These stories are from my pre-teen years up until about 5 years ago.
I was 9 when my paternal granda died and we had all due to go on a big family holiday down to Devon. The house was a lovely big cottage and from the photographs, was stunning. Because we were due to go on holiday before he got sick, the only ones who ended up going were me, my parents and my little sister.
One particular aspect of the house I was looking forward to was a room with bunk beds (easily pleased I know). After hours and hours of driving we reached the cottage and it was beautiful. I, of course, wanted to see the bunk beds. The minute we walked into the right hand side of the house, I can't explain the feeling. It was of utter dread and everyone else felt it. It wasn't until years later however, that my parents mentioned they had felt it too.
The bunk beds I had been incessantly talking about were right in front of me and for some reason I didn't want to walk in the room. "I don't want to sleep in here" I said. No questions asked my parents said "ok that's fine" and off we went downstairs.
We spent the whole of that holiday, when not out, sitting in the tiny kitchen on the left hand side of the house. Night time was spent in one room. All 4 of us in one bedroom in a 7 bedroomed house, and nobody even questioned it.
Now nothing actually happened in this particular house, bar one incident. My sister (around 18 months old at the time) was watching a tots TV video in the living room adjacent to the kitchen. All of a sudden she looked to the doorway of the connecting living room (which went onto the right side of the house) and burst into tears. Something had clearly terrified her and even after we returned home she wouldn't watch that particular video again.
Another 'mild' story here before I get to the stuff that gave me chills. I was around 11 years old at this point but slept through the whole incident. My mam had gotten my dad a bike for his birthday but had left it at my nan's down the road so he wouldn't see. She waited for him to fall asleep the night before and then walked down to my nan's at about 12.30am, collected the bike out of the garage and walked back home again. She put the bike in the living room ready for him to see in the morning with his other presents, then she went back to bed and fell asleep.
Two hours later they heard the most almighty smash from downstairs and ran down to see what it was. Terrified of an intruder, they sneaked about looking everywhere and couldn't find the source. Eventually, they found it. In the downstairs toilet, the window had been smashed from THE INSIDE! The glass wasn't broken on the outside, only the inside. At this point my dad said, "Oh I've had a bike" surprise ruined haha.
This is where it really started to pick up and didn't settle down for years. It transpires that my dad had been having an affair (possibly from the time of the bike incident but nobody knows). My mam would constantly ask him if he was seeing somebody else and he would deny it. They would argue and argue and as they got louder, lights would flicker on and off and stomping around would be heard upstairs. The TV would change channels or switch off also. One of them would go up to investigate and it would stop. They would resume arguing and up it started again.
Eventually, when I was 15, my dad finally admitted his affair and left the family home. I now had a little brother who was 3 at the time and my sister was 7. My mam remained very close to her ex mother in law (my dad's mother) right up until she (my nan) died around 6 years ago.
In the early days after my dad left, my nan would visit a lot. One particular time she brought a hamper of picnic food for us. I remember it was a sunny day and I remember my mam breaking down in tears in the kitchen. She had her head in her hands sobbing and all of a sudden the CD player came on in the living room. It was playing 'Under Pressure' the MCR and The Used version because that must have been what was in the machine. It was like it had chosen that song based on what was in the machine.
Quick information about the CD player which will become a focal point of incidents and eventually thrown away because of it - it was a CD player that held 5 discs at one time and was also a record player and radio.
Following this, things picked up big time. The radio would come on at 3am, songs would blast out of the CD player always relevant to what was going on. I was still upset at my dad having left (my siblings still saw him once a week and every other weekend but I was still feeling torn) that one day I missed a GCSE exam to go shopping. When I walked back into the house, the CD player was playing Stereophonics 'Handbags and Gladrags' The words when I walked into the living room were "They told me you missed school today" no word of a lie. I understand how ridiculous and far fetched this sounds but these things happened and to this day I still can't explain it. That night we unplugged the CD player and when it came on the next day it was the last straw. Off it went to the tip because it was 'faulty' according to my mother.
So many things then happened that I won't mention them all but briefly they were: internet coming on and off by itself and saying 'hello' or 'goodbye' (days before broadband) in the middle of the night, the ensuite bathroom door was often locked from the inside, glasses breaking on their own (once in my hand). Lots of general, possibly explainable? Things.
The major events were these.
1. For the first couple of weeks after my dad left, I would sleep in with my mam. I remember one time I fell asleep when she was talking to me and she gave out to me saying I didn't care. She was irrational at this time and I don't blame her. Anyway I woke up and had a go at her back saying I had to go to school the next day and she was being stupid. We then heard our outside gate open clear as day. Next, the kitchen door unlocked and opened and someone was walking up the stairs. That totally shut us up and we just looked at each other. I actually nearly pooped myself and my heart was beating so fast. My mam went to investigate and nobody was there, out kitchen door was still locked but the outside gate had been opened.
2. Eventually my mother met my stepdad and he was lovely. One time he was in the shower in the ensuite and somebody (or something) locked him in. A regular occurrence was for the door to lock from the inside but never with anyone in there before. The next night he and my mam were due to go out for tea after he finished work at 7. She got in the bath at 5pm (a separate bathroom to the shower experience) and heard the gate go outside. Again the same thing happened - kitchen door, footsteps. This time, someone stopped outside the bathroom door and knocked. A bloke's voice said "Can I come in?" and my mam, thinking it was her partner said "Yes just a second" and got out of the bath to open the door. Only to find nobody there! She rang her partner who said he wouldn't be back until 7, like he had already told her.
3. Last one I will tell on this post because it's getting long. Around the same time as the previous occurrence, I was home alone while my mam took the dog for a walk and my siblings were with my nan. I was 16 at this point. I had my music on in my bedroom really loud and was nipping to the loo. Our landing light was on but our bathroom light was off and, because I was home alone, I decided to do a quick wee with the bathroom door open using the landing as light haha. I heard the gate go outside and thought she was back so, leaned forward and pushed the bathroom door to. All of a sudden I was well aware of the fact that I was sitting in total darkness and that it wasn't my mam. Words can't describe how I felt when I heard the kitchen door open and the footsteps coming up the stairs. Someone was outside the bathroom door, I could sense them and I couldn't breathe. My heart was beating so loud it was hurting my ears and I couldn't move. It was like, I was so aware of my trousers being around my ankles and sitting on the toilet, and I could hear my music playing in my bedroom, but I just could. Not. Move! I can't explain it more than that. I know it maybe doesn't sound too scary typing this now but I had never felt fear like it and haven't since. When the feeling left me, I called my mam and asked her to come home so she did.
I will leave it at that for no so as not to bore you all, and sorry it isn't too scary as we never actually 'saw' anything. But I do know that something wasn't right at that time in our lives.