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French Beach House Hauntings


Over the summer, my Husband, my two Kids and I spent our summer at my husband's Grandparent's home on an island off the west coast of France. Their home is a charming little beach house, built in the early 50s. It is located in a tiny fishing village. There have been no deaths in the home, or on the beach near the house. However, we experienced very unusual activity at both sites regularly.

My first experience happened on the second day of our vacation. It was night out, and my children were out in the front yard, when suddenly I heard my name being called excitedly. I rushed out, to find my son looking at something in the bushes. I went over to see what he was looking at, to see a frightened little Hedgehog (which are very common in the area) hidden in the bush. It quickly scampered deeper into the shrub, which we later found out was his home.

I quickly got my camera out, and snapped pictures of the inside of the under wood, to see if I could capture any photos of the Hedgehog. While taking pictures of the yard, I started noticing things in the pictures. Thick, black smudge-like appearances showed in nearly every picture I captured. Keep in mind that I had the flash on, so it could've been just shadows. But the smudges would appear in the middle of the pictures, where nothing could have gotten in the way, so I am a little skeptical of this idea. After the encounter, my kids would spend most of their time near the bushes, hoping to see the little spike ball again.

The next day, my family and I went out to the beach. We went at low tide, because the Ocean pulls back very far out and you can explore the tide pools. We had fun studying the rich ecosystem of the area. The area is inhabited by many crabs, sea snails, hermit crabs, oysters, and many more little sea creatures which I don't know the name of. We spent many hours there, and played until the tide took over the rocks. Exhausted, we walked home and fell asleep quickly.

The next morning, I woke up early and set breakfast. I went outside to have my coffee, and was shocked to smell an awful and very strong odor. It smelled like the sea and rotting seaweed. The house is very close to the beach, but there was no way that was the cause of the smell. And then I saw, outside the gate, a dead crab being infested by ants. In fact, I spotted six dead crabs in the front yard, most of them in and near the bushes. I was positive the kids didn't bring back any crabs from the tide pools, and there was no way seven crabs walked from the beach to our house. I was very disturbed and questioned my family about it afterwards.

But this was just the start to the activity. Doors would slam extremely hard and would open by themselves. While my children were sleeping, they would be awoken by loud scratching on the doors. You could hear a women laughing sometimes, and what sounded like an old man talking gibberish. My 12 year old daughter would also complain of seeing flashes of people walking around the house. She was the most sensitive to the activity. She told me of having many apocalyptic dreams, and was afraid to fall asleep. One day, she was taking pictures with her camera when she captured several orbs in almost every picture she took. This is extremely rare, and when I looked over the pictures I was shocked.

One very interesting encounter happened while I was taking pictures of my kids playing in the tide pools. In four of the photos I took, a foggy figure was seen looming in the rocks. My daughter fussed of having a headache and a ringing sound in her ear when she was around the area where I took the pictures.

The rest of the vacation went on with much similar activity. I am unsure of the reason behind the haunting, if anyone has any ideas please feel free to share. My husband's Grandparent's had never talked about any paranormal experiences in their home. Even with these odd ordeals, we had a wonderful vacation and came home with many great memories. I will try attaching some of the photos later.

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

egl9sun (1 posts)
12 years ago (2010-11-11)
Where was the beach that was near your house? I am curious because many of the victims of the Lancstria washed ashore in certain areas. When I saw the pictures, it appeared those were taken near the harbor. Correct? Was the house north of the harbor break and looking out to the sea, with sandy beaches?
faerielike (15 stories) (268 posts)
14 years ago (2008-08-16)
I could see why one would think it is a smudge or water droplet as the "fog" seems to have the same shape in both pictures. I think there very well could be a physical explanation for this one. I enjoyed your story though! It sounds as if your daughter is sensitive.
ailya (2 stories) (22 posts)
14 years ago (2008-08-04)
Sorry for the delay everyone, I was off the computer for a couple days. I am very unexperienced with photo uploading 😜 and I'm having lots of trouble putting them on the site. So I made a Photobucket account, you can see a few of the pictures over here:

I couldn't find the yard pictures, but once I find them I'll gladly post them. Also, the foggy figures you see in the pictures are not drops of water on the lens. I thought this at first, but I am positive the lens was perfectly clear when I took the pictures. See, I have a very good camera and I often clean the lens at any sign of smudge or dirt. Being in the tide pools, I was extra careful. 😉

Thanks everyone! Blessed be
FRAWIN (guest)
14 years ago (2008-08-02)
Thank you ailya, for sharing this fascinating story with us. I am looking forward to the pictures you mention. Please keep us updated on this story. Take Care.

Jasmin314 (13 stories) (210 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-31)
How I loved your story. Made me wish I was there with you. I know I wouldn't have let an old haunting get in the way of my having fun on an island off France. OH no way. I am glad to hear that you had a good time. I REALLY I wishing you would post those soon. I think I can speak for all when I say this. The home may not necessarily be haunted; it could just be the land. Interesting to hear though, that the grandparents don't claim a haunting. Maybe they didn't want to scare you all. Well CANNOT wait until you post those pictures. Hope to hear form you soon. ❤ Jasmin
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-31)
That explains a lot with the ship wrecks. It may not even have to do with the home or land the home is on, it may be passers by that have not continued on.

I can't wait to see the pictures!

God Bless!
ailya (2 stories) (22 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-31)
Thank you for all your feedback, everyone. I will attach the pics as soon as I can 😉
Cdn_Tinkerbell (2 stories) (13 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-31)
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us. France is such an old country with so much history. Although there are many sihpwrecks in the area the spirits you expericenced are probley attached to the land. Many times "Newer" homes are built on the foundations of old ones. It sounds to me like this cottage is not inhabitated often. The spirits could have been angry for the intrusion.

As for your husbands grandparents not experiencing anything... They could either have brushed it off and made explaination for the things that happened. I know many people who do that. Or maybe the spirits are used to them and co-exhist with them in peace.

I would love to see some of the pics you took if you feel comfortable sharing.

Many blessings to you and your family

Sarah (1 stories) (53 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-31)
Hi ailya,

Thank you for sharing your holiday experiences with us. It sounds that the things which occurred within the cottage had indeed a ghostly undercurrent to it. Children are known to be more open to this and it's for that reason that your daughter was acutely aware of different sensations etc. In response to the Crabs, I must admit that I agree with Kecoughtan. Birds were probably the most likely culprit on that occasion. Glad to hear that you and your family had a lovely holiday regardless of the unwanted attention.

trau (4 stories) (29 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-31)
Hi there

I found this really interesting! A list of Shipwrecks for France:
CSS Alabama a screw sloop-of-war sunk off Cherbourg-Octeville during the American Civil War on June 11, 1864.
RMS Lancastria a Cunard Liner sunk in the Loire River estuary during World War II on June 17, 1940.
SS Leopoldville a former Belgian passenger liner converted to a transport ship, torpedoed five miles (8 km) from the coast of Cherbourg-Octeville on December 24, 1944.
Wreck of Rochelongue a shipwreck found west of Cap d'Agde dating to the Iron Age, around 600 BC.
The White Ship a twelfth century vessel sank in the English Channel near the Normandy coast off Barfleur, on November 25, 1120.
YMS-304 a US minesweeper struck a mine off Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, Normandy and sunk on July 30, 1944.

Check them out on Wikipedia.

Hope this helps 😁
Dan (1 stories) (51 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-31)
This story is quite chilling. That house sounds like it has a lot of paranormal activity going on inside and around it. As you said there were a lot of ship wrecks my guess is that the spirits are from that. However why the activity only started while you were there makes me wonder. If this starts happening to anyone else living there then you know you are not alone. However there's not much you can do for the house it's up to others to bless the house etc.

Thanks for sharing your story.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-30)
Thanks for the quick feedback, ailya. Please keep us posted on any developments if you return for a visit or learn details about the property. I don't know if the wreck during WWII has anything to do with your observations at the cottage, but I can't help but being horrified by the sinking. The image of young men debilitated by wounds and struggling against the current, floundering against the tide, and smashed against the reef hopelessly incapacitated by injury--it's absolutely dreadful!
ailya (2 stories) (22 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-30)
Thank you for posting. You are most probably correct about the Birds. Where I live, in Northern California, you sometimes find mollusks in the middle of the street or in the city because of Birds dropping them to crack them open.
Otherwise, around the island there are many ship wrecks. There is one main ship wreck from World War II in which everyone on the large boat had died. It was transporting injured soldiers, and it hit a reef. The wreck is located somewhat near the home. This might be a possibility for all the activity going on.

Thank you for your comment. 😊
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-30)
Thank you for sharing your fascinating story from the otherwise idyllic coast of France. I spend my summers on a large tidal estuary and have seen clusters of dead crabs, fish, and mollusks like you described. The culprit is usually birds who snag the critters from the retreating tide or an exposed sand bar and then carry them to a safer, quiter spot for dining. Unless they are large birds such as osprey, the catch is rarely finished and left. As for the other activities you noted, it is more difficult to explain those away. Have you consulted with your husband's family to see if there were earlier fishing huts or the possibility of a wreck nearby?

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