My wife, three kids and I live in an old, 3 story Victorian town house on the Northern coast, built circa 1880. We've lived here for around 5 years now.
We bought the house from some friends of ours who had lived there for almost 10 years - we were familiar with the house and locale due to visits, parties and so on over the years so the decision to buy the place when we learned it was coming onto the market was an easy one for us.
The house has always had a great atmosphere and oddly enough, continues to do so, despite the strange occurrences I am about to share with you.
After moving in to the house, several contented, uneventful months passed. We worked on the house, restoring Victorian features, decorating and adding a small extension to the old kitchen area.
One night, at exactly 3 am, my wife and I were awakened by a loud THUMP coming from the attic rooms above us, on the third floor. The noise was hard to describe, but it was something similar to the noise a wardrobe might make if it toppled over in the still of the night-pretty bloody loud! Loud enough to put the fear of God into us and wake us both from our slumbers.
At my wife's insistence, I crept up the stairs to the attic rooms above, but after inspection was relieved to find nothing out of place. No broken or open windows, no displaced furniture or pictures... Nothing which could account for the noise we had both heard. I went back to bed, reported my findings to my wife and we both drifted back to sleep.
A few nights later, there was a repeat of the 3 am incident - the loud thump, 3 am, both of us waking up. Only this time, there was something else-another noise: The shuffling, distinctive sound of footsteps coming from the overhead rooms, clear as crystal. (Scary)
With my heart in my mouth, I grabbed the baseball bat I keep in out room and ascended the staircase, flicked on the light switch in the attic hallway and jumped into each of the two rooms, one at a time.
Nothing...just like before-nothing to account for the noise we had heard.
Perplexed, I went back to bed and was undisturbed for the rest of the night.
A week or so later, the experience repeated itself again. This time I did not leave my bed. We both simply lay there and watched the ceiling above us as the familiar footsteps paced above, just like a repeat radio play. It was pretty scary, enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck and widen my eyes as I stared up at that ceiling. Then the noise stopped and silently, we both fell back into undisturbed sleep.
Of course, we both shared the experience with friends and colleagues. Everyone agreed it was weird, spooky... But we didn't make a bid deal of it. In the cold light of day, it could have been many things. It's an old house... But the sound was so distinct.
A few weeks later, we were having dinner with the couple who previously owned the house. The subject came up and my wife and I recounted the now-familiar story of 'things that go bump in the night'...the wardrobe sound. Our friends surprised us by asking if it happened at around 3 am. It seems they had shared the experience several times during their life together at the house.
Both couples agreed that, although unusual and spooky, there was nothing that felt sinister about the event. It was simply a mystery.
As the weeks and months passed, the 3 am bump did not repeat itself.
However, strange smells began to manifest in the house - particularly on the lower staircase. The strong, pungent smell of pipe tobacco was crystal clear at certain times, although there are no pipe smokers in the house.
My wife saw a dark figure at the top of the staircase one bright sunny day, an indistinct human form which flitted out of sight almost as soon as it had appeared.
This indistinct form was spotted on several occasions, both by my wife and I, but I must stress there was no feeling of dread or terror to accompany each sighting-merely curiosity.
There was never a feeling that "the house" meant us any harm. We were (and are) a very happy family. The house is always full of the kids' laughter and games, music and the general vibrancy of family life. Neither my wife nor I are predisposed to be jumpy. We are not practicing Christians, not staunch believers in any religion, although we are spiritual in the most pragmatic way possible, if that makes any sense. Open minded with a closed mind to foolishness, I suppose, is the best way of putting it.
Family life continues unhindered, there were no more notable incidents to report for a couple of years (although there were always the small 'sightings' or intuitive feelings, from time to time).
This all brings us up to the present - or at least, around 6 months ago.
One night, at approximately 3 am (what IS it with 3 am, exactly?), my wife and were awoken to the sound of a child's footsteps running in the hallway and ascending the attic stairs. As we opened our eyes, we both saw the figure of a small child and saw its arm on the banister of the staircase.
Having three young children, we both naturally assumed one of the kids had woken up and was on the move. We called out the names of our children, expecting one of them to totter through to the bedroom and sleep with us that night (commonly, more often than not in fact, one or two find there way to our bedroom during the course of an average night).
However, there was no response. This was strange enough for both of us to get up and check on the kids in the neighboring rooms. Now, this was the kicker, all three were absolutely sound asleep! Not faking either...I'm their Dad. I can always tell when they are faking. They were all three sound asleep. The footsteps and figure on the stairs could not have been one of them. Besides, there never was the sound of footsteps descending the stairs.
After this incident, things seem to settle down and return to normal.
Around a month ago, a friend of ours encouraged us to hold a 'spooky night' in our house. 'Spooky night' being, a group of our friends seeing an invited medium, one at a time. This was the first time I have ever sat with a medium and went in with a fairly skeptical mindset.
However, the medium told me she sensed the spirit of a small child in the house. She thought it may be a child who died there or whose young life was cut short, somehow. She said it means us no harm, but will make its presence known from time to time, particularly around the three young children in the house.
I thought all this interesting, but remained open minded about the whole thing.
Now, we come to last night.
At just before midnight, my wife and I were reading in bed when we heard an almighty crash from downstairs.
We raced down to see a large mirror in our backroom, smashed into pieces all over the backroom floor.
What was really strange about this was, the ornaments and various bits and pieces on the mantelpiece above which the mirror had hung (soundly, for several years) were undisturbed. The nail on the wall was not loose and the mirror was on the wooden floor face up, not on the hearth of the fireplace as you might imagine it would be, had it simply fallen.
We cleared the mess away.
To confound matters further, an hour or so prior to the mirror smashing, I had sensed something strange in the upstairs bathroom. Just a feeling, an intuition, if you will, which was enough for me to keep my eyes open as I washed my hair in the bath!
I'm not easily spooked, have no plans to leave or sell the house, but I wanted to share our experience with you.
Still don't feel threatened or particularly horrified. It's hardly Amityville territory. But the mirror smashing does seem to have taken things into a different, more physical, dimension. IF indeed it was 'supernatural'. If indeed, any of it was 'supernatural'...
But as a pragmatic and logical human being, I've learned that sometimes it's wise to follow your intuitions too.
So, two intuitive questions, just in case... JUST IN CASE...
Does the smashing of a mirror have any particular relevance in the world of "ghosts"?
Is it a common occurrence?