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My Young Visitor


This occurred in March 1992. I vividly remember the occasion as if it had happened yesterday.

It was a Sunday afternoon in early March; typically for the time of year; cold, windy and rather gloomy. I had had lunch; there was a nice log fire in the sitting room, the TV was on, and I settled in my arm chair to watch the afternoon film. There was one slight drawback to my comfy little world - I would have to return to work about 4 pm. I was employed as a stockman and there were cattle to be fed.

My cottage was situated in a hamlet in the county of Dorset in southern England. The few houses in the hamlet were spread over a wide area. I had one close neighbour but the other houses were some distance away.

The cottage was said to date from the seventeenth century, and in a former life, the lean-to shed which was then my garage, had been the village Blacksmith's workplace where all the working horses in the area would come for re-shoe-ing. The garage still bears signs of a soot blackened wall presumably from the forge.

Up to this time I had lived in the cottage for eight years, almost without any untoward incidences. I say almost, because every once in a while I would swear I heard a child coughing. There was also the time when late one night I heard what sounded like grown-up's heavy footsteps slowly climbing the stairs. The seventh stair always creaked, and it creaked on this night. The hair on the back of my neck stood-up and I waited for the bedroom door to open. But it didn't.

One afternoon, I was having a casual chat with one of my neighbours who was quite excited about some of the results she had uncovered when delving into the history of the hamlet. "And did you know that two children had died from consumption in your house?" She exclaimed. Consumption is the ancient name for tuberculoses or TB. No, I didn't know, but in an unlikely way, it may be an explanation why I would imagine I occasionally hear a child coughing. Let me make it quite clear, I was neither a believer nor non-believer in anything to do with the paranormal.

As a precaution, I locked the cottage door as the stairs went up just inside the front door. A Sunday afternoon intruder could help himself from upstairs and I would be none the wiser. Also, I had friends who sometimes arrived unannounced on a Sunday. Their young boy aged four would race in and climb all over me if I was having a doze. If they arrive I would unlock the door and let them in.

I had been having a nap. When I awoke, I immediately became aware that I was not alone. The TV was still on and the fire had burned low. My first reaction was how my friends had got in since I distinctly remembered locking the door. Then I realised that the little person standing close-by wasn't my friend's young boy...

Imagine you are sitting in a chair facing the TV. To your right, and angled a little forward, is a small person. I didn't have to turn my head, just moving my eyes a little to the right gave me a good view. Standing not more than three feet away appearing to be watching the TV screen, was a small child. It was standing so close to the arm of my chair I could not see anything below its waist. I estimated the height to be in the three feet region, 90 cm.

The child was dressed in a smock with, and what I still remember most vividly, a deep - about five inches wide - beautiful lace collar. The front of the smock was gathered into what I can only describe as narrow pleats in a line across the chest and just below the level of the collar points. The hair appeared to be well brushed, covering the ears and must have been longer than shoulder length because I could not see the lower line. I had a clear side-view of the child's pretty face.

All the while the child was staring intently at the TV screen. Not once did it move. I have no idea what sex it was. It could easily have been a young boy with long hair and wearing a smock. The most striking thing was the colour. Everything I could see was a pale lemon colour, the hair, skin and the smock-all a lemon yellow colour.

I don't know how long I had observed this child - but it was probably no more than two minutes. I had decided to attempt to make some sort of contact. I decided to turn my head and look straight at it. That was a mistake. As my eyes faced it head on it very slowly disappeared. My feelings at the time were a mixture of joy and sadness, and definitely not scary. I never saw it again.

I moved from the cottage a few years later and have never met the new owners. If I did, I doubt if I would tell them of the little lost child. But who knows - perhaps they sometimes hear a child with a nasty cough.

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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, Oldtimer, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Caz (342 posts)
7 years ago (2015-10-24)
Oldtimer...The fact that this child was interested in the TV, would suggest to me an intelligent spirit... Rather than a residual haunting. Also, the child must have felt very comfortable in your company, to be standing so close! It's a fascinating story and beautifully written and I'm only sorry I wasn't around to read it in 2008! I know it's unlikely that you'll ever read this, but thank you for sharing! I only hope the little one was collected after you left and is now at peace!
Cdn_Tinkerbell (2 stories) (13 posts)
14 years ago (2008-08-06)
You have a way with words oldtimer. You made me feel as if I was there with you. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have added it to my Faveorites so I can read it again and again.

Oldtimer (1 stories) (2 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-18)
Thank you for your kind words.

I probably didn't make it very clear. I really didn't know whether the young person was a girl or a boy. I imagine that young boys would also have had long hair, and the lace collar would have suited either as well.
ChrisB say's the story is believable because it wasn't scary. No Chris, there was absolutely nothing scary about this short visit. In fact, it was rather upsetting if anything.

faerielike (15 stories) (268 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-15)
I really enjoyed your story! I am adding it to my favorites.
So sad what happened to those little ones. Too bad you couldn't make contact again.
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-14)
Wow that was an amazing story. I realy enjoyed reading this story. I believe in every word you said. I think this way because it seems to me you didn't add anything to make it scary. That is why this story is believable. I hope this boy crossed over. Maybe the new owners helped the boy cross over. Thansk for sharring. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
carrycat (3 stories) (45 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-14)
What a well written story-easy read. Thank you, it must have been a sight to behold. I will be looking forward to your next stories.
FRAWIN (guest)
14 years ago (2008-07-13)
Excuse me oldtimer, may I borrow a few lines of your page to address Kecoughtan. Yes I have been holding out but not intentionally. I will try to submit a story ASAP. Maybe I can get one of the editors to publish it for me 😉

Kayla (1 stories) (14 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-12)
That was a very well written story. I wonder why the child was a yellow colour though? And what about those heavy footsteps you've heard, did you find out who made them? Perhaps it was the other child that died in your house...
Oldtimer (1 stories) (2 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-12)
Thank you all for your comments.
Kecoughtan: The lady who informed me that two children had died from consumption in my cottage wasn't very specific regarding dates. But I imagine this was a very common disease among both children and adults.

I have two more incidents I will tell, but neither as important as this one.

Tonith (1136 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-12)
I would have to conclude this to be a residual haunting. You didn't say if the child had a clue that you were trying to connect with it but that it just disappeared when you tried. This is what makes me think it's residual. If by chance it's a visiting ghost it would have to be intelligent and this doesn't seem to be the case.
evanescencegirl (1 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-12)
the little child didn't get any rest... So it came to get something from this world so it could rest then...
I hope it would rest in peace

Ty for your story...
Mandy 😳
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-12)
Oldtimer, please pardon the interruption, but FRAWIN it seems from your post that you have been holding out on us. When you get time, please share this experience with us.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-12)
Welcome to the site, Oldtimer. Thank you for sharing such an intriguing, detailed, and well-told experience. I have a sense that your experience is linked to that fact that you were an especially responsible "caretaker" of the property. I am sorry to learn that you have left that cottage so imbuded with the past, but hope that you will keep us posted if you meet the current tenants or have any other experiences in Dorset. Did the sixteenth-century or early seventeenth-century dress of your young visitor match the general date of death of the two children that your friend uncovered during research?
FRAWIN (guest)
14 years ago (2008-07-11)
Thank you oldtimer for sharing your story with us, it was delightful. I can not figure why the child would appear as lemony yellow, I wonder what that signifies -if anything. The child watching the TV reminds me of spirit that resides in my house-I'll have to tell you all about her sometime. Thanks again for a wonderful story. Take Care...

TwistedWispersNeko (3 stories) (90 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-11)
I like this story alot. Its sad that the little one was still there though. I wonder why he hasn't crossed over yet.
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-11)
You tell your story well, sir, and the lemony-golden portion of a child must have been some sight to behold so closely. The rich lace collar suggests either a family in better times or a hamlet's blacksmith could make a good living. Recently reading about Dorset in the work of John Cowper Powys, I can envision your well-described setting. Thank you for the lovely slice of experience.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-11)
Oldtimer thank you so much for sharing a very interesting story with us. I found myself sitting back in my armchair enjoying every minute of it.

I was deeply saddened by your description of this little boy watching TV. I wish I knew what thoughts were running through his mind while observing this "magical gadget".

It's heart-breaking to consider the incredibly large number of children who died of tuberculosis back then and might still be trapped in our world!

I trully hope to have you back with many more stories to share.

Thank you for stopping by.

Tammy 😊

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