Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Haunted as in haunted

It's Wednesday, so it must be blog day. I seem to have become a once every other day blogger. Oh well, I'm trying to keep them coming regularly, so let's see if a pattern develops.

Yes, anyway. Haunted. I've never especially believed in that sort of thing, though it's always interested me. In the last ten years, I've lived in three properties that have had, well, odd properties. I was in an old, rented place about ten years ago that was genuinely freaky (I'll write about that some other time).

I've lived at my current address for seven years. It's old - it was a NCO's quarters for the local barracks back in Napoleonic times. A cavalry officer's house. Since we moved in, we (ie me, my wife and my two kids) have all been aware at different times of a... well, a something that stands at the bottom of the third flight of stairs. You might call it a figure, I couldn't possibly comment. It's not scary, or alarming. It's just part of the house. I realised the other day that, rather than deciding we did believe in that sort of thing after all, it had just become a fact of life (or something). An unconscious acceptance. It's become quite matter of fact. "He was about again last night," my wife will mention at breakfast.

I'm sure there's a rational explanation. Ultrasound, they reckon, don't they? Or is it infrasound? An odd natural resonance?

I don't know. All I know is that in the last few weeks, it's become more active. I was lying in bed the other night - everyone else in the house was asleep - and the whatever it is was walking around on the landing. I could hear it quite clearly. It wasn't the neighbours, it wasn't the wind, it wasn't the pipes, it wasn't the cats, it wasn't one of the kids getting up in the night for a wee.

When it walked up to the door of our bedroom and stepped inside (the door was open), I thought about looking, but decided to roll over and ignore it instead. I wasn't quite ready to deal with the possibiities at that time of night.

So there you go. Do sleep well. Don't have nightmares.


narrativium said...

"I lived at my current house for seven years."

Aha! You're the ghost!

Anonymous said...

would it be worthwhile to set up a camera, or would that just be really rude (given that whatever it is has presumably lived there for a good deal longer than you have)? and what do the aforementioned cats make of it? not pretending to be an expert of any kind, but my shallow reading on such subjects has informed me that household pets usually react quite noticeably to such things.

Soapy said...

I've only ever lived in new houses (and only ever two in my life)so I've never experienced anything like that before.

I have a favorite haunted story though. The house had twelve stairs and often when the couple went to bed they'd hear someone coming upstairs. Fourteen stairs. This went on for months, experts were summoned and investigations made. No clue. Nothing.

About a year later they were invited to a house warming at their new next door neighbours. The chap went upstairs to the bathroom and found that the neighbours house (an otherwise mirror image of their own) had fourteen stairs up to the first floor and the walls were connected. Mystery solved. Mundane explaination unfortunately.

I quite like the idea of a Napolionic cavalry troop segeant sneeking off the landing at chateau Abnett for a sneaky read of the latest draught of 'Only in Death'. Maybe he's been more active of late because he doesn't like the idea of Gaunt popping his clogs.


Nick said...

Dan, I'm excited that I got into the xfire chat tommorrow! Can't wait to talk with you there... and maybe win a copy of Ravenor Rogue (Still hasn't been released in the States, or I would have it already).

Your house sounds quite interesting... and yes soapy that would be interesting, a cavalary sergeant reading all the new ghost books!

Dan Abnett said...

Ho Ho. Thanks for spotting that Freudian sli- I mean typo, narrativium.

Maybe I'll try sredni's camera idea. I can't tell what my cats make of it. They're too... you know, cat-like in their odd ways.

Great story, soapy. Nice reminder of the rational. It's not like I believe in that sort of thing anyway...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the failed Clone Zero has made a comeback.

Anonymous said...

Dan, that's freaky. He's getting a little comfy coming into your bedroom eh?
I'd probably never turn the lights out again. Thanks for sharing!

Oh and excellent job with your recent blogging streak!

Gagzhul said...

Oh I had a horrible time with ghosts in my apartment. Something must have died there because theres always something making a noise but I cant be fussed about bothering with some ectoplasmic thing.

On another note, have you conducted your X-Fire chat yet? I've gotten in but I'm afraid I've missed the time when it would be taking place (damn you Timezones!)

If it hasn't I rest easy, if not, well damn

Anonymous said...

I once stayed in a B&B that was haunted... me and my wife didn't get a wink of sleep because we got feelings of gut-wrenching terror whenever we turned the light off in our room so we went to the lounge and watched TV all night.

And to cap it all the breakfast was bloody awful.

Jeff said...

My wife and I bought a house several years ago from an elderly man who was entering a group home (actually the son was selling it for him) who had been the original owner of the house. Not an old house by any means, built 1971, very much looking circa 1971 (as of 2004) as well.

After a few months we realized a few things kept getting moved. An entryway door kept opening on its own. Cats would talk to the corner and seemingly "get scratches on the chin" to thin air.

After some checking, we find that Mr. Finn (the original inhabitant) had two wives. Not at the same time mind you, but two consecutive wives...both died in the house of natural causes (they were extremely old).

When we purchased the house it came with all the original appliances, as well as 34 year old curtains, etc. We didn't change a thing. We joked that Mrs. Finn liked things as they were.

Over the course of the next two years, we had more and more things move on their own. We even had witnesses (friends staying over watched the door open on its own*) Balloons tied down to heavy objects moved across the room (not accessable to the cats or any venting...I thought of that too).

(* The door in question would open about half way. The odd thing is that the door was tight against thick shag carpet (ala the 70's) and couldn't be opened easily, and required a bit of manpower to cats could do way)

After a while it was hard to deny: Mrs. Finn was still around. She apparently loved cats (we found out later from the son) and used to lock the son in the closet for a "time out".

Trippy but true.
Do I believe in ghosts?
Undecided, but it was certainly...something.

Acridian said...

Have never been on this side before but now.
Wonder about the haunting thing, coz im just reading stephen kings salem's lot.
And dont bother about my spelling - I'm german so far :)

Why didnt u look?
Because of getting him closer into the room next time? Seems to be curious anyway =)...

so far for now.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thank you for coming onto Xfire this evening and answering fans' questions. I had a fun time reading your answers.

Quick Question: Could you see the questions chat room / general chat, or did the Xfire team send you questions one at a time?

I used to live in an old house that was surrounded by old oak trees, and when it got cold, a family of squirrels nestled into our insulation and boxes of junk. They got so rowdy at night that I could swear they were at least the size of pigs!

Maybe it's the ghost of Bragg coming to avenge his death. :P (I hadn't gotten to that event yet, which was rudely revealed to me plus several other plot spoilers in the xfire session by the public mass, had to find out sooner or later.)

Thanks again!

Nick said...

Dan, I would like to thank you for the oppurtunity with the xfire chat!

It was slightly chaotic (Much like the 40K world!) but still a huge amount of fun.

I ended up winning a signed copy of Ravenor Rogue, which I am absolutely estatic about! I can't wait to get it and read it...

Well thanks alot... I had alot of fun.

You should hop on xfire more often and just talk with your fans!

My xfire is: crazedboarder17 (Nickname: Raven(DL))

Have a good one and keep writing well,

Nick Staiano

Anonymous said...

Oh, and it's infrasound (generally about 17-19Hz) that causes the feelings of unease and being haunted... not that I've been researching infrasound as a possible tool for increasing the fear factor in a Horror LRP I want to run sometime... oh no...

Gagzhul said...

Actually, thats true about the 17-19 Hz thing. I was in a Science Class the other day and we were playing around with this odd instrument.

Sounds produced at that range really made the class antsy.

Also, I doubt you'll do it, but add wnxhasoroth to your X-Fire, I'm having trouble finding professional writers I genuinely enjoy reading to C&C some of my work.

Anonymous said...

Ah, infrasound, thats the hairy monkey in your suboncious telling you that the tiger behind you really doesn't like you (well at least not as a friend anyway).

And Dan, you know what they say, a man who writes about ghosts often see's them too. Just don't hack him off.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should watch Ghost Hunters for some ideas on figuring out whats going on. ~grin~ I have been to some spooky spots as well. I find that old Civil War battlefields are about the worst. Misawa AB in Japan had a few really spooky occasions for me as well. Especially, since I worked a night shift as a cop. Nothing better than driving down a line of runways and you see a figured that vanishes as you come up to it. Still, what do you expect from a country as old as Japan.

Anonymous said...

I like your post. I've experienced odd stuff, but like you said I didn't think much of it and am still skeptical of putting too much belief in that sort of thing.

Some years ago my friend, family, and I took a boat trip to an island called Useppa Island (in Florida). It's a nice enough place and i'd been there before without any problems. This time, however, strange things kept happening to my friend. I was with him most of the time so I was witness to them. Most of the things that happened were little, but most noticably a large speaker randomly dislodged and fell on top of him while we were visiting someone else's boat. This wouldn't normally be odd, but the screws that held it in must have all twisted out at the same time and the wires connecting it looked as if they had been clearly cut at the same mark. He wasn't harmed, so we didn't think too much of it beyond it's general randomness. We even made jokes that someone or something was trying to kill him(and doing a bad job of it), or that something didn't want him on the island.

A bit of time has passed since then and I can't remember one or two of the other occurances but later that same night something else happened of note. While lying in bunk beds and chatting late at night (that's just how the rooms are set up on our boat) we both saw a cat repeatedly run accross past the doorway through the darkness. Think of a broken record and you'll get an idea of what we were looking at. It was random, sparatic, and spaced over the course of an hour of conversation or so. I don't own a cat, i'm allergic to kittens, and the boat was completely enclosed. There were no cats on that boat. We both knew this and as it would run by we'd both just stop talking, watch it pass, then go back to our conversation. Nothing to fear from a phantom kitten, right?

Well, it got later and later; the wind picked up. Neither of us being tired we kept chatting about random stupid things until finally someone spoke to us. A woman's voice came from the room we were in and spoke to us in a language we (or at least I) did not speak. I'll never know what she said or what she wanted but she spooked me, and as there was no one else awake or nearby in the room who could claim the words I (being young) closed my eyes and started screaming. I'm not sure what I screamed or what my friend did, but I didn't stop until everyone on the boat was in the room asking us what happened. I know my friend heard the voice too.. I think he even said he saw someone in the room. I never really brought that up again until now and never had another experience of that kind since. Perhaps my friend is not meant to be on Useppa island, because once he left he wasn't bothered again.

There's a ghost story about the island that says a girl named Josepha was murdered there by pirates. It's said that if you're out on certain nights that you'll see her headless body roaming about. It's also said that you're more likely to see her near the local pub after happy hour as you're walking home.

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