Thursday, 12 August 2021

A ghostly tale

To set the scene - swinging London, late ´60s. I was in my early twenties and had moved to Hammersmith  where I shared a ground-floor maisonette with two other girls. My "room" was actually a partioned off alcove next to the kitchen and I had been living there for a couple of months.

I was on my own one night as my flatmates were out gallivanting, and went to bed where I did some knitted until I felt sleepy. I stuffed the knitting into its carrier bag and slipped it under the bed where it would be out of the way and switched off my bedside light.

As I lay there drifting off to sleep I heard a rustling sound coming from under my bed. Being near the kitchen I thought maybe a mouse was investigating the carrier bag so I switched on the light and had a look but couldn´t see anything. This happened a couple more times until I got up and put the bag in my wardrobe. This all implies that by now I was wide awake. I tried to get off to sleep again but this time I was disturbed by a woman´s voice quietly calling my name several times, followed by the sensation of my bedclothes tightening over my legs as if someone had sat down on the edge of the bed.

Thoroughly frightened I leapt out of bed and ran around the flat turning all the lights on. It was cold as the heating was off by now so I got back into bed to keep warm and waited for my flatmates to come home. I must have dozed off eventually as I woke with a start to find one of them bending over me to turn off my bedside light.

The next day I told them what had happened to me and was told the following...

The maisonette was originally lived in by an old lady, who was on her own. Her only relative was a brother who was in South Africa. One day she fell down the cellar steps, broke her hip and died down there as there was no-one to hear or help her. She was found eventually but obviously it was too late. The brother inherited the property and was now our landlord.

My flatmates said they had both been through similar experiences to mine with the calling of their names and especially the sensation of someone sitting on the bed while they were in it. They had chosen not to share this information with me as they did not want to frighten me or put me off renting the room as they needed my share of the rent and also had never felt threatened by the happenings. I was pretty annoyed but had no reason to disbelieve them, they weren´t silly teenagers - one was a physiotherapist and the other a ground stewardess at Heathrow.

Anyway, I lived there for a while longer and thankfully never experienced anything like that again. I really have no explanation for what happened, all I know is it was very real and I was wide awake. If I had known about the old lady and my flatmates´experiences maybe I could have imagined it, but the fact that I knew absolutely nothing rules that out. One of life´s mysteries I guess.

I should like to point out that I don´t believe in ghosts as such and am not easily spooked. The room I am writing this in is my study, but it used to be my father´s bedroom and he actually died in here a few years ago. I am quite comfortable using the room and never feel anything untoward.

At the same time, I believe... ´there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio`...


  1. Well, that was exciting. I read it out to my husband. I was in London in the mid 60s and was in my mid 20s. I too would have been thoroughly spooked at hearing my name called and the bedclothes tightening ........
    Such a sad story about the lady dying in the cellar. We agree with your last sentence.
    Wendy (Wales)

    1. Thank you Wendy, hope your husband enjoyed it! It would be funny if our paths had crossed in London.