Before my parents extended their first home it was a modest two-bedroom bungalow. Both bedrooms were situated at the rear of the the bungalow with my parents in one and my older sister and I sharing the other. As a very young child I can't say sleeping on the ground floor bothered me at all, even though garden access could be gained from the front road and a cul-de-sac at the rear of the property, I never feared sleeping in our home - that is, until one night.
My bed was situated by the window and my sister's bed nestled perfectly in the recess wall. According to my parents I never had trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep but one night - the beginning of many - I found myself drawn to the liveliness brought by two people I had never seen before. There, in front of me, stood a man and a woman not really showing any particular interest in my presence or fascination in their routine.
Now I grew up in the seventies. Fashion was forgotten, though now so identifiable, and even at a young age (I presume I was about three or four-years-old) I thought this man and woman dressed somewhat odd. The woman wore pretty much the same type of dress every night. Her dress was black/dark and hung loosely down to her ankles. Her dark brown hair scooped tidily into a bun. She appeared older and taller than my mum and had a slender build and sharp features. The man was also much older than my parents and he wore a brown/beige suit with a shirt and tie. His hair was fair and receding and he boasted a moustache that stretched out to his cheeks.
The first time they appeared in my room I sat up in bed wondering who they were and curious about what they were doing in my bedroom. I shuffled to the end of the bed and sat watching them in awe. Their gaze towards me acknowledged my presence to them but they didn't seem alarmed by the fact I was there and carried on with their duties.
At the foot of my bed stood a two-door teak wardrobe and to my amazement a huge black stove was situated next to it. Even being such a young age I found it a bit odd any type of cooking appliance should be in my bedroom and I guessed none of my parents were responsible for its presence. Besides, we didn't even own a black stove and the only people I knew who did were my great-grandparents who lived in a cottage two miles away where it remained the same as the day it was built.
Now every night the light was switched off in the bedroom, moments later the man and woman - and the black stove - would appear and every night I would shuffle to the end of the bed and sit watching them. On a couple of occasions my sister would ask me who I was talking to but she didn't seem alarmed when I told her I was indeed talking to the man and woman in our bedroom. She would simply either tell me to get back into bed or fall asleep unnerved by my conversations with our nightly visitors.
The man and woman didn't really involve me in their conversations a great deal, sometimes I couldn't understand what it was they were talking about most of the time. I guess I was too fascinated with their presence than anything they had to say and adult conversations bored me. I do remember exchanging words like hello and goodnight and I also remember how they used to drop the fact they were my parents into the conversations. I never really said anything back and just thought to myself they weren't my parents because my parents were in the next room.
Another point I remember about this couple - I presume they were married - was that they lacked physical affection and in a way I felt relieved in believing they weren't my real parents whose affection for me as a small child was abundant.
I don't know how long their visits lasted for or for how many nights but the one thing I remember the most is feeling uncomfortable one night about being in their company.
Not long after the bedroom light had been switched off I had the feeling something wasn't quiet right with their visits. It wasn't the fact they repeatedly told me I was their daughter, but it was as though my sixth sense warned me that perhaps it wasn't a good idea to be friends with these people anymore. As young as I was, I heeded this warning and approached this particular night's visit with caution. I didn't sit as far as the corner of the bed this time and I planned my escape over the top of the duvet should my sixth sense warning indeed be right.
When they appeared, they stood closer than usual and I remember my little anxious heart pounding. I felt as though I didn't like these people anymore but didn't know how to let them down to prevent trouble, especially for me.
The woman stepped closer towards me, her left arm outstretched as if to touch me. I sat back. She spoke to me and her words gave me the coldest chill I have ever experienced. She told me because they were my mother and father I had to go with them and they were taking me - tonight!
I leaped up, brushing past the arms of their clothes and jumped into bed with my sister, making sure I slept between her and the wall. Trembling, I peered over the bedsheets. I expected to see their menacing faces leering down at me or their arms reaching out to drag me out of bed, but I saw nothing. The room was silent and only had the furniture that belonged to my parents. The couple and their ugly black stove had vanished and would never return.
The only thing that didn't make sense the next morning was the
Unexplainable markings on my bed. As I've already mentioned I grew up in the 70s and it won't come as a surprise my bedding was bright purplish in colour. Where my head supposed to have rested that night was a huge white stain, like some kind of detergent had been poured onto my pillowcase and discoloured the purple dye. Now it certainly hadn't been there before I went to bed and there is no way my parents would have left dangerous household substances around for their young daughters to play with.
My mother never dressed my bed in these bedsheets again, but kept the pillowcase to tear up for cleaning rags. She never chastised me for the damage caused to the bedding but I did ask her many years later how the pillowcase came to be discoloured. She shrugged. It was a mystery to her just as it was to me, but the one thing that was more mysterious was who were these people who came to visit me and why were they there?
I do have further experiences that may be linked to this, which I will add soon.
Just to add: My parents bought the house from new in 1969/70. They were the first to live there and nobody has died in the property. Only fields were there before.