I had my first confrontation with a ghost in the 1940’s. My family were staying with friends in the village of Narborough, near King’s Lynn, Norfolk, after evacuating from our London flat because of the bombing. We often visited Narborough Hall, the owner of which had been a friend of my late father and we knew him well. A year later he married my mother and our family moved into his elegant manor.
That the Hall was haunted there was no doubt. In the 400 years since it had been built, several murders and suicides were known to have occurred. From time to time guests reported having experienced odd feelings they imagined to be evil emanations. It did not worry my stepfather when bedclothes were mysteriously pulled off him in the old panelled room in which he slept. He simply told us that “Ghosts are just as entitled to live here as we are. After all, they were here first.”
I could not feel the same. I had to change my bedroom when I had felt an odd presence there one night.
Cat-like feet had landed on my bed but we had no cat and the door was closed. I put my head under the blankets in a lather of fright while the feet or hands crept up towards my head till I felt I was choking. Then a gurgling sound and the feeling passed. “I forget the whole story but someone or other got strangled in that room,” said my stepfather when I told him about it.
I moved into another bedroom but now something else seemed to be systematically trying to oust me. I was frequently awakened by strange feelings. Although putting on the bedside light seemed to send away whatever it was that was causing the feelings, they kept recurring. Sometimes I was so frightened that I could not even put out my hand and turn on the light. The bedroom door would rattle for hours and the windows thump although there was no wind to make them move. And on one occasion ‘something’ came into the room, no definable shape or even cold breath of air, but the feeling of fear and horror they aroused threatened to engulf me. Overwrought imagination?
My stepfather calmed me down next day. “Remember,” he said, “they won’t hurt you. The trouble is they are unhappy ghosts looking for friendship and comfort after becoming a victim of some murderous individual in earlier days. Why don’t you try and make friends with them?”
And that has now been my policy if I ever sense a ghost around.