Heritage & Culture

‘It happened to me…’ TRUE spooky tales from The Moment readers!

Readers of The Moment and our followers on Twitter share their ghostly experiences for Halloween. Read on... if you dare!

‘When I was little, we lived in quite an old house, late Georgian I think. There was a cellar, and my parents never let me go down there as it was packed with junk and the light wasn’t great. It was quite extensive, too, there were several ‘rooms’ down there, connected by brick arches.

‘One day, curiosity got the better of me. I was eight, my father was at work and my mother had nipped out to the local shop. I had actually decided a few days previously that I was going to break the rules and wait for an opportunity to go down in the cellar – the urge to see what was ‘forbidden’ was irresistible!

‘After making sure that my mother had definitely left the house, I switched on the light at the top of the cellar steps, and started to descend. Each ‘room’ of the cellar had a filthy, dim bulb hanging from the ceiling, but they were the only light source. I crept into the first room. It was quite ordinary, and stuffed with old items my parents had shoved down there: my old pram, DIY bits, kindling. On I went to the second room. This was practically empty, and any residual light from the doorway was all but gone so the only light came from the bulb. I say practically empty, because in the corner was a heap of what looked like clothes. I stood and stared at it, and as I did, it shifted. I froze and held my breath. The heap shifted again, not in a way that suggested mice or rats were inside, but the whole mass of it rocked from side to side. Then – and I remember this very clearly – I heard a cough, in the room with me.

‘I shot back upstairs as fast as I could, switched off the light and slammed the door. My mother couldn’t understand why I was so subdued for the rest of the day and actually I think she kept me in bed the next day, as she thought I was ill.

‘A few months later, with a torch and a school friend (and while my mother was busy in the garden) I went back down there. The second room was empty.’
Jon, Stamford

‘About seven or eight years ago, I went to visit Royston Caves with my husband and some friends. For those who don’t know, Royston Caves aren’t natural caves, but manmade, although their origin is shrouded in the mists of time. They were discovered in the 1700s I think, but are far older, some say a hiding place for Templars when they were persecuted in the 1300s. The walls are covered in ancient carvings, some pagan, some early Christian – some just very old grafitti!

‘Anyway, we went down there and were looking around, when I suddenly started to feel very, very odd. I wasn’t ill at the time, I have no problem with dark or enclosed spaces, and I hadn’t gone down in the caves with an empty stomach. I felt extremely faint and nauseous, plus short of breath, and I had a very pronounced metallic taste in my mouth. The only solution was to go back ‘up top’ and find a bench to sit on, which I did, whereupon I quickly recovered. Within minutes I was back to normal.

‘Now, whilst many might say it was a panic attack or lack of air, all I will say is that the only other time I have felt like that, physically, was when I attended a reading by a psychic medium…’
Victoria, Bassingbourn

‘It started like every other scary story – I moved into a new house. At first everything was fine, and then the weird stuff began.

‘My husband and I moved into the house in September 2013. It’s not a particularly old house, no chance of creepy Victorian tenants, and it was in excellent condition when we moved in – apart from a rusty back door, whose wood had expanded in its frame, making it nearly impossible to open and close.

‘Then, one day, the back door slammed open and closed in quick successions of three – onetwothree, onetwothree, onetwothree – and then stopped. It started happening more and more – didn’t make a difference whether it was windy outside or not. After a while I realised that the door only slammed open and closed when I was home alone.

‘Jump ahead a couple of months. The door was still playing its old tricks, only now there was creaking upstairs too, and our dog kept staring fixatedly at the fireplace. I even pulled out our stove and took a look up the chimney, thinking maybe a bird had gotten in there. Nope, only spiders the size of my face.

‘My mother told me it was a ghost. I thought that was absurd. She told me that it would be a good idea to tell the ghost – very firmly – to leave the house. I told her I’d think about it. As soon as I got off the phone with her, the door began slamming again – onetwothree, onetwothree, onetwothree – so I tried out my mum’s advice. I said (very firmly): “If you’re a ghost, you can get lost.”

‘Never had a problem with the door since. Creaking’s stopped too, and the dog doesn’t seem so interested in the fireplace any more.’
Amy, Cambridge

‘About 20 years ago, I was working late, in a new job so I didn’t know the building well. I was sure that I was the only one there (like a mug!) as it was gone 9 pm. Suddenly, I heard running feet in the room above me, just once, but it happened about three or four times in the next hour. I felt uneasy after it happened the second time, and after the last time I’d had enough, shut down my computer and left for the night.

‘Imagine my discomfort when I casually enquired about the history of the building the next day, to be told it used to be an orphanage in the 1950s! I hadn’t told anyone about what I’d heard – as the new boy I didn’t want the proverbial ripped out of me, so the tale of the orphanage was not told to wind me up further.

‘For unrelated reasons, I wasn’t in the job long – I wasn’t sorry to leave!’
Steve, Peterborough

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