My mother experienced this event when she was 14 years of age and she wrote it in her diary the same day as it occurred so this is an accurate account. On St James' street in Belfast, N.Ireland on 14th June 1970 at approximately 2pm my mother and her sister boarded a bus which followed a route from the suburban area of Belfast in towards the centre of the city and back again.
The pair of siblings boarded the bus that morning on its return journey. They had just been on a shopping trip and each had heavy bags of items and they were in a reasonably good mood.
The bus made an uneventful return journey to the suburbs of Belfast ahead of schedule so they decided to exit the bus early and enter a shopping centre called the Park Centre and purchase ice cream.
The street leading toward the shopping centre was a busy main street with heavy traffic and large numbers of pedestrians. Half way down the road were two warehouses with peculiarly large amount of space between them but when the pair of siblings drew level with the warehouses they noticed that the space was no longer empty. There was a straight line of wooden rubble beginning at the wall of one of the warehouses and ending at the wall of the other. In the very centre stood a battered wooden cottage which was filthy and with jagged holes in the roof and dried moss coated the wooden walls which my mother touched and it came off as green powder on the palm of her hand.
They passed a small window which was set in a rotting wooden frame. An elderly woman was wiping the glass with a cloth and as they passed she opened the window and greeted them casually. They responded politely and walked on. My mother wandered if she had just imagined the space between the warehouses but her sister asked where the battered cottages had come from. She was considerably disturbed by this unexplainable event and she tried in vain to figure it out.
They continued down the road and entered the shopping centre and she pushed the thought of the cottages out of her mind.
They passed the site of the cottages on their way back from the shopping centre. The cottages were not there. The site was bare and empty as it usually was. They were confused and frightened; they hastened home to tell their parents but they did not believe them. They have not seen the cottages ever since.
My mother and I visited the site recently but over the thirty eight years which had passed since the incident, the warehouses had been demolished and houses built on the site.