Let me take you back fifty seven years to the countryside of County Sligo, Republic of Ireland. My mother Maura was on holiday with her five year old sister Collette to the historical Lisadell estate which has been tended by my family throughout its history and remains to be until this day.
Maura was 14 years of age at this point, the year was 1962. They were staying in an aunt's cottage. The cottage was the traditional format for a small Irish country home, with a living area conjoined with a kitchen, this was named the parlour and two bedrooms adjoined to opposite ends. The normal occupants of the cottage were Maura's aunt and uncle on her father's side-Maggie and Tim.
The couple resided in one bedroom, which left the other unoccupied for much of the year. Maura and Colette's mother Maureen had left them in the care of the aunt and uncle while she visited others around the countryside, so Maura and Colette slept in the spare room.
This room was furnished with a bed settee which could be transformed from a bed to a three person sofa at will. The walls were painted in an old fashioned tone of white and it constantly reeked with the musty odour of damp. My mother names rooms with similar smells as being 'unlived in'. The rooms also hosted a plethora of sinister appearing pictures and dolls, which the aunt oddly considered attractive.
The thing worth noting in this room were the pillows on the bed settee, they were pillows stuffed with newspaper (This was the norm as money was scarce to non-existent). This results in a rustling or crunching sound when the pillow is moved or disturbed. Maura and Colette who were from Belfast and were used to normal pillows found this hilarious.
The event occurred around 9-10 pm one night. Colette and Maura were lying on the bed settee talking and laughing but being wary of being heard by the aunt. Maggie was fierce and would punish them if they were not sleeping when instructed.
At a point they heard the door of the bedroom open, so they immediately went silent and pretended to be asleep for fear of being reprimanded, they key point here is that both kept their eyes firmly shut. They then hear the approaching squeak and thud of booted feet impacting hard wooden floor.
The footsteps grew louder at least as they appeared to Maura's audio orientation, she thought that they were approaching the bed. The footsteps stopped when Maura assumed that the person was standing right beside the bed on Maura's side.
Maura then had the overwhelming sense of being intently watched. Then a rustling sound broke the silence, it was the pillow. Maura felt her pillow sinking as if someone leant their hand on it to stare over her at her younger sister who was at the side of the bed against the wall.
The pressure continued for an indistinct amount of time, then it was released.
As if in reverse of its previous action, the person retreated from the bed and the sound of the footsteps were traceable back to the door, and the door was then closed.
Maura attributed no significance to this story whatsoever, they believed it was Aunt Maggie simply checking on them.
The next morning she asked the aunt if she was in their room last night and she replied "Uck your head's away, me and Tim were asleep the same time as you and didn't get up the whole night." Tim backed this up.
What is it exactly that could have entered into the room? Could it have been the aunt playing a prank? But she was surly, old and strict so that was unlikely. Was she simply forgetful and did in fact enter the room? Perhaps. Or maybe the long and convoluted history of the Lisadell estate and its many cottages holds unknown entities who wonder why strange children lie asleep in their home?
In the year 2006 I personally visited this cottage. It has since been renovated and had many extensions joined on the original building. The room in question was completely redecorated as its new occupant was the children and grandchildren of Maggie and Tim. The haunted room was the residence of their teenage daughter-Andrea.
Andrea often reports strange things occurring in that room. The room is also host to an unmovable chill that feels like a cold frosty morning, but in the middle of August? Also the smell that the room was 'unlived in' remained after many years of occupation and redecoration.
I know this, I felt it and I smelt it.
Andrea was never told of the history of the room-perhaps that is best.