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A Quiet Suburban Haunting


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!

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, PanasonicYouth, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

PanasonicYouth (1 stories) (16 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-12)
This is now the third time I've said this, but thank you all for your comments, I'm truly grateful that you are all taking an interest!

I'll try and break down some questions and answer them for you, sorry if the answers don't make much sense, I don't really understand it either, but I'll try...

Ohiowatha:- I think I was describing it as a slight occurance compared to actual sightings, or poltergeist activity, or things like that. Once again, sorry if my English makes it sound absurd! As for thinking it could be something other than the previous occupants, well, I'm a sceptic at heart, and if I can't prove that it was them then I'm open to other answers (such as what Mustang proposed). Also, the footprints on the drive ARE still there, the carpet was replaced, but the driveway is a bit more difficult to change!
killingkilgore (3 stories) (35 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-10)
I don't think it's badly written at all. Much better than some of the other stories on here. Also, I'm glad that you "offer no stories of jumping beds, headless horsemen, or dire warnings from disembodied voices" because most of those stories are really hard to believe. This, I believe. I also find it really funny that your father brushed the footprints off as robbers. What kind of robber walks around with bare feet? Anyway, thanks for sharing. I enjoyed it.
Ohiowatha (11 stories) (415 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-10)
How is this story "quiet," "slight" or "simple?!" How could you think, after hearing the very detailed history of the house, the footprints were anything BUT those of the deceased former inhabitants? What else went on? Are you seriously questioning that? And are the footprints still there? I guess so, if they're "bleached..." Curious as to your thinking here. Interesting story and I thank you for sharing it.
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-10)
Wow what a very interesting story. I hope you don't leave us! I bet there are a lot of people who would like your help here. You sure did live in a haunted house so you know your things. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
mustang (5 stories) (749 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-09)
Hi PanasonicYouth. Your story was DEFINITELY not badly written and I enjoyed reading a story that is credible and not 'fantasticly' unrealistic! I am thinking that if this is what happened in your home in the past with this middle-aged couple, than I wonder if it is a residual haunting and not the ghosts of them at all. When something so traumatic happens in a place, it tends to sometimes leave a negative energy that needs a good cleansing. I am also really curious about the footsteps. Why after all that time did they decide to leave these footprints then? I know you can't answer that as you are baffled by it also. I was also thinking that if it WERE a residual haunting replaying itself like a recorder, than is it really possible to leave permanent footprints into the carpet and driveway like they did? I wouldn't think so, but I also wonder why they did that. Was ther a particular reason for it or an accidental happening?! Thank you for an interesting read.

Flutterofwings (13 stories) (428 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-06)
I have had many psychic experiences, but not one that left prints that were itched into the carpet and driveway, well this has not happen to me. A well written story however. Thanks for sharing it with us.
whitebuffalo (guest)
14 years ago (2008-03-06)
Sorry, I just read through some of the comments and see that you have already answered my question.
Very interesting.
whitebuffalo (guest)
14 years ago (2008-03-06)
Well, THANK GOD! Personally, I do not need a story that mirrors the Poltergeist Legacy, or takes the Dogma one step further, just to prove to me that it is not fiction. Every time I have an unexplained occurrence in my home, (if I do not just "stumble into it and am checking it out before I realize what I am doing) or wherever it may be, I am scared immobile for a few seconds (If I just automatically go to check something out, the "shakes" usually come AFTER I have realized it is an unexplained incident 😆).
I find it interesting that every time I visit my parents home, and no one is there, I feel like there are cameras or voice recorders there. I feel as if everything that I do is being recorded or observed in every room of the house. As a child, when I would mention this to either of my parents, they would tell me that it was "their expectations" of me hanging over my head to keep me from doing wrong.
Now I ask you, if that were completely true, WHY would I feel that same thing as a 36 year old mother?
Interesting, the footprints. I must say, that has got to be the most interesting unknown in this whole story. Are the footprints in the drive "bleached" in, also, or are they a darker color?
Thank you.
PanasonicYouth (1 stories) (16 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-06)
I've thought of a better way of describing it, it's like the footprints were faded into the carpet and driveway.
Like old candy-bar wrappers left out in the sun?

Sorry if that doesn't make much sense either!
PanasonicYouth (1 stories) (16 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-06)
Thank you all once again for your comments!

In answer to your question Kecoughtan, the footprints were indeed permanent, I struggle to think of a better way of describing it than 'bleaching', but my English is not good enough!

My parents have since gotten rid of the carpet, but the marks are still on the driveway. I could try and get some pictures next time I visit to make it a bit more understandable?
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-05)
PanasonicYouth, thank you for sharing your fascinating experience. I am very curious about the footprints and I hope you can clarify something for me. You said they were "bleached" in the carpet. Did the footprints permanently mark the carpet? What about on the footprints on the driveway since that is a different material? Thanks.
FRAWIN (guest)
14 years ago (2008-03-05)
Hello PanasonicYouth. When you said: "I offer no stories of jumping beds, headless horsemen, or dire warnings from disembodied voices; just the simple tale of a suburban haunting..."- You were right, you offered a very interesting, well written and very credible story- For that I thank you.
I have experienced the "jumping bed" but cases of such is the exception rather than the norm. Take Care.

Martin (602 posts) mod
14 years ago (2008-03-05)
Sometimes people are sorry that they are not sharing some exciting and spectacular adventure of the paranormal, but I must say, this site is about genuine and personal ghost experience, even if apparently dull (which wasn't your case), over fantastic fiction or embellished stories any time of the day. The truth rarely is hollywoodish, and when it is too spectacular to be plausible, the story does get rejected. I think real experiences and real haunting cases are infinitely more interesting than fiction. If I want made up stuff, I'll rent a movie 😉
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-05)
I very much enjoyed your story. It is not badly written and it is very exciting! Not all paranormal activity involves shaking beds and spinning heads!

It seems to me that in acts of violence such as the one that occured in the house and on the property, especially where there is so called love and remorse, the parties involved often have a hard time crossing over. There is so much that is left un done and so much they wish could be done over again, they become trapped, so to speak, repeating and reliving the same horrors they faced long ago.

This was a fascinating story and I appreciatte you taking the time to share it with us!
God Bless!
faerielike (15 stories) (268 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-05)
I found your story quite entertaining and well written! It sure must have sucked to have to live in a place that caused such fear! I would hate to live in a place where I couldn't take a nice relaxing shower! I hope you don't have to deal with entities like that again! 😉 😊
PanasonicYouth (1 stories) (16 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-05)
Thanks to both of you for your comments.

Rhodes, that was my thought on this too. Not so much a sentient spirit, perhaps more likely a memory scorched into the house that repeats every so often?

Shenny, I have no idea what caused those footprints, if someone offered me an explanation that isn't paranormal I would be extremely happy, as it would mean that I don't have to be scared of my parent's house anymore!

Unfortunately my father doesn't remember much out of the ordinary when he lived there, and my grandad has since passed away, so I can't ask him about it. I'm going to ask my uncle, as he's a bit more accepting of otherworldly goings-on...
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-05)
Actually, Panasonicyouth I found your story very interesting and very well written and no, I'm not being nice. Paranormal experiences don't have to involve objects crashing on the wall or spirits claiming the lives of the innocent to be interesting. Quite the opposite, I find myself being rather sceptical when it comes to extreme stories not that there aren't ever true.

As for your account that day, I believe that the couple have not left that place and keep retracing their steps of that final scene over and over again. As I see it, it is very much like when we, either because of guilt or because we feel that justice wasn't done, tend to ponder over the same thing in an effort to resolve it, find a way to accept it or even because we cannot accept it. The same way, the male spirit repeats his action while the female spirit, tries to run away from him. Maybe what needs to be done is to get some help and help them put an end to this; help them find peace.

Again, this is strictly my opinion and I might be wrong but it's the feeling I got from your story.

Take care
Shenny (guest)
14 years ago (2008-03-05)
Dear Panasonicyouth,
That was a cool story, and I don't think it was badly written. (thought coming out of a 14 year old's mind, not so helpful), but I enjoyed reading it. I've always been curious about stories when people say they hear footsteps, and it ends up being a ghost. This is just me asking questions which are sometimes impossible to answer. How does a ghost leave footsteps like that? And why after so many years leave a mark? 😕 This is just me, asking somewhat silly questions. Anyway, overall I enjoyed the story, and I hope I atleast made you smile. 😊 Thanks for sharing. I hope you post more stories.

Take care and God Bless.

-Shenny. ❤

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