Ghost of Former Owner
When I was about 4 years of age in the early 1960's my parents bought a 3 story Edwardian house on Thormanby Road in Howth, a small fishing village on Ireland's east coast. It had been vacant for 4 years before we bought it at a knockdown price. Soon after we moved in my parents realized that it was haunted. The first indication was the footsteps they heard every day at about 11am. These always started in the vicinity of the third floor bath room, descending down through the house and culminating near a large bay window in the front room. My parents never saw any person who could be responsible for the footsteps they were hearing.
I shared a room with my sister who was 2 years younger than I. I had a bed of which I was very proud because I felt grown up by comparison with my sister who was still in a cot surrounded with prison like bars. For safety's sake, Dad used to lock us in at night for fear that we'd leave our room in the night and fall on the stairs. One morning after he unlocked our bedroom door he had to push it open with his shoulder as my sisters cot was wedged against it. My sister and I were asleep. Dad was mystified as her cot was normally in the far corner of the room. I don't remember this but he accused me of moving the cot. Apparently, I denied it quite indignantly and he realized, the more he thought it, that I couldn't have moved it as I was too young and too small. Later at breakfast having washed and dressed us he apparently asked my sister how her cot got to just inside the bed room door. What she said really gave him goose bumps. She said "It was the boogie man". He asked "What boogie man?" and she answered "The boogie man who stands beside my bed every night".
Many years after we left the house my Mother admitted to having seen the ghost twice. The first time was when she woke up and saw the apparition at the end of her bed. She said that it was pulling the bed clothes towards itself and that it faded away as she tried to waken my Father. Later, the ghost appeared in our galley kitchen. She had to effectively run through the apparition to escape it. She gathered us all up and took out into the garden where we remained until Dad came home as she was too nervous to re-enter the house. I have a very clear memory of that day in the garden as we were complaining about being hungry, why couldn't we eat..etc.
Interestingly, after the 2nd appearance of the ghost (which was of a man) Mum realized that she had known him earlier in her life. As a teenager she had worked in her brother in law's garage in the NW of Ireland and the man who was later to haunt our house visited once a quarter to sell Dunlop tyres as he worked for the Dunlop Co. She didn't know him well, just to see and his name.
Once she recognized him she told Dad. He was a lawyer and had done the legal work on the purchase of our house. Checking the house deeds he saw that the vendor, a woman, had the same surname as the man who was haunting the house. Dad asked the local police sergeant a few questions on the QT as he didn't want rumors to develop. He discovered that the vendor was the widow of the man haunting our house and that he had died of a heart attack while attending a soccer match in Dalymount Park in Phibsboro, Dublin.
My parents considered that they had endured a run of particularly bad luck while in the house which they attributed to the other "resident". While being taken to hospital following a severe heart attack Dad asked Mum to sell the house regardless of whether he survived or not. Thankfully, he did and lived to move to a new home. We often wondered subsequently if the new owners experienced any of the things we did?
Contributed by John Brennan and Copyright © 2007 all rights reserved. No part of this story may be used without permission.
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