Ghosts are real, for I have seen many in my life. The first was harmless enough. The second and third came to me only when I slept. Harmless as the first. Then I went the next fifteen years without any interruption from the supernatural world, living my life, loving it, untainted. Then one night, the first returned with a warning.
I have yet to go any further with that passage but I have no doubt that I will. Ghosts have played a huge part in my life but haven’t really given it much thought until recently. I made the concsious decision the other night to watch Crimson Peak. It is a ghost story of sorts with a heroine writer, a brother and sister with a dark aura and a very creepy house. I loved every second of it. The design of the clothes and the scenery, the accents, the magnificent actors and dialogue. It is truly worth a viewing if you don’t mind horror and are not scared of ghosts. What it did for me also, was let me revisit my childhood in a way. Please, allow me to elaborate.
When I was young, I lived in the house with my parents that they had for some time and still live in to this day. Playing with my naivety, my father used to scare me and keep my mind wandering throughout the night by telling me the old owner died in the house and the Ghost of Pepper watched my every move. I was scared witless for many years. Something that did not help was the mysterious scratching sounds that emitted from my built in cupboard on rare occasions.
Things got worse. When I was eleven I watched Interview with the vampire and started to realise there could be worse horrors out in the world and that soon death would claim me. I believe this started my Thanatophobia. It was my own fault for sneaking up to watch it…oh did I mention that I watched Nightmare on elm streets at a very young age and still have nightmares about Mr Krueger :s. I have a love and hate relationship with horror films. I love watching them but at the same despise myself for enjoying things that bring me fear and darkness to my world. Anyway, ghosts.
I soon realised that the Ghost of Pepper was a joke but didn’t stop me from believing that there was something more out there but was put at the back of my mind. Then I met a Geordie lass in my early twenties and my visits to Newcastle and Northumberland increased.
We both had an interest in hiking and seeing the sights and one day her parents took us for a drive in the country. It was deemed as a good idea to show me the Gallows on the way home. However the sunny day turned into a blistering cold, wet and windy February and when they showed me the Gallows it creeped me right out. Here is a picture but imagine it more dark and rain filled and it is in the middle of nowhere.
It started my thought process again that ghosts may inhabit that patch of land. There was a presence there that I could not put my finger on. Then, on my same visit, the girls parents took us to this place.
The beautiful Chillingham caste. Oh, did I mention it is also said to be haunted. It wasn’t too bad at first. Was pleasant and nice. But then we entered one room and on entry it filled me with nausea. At first I thought it was the taxidermy that filled the room but my partner too was feeling the same. It was a struggle to concentrate. The pressure and tension of the room thick. It was as if I was swimming the waves of death. As soon as we exited…we were fine. We made a joke about it later but it once left me tainted by the idea of ghosts.
Then, once again in Northumberland but on a later trip when I was visiting as a friend not a love interest, the freakiest occurrence of my life happened. We had been out for a lovely meal, I can still remember it. I had sausage and mash with onion gravy. We brought some scratch cards on the way back and I was looking forward to a game of football manager once we returned to her parents lodge. (Over the two years I had visited they moved from house to a lovely lodge on a camp site.)
The walk back was a good thirty to forty five minutes away, it was dark and calm without a slight wind in the air and we had to pass a cemetery on our way back. We did this part fine. Even though we were now friends, we held hands as it was dark and creepy, so we kept close and walked through the fallen leaves making little noise. We walked past the cemetery and through the woodland area. But something stopped us.
A mutual unspoken agreement was shared between us and at the same time we turned. The fallen leaves whooshed up in the air as if an almighty wind blasted it (the night was calm). We both screamed like little girls and legged it. We had never run together but we headed back to the lodge so fast and once out of breath we had to call her father for a lift as we were so petrified.
So, I believe in ghosts or in the idea of them. I think they could be something. There is a haunted place close to my town that I have never ventured but the idea is tempting. I have also been tempted to write a ghost story and think that it is getting closer and closer to fruition. I guess my imagination knows no bounds but that is fun.