This is my first posting, and is likely to be one of my last. I'm not a magnet for the bizarre, the incidents I experienced are slight, and lastly they occurred in a property that I no longer spend much time visiting. Thrill-seekers may be disappointed here; as I offer no stories of jumping beds, headless horsemen, or dire warnings from disembodied voices; just the simple tale of a suburban haunting.
When I was eight years old my grandfather re-married and relocated to Coventry from his home in Portsmouth to be with his new bride. My father, not wanting to see the home he had grown up in being lost to someone outside of the family, bought the house from his father and moved back to his childhood home with his family, consisting of myself, and of course my mother and father.
I always felt uneasy within the house (feeling watched etc) but despite having a firm interest in ghosts from a very young age I always chalked this up to imagination.
The uneasy feeling got worse as I got older, and by the time I was in my teens it had intensified, centered almost solely on the bathroom. The feeling of panic was so intense that I was often too terrified to put my head under the water. I frequently had dreams about being held in the water by the hair on the back of my head and would wake up struggling to breathe.
Gurgling and splashing was often heard at night, along with rappings and shuffling sounds, and lights would switch on and off at their own accord.
My parents arrived at the conclusion that it was the central-heating boiler, or the mains fuse, or what ever was convenient enough to shoulder the blame, but then something happened that they could not explain.
I was sixteen at the time, and one morning my parents took a trip to visit my grandfather in Coventry. They left before I woke up, and had told me the night before departing that they would not be back until the next day (owing to the long drive).
I was woken by the postman knocking at the door so after answering the door to him, I shut the door and bolted it; as was my habit. With the front door bolted there was no exterior access to the house, as my parents (worried about my absent mind) would keep all of the windows and the back door locked from the inside so that I would not leave them open if I left the house.
I retired to my room for the rest of the day, as at the time I was studying for exams. I fell asleep at my desk in the early hours of the morning.
My parents roused me a few hours later by banging on the front door, I had left the bolt on and they were unable to get in, regardless of their possession of a key. I stumbled down the stairs in a half awake state and opened the door to my furious father pointing at the driveway. As the door opened and he glanced at the hallway he became even further incensed and started shouting. I rubbed my eyes sleepily and looked at what he was pointing at.
Two sets of footprints bleached into the carpet leading from our bathroom, down the stairs, and through the front door, before fading out at the end of our driveway. One of the sets of footprints were quite small bare feet, and the others were large, and clearly made by a man's shoe.
My father eventually believed that it was nothing to do with me, and the initial suspicion fell upon burglars who had been disturbed by me and fled without taking anything, but I was skeptical of this, as there had been no way of accessing the inside of the house.
After this event there was no more activity, I moved out of my parent's house, and I thought it was finished with. That is until an unexpected footnote just a year ago.
I was talking to one of the ladies who lives on my parent's road, an elderly lady who had been one of the very first people to live on my street.
We got chatting about the house my parents occupied, and I jokingly told her about the odd events and the footprints. Her face grew grim.
She told me that the first people to occupy the house had been just before my grandfather had moved in. They had been a middle-aged couple who behind a screen of social niceties were said to live a terrible existence. The husband had been an alcoholic, who didn't think twice about raising a hand to his wife. My neighbour told me of many occasions where the poor woman would have bruises on her face and arms.
Apparently the violence culminated one night when the husband returned from a bar and found his wife washing her hair in the bath. He had consumed much more drink than was his usual tipple, and had been thrown out of the establishment for being aggressive to the staff. Another neighbour who had seen him walking home had said that he was in a terrible rage.
He walked into the bathroom, and forced his wife's head under the water in a drunken assault. She struggled and managed to run from the bathroom and out of the front door, but he caught up with her at the end of the driveway and beat her to death. He then reported the crime to the police and apparently later hung himself in prison.
Are the footprints in the hallway spirits retracing their steps?
Either way, I don't like to go back there; I make my parents visit me now!
I would like to thank everyone who reads this story, and apologize that it is slow-moving and badly-written. I would be very interested in hearing your theories!