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Gnooooome

 

As children my best friend and I lived in each others homes. Her Mum quickly became friends with my Mum and our families were very close from 1987 until 1999 when her family moved. In adulthood my friend and I grew apart. We'd become very different people. We never fell out, we simply drifted apart.

Today I view our friendship as one of the most important ones in my life, as it re-enforced how I already viewed the paranormal world. In essence I believe her family's influence prolonged my paranormal 'early sensitivity phase' well into life as an adult.

Get a load of this house: Their home was situated in forest terrain of an outer city suburb. It was a built up area, suburban but deep in the heart of nature. Their house was built sometime in the late 1970's or early 80's. It was a new home at the time. But you would NEVER know. This family were crazy about everything old fashioned, much like I am today.

My friend's Granddad, a carpenter by trade, and the rest of her family built this house themselves. It was gnarly; single story, cottage style, stained weather board the colour of deep chestnut, which was elevated from the front and looked double story from the street. That's if you could see it from the street. Which you couldn't, unless you squinted through the canopy of her Mother's dedication to gardening.

The evergreen on their front lawn must have been there when they built. This fella was a million feet tall to me. He shouldered the entire house and created a micro-climate perfect for getting bogged in their muddy driveway. Their front lawn was mostly moss, it was divine.

The back garden consisted of many, many tall trees just like him. In the long multi-leveled tiered garden was an orchid which her Mother planted, a vegetable patch, humongous glass house her Granddad built, a herb garden, huge higgledy piggledy BBQ made from bricks and bits and bobs. All covered in the canopy of those silent giants.

Inside, the house was like those you visit on historical tours. Including their furniture. This was no modern day nod to the past re-imagining. Not in the slightest. It was an unofficial replica of something 100 years plus in the opposite direction of time. This was not your average modern home. It wasn't built by your average builders. It was crafted by a family who embraced folklore.

Her Mother, an artist, filled their home with paintings and sculptures of fairies and goblins. My Mother, a lover and collector of folklore entities since childhood, did exactly the same in our home. My friend and I felt like sisters because our Mothers were so similar. It was her maternal Granddad who helped to build this home, this man was equally enchanted with folklore. Both my friend and I had strong familial ties to England, her on her Mother's side, and me on my Father's.

This magical day takes place sometime in the late 1980's or early 1990's. We were the same age, around 7 or 8 at the time.

At my friend's place, out in her back garden one afternoon. Business as usual. Playing make believe, as always, laughing our faces off at anything and everything. We were always finding something to laugh at, and I mean belly ache, lose your breath, pull a muscle, stream of tears laughter! Today was no exception.

We were mucking around in the orchid. I don't remember how or why but we were both looking in the same direction at the same time. Nothing drew our attention I don't think, at least not consciously. Nothing seemed unique. We were talking, though I don't recall the topic. Then, about 5 or so meters away from us, a small man runs into the herb garden! Quick as you like! My friend and I look at each other, then she says in a slow silly nasal voice, "Gnooooooommmme." We wet ourselves laughing.

For us, who were somewhat normalised to this, thanks to our Mothers and Jim Henson, this was like finding a stray kitten. We approached the herb garden without a second thought. Rummaging through the thick dense herbs he ran into, we simply could not locate him. All the while distracted by how funny saying "Gnooooommme" was. We giggling gerties continued to rummage while saying "Gnooome", it got funnier and funnier. Our jokes soon turned obscene and we mocked about kicking him over the fence. Well, this was just too funny. Our laughter prevented us from further inspection.

Today instinct tells me we both knew he was unfindable.

My memory of this man is very vague and our glimpse very brief. He looked like a miniature old man, roughly 2ft tall. I don't recall his clothes too well, they were muted in colour. He had rough weathered skin. I remember the last of his boot as he disappeared within the thick yarrow.

Later that evening we were laying on the lounge floor talking and playing Sega. My friend yelled out to her Mum, who was in the kitchen, "Hey Mum, Tweed wanted to kick one of your Gnomes over the fence!"

We both laughed. Her Mum didn't catch the full sentence and probably thought she was yelling about the highly religious neighbours who were none too pleased with the parties thrown at this house. My friend yelled out again, "Hey Mum! We saw one of your bloody Gnomes!"

Her Mum came in and we told her what happened. When we told her he ran into the herb garden her reaction was one of realisation. She looked up and appeared to ponder something. Then said something like "Wait 'til Granddad hears."

1992

By now we were 11. Her parents had purchased an enormous block of land out in the country. A few acres of bushland. It was here they were eventually moving. Once again building their own home. They did this over 8 years while continuing to live in their original home back in the suburbs. A resourceful family, very self reliant, needing not much more than what nature provided to be content.

During the holidays I stayed at their land for a week. It took hours to drive there. On the way we stopped in on my friend's maternal Grandparents. I knew them well from over the years but had never been to their home before. It was filled with family made folklore art of all mediums. While there the adults talked about the spirits in the garden. When we were kids this was normal. Now, as an adult, I long for the commonplace of this topic in my early years.

We arrived at the land, up a long driveway to an established camp site. A large dining area around a central camp fire with a huge cauldron-style stew pot under a wide tin roof. They had a few generators for power and an overhead fluro light. This was makeshift accommodation but it was far from camping. We slept in caravans which circled the dining area like walls trapping in heat under the tin on those cold country nights.

In the daylight we roamed around playing make believe, laughing it up as always. There were about ten people coming and going throughout the week, all family and friends I was familiar with. We weren't allowed on the house site while the adults were working there because it was dangerous. The house site was about a ten minute walk from camp.

There was another area we were warned not to venture into. This was a forest thicket off the driveway near the entrance to the property. Her Granddad mentioned it was home to a name of an entity I've long since forgotten. My friend said it was strange going down there. Being the fearless youngsters we were, especially as a duo, eventually curiosity got the better of us.

On our last day we decided to explore the forbidden thicket. We approached discussing what we would do once we were in it. The thicket had an abrupt entrance. It was unlike the rest of the forest. We were met with old logs covered in moss and lichen, the soil felt loose. But most striking was how dark it was.

We peered in over a moss laden log into a large dark clearing a couple of feet lower to our ground level. It reminded me of a stage. A cool air emitted from within brushing our faces like the breath of consciousness. All was still and silent. We wanted to climb in, we had every intention of climbing in. But we could not. We could feel eyes on us, eyes that didn't want us there.

I attempted to climb in and as I did was pricked by a nettle. All week I had avoided nettles while everyone exclaimed how painful they were. I didn't notice that nettle beside me and until then had no idea a plant could sting like an insect. Well that was enough to brandish all enchantment. We took it as a sign and headed back to camp.

That night we lay awake in the caravan while the adults partied long into the night. Every other night we would sing along to Zeppelin and The Stones and laugh at the adults' most inventive use of swear words. But on this night we were sucked back into that brief mysterious moment before the nettle's rude interception. What was that place? How did it get like that? Why was it so quiet? Where were the wildlife? Who was there, watching us?

--

Postlude:

"Short sighted business men, nothing lasts for long" - Joni Mitchell.

The years rolled by and before we knew it they had moved. My friend visited one afternoon with photos of the new place. It was another unofficial historical replica cottage in every way possible. Equally as impressive as their home I'd half grown up in.

I'd become good friends with my friend's cousin over the years. The cousin had taken up temporary residency in the old home in the suburbs. Finally the dreaded day came when the home was sold and none of us would step foot inside again. This home had become like a friend to so many who knew it. Its future absence in our lives hit a lot of us hard. A few of us from the suburbs held a small farewell party for ye home o' ole. The house seemed to mourn with us as we sat around the table exchanging the ghost and faerie encounters had in this place.

While all were outside firing up the BBQ one last time I had a quiet moment inside. Bidding farewell to each room individually. Running my fingertips along its walls as I slowly walked, savouring every moment. All that artwork painted onto walls and up door frames, every nook and cranny, every window view so familiar. How could this be the last time? I still can't answer that.

In reminiscing about those years, I looked up the old place on Google Earth. It pains me greatly to tell you ye home o' ole no longer stands. Where once was magic now a popular modern contemporary design. The silent giants slain, the moss now paving, the land completely levelled. The only garden tiers left are the ones in my eyes.

Some call redevelopment culture 'progress', I call it greed.

Pastorius fills the room with his lilting harmonics, magnetising my conscious from past to present as I reminisce in my hybrid American circumstance. Knowing there's a place out there, somewhere, where the faerie folk flock. Today I'm surrounded by old world settings and home made folklore art, the garden a natural rustic ode to the faeries. Some things never change.

Thanks for reading.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Tweed, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

aku-97 (3 stories) (21 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-13)
I want to learn about them so if possible I can help them. What is your veiw about the dreams I had. What do you think could be the message? The spirit showing me her death and lady's spirit
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-12)
Aku, yes it's possible. These are known as 'visitation dreams', typically they are more vivid and/or lucid than regular dreams and, as you describe, you remember them. However, they can be confused with regular vivid dreams.

Is this something you want to learn more about, or do you want to stop it?
aku-97 (3 stories) (21 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-12)
Tweed
Is it possible that spirits can contact you in your dreams. I have had dreams of spirit contacting me and telling me things. I can tell they are spirits due to their aura. Recently I dreamt of a spirit telling me actually showing me of her death. She was burnt alive and I even remembered the name of place few days after that dream but I couldn't gather courage to google the incident.
I would like to tell you usually the dreams that are of importance only last in my memory.
I had another dream of a lady spirit inviting me to her house. Just 2 days after I saw her condolense message in newspaper. Also I have never seen the lady.
kaykay3313 (guest)
+1
2 years ago (2015-10-26)
I just have to say the way you write is beautiful! You should think of publishing a book, you have a great way of creating a picture in the mind. The old home sounds beautiful, something out of a fairy tale. Also I'm glad you gals listened to your intuition and left that old home where you felt something watching. 9 times out of 10 gut instincts are right 😁
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2015-10-04)
Biblio, thanks for the extra info!

I did some reading on the genus loci a couple days ago and it certainly seems to fit.
So far there's nothing turning up for an Aboriginal equivalent. That doesn't mean there isn't one. But nothing seems to 'fit' from the list of Dreamtime Gods and Goddesses I've been reading through.

The general area of their land was part of early white Australian settlers. It wasn't the *first* area to be populated or anything like that. But it was one of the general early 'white fella' areas. Neighboured by some more historically renowned country areas.
With this in mind I wondered if it was possible for a genus loci type being to 'settle' there too. As far fetched and impossible as that sounds.
All these years I've had the impression this entity in the thicket belonged to the land/location, with strong ties to it. I also had the impression that her family heritage played a big part in the nature spirit activity of her home in the suburbs. Her maternal Grandparents were Cornish and would talk about British folklore/mythology in relation to Cornwall, as would her Mother. I'm unsure if they were discussing these topics merely in passing or if they were relating them to present tense occurrences around the home in the suburbs.

Much to think about, I will keep reading.
Thanks for your input!

PS With Halloween approaching I've been hesitant to check in at YGS for I suffer a fear of teenyboppers.
Shame because I love Halloween, but I can't be dealing with urban legends and tall tales of woe. πŸ˜‰
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (745 posts)
+3
2 years ago (2015-10-03)
Tweed: that's fantastic!

"Genius Loci" literally means "the spirit of the place." It's not as primal as an elemental, but it can be very powerful within its own territory. It tends to abide in a particular habitat within that territory, and its temprement is bound to the life/atmophere of the location (& vice-versa). Upsetting a genus loci can have enduring, generational consequences; discovering a hurt/offended one within its domain can be like startling a wounded bear in a cave: it may take a swipe at you (lucky it was a stinging nettle in your case), or -if it is more infuriated than wounded- it may pursue you with malicious vengeance.

Almost all genii locorum (no, I'm not being a show-off; I had to look up the plural out of curiosity!) are wild, and are content to be so. Being English, I tend to associate them with riverbanks, copses, glades, and rugged terrain; they would be present in other environments, I'm sure, such as the desert-swelling Djinn of Persian & Arabic lore. I've not heard of any which have adapted to human habitats beyond tiny hamlets and villages (and the transition has had a 50/50 success rate).

I wonder if 1) there's an analogous Aboriginal description of these entities, 2) there's enough documentation to determine what provoked this negativity in the first place?

Best,
-Biblio.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
2 years ago (2015-10-01)
AHH! It was '*something* L word'! The name reminded me of 'loch ness' as in 'loch ness monster'. I think you may have nailed it, holy crap! Thanks! 😁
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (745 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-10-01)
Tweed: her grandfather wasn't referring to a "genius loci," was he?
-Biblio
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-30)
Awe Sheetal, now that IS a very nice thing to say, thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. 😊
sheetal (6 stories) (765 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2015-09-29)
Majestic account! Your description of the house... I am feeling like I Was there... The house must be a beautiful one... I can understand the pain, when there is one who nurture the home and when they have to leave it. I personally do not read long stories but when I read your stories I feel like it should not be end ❀
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
2 years ago (2015-09-27)
Manafon that is still some SERIOUSLY cool powers of perception you were able to conjure. Real or not, you saw him. Kinda reminds me of of those 'magic eye' illusions from the 90's lol
(and hoorah for email normalcy again, just found your reply)
Manafon1 (5 stories) (507 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-27)
Tweed--I think I summoned a "gnome" completely of my imagination. I don't think it was there in a physical sense. I was gnome obsessed and if a gnome wasn't kind enough to show itself my imagination was more than willing to fill in the proverbial blanks! 😜 Your experience actually seeing a gnome-like man running is incredibly cool. I would have had an excitement thrombosis if I saw that fella at eight years old! In the final analysis, you actually saw something and I only imagined something.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-27)
Manafon you summoned a gnome?!?! 😲 That's too awesome for words! Please do share this on YGS at some stage. WOW! I remember hearing one of my Mum's friends did something similar but he was on mushrooms at the time haha, so who knows. Obviously you were not at age 10. That's absolutely fascinating!
(I'll send you an email shortly to your new email address, hopefully this'll sort out whatever's preventing things. 😊)

Hey Sam πŸ˜‰ That was the only time I ever visited their land and I only ventured down as far as that day the once. Mum didn't want me to stay at their land again because I returned smelling of camp fire with my hair completely knotted haha. Personally I loved the smell and the knots came out so big whoop Mum.
It's so sad the old place is gone now and it's nice that others understand, so thank you!
samtillie (5 stories) (242 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-27)
Tweed, I love this story it sounds fascinating. Did you never attempt to go back to the wooded area? So sad to hear the old house doesn't exist anymore 😭
Manafon1 (5 stories) (507 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-27)
Tweed--What a beautiful evocation of youth you paint in this account! Really captures that elusive tangible internal buzzing that is childhood.

I was obsessed with gnomes when I was ten or so. A book on gnomes had come out around that time and I was always on the lookout for them. I wanted to see them so badly I once "brought one to life" before my eyes. Suddenly there he was standing on a fallen tree bough with a crooked little smile on his mug. Then in a flash he vanished.

For those few seconds he really WAS there though, if you know what I mean. Oh yeah, answering an earlier question, my new email address is on my new profile page.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-27)
Thanks Darkangel, I would LOVE to see whatever you caught on camera! There will always be people who doubt things like that. Even if it is a bug, the point is it *could* be a fairy, or something of the sort, and that's why I would submit it if it were me. There may be others who have captured something similar and may lead to a very interesting discussion.
Don't let a fear of harsh nay sayers hold you back. 😊 Sure it might be a bug BUT what if it's not! 😲
Some things are worth the risk of ridicule. πŸ˜‰
Darkangel73 (4 stories) (104 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-26)
Tweed- That was an wonderful story... I like how as children were so curious and filled with laughter. I believe that I caught a fairy on a camera phone, but if I had published the picture someone would doubt and say it was a bug, so I never did.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
2 years ago (2015-09-26)
Bawl* not ball. God blimey, I typed 'sole' instead of soul the other day.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-26)
haha That's very cute Val! I can't say gnome without saying or thinking 'gnooome' all these years later. Nice to know I'm not the only one having fun with it. πŸ˜†

Silentwings, glad you enjoyed it. I think it's for the best we kept out of the clearing too. Out of respect more than anything. Think I'd kick myself today if I'd climbed in. I'm glad the nettle helped me respect the boundary.😊

Hecate, I'd like to think a part of that magic still dwells there today. What's there now looks like a normal nice house. But that's just what it is, 'normal and nice'. Pretty dial tone in comparison to what was once there. The modern garden* of the new place looks suspiciously like the new owners have given up trying to 'tame' it, a good thing in my opinion.
*You know modern gardens these days, paving, a couple Yukkas, more paving, a shrub if you're *really* lucky, more paving and REALLY SHORT OVER MOWN GRASS to the point where it's dirt.
Modern gardens; holy crap😐
So it's replaced with that now. But there's a shrub against the house that looks pretty unruly. I wondered if it's a rental now and the tenants just let things grow (hell yeah!). Whatever the case it makes me wonder if that patch of land is determined to be overgrown and gnarly, no matter what human has so called 'control' over it. The right person will somehow find their way to live there. I really did ball when I saw those google Earth images jeeesh, it was very sad. But that shrub was amusing.;-)

"Your ghost stories has a limit of 3 emoticons" <--spoilsports
valkricry (39 stories) (2772 posts) mod
+2
2 years ago (2015-09-26)
Tweed,
I just had to drop by and (hopefully) share a giggle with you - caused by your story! My roommate is mentally challenged (along with some physical hindrances) so although he's 34, mentally he lies somewhere between 14 and 16. I forget the name of the movie he was watching, but it did deal with gnomes and noticing as I past the set I said, "Gnoooome!" Well, somehow that translated to him that I might be a tad bit afraid of them. So, the brat went and got this raggedy stuffed Papa Smurf from his room (one of the few things he has from childhood) and started holding it out towards me and saying, "Gnoooome! I'm a gnoooome come to suck your brains! Arrrrrrr!" Well I couldn't help but laugh, and told him zombies eat brains not gnomes, but he was adamant. "Ok then, I'm a zombie gnoooome..." At that point I just figured 'wth - why not', and allowed him to chase me all over the apartment with his 'zombie gnoooome'. *SMH*
Silentwings (guest)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-25)
Such a great experience Tweed, and written so well I almost felt like I was there watching the two of you play and the house sounds so elegant, almost like something from a fairy tale. It would be so awesome to see a gnome, though I am glad you didn't go further into the woods some things are best left alone. It's unfortunate that you and your friend drifted apart. I really enjoyed this, thanks for sharing.
Hecate0 (4 stories) (418 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2015-09-25)
Tweed, what a wonderful read. Of course I felt like I was there with you on all counts. I love it that it all felt normal. And I can still feel the sadness at the destruction of that house. It probably cried out the whole time it was being deconstructed. But maybe it's enchantment was able to dissipate, and even in the new environment, subtly speaks to those who hear.

Thank you for sharing. Our connection is very healing for me. ❀

Best,
Hecate 😊
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
2 years ago (2015-09-25)
Aww dude, not my layout. Only just noticed this has been sliced into bite sized paragraphs, it disrupts the flow, man. I liked the way I had it. 😳
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
2 years ago (2015-09-25)
Thanks, glad you both enjoyed reading.😊

Willow, haha I love how you worded that. Thank you for your kind complements! It's true our early experiences help shape who we are. It's eye opening how many have had pivotal early paranormal encounters which carry through to adulthood. I'd like to think there's something in us to begin with, which helps connect with certain entities. Like your Pagan friend, something about him which clicked with and inspired the entity to peek at him.
I wish I could remember more about the man/gnome's appearance. Today the most bizarre thing about these memories is that they don't feel paranormal to me, it's hard to describe; there was an odd small man who disappeared in the herbs, then we played Sega. It must have been the way we were raised but for so many years it didn't even ping as 'abnormal'.πŸ˜•

Val, I really feel locations have some essence, some consciousness. I couldn't even guess what it is, or how it works, but everyone feels it on some level at some stage I believe. For me this 'gnome' encounter included their home and garden, their family 'culture' if you will. The same with the dark clearing on their land. People, locations, otherworldy entities all drawn together somehow and (hopefully) benefiting one anothers' existence. It takes a very talented idiot to destroy a home like that, I find comfort thinking it sucks to be them, whoever they are. πŸ˜‰
valkricry (39 stories) (2772 posts) mod
+2
2 years ago (2015-09-24)
Enchanting account, Teed. I too often wonder at the destruction I see around me.
WillowWaly (2 stories) (97 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2015-09-24)
Ye gods, Tweed. What an lovely, colloquial, unforced narrative voice you have. Please write a book.

That said, it was fascinating (and funny) to read about the Gnooooome. I can get behind the concept of nature spirits sooner than I can many other paranormal concepts.

A friend of mine walking in the woods as a child saw a benevolent man with a face made of leaves peeking out from behind a tree, who smiled and disappeared. Unsurprisingly he later became Pagan, and of course the Green Man (visible in the foliate heads of old architecture) featured significantly in his personal mythos.

I like that your little fellow had weathered skin and clothes of muted color. That seems right somehow.

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