My own ghost.

30 odd years ago I bought a ruined cottage in South West England. I had been visiting the place since 1961. It belonged to my mother's best friend. The cottage is from 1460, at least thats when it first appeared in church records. It was a full ruin, the roof and floors had collapsed into the cottage , leaves had fallen, and mulched on top - largish trees were growing inside.
I told my mother's friend (auntie) that if she ever wanted to sell, and I could afford it, I would be happy to buy it - I loved the isolation - its 2000 meters from the nearest small road. The night sky is black but it was creepy enough even in daylight!
20 years later the phone rings - it was "auntie" - she wanted to know if I still wanted to buy the land (she discounted the cottage as being beyond repair). She had come up with a land value of 2000 dollars. Deal done! I almost ran to the bank the next morning to transfer the cash.
I'm in Sweden so it was some time before I got over to England in order to inspect my purchase. What a shock - 20 years had gone by and it took 40 hours with a chainsaw to clear fallen trees from the track up to the cottage! I only had a few days so I decided not even to fully inspect the cottage, but to return in the summer.
That summer I returned for a ten week stay. I fought my way in through the brambles, cleared a spot for my tent, high above the cottage and set about clearing the plot from trees and brambles.
On day one at lunchtime I had cleared masses. I decided to trudge the 2k back to my car and go for a pint.
At the village pub I introduced myself to the landlord, and told him what I was up to at the cottage. "That place" he exclaimed, "wouldn't set foot even on the track up to it for a hundred quid - its haunted" He also told me that I would have problems finding builders from the village, as nobody liked the place. I drank up and left.
I had felt all morning that someone was watching me at the cottage, a bit creepy. That evening it got worse. I could feel a presence. Seemed to me it was a woman - although I have no idea why. I went to bed that first night somewhat spooked.
All this went on for weeks . I was not a happy camper! Then one night there was a thunderstorm. I looked out of my tent at the cottage below, which was intermittantly lit by lightening,very eerie, and decided that if I was going to live here, I must overcome my fear and lay the ghost.
By this time I had sussed out where she was , at the side of the gable wall, thats where my neck hair would rise. I took my sleeping bag and a tarpaulin then headed off down the hill in the driving rain.
I put out the tarp. below the gable wall - got into my sleeping bag and rolled into the tarp. I was scared to death, but strangly fell asleep even before I could pray, which I had intended to do.
When I awoke in the morning, she was gone, I could feel it. She never came back. I still tell the villagers she is around - keeps them away.
Strangest part was that the torrential had washed away a lot of soil from around where I had slept, and there glinting in the morning sun was a wedding ring! I wore that ring for twenty years, then one day it just broke into three pieces.
I often wonder if she was telling me that neither of us needed it anymore? Or was there a deeper meaning?

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Published in Senior Chatters


    1. bathchairdave Post author

      Ann thanks!
      Years on when I was considering repairing the ring I noticed faint hand engraving on one section. The ring was badly worn. Looked like “the” – but then definately “father” the rest was gone . I knew right off but I left it out of the story on purpose. The ghost had faith it seems. The ring split into the Trinity.
      I’m running out of true stories that might be of interest. Shame people don’t look around and sence adventure in the world, and then tell!

    1. bathchairdave Post author

      Laurie thanks!
      I felt we had both set each other free that morning. She is at peace somewhere, I got to finish re-building the cottage. Just perhaps thats what we both wanted?

  1. heart

    I loved it. I fully believe it is a true story, but it would be fascinating as a chronicle of ghostly visits, truth or fiction, to a cottage’s inhabitants since the 1400s. Laurie brilliantly pointing out the ghost perhaps visited other lives made me want to ‘turn the pages in the book’ to read of them. From this premise and with cooperation from creative people site-wide there could be compiled a very good book.

    1. bathchairdave Post author

      Thanks Heart!
      The ghost has gone but I managed to save one fireplace in the cottage! I often sit in front of that ancient fireplace and wonder about the people that lived back then, and those that came after. Strange thing is that all the old deeds are made out to women, which must have been most unusual back then. I do mean all – no men – well “”wife of ect.” but the men never owned the place. It’s a very happy house now – even if my wife and I own it jointly. I must admit I don’t miss madam ghost though.

  2. starlette

    I totally believe your story Dave, I have had my own ghostly experiences over the years as I should imagine many others have……..think probably the reason we do not tell them is because those who have never been around ghostly happenings would just poo poo them……….but I do think some are more in tune than others on picking up on these happenings…….great story, and I do hope that you may return to your cottage one day…

    1. bathchairdave Post author

      Thanks star!
      Whether or not I return, its been a great experience re-building the place and making lots of grand friends amonst the surrounding farmers, from whom I have learnt masses. Life goes on my dear. At least I put my stamp on something!

  3. patricia

    Dave I could feel all that as I read it ,maybe only some of us get the feelings that you described, I know I have had what I call a visitor, but only at certain times in my life, enjoyed reading it Dave