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Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 9

Posted on December 22, 2009

Have you read the previous parts of this story? Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 1

Growing up with a traditional haunting, poltergeist activity, Ouija Boards (yes we had one, but in the 60s and 70′s we were very naive about their inherent dangers) and EVPs, you can imagine we were fairly open minded but we had strange events in our family even before my father died… in fact before I was even thought of.

Firstly you must understand there is a 12/13 year age gap between my older sisters and myself hence why I was left out of a lot of things growing up. The event that unfolded involved my middle sister and the concept of reincarnation.

In 1957 my Dad was home from Korea and not long discharged from the army and we were getting used to having him home full time as a civilian. I was just a twinkle in his eye as Mum would later tell me, when I used to wonder where I was when all the ‘cool stuff’ happened. It was a nice way of telling me it happened before I was born and this tale is no different.

Christmas every year meant a six hour road trip to visit my father’s relations who lived in a seaside resort town – where we would stay in a tent and visit all 15 aunties and uncles! (My Dad was one of 16 kids!) go to the beach every day – go fishing and swim in the tidal creek – go fishing, get bitten by mosquitoes and inevitably cut our feet on rock oysters. Traditionally my father, mother and two sisters had always gone by a long, boring uneventful train trip – but 1957 was different – Dad had his army pay out and had bought a new car! A huge white Ford station wagon – built more like a tank compared to cars of today! My sisters were excited as they started driving at 4am in order to miss the morning peak hour traffic in town, Dad planned to be well out in the country before the ‘morning rat race’ started. To this day, driving in the pre-dawn still makes me think of these Christmas holiday trips – though by the time I could remember, my mother was driving the trip alone.

Leaving the city behind they wound their way through little country towns with glimpses of the sea where the highway skirted the sea. Just before a place called Kempsey, on the New South Wales north coast, my middle sister who was five announced suddenly from the back seat “I used to live around here.” As my sisters had been throwing random comments at my parents for the duration of this inaugural trip, as they traveled a route they had never traveled before, Mum and Dad initially ignored what they interpreted my sister’s excited childish babble, which seemed nonsensical in the circumstances. But my sister kept going. It seemed as if telling them this news was the most normal thing in the world!

“I used to live around here,” she kept assuring them, “but you weren’t my Mummy and Daddy then.” Mum and Dad glanced at each other, with the raised eyebrows only another parent understands. But my middle sister started bouncing on the seat even more excited, “oh you’re coming up to my school – I used to wear my hair in plaits but my hair was brown then – my classroom was at the back in the big brick building but the older kids had the room up front and my teacher was…”

By this stage Mum and Dad were growing a little concerned as to the detail but they weren’t actually paying to much attention to WHAT was being said, more that it was being said at all! “I climbed the big tree at the front once – its here! Its here!” My sister squealed and sure enough, they rounded a bend and there was the little red brick country school! Dad slowed the car and they stared as they drove past. It seemed exactly as she had described, though Mum recalled that my sister seemed a bit put out by some new buildings that weren’t in her memory and the fact her ‘big tree’ was now missing… though mum noted a huge stump still stood where there had been a huge tree in the past. “Coincidence,” Dad snapped.

Driving further, my sister soon re-commenced her commentary ” oh you’re coming up to where we’d go swimming – we’d go here after school the way home – the boys put a huge rope in the tree and we would swing into the river” and on cue they rounded another bend..there was the river… there was the tree… there was the rope, albeit long rotted and dangling uselessly in the breeze. Mum’s mouth dropped and Dad frowned. This was getting exceedingly odd.

As they kept driving, Kempsey was a notoriously ‘bendy’ part of the north road until the expressway was built many years later – my sister now announced, “oh you’re going to see where I lived – but you weren’t my mummy and daddy then.” My Dad was growing a little hot under the collar about these continued references to when he wasn’t her Daddy. “We lived in a big house with a red roof and a verandah all the way around – my bedroom was on the side and my job was to put the dog in a big collar every morning and pull the milk tins to the road on railway tracks,” she continued. Mum later recalled she was naming names and being extremely specific but in total shock no-one took notes of the details at the time.

When the road rose to the top of the hill and swung in a big arc to the right – there was the house exactly as she had described, red roof, verandah and in the long grass leading back from the road to a distant shed… were railway tracks! Even Dad was so stunned he parked the car. “What’s going on here?” he demanded of my mother who was just as perplexed. “See that tree,” my sister announced – leaning out the car window to point at a huge tree by the side of the house, “that’s outside my bedroom window – but my other mummy planted that.”

“Do we go and knock on the door?” Mum ventured, “what do we do?” My middle sister was beside herself at the thought and bouncing on the seat when Dad snapped. “That’s it!” he exclaimed, “I brought you into this world – I am the only Dad you have and your Mum is the only Mum you have and that’s that! I’ll have no more of this nonsense! His tone leaving no-one game to question him. So Dad put the car in gear and drove away.

My mother, curious, did broach the subject some months later once back home and said my sister recalled all the details just as clearly as she had that day in the car but once my Dad found out the “nonsense” was being discussed again, he squashed any further discussion of the matter immediately. But while my sister (now in her 60′s) will concede she can still remember this – she refuses to talk about it.

Of interest, when my middle sister started High School, a standing joke was she wasn’t the most academic of students – yet she took to a second language, German and became a fluent speaker quickly and with ease and excelled at the language! My sister always claimed she seemed to be ‘re-learning’ the language as opposed to encountering it for the first time. (none of us spoke German and we had no German speaking friends!) Sometimes she would surprise the teacher by using words that were NOT in the vocabulary she had yet been taught – but the words were correct – but the teacher (who was from Europe) used to joke she would speak the new words with a ‘Dutch accent’ and used Dutch slang and syntax.

The Dutch traditionally also use big dogs for heavy pulling in farm work… so where would a five year old Australian city girl get the idea of putting a big dog in a harness to pull metal milk tins to the road on ‘railway tracks’ every morning before school and no such detail of a route she had never traveled before. (the old rail line followed a different route to the inland road). My mum always suspected, a Dutch emigrant girl whose family lived and worked at a dairy in Kempsey around 1900.

Subject to this, was in 1978 when my middle sister and my mother and I planned a potential trip by to visit my eldest sister, who lived on the other side of the country. We debated if to fly or go by train (a five day trip!). I admit I was rather excited at the prospect of sleeping on a train. “But we’ve done that already Mum,” my middle sister started, “we’ve already been to Perth by train.” Mum pulled a face and shook her head, “no we haven’t” (The distance involved is like Washington to Los Angeles!). My middle sister remained adamant she and my mother had already made this long train trip where they had to sleep on a train for days.

My mother realizing she was accessing an actual memory asked her what she remembered. “We’re in a carriage with a sliding glass wooden door and fold down beds – we were on there for days – there are brass luggage compartments above our heads.” “Who is there?” Mum asked.” Just you and me.” “Where’s Jenny?” Mum asked of me. “She’s not there – she wasn’t with us.” “Well, I couldn’t very well go anywhere and leave Jenny by herself,” Mum corrected and even my middle sister realized it didn’t make any sense, as the “baby” I would have to be with them. “But I can remember this!” she insisted, “I’m sitting on the train seat and you are sitting opposite me,” she stared at my mother and her mouth dropped before she composed herself and spoke again, “oh this woman is my mother… but it isn’t you,” she began, even sounding confused herself. “She’s in a big hat and her dress comes up her neck with little pearl buttons, she has a long dark green dress on and she has black boots which lace up – she’s my mum, but she isn’t you,” she frowned. My sister was describing a style of dress best given evidence by gentrified ladies in the ‘Titanic’ movie – so we’re looking at 1900 – 1910.

My sister now in her 60′s – acknowledges she remembers all this – but to this day she won’t be drawn to speak of 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 10

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Tags: Australia, EVP, Jennifer Mills-Young, Ouija Boards, Poltergeists, Reincarnation, Sydney

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5 Responses to “Growing up Haunted in Sydney Part 9”
  1. Christina says:

    Great story…………..soooo interesting. Reincarnation always amazes me. Happy holidays and thank you for the wonderful stories.

  2. Grey Wolf says:

    Hi; I just read your story..and enjoyed it very much…it was amazing that your sister could remember and give so many details. at such a young age 5yrs.old….the only thing I was saddened by was that she still remembers;but does not want to discuss it. I think she is very fortuante to remember these memories…but ‘some’ people do not believe in it or are frightened by it….I wonder why it is that some people ‘do’ remember their past lives…while other people do not…it is just my opinion…but i think that is why some of us are attracted to a spefic part of the world or a culture or spefic kind of music..that it is a memory of a past life that we identify with…I also believe that is ‘why’ we are sometimes instantly attracted to a person…or sometimes instantly dislike someone…is because we have known them in a past life…and the contact was good…or maybe bad…or we feel uneasy around some..and very comfortable around others.I also think that young children have good memories of their past lives….until they are ‘taught’ that it is not real …but I do believe that places or dreams can trigger.. a person’s dormant memories;anyway thanks for sharing your family story….Blessed Be!!!

  3. Jennifer Mills - Young says:

    I have to admit to no personal reincarnation experiences but having this experience in the family ” archive ” and given our experiences in general – I became extremely open minded. In fact I did later ‘test’ my own children ( another story ) and have had an odd experience with my step-son ( another story ) and I find children generally remember things when they are younger but this memory usually seems to fade as they age. I did have a’ past life reading ‘ at a psychic fair once and it didn’t really ” do ” anything for me and I found I couldn’t connect to the information that was shared in any way. I have never had any of those amazing ” ah-ha ” moments like my sister experienced as they drove through Kempsey………….but gee it sounds like it would be very interesting to experience one!

  4. trolldoll1681 says:

    to remember past lives is so interesting!! the details are so real, it had to be true!! we do have a bit in common tho, my dad was stationed in germany in 1958, and he also had a very large white chevy station wagon around 1961 or 62. it was used to push his dragster back to the pit area. he built and raced his own cars until 64 when we adopted my brother. i was also adopted and was a twinkle too. they started the adoption process in 1957 or 58 and didn’t get me until 1961. applause applause. i hope your writing down all of these experiences, because this would make a wonderful non fiction novel!!

  5. trolldoll1681 says:

    just a quick note paranormal state is doing a marathon tonight on A & E!

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