Have you read the previous parts of this story? Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 1
As an adult now and a parent of children myself, I have remained very open minded about the paranormal and have always been very supportive of my children and their experiences.
I have been able to determine I have shut down a lot of my abilities due to a fairly negative reception when I was younger, but suspect I could have been a medium/ psychic if I had developed my powers in a supportive atmosphere. That hasn’t stopped my ‘spidey sense’ reminding me its there on occasion!
My daughter spent most of her formative years with her father (a skeptic) while my son lived with me from age 12. My son appears the more sensitive of the two, but they do both experience entities – just in different ways.
I avoided the paranormal on purpose for many years between 20 and 30. I did not place myself in situations where it was likely I would have an experience. I was kind of ‘burnt out’ after growing up in a haunted house! I relished the quiet and NOT having my ‘spidey sense’ trigger.
The first ghost hunt I attended was when I was in my 30′s and I went with a group from work. We had a wonderful dinner in a turn of the century gothic mansion which was now a golf club… and reported to be haunted. During the meal I became aware of a constant banging on the ceiling, like someone banging the handle of a broom on the floor above my head to get attention but no-one seemed to react and carried on their dinner conversations oblivious. I “knew” no-one else could hear it. “All the action is upstairs isn’t it?” I asked a girlfriend as a familiar knot in my stomach started to form. “Oh yeah that’s where we go after dinner,” she said excitedly, “that’s supposed to be where its haunted,” she assured me with a wink.
Now I wasn’t so excited. Now I remembered what it felt like to interact with entities and now I remembered why I had avoided it for so long. It was like becoming a charged battery with a muscle tension that could border on feeling sick. My spidey sense on its own was nothing to how I felt when I did the ‘whole show’ and as I sat at the dinner table I knew this was going to be dinner and a show!
After the meal everyone bounded up the 200 year old stair case and I dutifully followed and made it to the first landing where the presence hit me like a wall. I stopped and gripped the banister for support and swore. What had I been thinking? This was tiring and draining, this wasn’t fun! But then I realized I had paid $120 for this tour and it only STARTED at this mansion – what was I going to do sit downstairs and stay in the bus all night? I got angry… so then I got determined… and I marched up the stairs even though it felt like I was moving through lead, prepared and ready for what ever the presence was going to throw at me.
It was a male, that was evident and that turn of the century arrogant male – a room full of giggling and awe struck women were just up his alley. This guy hadn’t even wanted women to have the vote! As an adult I don’t SEE ghosts so much as sense them and get a bit of a feel about them. I knew he was at the end of the room because that’s where I felt it ‘strongest’. I told my girlfriends to take all their digital photos at the end of the function hall and pointed to where I felt him, these photos would later show what would appear to be the outline of a man in uniform… or a convenient shadow depending on your view point.
Later, downstairs as we walked the old verandah I turned and glimpsed the man with the old fashioned handle bar moustache, in the tan soldier’s uniform with a bandolier over his shoulder leaning on a column observing us and I directed my friends to take photos in that direction – one photo later showing the curve of what appeared to be the bandolier I had glimpsed!
I hadn’t taken a camera with me because I didn’t own a digital camera at the time and I knew if anything was going to happen, I didn’t need a camera for my own personal experience. Later the bus took us to a supposed haunted railway bridge.
I had this overwhelming need to get a way from the group, which I did and I ran to the top of the hill beside the road, where I just stood quietly. I felt like people were whispering in my ear but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I felt someone was around, but they weren’t as ‘in my face’ as the arrogant man at the mansion. I did feel a distinct chill but also being logical it was a cool night and there was a breeze. However, afterwards when I came back down the hill, the group were just staring at me and a bit hesitant when I walked towards them, some even walking away to avoid me.
“Jenny!” a girl from work called, “have a look at this.” She pulled out her digital recorder and played some film. Others were shoving their camera’s at me saying “look at this”. There were so many I only got to have a look at a few.
Apparently, when the group looked up the hill at me through their view finders and took pictures there were orbs swarming around me like fire flies! I hadn’t seen a thing. The fact, at times I had instinctively reached out into thin air to almost interact with the orbs I couldn’t see, but could ‘sense’ just put the wind up a few of the ladies who avoided me the rest of the night. Who ever was at the ‘haunted bridge’ were quiet and gentle spirits just ‘hanging around’ and seemed to have a bit of sport with me once they realized they could whisper in my ear a little. It was a shame I couldn’t make out what was being said. But being a bus tour, we later moved on to a haunted railway tunnel and went inside.
As we stood 20 deep in the dark tunnel – one by one we moved to the front to have a look up at the ceiling at what would manifest. I have to admit I was cold and tired by this time and getting a little bored. So, I started to look around and to my shock dancing down at my feet on my left between myself and the brick wall of the railway tunnel was the most beautiful red ‘fairy lights’ almost like red tinsel but self illuminating dancing and snaking around in the pitch black tunnel. It snaked about and danced like flicking a ribbon at a cat to tease it, but being so dark I had no depth perception which meant I couldn’t tell if it was beside me or 3 feet away. I wasn’t afraid of it but I was distinctly intrigued.
“Err everyone, I think you should look down and to my left,” I suggested – but everyone was too busy listening to the guide direct them to look up and they missed a wonderful show! When I did get to the front of the group – myself and another woman stood beside each other when the most bright burst of white “lightning” snaked across the roof of the tunnel for a split second. We both gave an audible “oh” at exactly the same moment, which made me realize it hadn’t been a trick of light in my eyes – or she wouldn’t have seen it independently at the same time. Later, comparing notes we found we had seen exactly the same thing at exactly the same time.
So, we went home from my first ghost hunt. Some of the women looking at me sideways like I was a freak, but otherwise I felt vindicated that I still “had it” after all those years and a little more comfortable with what I could do – as I really hadn’t done that kind of thing intentionally before and I was fairly pleased with how I had coped.
At my second ghost hunt – it was actually a bit boring and I didn’t sense anything. (ghosts don’t perform on cue I would learn!) But in attendance was a famous Australian medium / psychic who makes contact once she shakes your hand. The group were all very excited to meet her and everyone waited their turn to shake her hand… except me. I stood apart and smiled and waved politely. To this day I don’t know why – but I refused to shake her hand. I had made my mind up… she could see and I already knew… but I didn’t want to be told. She gave me a smile and a nod and I returned the gesture. She knew. I didn’t want to know… well, not just yet anyway.
Written by Jennifer Mills-Young, Copyright 2010
Have you read the previous parts of this story? Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 1 ~~ Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 18