I must have been around 5/6 when my parents took my sister and I to a "Teddy Bears Picnic" at Littlecote House. I remember it being very special because my Mum let me take my yellow teddy that my Nanny bought me the day I was born and that NEVER was allowed off her bed.
I don't remember much about the actual picnic element but I do remember going inside Littlecote House.
There were loads of mannequins dressed up in old fashioned costumes. At one point, we went into this wooden panelled room upstairs and I noticed an older, quite large lady wearing a white hair covering and a really dirty apron. It was covered in red, like someone has rubbed their hands on the apron.
She reminded me of the mannequins because she looked so out of place with everyone wearing modern clothes, but she actually approached me and asked me if I knew about the baby that was burned on the fire and whether I knew about the passage that was hidden behind the panelling.
One thing you have to know about me, is that I was an extremely shy child. I was really hard of hearing and so mostly I spoke through my Mum. It was very weird I heard the lady so clearly as I was hard of hearing.
What the lady was saying to me was really freaking me out so I just walked away from her and went back towards my Mum.
She had really manky teeth and what I remember most is how her eyes were so completely dull. They had no shine.
When I got to my Mum I tugged her and turned to motion towards the woman but she had vanished.
As I told my Mum what the woman has said someone approached and I presume they were a tour guide. They opened a panel in the wall and said it was a priest hole.
My Mum was really concerned by what I said and kept asking me how I knew those things. I said the lady in the costume told me but there wasn't anyone like that there that day apparently.
Fast forward to after my Mum had passed. Dad had a new girlfriend called Simone. Her real name was Gertrude so I would draw pictures of Gherkins, often flying ones and write little messages like, "Gherkins Queen". She really hated me and the feeling was mutual as she was actually quite horrible.
One night, I went to bed and had the most horrible dream.
We were driving in a small red car, my Dad, Simone and my sister. Something bad happened with a tyre and the car turned over on a motorway.
The next morning, Dad announced Simone was coming and we were going out. Sure enough she turned up in a car exactly like the one I had dreamed of. I'd never seen her car before.
When I got in it I felt sick, especially when I saw these little metal hand exercise things on the back seat exactly like in my dream.
I kept saying I didn't want to go anywhere to the point I threw one at Simone who was driving.
When the car stopped we were at a supermarket and because I was having an epic tantrum I got put in the trolley seat and made to stay there. I was terrified to get back in the car as I felt sure something terrible would happen.
As I knew Simone hated being called Gherkin I waited until the trolley got to where I wanted it and said loudly "Is that what you are looking for?" and pointed to some Gherkin Jars.
That was it, I was put back in the car and scolded. Simone was furious, so was my sister. It was only then that my sister Tara told me, "We were going to go back to Littlecote House!"
I didn't care that I had supposedly spoiled the day, as I didn't want to go to that freaky house anyway and I was sure something bad would happen if we did.
When we arrived home, we got out of the car and Dad carried me out of the back seat. As he did he must have looked at the tyres as he said "It's a good job you didn't go on the motorway with that."
Once he got me inside and told me off I reminded him of what happened with Mum and the lady I saw back then.
That night I called my Nanny and she didn't bat an eyelid. She was always very sensitive and in tune with spirit.
A couple of years later, I was living with my Auntie and this episode of "Strange But True" came on.
This is my first time posting, but I hope to post more.