When my grand parents bought the house in Brisbane, Queensland it was already known by names such as "creepy" and "haunted", after sitting empty for many years. There had been a couple of deaths in the house, including a suicide. Today, the land has been sold for development and the house was bought and moved. If you want to see it, look up 11 Kingsley Parade, Yeronga, Queensland on Google maps. It was much different back when I was a kid; built in underneath (two storeys; no internal stair case - downstairs was storage and a small, den where my grandfather watched sport on T.V. And kept his beer fridge). The veranda, which wrapped right around the right hand side of the house, was closed in to make more indoor space. The front steps ran parallel to the house and there was a landing out the back. This meant the front bedroom (the French doors you can see leading onto the front veranda) was right in the middle of the house and was eternally dark, hence our creative name, "the dark room". It just so happened that this room also seemed to be the heart of all the creepiness; too perfect, really!
The reason I call "the dark room" the heart of the creepiness was because you could always feel something when going in there. I won't say sinister or frightening. It was more an empty feeling; a deep sadness, like looking at a photo of a lost loved one, and feeling the memories. Instead of desperately wanting to get out of there I would just look around and wish there was something I could do to help, without knowing why. Gradually fear would set in and I would feel the need to leave. Mostly, the room was avoided because it wasn't pleasant to be in.
There were three generations of my mother's side that got to enjoy the happenings. There was a lot of scoffing at each other over the years and people being called ridiculous, yet everyone who spent a long period of time in the house had at least one experience. I know that if you asked each of us, deep down, nobody would deny believing there was something. My grandmother was a Christian and when we would ask her how she could stand living in the house she would never say, "there's no such thing as ghosts" as you would expect. She would just say, "There is nothing that can hurt me here, they have passed on" - who was she trying to convince! She only ever told us one experience but I'm sure there were more once we went home at night!
Here is some of the strangeness:
My grandmother was in the house one day when she thought she saw my friend, Anita, from up the road on the veranda. She called out, "Anita! What are doing in here". The girl ran and she chased her through the house and to the back door. When she found it was locked she searched the entire house only to find all doors were bolted from the inside. Being a high set house there was no other way in, or out.
When my mother was 16 she woke in the night and a figure came into the room (the dark room) and stood by her bed, before exiting out the other door. She felt a force weighing her down and couldn't breathe. The figure didn't seem to walk but was drifting. She could make out it was a women with long hair falling around her shoulders and wearing what appeared to be a long night gown. She thought it was her grandmother at first (my great grandmother), but the face was strange. It was contorting, or not staying still, twisting and changing. The whole figure was shimmering. She still gets laughed at, but she stands by what she saw to this day.
When I was about 11, I was sitting outside the French doors about to practice my violin. The doors where always open and an arm chair was positioned in the space. I saw some small, female-looking feet and the bottom of an ankle length dress go past. I though it must've been my cousin, so I called her name. When she didn't answer I went in. There was nobody. Confused, I went to ask my Grandmother. She was in her usual chair in the lounge and I asked if my cousin had come into the dark room. She hadn't. I went and looked outside and all the kids were sitting up the far back of the yard - not playing dress-ups; nobody was wearing a long dress. In my shock, all I could think about was my uncle's story where he saw a pair or legs, cut off at the knees, run along the closed in veranda. I had joined in laughing at him when he had told his tale, after that, it was no longer amusing.
There were many other things that you would search your mind for an explanation and come up with nothing. There were several occasions that someone would take a glass from the cupboard and place it on the table before turning to fetch a drink from the fridge. Before getting the chance to pour, the glass would explode into a million little shards - even with multiple people in the room. There were footsteps when nobody was there; the sound of sobbing; the hairs on the back of your neck raising suddenly like someone was there or watching you. My personal favourite was going to get something where you knew you left it, and it was gone. Frustrated you would begin your search before finding it placed so obviously right where it was meant to be, a minute later.
I have only experienced the feelings from this house in one other place, and that was a hotel bathroom in Vietnam. It was the same sadness but with a sinister feeling. The hairs on the back of my neck went up and I felt like I was being watched. I immediately knew the feelings and where I had felt them before. I made sure my trips to the bathroom were quick!
I still wonder to this day if the people who now have the house have experienced anything they couldn't explain. My mother went inside after it was relocated and says I wouldn't even recognise it now - the lay out is different. I don't know if this would change anything. We all have fond memories of the house and miss it very much - even with all its weirdness!