In True Ghost Stories I’ve brought you experiences from my Grandmother’s pub, The Royal Oak (don’t worry, we’ll be going back, there’s a couple of really weird stories still to come!): now I’d like to fill you in on some of my own personal experiences. From the Hotel...
The Hotel was another example of an old building steeped in history, like the Royal Oak the hotel was built in the 1700s. And like the Royal Oak, it had its fair share of hauntings...
The first story I’d like to share from the Hotel is the first time I actually witnessed a ghost with my own eyes. I’d been working in the pub trade for around ten years, and had basically been born into the industry. Even though I’d worked in some really old places, most of which with a story to tell, I’d never actually seen anything for myself. That changed one summer night.
There were some pretty scary non-paranormal stories in the pub trade, (anyone who has ever seen British TV show Crimewatch can confirm that, and holy shitballs if that isn’t one of the scariest things on television), so whenever I worked in a new place, I followed one simple rule: if my bedroom door had a lock, I used it. At first, my dad advised me to do the same. (Turns out it wasn’t necessary, but better safe than sorry.) The windows to my bedroom opened onto a roof. The kind of roof somebody might use if they wanted to gain entry, bypassing the doors.
This one night, when I was awoken by my bedroom door opening behind me, I knew something was off. I turned to see my dad inside the room, door closed. He wasn’t looking at me; he was staring in the direction of the windows. It was clear from his posture that he was listening intently to something out there. My dad can sometimes be, well, reactionary, so there was no way I was opening my trap to speak now, especially after screwing up and not locking the door.
I was pretty freaked out. He’d never done anything like this before and for a second I thought I could end up on a reconstruction on Crimewatch myself. He just stood there facing the window, looking. And listening. I too looked out of the window, in an attempt to see what he’d heard. As far as I could make out, there was nothing going on, so I turned back to him. He still wasn’t looking at me, eyes peering through the dark out of the windows. It was especially dark as the curtains were drawn, so it was no surprise when he took a few steps towards the window to get a better look, stopping a few feet away.
My eyes were adjusting to the light now and I turned back to the window myself. Still nothing. Still no way I was saying anything. I looked at him, back at the windows, back at him, and then the strangest thing happened.
Right before my eyes, as I was looking at him. The figure I thought was my dad faded away into nothing. I sat upright. Trying to wrap my head around what was going on. I wasn’t scared, which I found odd. I even thought I might have been dreaming, so I pinched myself. I really grabbed and twisted hard. Okay, you’re awake. Now what? I sat up for another few minutes trying to explain it. I didn’t fancy the idea of getting out of bed so I lay back down and after a few minutes, I fell back asleep.
The next morning I woke up, and being the non-morning person that I am, I was groggy. I wasn’t groggy for long as I suddenly remembered what had happened the previous night. Now I’m wide awake with a hazy and more-than-slightly confusing memory of my dad being in my room. Again, not afraid, but curious to find out what he’d been looking for. I quickly got up, dressed, and left my room. Well, I tried to leave, but the door didn’t open.
It was locked.
My heart started thumping. Whatever it was, it wasn’t dad. That was the quickest I’d ever unlocked a door, and the first time I’d ever seen a ghost. How can I be sure it wasn’t a dream? Sometimes you just know, and, well, that was the first time I saw anything in that room. It wasn’t the last...
Next time in True Ghost Stories, I'll tell you about the second.
Have you ever seen a ghost? Let me know in the comments! As before, I’d like this to be a serious discussion, so no jokes, memes, etc. And please be respectful of others!
In this blog I'll be bringing to you short tales of things that go bump in the night, true stories of weird and unexplained events, and the real-life news of all things odd and macabre, and entertain you along the way.