This is a genuine story of an experience myself, my husband and dogs had in a rental property here in Australia. (One of many experiences I have had after a life of much moving around and renting!) A Queenslander is an old wooden style of house built high up for flood conditions and hot humid weather. The ground level is usually enclosed with palings and used for parking the boat, etc and the usual spot for a laundry.
We were delighted to find this little gem and reveled in the tranquility, and taking our dogs on long country walks. The neighbours were pleasant but kept to themselves. All was perfect except that I didn't like going down to the laundry. Well obviously it was fairly gloomy down there even in the day time but I just felt uneasy. There was a strange smell and I started noticing that the dogs seemed quite preoccupied and uneasy also while down there. They were sleeping down there and we would often hear them whining at night. I just put it down to the darkness and would just get on with my laundry, all the while feeling as though I was being watched which felt worse when I was hanging it out on lines I had put up down there to use during wet weather!
I would flinch at every noise feeling like someone was behind the clothes etc. I also felt a sense of sadness as well as fear. Sometimes I would literally bolt out of there feeling quite ill and suffocated.
Everything was fine upstairs, except for one night when I awoke to my doona being slowly pulled off me, but I couldn't discount that it was just falling off and wasn't too concerned. At that stage we were in a bedroom at the back of the house which had French doors leading out to the veranda and the backstairs which led down to the garage/laundry.
In the winter we decided to move in to the front bedroom of the house as it was warmer in there. It had a bay window which extended out of the front of the house.
One night we both woke to our male dog making a very low but loud growling noise which he'd never done before, being a big goofy lovable pup. Then we heard a voice saying softly, "It's ok puppy dogs, it's ok". This high pitched but male voice seemed to be directly below us right were the dogs' beds were! We were pretty alarmed that someone was either under our house or right up under our window talking to the dogs through the palings but we were petrified at first, so I went to the bay window and looked down but couldn't see anyone. We didn't hear anything more, though my husband checked downstairs and saw nothing but brought the dogs in.
We stayed in the house for roughly 1 year to save a deposit to buy our first home and when the time came to move we were really excited even though we really had liked this pretty little house. A neighbour across the road who we had not previously spoken to saw us packing up and introduced himself and queried us as to whether we had had any problems there? We said uh, why? He then told us that the previous occupants had been a young couple. They had a falling out and she had packed up her things and left him a few days before Christmas. A few days later neighbours smelled some thing coming from the house and found the young man had gassed himself to death in his car under the house.
This happened just 8 weeks before we moved in and the rental agent had told us nothing of it. We then realised that it was he who had talked to the dogs and who was still hanging around under the house. We were pretty freaked out and glad to be going! Though I still often think of it and wonder if he has managed to move on and find peace despite his tragic end. I hope so.