Have you read the previous parts of this story? Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 1
One of the standards of growing up in a haunted house in the 60′s and 70′s before a lot of literature was available on the paranormal, meant we were left struggle with dealing with a haunting mostly on our own. My mother told me she did go to the local church one time in the 60′s when my Pop’s ghost was rather busy and was told she just needed to pray more. She didn’t need to exactly get rid of him, just understand what was going on and no-one seemed to be able to help.
Of course coming to terms with a full bodied apparition that appeared on a regular basis was different to a “poltergeist” and we didn’t even know the word at the time – but we had one of those as well.
Being a recently widowed mum to two teenage girls and the baby (me) meant there was a lot of estrogen, grief and energy in the house… so it was only a matter of time.
The first event involved my elder sister’s brand new party dress for the High School dance. Being in a single parent family meant this was a luxury! The first hint of trouble was when mum got home from her part time job at 1 pm ( before school ended – so she could be home before we were, as we were all in various schools ) and found gentian violet (a bright purple antiseptic) all over the white enamel of the fridge in the kitchen! It appeared splashed madly – yet there was none on the walls, floors or adjacent benches… not one drop. As the only bottle was in the bathroom medicine cabinet, mum immediately went to the bathroom but when she opened the bathroom door (on the back of which my sister’s brand new dress hung!) mum saw the bathroom was in the same mess! To her horror a huge splash started at the top corner of the door passing diagonally down, disappearing behind the unstained dress and appearing again towards the bottom of the door.
Gingerly mum lifted the dress off the door expecting the worst on the back… only to find not a drop on the dress – the diagonal stripe of gentian violet was all the way across the door… but not a drop on the dress?!
Mum was already cleaning when my elder sisters got home first – the fridge was covered in a bright 60′s ‘flower power’ contact to cover the stains and the stains stayed on the back of the bathroom door – until it was re-painted not long after. When I got home (last) and queried the flowers on the fridge I was told we just wanted a ‘change’ and I was told the bathroom was where someone was careless and had just spilt it… but I remember coming home from school that day and wondering why we suddenly had flowers on our fridge! I wouldn’t get the truth until I was older. Yet how ‘someone’ got into a locked house of which my mother at that time had the only key – threw gentian violets everywhere without spilling one excess drop, from a bottle that mum would later claim had the same amount in it….did seem odd.
Our poltergeist loved our dining room cuckoo clock too and started to throw it across the room at regular intervals in the 60′s. Having seen items fall off walls and having been lucky enough to be looking in the general direction when our cuckoo clock did its routine one time, it would end up 12 – 15 feet from the wall where it hung – on occasion skidding across the floor all the way to the kitchen! It didn’t fall… it flew! Of course when ‘One flew over the cuckoos nest’ came out we made all the obvious jokes because we sometimes thought we may be a little crazy with what went on in our house. It was a hardy little clock and its final curtain call came around 1975 when I was in High School and this time when it “flew” it smashed into pieces.
We had a 6″ tall wooden Grandfather clock in the hallway. One day when mum got home from work she found to her surprise the grandfather clock was jammed and fallen against the front door…..she had to let herself in the back door. Perplexed she manhandled it back into place concluding traffic vibration had caused it to somehow move up the hallway – turn a corner and launch at the front door! Mum always ever wanted a rationale explanation, even if sometimes….there just wasn’t one! We had cane matting for a floor covering and mum could see where the clock had moved and caught in the fibers as it had attempted to move forward and toppled over.
After coming home to this on 3 occasions, mum had had enough moved the clock into the front foyer – just inside the front door thinking ‘ if you’re so determined to be near the front door I’ll put you there! ‘ and it never moved again.
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 5