My family had the sudden death of my father New Year’s Day 1967 followed 6 months later by my Grandfather ‘Pop’ who had also lived with us… before I had even turned 5. This left my mum with 2 teenage daughters and myself as a single mum raising us on her own.
The first hint of anything was when my 17 year old sister had a fight with her fianc� and uncharacteristically ran up the hallway and threw herself on what had been Pop’s bed in the end bedroom. My mum re-tells the tale that my sister eventually ran screaming back in to the lounge room saying “someone was in pop’s room.”
My Pop’s room was a westerly facing room and it was afternoon taking the full brunt of the setting sun and should have been the hottest room in the house! Instead we all found a chilled room which caused us to shiver with the cold. My mother stood as the chill evaporated and concluded that ‘something’ had been in the room but she wasn’t sure what it was.
My older sister claimed that as she fell on the bed crying face down she became aware of a growing presence in the room and that the room was growing colder and colder – convinced that the presence was getting closer and would soon touch her… she had ran out into the loungeroom.
A few months later my other sister who was 16 had a boyfriend stay the night in ‘pop’s room’ – in the morning when my mum asked how he was – he simply announced he thought he had seen a ghost in the night and went on to describe my grandfather exactly (whom he had never met… and there were no photos out of him in the house) sitting in the chair in the corner of the room just looking at him! The poor boy threw the blankets over his head and hid ’til dawn.
Being the youngest, these tales were naturally kept from me until my mum decided she fancied pop’s plush corner chair and moved it into the master bedroom where I still slept with my mother.
I can remember waking and knowing it was late… the cars on our busy 6 lane highway had faded to a trickle and I was really WIDE awake… a feeling I would learn to recognize when I was older. It was like every sense was awake! But as a wide awake 5 year old I wasn’t impressed by the prospect of tossing and turning ’til morning. As I looked over and recognized my pop sitting in his chair, dressed in his Sunday Church suit I concluded I was dreaming… but it felt very real for a dream. I pinched myself under the covers and panicked – this was no dream – I was awake! Trying to wake my mother became difficult as I tried to hiss at her quietly ‘pop’s sitting in the chair’ as mum would later admit ‘the prospect your 4 year old is seeing your dead father sitting in a chair – does sound like a bad dream’.
When my mother had enough and was annoyed and rolled over to admonish me… she froze… she could see him too! Later mum would admit, she could not say to me as a 4 year old frightened child that ‘yes I see him too dear’ because she was terrified herself. Instead she made a big song and dance telling me it was car headlights through the blinds and shadows playing tricks on out eyes. But she could see him just as clearly as I could! So we both sat there staring. It never moved. Though I remember distinctly deciding if it moved I was running for the door.
The detail faded over time and soon it was just a black silhouette and finally just a shadow indistinguishable from the others on the wall. I stared as long as I could until my eyelids started to droop and finally I managed to fall asleep. I woke to sunshine and my mother manhandling pop’s plush corner chair back out of her bedroom and back into pop’s old room.
But of course these events were just the start of a lifetime of haunting in that house which is otherwise just an ordinary suburban house in Liverpool, Sydney, Australia where my mother in her 80′s still lives.
Sent in by Jennifer Mills-Young, Copyright 2009
Read the next – Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 2