Reader’s account of an Essex haunted house – part 2

Here is the conclusion of an absorbing account of an Essex haunted house near a ruined abbey. Things only get worse for the beleaguered couple and we also learn of experiences had by others in the village. I’m very grateful to the reader who kindly sent in her story and hope it will encourage other readers of Uncanny UK to submit their own true accounts also.

My baby being a precocious little thing began to talk at a very early age of twelve months. She had four imaginary friends: Dickens, Noah, Appocolyse [Apocolypse?] and another mummy who floated near the ceiling. She said that the the men and her other mummy were all dressed in long white robes and were there to look after her and were very nice.

My husband would take the dog out for a walk across the fields surrounding our house late at night. On one occasion his torch batteries had failed and he had fallen down a ditch and arrived home covered in mud and stinging nettle blisters. There was no mobile phone coverage in the area so I bought a pair of walkie-talkies just in case he came a cropper again and then he could call me for help.

On returning one evening he entered the conservatory where I was sitting and we were just chatting normally. Both handsets were still switched on: he was holding one and the other was next to me on the sofa. Then out of just one of the handsets (my husband’s) came a most despicable voice. It was that of an old man. It made your skin crawl and made me want to be sick. All it said was, ”I died and now I’m dead.”

How could a signal be received through just one handset when both were tuned to the same frequency? And that voice was beyond chilling. It was not human. I really cannot describe the totaly repulsion it had made us feel.

We put the house on the market then. Over the course of the next few months we had lots of potential purchasers put in offers for the property and for one reason or another they all fell through. I had had enough all the shadows, the noises, the objects disappearing and now the voice, the tension had built to such an extent I truly thought I could take no more. I got to my knees and prayed.

That night in bed I was laying  there trying to fall asleep when I got a strange sensation that there was someone outside my bedroom door, thinking that the precocious one had escaped her cot as she was in the room opposite I went to get up, peering round the door I saw a man as solid as you or I standing facing our front door between my daughter’s bedroom and mine. He had a dark suit and waistcoat, a fob watch and a hat on. The only giveaway that he wasn’t from this world was the fact that his hat didn’t seem to be quite finished at the top and there were bright lights (similar to our fairies) zooming around the top of it as if like a vortex. Screaming I leapt backwards and landed on my sleeping husband’s lap.

You can imagine how the conversation went, but laughing he got up and we both peered around the door, and to my total disbelief  the chap was still there, just looking straight ahead with no expression. We both felt no fear and my husband said to just ignore him and shut our eyes, say a prayer and go to sleep, and to my surprise afterwards we both did just that.

The following morning we were both full of our experience of the night before and decided to compare notes on what we had seen so without discussing it further we wrote down what we had witnessed. On  comparing the notes we discovered it was identical, down to the swirling fairies.

I don’t remember if it was the following day or the day after we received another offer on the bungalow. I tried not to get my hopes up but as the months dragged on and the sale still wasn’t completed I began to drop into despair.

On picking my daughter up from nursery I was driving home slowly, as I really didn’t want to go back there, I saw the most beautiful sight. The sun broke through the clouds and illuminated a cross from what I thought then was the spire of  a neighbouring villages church. It was bathed in a glorious light and was golden in the sun. A feeling of total peace washed over me and at that moment everything was totally all right. I continued home without a care in the world, knowing things would turn out fine.

When I got home the phone rang. Our purchaser had dropped out. He didn’t give a reason but had decided against continuing with the sale. I sobbed like a baby. I had had the most reassuring experience only moments before only to be dropped like  a lead balloon. I think I may have said something like look whoever is here with me if you mean us no harm I don’t mind you moving with us but for God’s sake get me out of this place.

Through my tears I heard a voice, it was calm and half jovial and very soothing he said very clearly “You will move on the 28th of August”. Yeah right, I thought, one month away, I don’t think so, I’ve just lost the plot completely. But I did feel calmer again and wrote the date in the front of my address book and thought, we’ll see.

Well I suppose you can guess the rest, we moved on the 28th of August. The buyer got back in contact a couple of days later and had changed his mind again. I found rented accommodation for us to move to and all went smoothly.

That’s not quite the end of things, though I have never been able to see the cross from the road again and have tried to figure it out numerous times but the church isn’t visable from there at all.

It wasn’t until a few months after that I decided to tell my mum about the odd things had that happened in that bungalow and she went and got a picture and asked me if I could see the man in our hall on it, and I could. It was my greatgrandfather: the same fob watch, square chin and hat. I had never met him but was told he was very religious, a church warden for a little chapel in Wales. I tried the picture thing on my husband and he picked him out as well. So was he protecting us that night?

Our new home is fine by the way, and nothing makes us uneasy, no crashes no bangs, no unwanted visitors and for the first time in years I can sleep with the lights off and feel perfectly safe. 

The few people that we have told of our experiences haven’t really believed us, although most have said that they believe we are telling the truth, but can not believe what we are saying! There have been two exceptions. One was a neighbour from the bungalow who told us that he was in his garage working on his car, an old army jeep, and the volume on his radio kept being turned up. It was a old dial radio, and he physically turned the dial down only to watch it turn back up again. He threw the radio straight into the bin. He said it wasn’t logical and made his skin crawl.

The other person who didn’t doubt us was my youngest brother who lived at the old house by the church which I believe used to be the gatehouse to the abbey. He worked at the airport and would work odd hours. When returning from work late one night he saw lights in the church which he thought looked like torches. He assumed that someone had broken in or kids were messing around in there so he retrieved a baseball-bat from the shed and quietly made his way into the church. On opening the door the lights stopped, and there was no one in there. After a good look round, he returned home shaken and said he would have preferred to have found robbers! My husband has since admitted that he saw robed figures near the house when walking the dog at night, but didn’t like to tell me at the time.

Nothing unexplainable has happened to us since, and even I, looking back would have started to believe it was my imagination, but my husband witnessed it to, so there is no hiding from the fact that these events happened. I do feel a certain guilt for not telling the buyer of the property about it, but what can you say without sounding crackers? I would also like to add we are not a religious family in the sense we do not go to church. Just thought I would clarify that as it’s only on reading this back to myself that I realised there seems to be lots of churchie connections!

The text is copyright. The illustration is by Arnold Bocklin and does not represent the abbey or church in the story.

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