I have always lived in the same brick house in the East Midlands of England. It must have been built in the 1960's as my mother had lived here long before I was born, when she was married. I'm only 22 years old. This house is my home, my pride and my worst nightmare.
A short while ago I came to terms with the fact that a young woman I had seen pacing the halls and sitting in my bedroom was in fact the deceased daughter of previous occupants. My neighbours had sat me down and told me all about the poor sickly girl, and that they had seen her too. My mother has never believed me, neither the countless witnesses who have passed through our house.
I won't lie to you, I'm frightened of her, she's a ghost and this is my home not hers. She however is not the reason that I avoid my bedroom and the upstairs landing at night. In the dark, the shadows of tall men consume the stair case, hiding their faces and torso's within their own haze. As a child I would cry and protest about them interrupting my sleep, tugging at my mattress and curtains and destroying my toys.
Some times it's as if they have left, but the feeling stays. More often then not, they find their way back. I don't know who they are or what they want, but people who have always known this house, have no knowledge of such men.
A vivid memory sticks in mind. I was 15 years old, almost reaching the summer holidays It was 5am and remarkably humid. I used to have an awful black metal single bed that creaked and groaned with every breath. I was a heavy sleeper back then, but I had woken up refreshed at that time in the early hours. The television as usual was on as I refused to sleep without it. The learning programme was on, on BBC2, I even remember the logo appearing on the screen. I shifted myself to the bed board and decided to watch it until I became tired again.
Without warning the bottom right hand corner of the mattress pulled hard from the frame diagonally, sending me into immediate shock. I literally grasped tightly onto the bed board and yelped. I was terrified, especially because things had become increasingly physical in those years. I reluctantly examined the stray corner it must have been a foot from the frame.
I pushed it back on, and straightened the mattress with ease. However I was aware that the frame wasn't shaking but lightly vibrating, like a faint buzz. I could even hear the frame clank. I thought I should slip under the covers and ignore it. After ten minutes or so, it came to a gradual halt. I relaxed, breathed in deeply... Held my breath, I could hear breathing. I exhaled and found it wasn't my own but somebody else was in my room.
When I was small the breathing had forced me out many nights. I refused to leave to this day I spend enough nights on the sofa. I was eventually driven out, the breathing became gasping and it grew more aggressive, until I couldn't take it any more. By the time I had turned 22; I had changed my bed multiple times and changed my room completely. Now I have no bed, I sleep on a roll out futon and sleeping bag. That's when I dare enter. The sofa bed in my bedroom is a permanent seat, which is only occupied by my puppets and the little lady spirit who sits by my family shrine.
Though I feel safer downstairs I am not free from them here. The doors open, people choke and grunt. Unseen hands rearrange objects, and the worst of them cover your face as you sleep.
Why do I put up with it?
Because this is my house!
Will I ever find out who they are?
I'm afraid I'll never know.