The floorboards felt loose under my feet and a cool draft was creeping in through the windows. The building work had been left in haste leaving us with not much more than a shell of an old rickety barn, i was actually furious and told mum she needed to square up with the landlord and get the place sorted out. He had promised to have it finished a few weeks before we came back but he was not the kind of guy who followed through with promises. It felt empty and sad and although we were looking around the bare bones of the place i still could not imagine this feeling like home even with all of our furniture inside. It even came with free bats and squirrels in the roof. Bonus.
The building mum had rented stood beside a massive lofty vicarage with several floors and looking up at the windows of that grand place it seemed forlorn and despairing. Directly on the other side of that stood the village church and the graveyard and i had no doubt that some of the more ancient graves likely stretched beneath our properties, the headstones and markers lost to time. At the front the two homes shared a large driveway and our garden was bare with a stretch of gravel a pitiful amount of grass and a patch of trees at the back. Beyond that there were muddy fields that seemed to stretch for miles. It definitely felt like a lonely place and our time here was one of the worst periods of our lives, for reasons that i will not divulge here for Lil’s sake, but i am not exaggerating when i say we ended up being the nightmare neighbours you see on them channel 5 tv programs or as i often joke we were the Jeremy Kyle family.
Lil was barely here at this house as she had her own stuff to deal with and i regret that i couldn’t have kept her with me more, she was safe with me her big sister even if i was a fucking pathetic mess at the time. I spiralled into a seemingly endless pit of mental health issues, suicide attempts, serious drug use and criminal activity and very nearly went to jail because of this and i truly thought i was going to die in this house. Forgive me for this depressing post but i feel like it is important to relay some of this to you as this wasn’t just hell in the paranormal sense, it was hell all round. And a lot of weird revelations would come from our time here. So buckle in.. it is going it get bumpy.
Our neighbours who had also just moved into the recently renovated vicarage were northern, Leeds or Bradford i forget now where they were from. The parents seemed friendly enough although it was obvious the mother had a temper. They had two kids and both were around my age although i didn’t have a lot to do with the daughter our family became friendly with her son who i shall call by the nickname we in the village gave him G man. I already knew some of the folk in the village as i had grown up with some of them so we weren’t completely alien but G man was. The strong accent made him stand out and he carried a man bag for fuck sake, he also thought he was a shit hot rapper and he wasn’t half bad at free styling i will give him that. They also had an angry looking ginger Persian cat who needed grooming as he had a long dread lock of fur hanging from his back end so we all called him two tails.
Not long after moving in Mum got involved with a new guy who is still a massive part of our lives today. He lived in a town about eleven miles away so she would go and spend the weekend there leaving me in charge of the animals and the house and was relaxed enough to let me have free reign of the place. Which i did, i would regularly have friends over for chavvy soirees and we would sit around drinking lambrini, cheap spirits and smoking weed and this became the new normal. I was always more of a tomboy as a child so i was perfectly comfortable being with just the lads. The activity started like a trickle effect at first, the feeling of being watched, cupboard doors slamming in the kitchen and the sound of something moving around in my room at night, so much so that i felt more comfortable taking one of the animals to bed with me so i felt less alone.
One of my friends is also a gifted clairvoyant having a similar backstory to me, she grew up in an old hotel and ended up training with a medium. Kay came over one night to try and get a vibe for who it was who was clearly following us around, she told me that he was attached to me and he seemed very pissed off at me for some reason. We heard some footsteps on the floor above coming from my mums room which was empty so we headed up the stairs and with trepidation headed for the bedroom. Kay was ahead of us and as soon as she drew level with a small closet the door popped open and a stack of bedding and folded curtains spilled out onto the floor. I jumped and i swear my heart skipped a beat, the pure timing of it was not a coincidence. We stuffed everything back in and opened the heavy bedroom door and walked into a sharp chill, she knew he Simong was in here waiting for us but she couldn’t get any more information from him as he had essentially blocked her. It was something he would do often to sensitives trying to glean some info from him and it made me question whether he was truly a human spirit. I was sceptical about his origins for a couple of years.
On one of these weekends my dear friend Alec and his mate Cal stayed over, after a night of playing monopoly, watching films and eating junk food we decided to settle in for the night. I had two beds in my room, my double one and my sisters single bed and as she wasn’t at home we all decided to stay in there together, i now wonder whether it was because they used to get spooked by the night time noises. Cal was in bed with me and Alec was in the single and we lay there in the darkness wittering on about conspiracy theories, I decided i wanted a drink and as i was headed out of the door to pop downstairs Alec asked me to fetch him one as well. I left the lights off as i went down and after getting our drinks i bum bumped the heavy bedroom door to open it and made my way around to my side of the bed in the darkness clutching our glasses filled with orange juice. I walked straight into Alec and splashed juice all down my front. Why the fuck is he just standing there in the dark.
“Alec what the fuck… get out of my way…” I hear sniggering in the corner of the room.
“We are over here.” Cal replied.
“Don’t piss about Alec, move!” Then i hear Alec’s voice from the corner of the room and that familiar sensation of dread hit me, rising from my chest and threatening to wrap itself around my throat.
“I am over here you twat.. whats wrong with you.” My stomach dropped and i quickly backed up two steps. Cal being nearest the light switch flicked it on, a look of concern on his face, sure enough him and Alec were crouched in the corner. I had just walked into the solid bulky body of someone and now i was scared. I could see nothing in front of me but i knew damn well that i had felt it even going as far as to think it was Alec as he was stockier than Cal.
“What are you doing over there?” I asked annoyed as i bravely moved around the spot where i was blocked and put the drinks down on my bedside table.
“We put a spiky hairbrush on your side of the bed, thinking you would sit on it….. but obviously not. What was that all about?” Alec said as he strode over and pulled back my section of quilt revealing the brush, honestly to this day they are still the biggest kids i know. I dried my hands off on my dressing gown.
“I thought you were over here… something was blocking my way.” I told them and handed Alec his glass.
“Are you sure it wasn’t the bed?” Cal asked me grinning trying to make a joke out of it thinking i was scaring myself.
“No it was not the bed, it was big like a person. Just turn the light off i am tired.” I snapped at him and quickly jumped under the covers and sidled up to Cal, they stayed pretty quiet after that. I lay there with that feeling of certainty forming in my gut, it was Simong. I was sure of it but he had never done anything like that before, was it because the guys were round? A couple of weeks later we had another get together and for once my sister was home that weekend. We had been drinking quite heavily and playing stupid games and Alec, Cal and another two guys were going to sleep over in the living room. The had made up beds on the two sofa’s and a mattress on the floor was for a couple of them to top and tail.
I was pretty drunk and in the early hours after Lil had already collapsed in bed i headed up, being sure to lock the front double doors and the back door. I remember doing it vividly and drawing the floor length curtains so no one could see in then i sloped off upstairs and dragged myself into bed. I woke early about 6:30am thirsty as hell. My head was pounding and as i sat myself up on the edge of the bed it felt like the world lurched. Lil was still fast asleep and gently snoring so i threw my dressing gown on and headed down the stairs. As i was descending i could hear the guys still awake and talking quietly so i stuck my head in the living room door causing them to jump. The four of them were sitting crammed on the single mattress on the floor with three quilts wrapped tightly around the huddled group. Something was up, they looked scared.
“Morning. Why are you still awake?” I croaked with one raised eyebrow. They didn’t answer immediately and they looked at one another.
“Were you awake in the night? Like …. coming up and down the stairs?” Lewis another of the guys asked. I was still half asleep at this point and my brain was slowly operating in that post alcohol fog.
“No me and Lil have been asleep. Why?” I was just starting to register that something had clearly been going down in the night to freak them out when Cal asked me..
“Seriously? Your not messing with us? because we have heard someone thundering up and down the stairs. We didn’t dare look.” I blanched at his statement and my thoughts flashed back to the dark nights at 74 when i would hear the same thing.
“Of course not…” I trailed off there was a light wind brushing against my bare legs and spun around to see the curtains over the front door lightly billowing. I yanked one back and one of the double doors was wide open with the lock mechanism stuck out. The guys were getting off the mattress one by one and Lewis came up behind me.
“Why did you unlock the door?” I asked angry at them before panic set in.
“Oh shit the dogs.” Lewis was following me helping me search as i called their names. Not in the kitchen. Not in the hallway. All the while he was insisting no one had opened the front door. I headed out of the kitchen and into the conservatory and found both dogs curled up in a chair looking troubled, i breathed a sigh of relief knowing that if they had escaped they could have run miles before anyone noticed. Then i saw it. The back door was flung wide open as well and upon closer inspection the lock was also stuck out in the locked position too. Why they hadn’t taken their chance to escape confused me as they were sat mere feet from the door, Our smaller dog Woody was quite the Houdini and it was not like him to stay put if he didn’t have to.
Quickly slamming it shut i turned to him with a face like thunder and asked him to promise me that they hadn’t been fucking around with the doors in the night. He said they hadn’t. One by one the lads trickled into the kitchen looking tired and seeing my nervous expression they all started talking at once, like a tsunami of words that i was struggling to focus on. They were saying how someone was running and stomping on the stairs and how could we both have slept through it. Apparently the dogs had been growling at nothing and were spooked the whole night, when they were in the kitchen getting drinks and snacks things had been moving around. Alec pointed to a large plastic clothes basket that was slung onto the floor in one corner of the kitchen.
“We left that on the table, every time someone came back in here something big had moved. We shut ourselves in the living room because it was freaking us out.” They were telling the truth, i could see it on their faces they looked just as shook up as i was feeling. When Lil woke up an hour or so later they relayed all that had happened to her. I will never forget the way she looked at me with concern on her face.
“Simong’s back then.” she held my gaze and i know damn well what was going through her head at that minute. Thank fuck it’s not me living here with it.
Luckily on most weekends when mum was gone i had a couple of friends stay with me. But there was the odd one where i would be on my own and i hated it with a passion. This was one of the most unsecured houses we had ever lived in. The back door was flimsy as hell and one good shove it could come open, one of the window frames in the conservatory could literally be lifted up and you could step right through. Alec once broke in one night because his mum locked him out of his house when he was drunk, mum found him passed out on the sofa, snuggled up with one of our quilts and pillows and a plate with toast crusts on it and babestation playing on the telly in the background. It was comical but it showed how easy it was for someone to get in.
I would never venture into the conservatory once the sun had gone down. I always felt like there was something out there in the back yard watching me and the dogs proved it one weekend. I was on my own and they were stood side by side staring out of one the windows, they were focused on the end of the garden where the trees were. They were grumbling in a low tone and then they would break out into full blown growls baring their teeth, they would not listen to me calling them away. I had to pull them into the kitchen by their collars and shut that door and the curtains that covered the glass. That was the worst one for me, i knew something was out there and i was petrified not knowing if it was a spirit or some messed up person planning to break in. I chose to sleep downstairs on the sofa over them couple of days with a knife and kept both of the dogs close by. I figured if someone came in at least i would have half a chance of hearing them as opposed to sleeping upstairs behind the solid doors and not hearing anything. I wanted a fighting chance.
Weird activity surrounded that house, mum on a few of occasions had taken the dogs on their leads down the drive to have wee’s before setting in for the night and she saw a car with a couple of men sat in it just watching the two buildings. As soon as they saw mum they sped off into the night. It turned out our neighbours were not as nice as they seemed and we found out when our house and theirs was raided by dozens of police at the crack of dawn one morning. They thought we knew the family previously and amazingly we hadn’t noticed that they had cleared off in the dead of night a couple of days before this raid. It turned out the father was a criminal involved in a nasty home raid robbery which saw two elderly people hurt and they had moved to the sleepy little village to put some distance between them and the crime scene. We were stunned as he had seemed the most pleasant out of the whole family. So i suspect the car mum saw had been a couple of plain clothes officers watching the place. But as for who or what was creeping around the end of the garden, i do not know….. I don’t think i want to know.
Photo by Racheal Lomas on Unsplash