When I was seven, nearly eight my Father got a job as a Handyman on a private estate on the outskirts of Stirling City, Scotland. The estate was very large and housed many buildings, an orchard and stables. The main house was home to retired men and my Father was in charge of it's maintenance and also governed the handful of gardeners who also worked there. Because he was required to be on call day and night a cottage on the grounds went with the job.
I was so excited to be moving from our semi-detached terraced house to a Cottage in the countryside. It was every little girl's dream, or it least it was mine at the time and it was coming true.
To my seven year old self the cottage was massive. I've done a lot of research but can never seem to come up with any record of when it was built. The Main House was built in 1838 and followed by The Governors House in 1907 so I can only presume the Cottage may have been around the early 1900's.
It stood by itself and it's path and lawn were slightly at a slant that made it look as though it was elevated and sat on a hill. It had two front doors because one was part of a newer extension added in the 1970's. The new door was the one we always used and it led into a small hallway with the kitchen to the left in the added on part of the house and the living room to the right in the old part. From the living room was a hallway that ran the entire length of the house. In the old part was a small porch and the original front door, my parents bedroom and the room I shared with my sister, then down the hall and down 2 steps lay the W.C and the bathroom, another stretch of narrow hallway and a large bedroom that faced onto farmers fields, a smaller bedroom right at the bottom that\'s window faced the front and then a large cupboard that my Mum would use to keep linen in and to hide Christmas presents in as it had a lock and key. There were fireplaces in every room but none were used except the one in the living room, the rest were blocked off, birds would sometimes get trapped in them and my dad would have to open them up.
My Sister was only 3 and we had shared a room and double bed at our old house and continued to do so for about the first year or so of moving into the cottage.
I have no recollection of anything happening during that time but I learned years after that both my Mother and Father each independently saw my grandmother who had been dead for 4 years and had never set foot in the place. My Dad had until then been a firm non-believer but this changed that.
I suppose the things that went bump in the night started after my sister and I moved into our own rooms at the bottom of the hallway and in the extension. This was to be the hotspot for most of the activity which is weird because you would have expected it to be the other way around and the old part of the house to be haunted.
When you went to bed at night and the lights went out it was pitch black. There were no street lights casting a soft light through the shades and this in itself was terrifying for a young girl who had grew up on a street with a lamp post outside the window.
I'm not sure I will have this all in the correct order as it was such a long time ago now but here goes.
The first thing was the lights, they would flicker as you walked passed them or they wouldn't come on at all, especially in the middle of the night when I would need to go to the toilet or go for my midnight feast as I called them and would raid the larder for chocolate or crisps. I never liked walking up the hall in the dark and always did so with my eyes closed tight, sensing something there, lurking. I put it down to an over active imagination and my love of horror films and it seemed silly to mention it to my parents, what, that I was afraid of the dark? What kid isn't?
But as time went on the feeling of something being there intensified and it would get really cold to the point I could see my breath in front of me as I lay in bed in the dark. Your eyes could adjust though and mine did so I could make out the outlines of furniture and see the corners of the room. One night I woke up and just could sense something was in the corner over by the door. I was too scared to move as to leave the room meant to face it.
I got the courage to look and what I saw was a black mass, almost like smoke or fog about 6 foot from the floor and moving, moving towards me. I ran for the door right through it and switched the light on, which surprise, surprise did not come on but instead it buzzed and I felt a jolt of electricity through me and I was actually stuck there until I managed to free myself or it did and I flung open the bedroom door and went for the switch on the other side in the hall which brought two overhead bulbs on. The first bulb blew and shattered above my head. This woke everyone up and I was hysterical but my Mum kept saying it was just a dream and the light had just scared me and it was the old electrics and wiring. I had been prone to night terrors even at our old house but it was the same dream over and over; I was on train and being chased by a woman through each carriage way until I was half asleep and half awake and still running from her in some sort of sleepwalking trance. What had just happened was nothing like the night terrors I'd experienced.
Nothing really happened again that I remember of until I was eleven. There was always the fear of walking in the hall in the dark, even walking to my light switch would give me the jeebies but nothing of significance until the ball of light.
This happened just before I was due to start high school. It was one night that I had just been put to bed. My mum had literally just said goodnight to me and walked up the hallway back to the living room. I closed my eyes to go to sleep but was suddenly aware of something bright right over my head. It was about the size of a grapefruit and the only way to describe it is like someone scribbled with light into a circular orb shape. It vibrated, buzzed too, and as it got closer I could hear it. I was frozen I couldn't move an inch nor could I speak as I tried to shout for my mum but something had strangled my voice and it sounded like a trapped whisper. It came right down onto my throat and I felt it on me, similar to an electric shock but with no pain. This happened briefly for about 30 seconds then it vanished. Again I fled and my parents who were still up watching TV ushered me back to bed citing night terrors. I still swear to this day that this happened while I was fully awake.
I always felt scared in that room. Friends did too, not one of them lasted a second sleepover in it.
My sister would always end up in my parents bed in the middle of the night right up until she was about 12 and they put a stop to it. It wasn't until she was about 25 and I 29 that she told me it was because things were happening to her too, only she would actually see apparitions or parts of people, like once she saw a man from the torso up coming out of the kitchen worktop. She would be pulled down bed by her feet and she never mentioned it because she thought we would think she was crazy.
The house was renovated in 1992 and we moved out briefly for this to be done and when we moved back in I took the small bedroom and never had any activity in it and felt safe there. My old room wasn't used by any of us except for if friends stayed and each and everyone of them would talk of hating sleeping there or in some cases end up on the floor of my room during the night because they had felt uneasy and one friend and her boyfriend said they saw the face of a man.
I met my husband at 18 and he moved in with us and eventually we moved out of my little room and back into THE room. I always felt safe though with him there and nothing ever happened while he was. He did have his own experience in the house though. We were going out for the night and I had told him to put all the lights off, lock the door etc and I would get him in the car. When he got to the car I could see the faint light from the linen cupboard in the window of the smaller bedroom. I said to him he would need to go put it off so he went back and when he returned to the car he was freaked out, the cupboard was locked and the light was off.
We eventually married and moved out and in turn my sister met a guy and moved out too. It was in the heyday of Paranormal television programs like Most Haunted & Ghost Adventures and on one visit back my sister and I decide to sit it out in the pitch dark hallway with a video camera. I wouldn't sit down the bottom of the hall where my bedrooms had been, that part of the hall always made me uneasy. Instantly I had my back against the wall and my collar pulled tight around my neck, frightened something would touch me. My sister starting calling out the stuff you hear them say on those telly shows "If there is anyone there...blah, blah blah" and from the darkness down the hall came a flashing orb heading right at us, we both screamed and put the light on right away and that was the end of our little ghost hunt but we did catch it on camera.
Shortly after this my father retired and my parents had to leave the cottage. They too like me opted to move into a shiny new house that none had stayed in before and nothing has went bump in the night since.