These two stories are recollections of stories told to me by one of my Aunts many years ago (the same Aunt from my Dechmont haunting story). She would tell these stories a few times through the years so this retelling is as accurate an account as is possible.
Both these stories take place in the same house also, in Uphall, West Lothian an area known as Millbank. They take place back in the late 50's to early 60's.
There's a burn (stream) which runs through the villages of Uphall and Broxburn, the burn is called The Brox Burn (Brox for those who don't know is a Scots word for Badger). There's an old water mill (now a house) which was used for grinding grain back in the day down by the burn, next to the Mill, crossing the burn, is a bridge known as 'Millers Brig' (for obvious reasons). Situated next to here are the houses of Millbank (I'm sure I don't have to explain why they're called that) and this is where my Aunt, Uncle, and three Cousins lived.
One day my Aunt was out hanging up the washing when she heard a gaggle of voices coming from down at the burn. She made out that they were discussing costs of items and could hear haggling going on. Obviously perplexed as to what was going on she moved forward to look down the steep banking into the burn to see who was making this commotion. She was shocked to see what she described as Market stalls and men in Tricorn hats, long coats and pantaloons walking along a 'sidewalk' built along the side of the burn, running under the Millers brig to the West and following the run of the burn away to the East. There were people selling fruit and vegetables as well as different meats and poultry. There was a flight of stone steps heading from what is now Station Road beside the bridge down to this walkway where the selling was taking place. Women were wearing long flowing dresses and 'bonnets'. She stood watching for around 5-10 minutes until everything just faded away and the scene was back to being overgrown. She never saw anything more of this 'market scene'.
The other story she told of this house was somewhat more sinister.
My Uncle was a long distance lorry driver and so would be away for weeks on end much of the time. My three cousins were, I believe, all under 10.
My Aunt was in her bed one night when she heard footsteps down stairs, she didn't think much of it initially and presumed one of the girls had got up for a drink of water, however it dawned on her that she hadn't heard any movement from their room. The footsteps were heavy and on tiled floors... She didn't have tiled floors down stairs, they'd recently got carpets. She sat listening, now wondering if somehow someone had broken in. The footsteps continued up the stairs now sounding like they were tramping on wooden steps she heard them continue along the hall again, making the sound of walking on wooden floors when the house was fully carpeted, past her room, where they paused momentarily, she could make out a shadow under the door. It was now she wondered if my Uncle had arrived home 'early' and was going to check on the kids before coming to bed. The steps started again and continued down the hall, where she heard the linen cupboard door open and then close and the footsteps stopped.
She got up, expecting to see my Uncle in the girls room checking on them, but upon opening the bedroom door, she found both girls sound asleep and no sign of my Uncle. She checked on my male Cousin, and again found him sound asleep and no sign of my Uncle. She checked down stairs, no sign of forced entry, all windows and doors were soundly locked.
The next day she was speaking to one of her neighbours and happened to mention the events of the previous night. Her neighbour had lived there for some years and was an elderly lady by this point. She told my Aunt that years previously, when she (the neighbour) was just a wee girl the man who lived in that house was accused of mistreating his children, by way of punishing them, he would carry them up stairs to this linen cupboard and lock them in it for hours on end. It then transpired that when this man lived there (that would've been the late 1800's- early 1900's) the flooring was primarily tiling since it was cheap and cheerful, upstairs would've been bare boards. The man in question was a Miner. During the 1860's (through until the 1950's) shale mining was big business in West Lothian (the remnants can still be seen today in the form of shale hills across the region, known as bings) and led to an influx of workers from all over the UK and the Commonwealth, leading to the growth of many of the regions towns, so this would be very much possible for this man to have been a miner, it would also explain the heavy footsteps as he'd have wandered around his home in his heavy work boots.
She heard these footsteps from time to time while living there but had put her mind at ease that this was merely a residual haunting and not something which would be of any threat to the family.
I read your Dechmont account, & found that to be something of a more intelligent haunting since the old woman reacted to you.
Perhaps she is stuck there because of the guilt incurred due to the terrible way in which she treated her husband. Personally, I think she was possibly mentally unstable to begin with.
Unless a trained psychic-medium can break through to her she may remain in that house. Thanks for the story! 😜 😁