I was around 7 years of age when I had my first experience. One thing I should make clear is that I don't remember much of my childhood and I'm sure it has something to do with my experiences while I lived in this particular house as a child.
It was late of night and I couldn't sleep. I can't remember whether it was because I was excited as something was happening the next day, but I do remember I was sitting up in bed reading a book. (I can even tell you the book I was reading - Read it Yourself, Jack and the Beanstalk) I don't know when I became aware of it but I could hear footsteps right outside my bedroom window, back and forth, then back and forth again. It was almost as if someone or something was pacing, waiting and there was an air of anticipation. It unnerved me, but at that time I wasn't scared, I just remember thinking to myself "Who would be walking underneath my window this late of a night?" I knew it wasn't my Mam or Dad because I'd heard them go to bed.
For some reason Mam had never put curtains in my window and my bed was situated so that I couldn't see the window when I was in bed. I was aware that the footsteps had stopped but, again, at the time I thought nothing of it. I suddenly became aware of something or someone watching me. I felt compelled to turn around and look out of the window, so I did...
What I saw will be with me for the rest of my life and I still get heart palpitations when I think of it, I am now, as I'm writing this down.
A pair of eyes were staring at me and not just any eyes; they were red rimmed, hollow and evil. They appeared to be glowing as it was dark outside. I stared transfixed. I felt paralyzed and couldn't move. As sudden as the paralysis came over me it left and I was able to turn away. And turn away I did indeed. I was so scared that I grabbed my nearest teddy bear and cuddled down into my bed with the covers up to my chin and bawled my eyes out.
The feeling of being watched left me and the pacing of footsteps resumed. I don't know what time the footsteps stopped but I do know that as I drifted into an uneasy sleep they were still there and felt like they were reverberating through my head.
The next morning I told Mam and Dad what I had seen, they scoffed and laughed at me, saying what a vivid imagination I had. I felt like crying again. I knew it was real but no-one believed me. My Dad said that I should have come and got him if someone was walking around the garden and he explained the eyes as a car going down the road. It could have been feasible if it hadn't been for the huge hedge that hid cars from view and not being able to see the road from my bedroom window. But being the skeptical people they are, they rationalized and tried to explain it away as a natural occurrence - and maybe it was - but I didn't think so, and nor do I think so now.
From that time on I was afraid of the dark and didn't like the fact that there were no curtains in my window. Mam never did put curtains up though, not until we moved house. She said that because we were in the country I didn't need them.
A couple of weeks later I remember playing in the woods with my brother and friends. I can't remember what happened but I can remember a "woman" and "red shoes". I remember being scared and running like mad. It wouldn't be until years later, in fact a few years ago, that Mam would reveal something to me that disturbed me and is possibly linked to my experience.
I don't know how long it was after the experience but I'd made Mam move my bed to the other side of the room so that I could face anything head on. I had some strange idea that I would be safer if I could see the window. Mam had tucked me into bed and I had left strict instructions for her to "leave the landing light on" as Mam wouldn't leave a light on in my room. I had settled down to sleep with my hands on top of the duvet. I felt warm and safe - looked after. I became aware of a presence but this time it wasn't threatening and I didn't feel any evil, just warmth. Someone took hold of my hand which frightened me because I knew there wasn't anything or anyone in the room with me. I jerked my hand away and put them under the covers and this time I said nothing to Mam and Dad. They didn't believe me when I told them of my other experiences, why would they believe me now? Besides I didn't want to be laughed at again.
I can't remember if I had anymore experiences but after the holding of my hand I have always felt like I'm being watched over and looked after. We moved when I was 11 to a new area and I continued having paranormal experiences but none as frightening as this one. I became fascinated with hauntings and would read anything paranormal that I could get my hands on.
At 33, I still feel that whoever or whatever was there in that house is still playing a big part of my life. I have been starting to get flashbacks of my childhood and I don't know whether it has any significance to my experience.
About 2 years ago I was cleaning my son's room out and I had the feeling that someone was standing in the doorway. I turned around expecting it to be my husband creeping up on me but it wasn't. There was a man standing in the door, for just a split second and then he disappeared. I believe that this man is the same one that held my hand as a child and has been looking out for me ever since. I see him as my guardian angel.
I know the house I'm living in now has a spirit, but the spirit of a woman. The reason I know this is that my husband and I have seen her on separate occasions. Also, a couple of months ago we'd been shopping and decided that we would get a taxi home. As we pulled up outside our house the taxi man declared "this is my aunt's old house" and then went on to say "she lived here in the 40's". He helped us with the shopping and kept looking at the house with a dreamy smile on his face. In fact he seemed reluctant to leave. In the end he looked at us and his final parting words were "say hello to her for me". As we walked into the house I said to my husband "Did he just say what I thought he said?" We were both just a little freaked by this but as I was unpacking the shopping I found myself saying out loud "Your nephew just dropped us off and he says hello!"
Besides I'm digressing here, and as I mentioned before I have started to get flashbacks around the time I lived in that house. I was talking to my Mam on the phone and I was asking her about a particular flash back I'd recently had - I was in the living room with my dad, he was putting on my socks and telling me that it was okay and there was nothing to be scared of. I remember being very scared and nothing my father said would help - Mam said that it was nothing and when I asked my dad, he told me that he was taking me on his rounds as a gamekeeper. I didn't believe him. I was so used to my dad's job having grown up with it that I knew this wasn't the case. I still don't know whether my parents are deliberately keeping something from me or to this day they can't genuinely remember.
Mam went on to reveal that while we lived in there that I kept having "nightmares" about a woman in red shoes walking around the garden. I asked Mam whether she was sure it was nightmares I was having or something more, but as Mam and Dad are the most skeptical people I know, they are adamant that it was just nightmares. I on the other hand don't believe they were...
I have had flashbacks of a woman standing. She is wearing a white top with a red skirt and has red shoes on. Whether this is the woman Mam was referring to I don't know, neither do I know whether it is connected to what I have experienced.
The name Mary also keeps cropping up a number of times from spiritualists. No-one in our family went by the name Mary and I don't know whether it's connected or not. I do know that my time in that house is very patchy and I can't remember anything significant ever happening again. Whether it was too traumatic for me and I've blocked it out has occurred to me, but I'm too frightened of seeing someone about it in the event that I do remember something that I don't want to, or is so traumatic that it will affect me even more than it has done so already.
I feel compelled to write an account of my experiences because I feel that even today I'm still being haunted by it. Maybe there is a rational explanation for it and if anyone can offer one I'd be grateful. I also want to know where Mary comes into this. Is she the woman in red shoes or someone else? And more importantly has she got a message for me? There are so many things that come back to me, some I remember and others fade away again and elude me. The main thing is that I think I need help to solve this mystery that hangs over this experience.