed. Chris awoke or stirred at the sound of that and we both watched as the figure turned its head disturbed, stood up and then glided over and out through the wall. Chris still recalls the incident as well as I.
A few years later, we were camping in the caravan at Hawkeshead in the Lake District. As we walked back from the town to the campsite a couple of miles away it was already dark. As Dad, his friend Jack, me and my brothers and Jack’s daughters were walking in almost pitch black down a country road, we heard the distant sound of a horse its hoofs thudding along as it ran very quickly from somewhere behind us. I recall watching the horse and its highwayman type rider pass us by as if oblivious of us, the road, the drystone walls, the trees or anything. It simply travelled through things as opposed to around them! The thudding of the horses hoofs got louder as it passed us by but there was no doubting among those of us that had seen it – it was a ghostly rider we had just seen.
Many years later, I was traveling with my consulting job back and forth to quite a posh village near Manchester – I forget its name now. I was doing a project at Barclays bank actually on the very first ATM machines to be deployed around the country by the bank. I stayed at a variety of different hotels but there was one in the center of town that I stayed at a few times that was haunted. It had an original central core and then a newly-built wing. I had no problems at all in the newly-built wing but one night arriving later I was allocated a room in the original part of the hotel. I had no clue as to what was about to happen but the room was oak paneled and I thought it very grand. I got into bed more or less straight away and began to read – I recall it was a book by Israel Regardie. I began to feel watched. Its a very weird feeling but it was as if something was watching me. Little knocks and scrapes started to happen and shadows seemed to move around the room with no origin. I never did see a ghost but the noises, moving shadows got worse and worse and then end for me came when the bed clothes were slowly and deliberately pulled off me and the room became very chilly. I packed my bag and went to the reception to request a room change. The man there didn’t seem at all surprised. I found out the next day that the older part of the hotel was reputed to be haunted.
Over the years, I have become better at blocking out things and it is a rare occurrence now to have such an experience. Despite that, when my brother first moved into his house years ago, I had to tell him after my first visit that that their was a little old man sharing the house with him and it didn’t like him being there. I understand that they did have a few strange experiences there in the first few years.
I have always had a sort of morbid fascination for ghosts and I love a good ghost story. I’d just rather not be in the story.