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Ghost At The Altar


This story takes place when I was about 10/11 years old. It was winter and my primary school performed every year in the local church with a Christmas play and our deputy head teacher was very good at writing a new unique story every year. This year I was in year 6 and my year group where sheep in the shepherd's flock.

When we finally put on the play, either before or after our performance on stage, my friends Beth, Angel and myself sat down on the floor behind the altar. We were quietly giggling and messing around because none of the audience could see us but we could if we peeked around the corner or quickly looked over the top.

Anyway, we where whispering about our performance when there was a clear knock from inside of the altar we leaned on. There were decorative holes in the altar and we peeked through. All three of us looked through and sitting on the other side where other children leaning on the altar also, with their backs facing us. None of them had knocked.

All three of us were very interested in the paranormal and Beth suggested it could be a ghost. Angel and I agreed and we decided to knock back. Beth knocked three times and two knocks were heard. Every time we knocked and waited for an answer, we looked through to see if the other kids weren't messing with us. No one was and the altar inside was hollow.

We all knew about seances and things so we said that if you say yes knock once and twice for no. We asked random questions about death and gender and age and got a reply on almost all of them. We checked and none of us was knocking when listening for answers and no one on the other side was widing us up. We moved a bit and we saw engraved in the wood of the altar a name. We asked if that was them and we didn't get a clear answer but I think it might of been. It was a while ago so I can't remember what the answers where or what the name was.

Our local church is St. John's church and it is quite old. It has been burned down, rebuilt and even been bombed during the war. This church means so much to me as it is where my parents where married and where my brother was baptised and also where I was baptised with my mum. Our experience with the altar is an interesting one and I would love to hear what you guys think about it. Thank you, unknown_madness.

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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, unknown_madness, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

unknown_madness (8 stories) (36 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-16)
after reading the comments, most of your questions are due to misunderstanding so let me explain.

LouSlips, I am not sure how the others didn't hear us but there where speaking parts most of the time and they (unlike us) were probaly concentrating hard enough to not hear. 😕

Cosmogal926, I don't know why it was engraved where it was but our church is not a big one and there is not much space around the church for a big plaque. And also, behing the altar and rows of benches where the choir sits when they are not singing so I think he may of been a choir singer or maybe not but that is the only good guess I have for it bieng there so as to maybe the other choir singers can remember him? I didn't tell my parents and when you wrote saying about the decorations? The altar had no decorations on it apart from a white cloth on top and the only decoration was the holes and carvings so it would be impossible for a man made object to make the sound.

Thanks for your comments and thank you for reading!
cosmogal926 (9 stories) (1223 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-14)
unknown_madness, I am curious about the name engraved on the alter. At first I wondered how you could forget the name as well, but then after reading your comment in reply to anneke8 I have a couple of questions.

If it was a sentiment for someone who passed away, why engrave it into the bottom of the alter? Wouldn't it have been better to hang a plaque for everyone to see?

Was "Theodore" a member of the church such as a priest, or monsignor?

Did you ever tell your parents about what happened? Maybe they know something about why it was there.

About the knocks you were hearing. There was a play going on so I assume the alter was decorated, it is possible that vibrations of everyone on the alter caused one of the decorations to hit against it making it sound like someone was knocking.
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-14)

Helped me understand this. How can you be sure that one of the other kids wasn't knocking even though they had their backs against the altar. Also, since you thought it possible enough that the other kids might be the ones knocking, that you checked to veirfy it was not them; how is it none of the other kids heard your knocking and carrying on with your activities?

unknown_madness (8 stories) (36 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-14)
Actually anneke8, I only remember the first name not the full name. I though that if I wrote the first name it would be weird but I only remeber that his first name was something like Theodore. And it wasn't engraved by the ghost it was engraved by the church in loving memory!
unknown_madness (8 stories) (36 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-14)
thank you for your comment nysa but it really wasn't anyone else. We checked all sides and there was no one even if they were unaware. The idea it may be a child is good but the name engraved and the date of the birth date and death date told us that he was an adult- middle aged probably around the ages of 50-80 years oldw died. Thank you for your suggestions.
anneke8 (10 stories) (274 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-14)
How could you forget a name that was engraved by a ghost on the altar? If it happened to me that is one name I would never forget again...

Nysa (4 stories) (685 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-13)
It seems most likely that the kids on the other side managed to "answer" you without you being aware. It sounds from your description like there was still an audience & teachers there that you needed to not notice that you were fooling around which, I would think, would make it difficult for you be very certain while also carrying on this conversation. It is pretty much impossible to know if people that close were or were not duping you. If it were not one of your classmates it is interesting to wonder who it was. Perhaps a child that liked to play under the altar many years ago while his/her parent did some regular business in the church?

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