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My Unnerving Childhood Experience


Before I go on I feel it important to stress that I strive to be a rational person, I hold no religious belief and take a sceptical approach to any form of the bizarre. However I find myself haunted (if you'll pardon the pun) by the events that I experienced as a child, which completely contradict and confuse everything that I want to believe.

Up until the age of 5 my family and I lived in a large attic flat of an old house in south London.

My parents both much like myself have very rational, scientific heads on their shoulders and it was only when I was much older that I was shocked to over hear my mother talking to my grandmother about experiences in the old house.

My earliest memories are of being at the most four years old and living in terror of my large cupboard! Monsters in the cupboard, I know exactly how it sounds, but this is the only way I know to describe it. On a regular basis day and night I would endure terrifying encounters with the thing that came out of the cupboard. I remember being aware that it wasn't always there, but I knew when it was present because of a horrible heavy feeling in the air. When it appeared I would desperately hide my face due to its grotesque appearance and it would talk to me in a very stereotypically 'scary' voice.

The 'thing' knew everything about me and although I don't remember (and most probably didn't understand) the specifics of what it would talk about, I do remember that I tried my best not to interact with it. Although I was always aware when it was around it didn't always show its self, and I remember very vividly the curtains opening and closing on their own and it would create big glowing, seemingly solid shapes of light.

Although I remember being scared of it I don't think I was anywhere near as terrified as I would be now! I remember being comforted by my relatives who didn't appear scared and I simply accepted it as something normal. I didn't even contemplate the possibility of the 'thing' being a human form like a ghost because it absolutely wasn't. Its face was frightening, it had disgusting teeth, horrible eyes and I thought of it as a scary monster. I had one particular recurrent nightmare in which we would leave the house and the 'monster' would call to me from underneath the bush and try to lure me underneath to it, occasionally it would grab me. I have no idea if the dream was directly caused by the 'thing' or whether it was just a reaction of my fear.

I find the events completely confusing and difficult to comprehend because they just seem so irrational yet I know that they were real. When I overheard my mother and grandmother talking I was filled with a million emotions. My mother claimed that there was "something not right with that house" and in particular my bedroom, and at that, I revealed some of my memories to her. To my shock she went on to tell me a number of frightening experiences she had had and also friends and relatives whom had come to stay.

My mother told me of a horrible experience that she had in the kitchen that she interpreted as a malicious attack, involving a large casserole dish plummeting through the air with great force directly toward her. Not one to scare easily my mother sternly demanded whatever caused the incident to stop and she never experienced it again. She then went on to speak of always feeling unbearably uncomfortable in my room and often having a strange experience of the door closing and shutting her in even though there was no lock. For this reason she avoided the room at all costs and consciously tried to keep me out of it when she could. Other phenomenon included my toys being arranged into odd formations on their own (a horror film classic!) and I don't doubt there are more that she has't mentioned.

Outside of immediate family circle I also learned that on a couple of occasions, guests who came to stay were given that bedroom and found sleeping in the lounge, but I never learnt the details. My mother told me that I constantly complained that I hated the face in the cupboard door and so they covered the door up with a sheet. I recall the sheet (or whatever else they used to hide the door from me) would often be removed at night time in the same manner the curtains moved and I would desperately just try to go to sleep (which luckily being a child was pretty easy!)

Another incident that my mum mentioned was one morning she had left me in her bedroom as she cleaned the bathroom and could hear me talking and giggling as if having a conversation. As she listened she could hear me answering questions such as my age and what I was doing, and then said "oh my mummy is in the bathroom"...then whispered "I think she's on the toilet!" (Children clearly have no sense of shame!) Realising that I seemed quite happy she was not concerned and even mentioned it to our friends who owned the property and lived below. The man claimed it was possibly his mother who he often experiences and proceeded to give the name that I had given my mother when she questioned me. I have no memory of this; I was very young at this point but I also only seem to remember the scary stuff! This does however make me wonder if the house did have some kind of strong spiritual energy or portal, or perhaps I was just a sensitive child.

I always get a chill when I think about it and often wonder about the people who live there now and if they are dealing with it. The thing that unnerves me the most is that I have looked through many explanations, some people refer to 'demons' or evil spirits or some kind of negative energy in the house, but I am still desperately searching for some kind of scientific release, because quite frankly it scares the life out of me! I think that perhaps one day science will be able to explain this kind of phenomenon.

I would love to hear if anyone has experienced anything similar or even if anyone in fact believes they may have lived in or live in the house itself in Forest Hill. All in all it is just a great relief to share this experience with people who acknowledge this kind of phenomenon and would encourage anyone who may have lived with the unexplained and perhaps struggle to comprehend their experience to use opportunities like this to come out of the closet, so to speak.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

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

ladymoondust (2 stories) (41 posts)
12 years ago (2012-10-10)
they say when you get scared you either fight back or flee. I have that strange problem of freezing 😁. In almost every experience I had I found myself frozen in shock keeping my eyes closed and waiting for a sign that it's safe to move lol.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
12 years ago (2012-10-09)
[at] fi,
What always stuns me when I read the accounts of people's childhood horrors is how brave we all were as children. We were scared, horrified even, yet our remedy for it was nearly always the same. Head under the covers, eyes shut tightly, ending in our falling asleep. I dare say not a one of us would think of staying in that room a moment longer than necessary now. Not after seeing the creature you have described here. We'd be out that door like a shot and starting the car before we even had a chance to think.
And here's the other thing. We knew it was there. It was always going to do the same thing, and yet we kept it mostly to ourselves. Sure, we said something here and there to the grown ups, but for the most part, we just didn't push the issue as well as we would have if we saw the same thing today.
So, yeah. Brave is what we were. You can't have bravery without fear. It's the way you overcome that fear that makes you brave.
I also believe that science will come up with the answers eventually. At the rate that technology advances, it's almost a given that someone somewhere is going to find a way to prove or disprove the theories we hold to today. Just seeing what has been captured by amateurs in the field is impressive. It's finding the real deal that is the difficult part. One of the drawbacks of the technology we have today is the ability to skew reality.
In any case, if you ever do go back there, for whatever reason, you must tell us what happens.

Thank you for sharing.

Foxglove (23 posts)
12 years ago (2012-10-09)
Good lord, it sounds like a boggart or something.

My jury is still out on the existence of non-human spirits but there may be a reason they exist in the folklore of essentially every pre-Enlightenment society on the planet... And perhaps sometimes children or the infirm may be more attuned to their presence (s).
SirenBelva (7 stories) (64 posts)
12 years ago (2012-10-09)
I can see why reflecting on your childhood home would make you feel frightened. It would be interesting to find out if the people who live there now are affected with similar phenomena. It does seem that there were more than one type of entity in your house. The one that threw the casserole dish sounds malicious. The one your mother heard you giggling and talking with was likely a different one.

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