This is the first paranormal experience that I ever had. It took place at my Grandma's home and I was 7 years old. My Grandma lived in a suburb of Melbourne called St Kilda and lived on Crimea Street. Many of the houses in St Kilda were built in the late 1800's to the early 1900's and many were mansions. My Grandma's house was a single story, red bricked two bedroom home that was very modest in comparison to some of the mansions that were built on Crimea Street. It was built on a large block of land and I remember the front and back being overgrown with trees. Sadly many of these houses have now been torn down to make room for newly built houses and apartment buildings.
My Grandma's home had two bedrooms at the front of the house and then a long dark hallway which led to the lounge and kitchen area. The laundry and bathroom facilities were located outside which was not unusual for houses built in this era. The main bedroom, which was my Grandma's, had a huge fireplace in it (no central heating back in the day when the houses were built!) The house was always cold mainly due to the fact that it was surrounded by trees. It was a great cool house to be in during the hot summer but it would get extremely cold in the winter time.
There was a gas heater at the front of the house which would warm up the lounge and kitchen area but bedrooms would stay cold. As my Grandmas was getting old and suffered from bad asthma, my Dad used to worry a lot in winter that she would be cold at night in her bedroom. My Grandma absolutely refused to use the fireplace as she was scared of having an accident and being burnt or setting the house on fire. Many times when we visited her I can remember my Dad constantly offering to light a small fire in the fireplace, telling my Grandma that he would extinguish it before we left just so she could have a bit of warmth in her room at night. But she flatly refused and would be very adamant that she did not want to ever use the fireplace.
I remember it was a Saturday night and my Dad and I had stayed for dinner. I was sitting on the floor in front of the T.V and I was watching The Muppet Show. I must have fallen asleep and my Dad took me to my Grandma's room and put me in her bed. He left the door open and switched on a lamp next to the bed. I remember waking up and realising that I was in my Grandma's room and I was alone. I hated being alone in her house and I was really afraid of the long dark hallway and would never venture to the front of the house without someone being with me. I threw back the bed covers and contemplated whether I should call out for my Dad to come and get me or if I should make the bolt down the dark hallway to the safety of my Dad and Grandma. I put my feet on the floor deciding I would run down the hallway and something flickering caught my attention out of the corner of my eye.
Standing by the fireplace was a transparent figure of a lady. She was standing side on and seemed to be gazing sadly into the fireplace. She was wearing a nightgown that was long at the back, but the front of the gown seemed much shorter and ragged looking. I screamed like a banshee and tore out of the room down the hallway where my Dad met me halfway. Through terrified tears I told him that there was "a lady in a funny nightie" in my Grandma's room. He went to have a look while my Grandma hugged me. She told me not to be afraid and the lady would never hurt me. My Dad assumed that I must have had a bad dream although I insisted it was real. Every time we visited my Grandma after this I would never look into her bedroom for fear I would see this lady again.
A few years later my Grandma moved as the house was getting too much for her to maintain on her own and she moved into a smaller flat. While packing and cleaning up my Dad made a joke that at least we would not have to clean out the fireplace as it had never been used and it brought back the memory of the night I saw the lady in the strange nightie. I asked my Grandma if she remembered and she said of course she did. She then went on to tell me that she had seen this lady on many occasions over the years and had grown used to seeing her. She believed that she was a past resident of the house that had probably fallen into the fireplace and had been burnt. Hence why her nightgown was shorter and ragged at the front as it was burnt. My Grandma had not mentioned this to me before as she did not want me to be any more scared than I was when I visited her. This was why she never ever used the fireplace as she felt this lady appeared as a warning that accidents can happen and obviously my Grandma took her warning very seriously!
My Grandma has since passed away but I will never forget that night I saw this apparition of the lady with the funny nightie!