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Haunted Family Home


This is not really my story, but one of my family in general. It happened in a terraced house in Woodford which is in Essex/Greater London and was the home of several generations of my family from the early 1900s to 1970s.

The house always seemed scary - it was cold, damp and depressing. From the kitchen there was a staircase leading to the bedrooms upstairs. The family always felt like they were being watched from the stairs so my Grandad's uncle bricked up the side of the staircase and they placed red curtains at the bottom step. However, there was always a gap at the top of the curtains and the feeling of being watched by an evil presence never left.

One time, in May (I think) 1940, during World War Two, my grandad's grandparents were sitting in the kitchen when their young son John walked in, in shadowy form. He smiled, then disappeared. They knew then that he must have died. A week later, a telegram arrived to say he had been killed in Dunkirk. I think he was only 17 - too young to have been in the war.

When my Grandad was a boy, and his own grandfather had just died, he heard his dog whine from her bed on the landing and he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. The dog hid in his mum's room (my great grandma) and the footsteps continued into his grandmother's room. He heard her sigh and the house was silent. In the morning, his nan told them she felt her husband get into bed with her. Also around this time there was a knock at the door and the dog ran towards it wagging her tail. Grandad opened it. There was nobody there, or in the street.

When my nan was a young mum (16), she was carrying my baby uncle down the stairs when she had the overwhelming feeling that someone was about to push her down. Next thing she knew, she was at the bottom of the stairs in a heap. Luckily she and my uncle were OK.

Later when my mum, aunt and uncle were children, they too felt the house was spooky, even though my grandparents never told them how they felt. My great grandma used to leave sweets upstairs for them, but they always had the feeling they were going to be shoved down, by someone at the top of the stairs, so they used to run. They also had the horrible feeling someone was looking at them through the stair curtain, while they sat at the kitchen table. None of the children even discussed it with each other until years later - it was just an unspoken mutual feeling. My mum always had the feeling it was a boy of about 12, but couldn't explain why she felt this.

The house is still there, but the inside has been altered since - it is never occupied for long - people tend to stay for just a year or two at a time. It was almost constantly up for sale through my childhood.

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

taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
11 years ago (2011-07-27)
interesting story, thanks for sharing 😁
Have heard a few stories about loved ones returning to say goodbye during the war's (1 and 2) most of them do say that the chance to say goodbye one last time makes all the difference.
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
11 years ago (2011-07-27)
Thank you for sharing this story! It sounds like your family had quite a lot of history there. Very sorry to hear about your relative dying at such a young age. That was probably pretty common back then and he just came to say goodbye to his family.

As for the evil presence in the house, a lot of older houses that have held multiple generations of families tend to accumulate energy, good and bad. Sometimes you just have to open all the windows, let the breeze in, fill the house with light (and the smell of fresh baking helps 😉) and let the bad energy clear out. If you ever have problems with your current home, try that, and you would be amazed at how much good it does.
Isabella9398 (1 stories) (4 posts)
11 years ago (2011-07-26)
This is very interesting, it seems very real and scary. Have you yourself have had any encounters? 😲
ladycastlemaine (8 stories) (14 posts)
11 years ago (2011-07-25)
I've never actually seen a ghost, but I have had feelings before, like being touched by thin air, so maybe I am a 'sensitive'.
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
11 years ago (2011-07-25)
Ladycastlemaine--That's quite an accumulation of family incidents, enough empirical evidence to feel the house had some invisible tenants. Which leads me to ask: Have you had any feeling you might also have a nascient sixth sense?
Thanks for the glimpse behind "that curtain." ~ James

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