Have you read the previous parts of this story? Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 1
Knowing I was growing up in a haunted house in an ‘ ordinary ‘ suburb in an ‘ ordinary ‘ looking house, became the family secret. Most families have their ‘ skeletons in the closet ‘, unfortunately ours walked around…..literally.
The house was a 50′s style bungalow my Dad had financed after coming back from Korea – he and my grandfather both died suddenly in 1967. We often saw my grandfather’s ghost, as did friends and neighbours which did make for some awkward explanations, but much to my personal disappointment no-one ever saw my father.
As a sudden single mum with 3 young daughters and strapped for income my mother took in a boarder from the country who was studying at a local University. One day as the boarder was sitting in the lounge, she saw what she would later describe as an elderly man coming up the front steps of the house to the front door, so she called for my mother. My mother glanced absent mindedly towards the screen door and noted the silhouette of a figure through the screen. She wiped her hands on her apron and walked to the door, looked up – most perplexed to find no-one there! Mum suspected it may have been ‘Pop’s ghost’ ( again ) but kept quiet – the last thing she needed was the boarder moving out! As the boarder looked on, also growing slightly confused, a huge scream started at the bottom of the front steps – as both women watched, our usual docile tabby cat who often slept on the sunny steps, came running up the front stairs in such terror and agitation, it launched itself through the fly screen – tearing it – ran to the dining room on the other side of the house and cowered under the table hissing and meowing. “what ever got into the cat?” the boarder asked “who was at the door?” “oh no-one” mum replied “I think the cat got a bit of a fright – maybe a dog came in the yard” she said enigmatically, not wanting to elaborate further. Mum knew it hadn’t been a dog, no doubt the cat had become aware of our ghostly visitor standing on the front steps!
Our ghost did also have a habit of opening the bathroom door when our poor boarder would have a bath! The thought of my Pop perving on the poor innocent female boarder does seem a little odd! But the door stayed firmly shut for everyone else in the household, just not for the boarder.
As we were a household full of girls, the boarder never questioned it – later she would admit she thought my mum was ‘ safety conscious ‘ and had an open door policy in case someone slipped in the bath… and mum was happy to let the boarder keep thinking that! My middle sister, was the only family member to claim to ever see our father… but not in the house.
We routinely vacationed at the same seaside location every Christmas and continued to do so after Dad died. Dad had been a keen fisherman when he had been alive and had his favourite “spots”.
My sister ( now in her 60′s ) remains adamant, as we swam in the local rock pool by the sea, she looked up and saw our father fishing off the rocks with his huge beach rod – swinging back for a huge cast deep into the ocean. She stared, lost eye contact as she stood up and he was gone! When she told our mother -she smiled a little – if there was a heaven, my mother had no doubt my Dad would be fishing in it!
Written by Jennifer Mills-Young, Copyright 2009
Have you read the previous parts of this story? Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 1 ~~Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 6