In an earlier post I mentioned that I had had only one convincing paranormal experience in my life. Since then, a few readers have got in contact to ask what exactly I went through.
When I say “convincing paranormal experience”, I mean an experience that defies all other explanation. I have in fact had many experiences that were strange, but only one which was truly inexplicable.
My encounter occurred a few years a go at a house in the Hangleton area of Hove. I co-owned the house with my brother and we both briefly lived there in our late teens. The property dated from the late 1960s. It was a large, detached house with a nice sized gardens and spacious, light rooms.
My brother and I were in the kitchen one afternoon. It was probably about 2 or 3 o’clock. It was a bright sunny day and sunlight was flooding into the house through the massive windows found in each room. I remember that everything felt very relaxed and calm, almost strangely. There was a kind of stillness in the house, but it was really pleasant and tranquil.
My brother was stood at the sink with his back to me, doing some washing-up. I was stood on the other side of the room with my back turned to my brother. I was in the process of making tea when I heard my brother suddenly say “sh*t, f*ck”. Momentarily thoughts flashed through my mind as to what he had done – ie jabbed himself with a knife, dropped a clean glass in dirty water, etc.
My inquisitiveness was soon answered when my brother spoke again, seconds later, asking “what did you just say?”. I quickly replied that I had said nothing, then asked whether he thought I’d said “sh*t, f*ck”. He replied yes. When it dawned on us that in fact neither of us had spoken the words we had just heard, we freaked out and moved upstairs, away from the kitchen quickly. We were both totally convinced that we had heard a disembodied voice in the kitchen, coming from the space in between us. It was audible, understandable and close.
By this point the atmosphere and feeling in the house had changed radically. Both my brother and I had had our sense of fear spiked and I remember feeling hyper sensitive, almost primitively aware. For a moment we discussed what we should do, when we suddenly heard a loud shuffling noise coming from downstairs. It went on for about 5 seconds or so, then stopped. It was followed by a soft thumping noise coming from directly above our heads. We looked up to see the loft hatch in our hall actually shuddering, as if it was being pushed repeatedly from the other side.
It was game over for me and my brother by this point. We left the house and sought refuge in the street. My brother called our Dad, who quickly drove from his home to join us. He is the type of man who is not scared of anything, so he was utterly undaunted by our story. He marched straight into the house to search for what was causing this bizarre activity. Minutes later he emerged back out of the house looking puzzled. He told us that one of the kitchen cupboards had been emptied of most its content and that the food was laying scattered on the kitchen floor.
Now, I am sure many people would not have stepped foot back in the house after such a horrible experience, but my brother and I have quite some ability to bury bad experiences. Amazingly, we did return, that day in fact, and nothing further happened, at least not for a while.
Before the event described above occurred, I had had a few very bizarre experiences in this house, but I can’t say they were conclusively paranormal. The first was particularly chilling. One morning I awoke to find a dead, dry hydrangea steam and flower in my bed with me. The night before I had been staying at the house alone. I don’t have a history of sleep walking and hadn’t been intoxicated before I fell asleep. It was totally beyond me as to how this large flower had entered not only my bedroom, but my bed!
The second experience related to my clothes. Small burn marks started appearing on loads of my clothes shortly after I moved into the property. I remember I got a new t-shirt one day, which I hung in my wardrobe immediately. Before I had a chance to wear it once, a faint burn mark had manifested on the left shoulder.
The final experience was not really paranormal, but it was so haunting that it really stuck with me. One night I was lying in my bed. My television was on, but the lights were off. One of my windows was open and the wind was sucking the curtain out of it. As I lay there I remember thinking that I needed to close the window. The wind kept blowing, so I hauled myself out of bed and stumbled towards the open window and slammed it shut. I got back into bed and crawled under the covers. It was warm and very relaxing.
Suddenly I became aware of something pushing down on me, shacking my body vigorously. It was the figure of a skinned, bloody man. He was screaming and screeching in my face. It was at this moment I woke up. It had been a dream, but it was unlike any other dream I had ever had. It felt totally real and was set entirely in the space in which I was sleeping. The circumstances of the dream correlated so precisely with the actual circumstances in the room that I had to check the window was still open to verify that it had indeed been a nightmare.
All of the experiences I have described above happened in a period of a few years and after I had participated in a ouija board (at a different property). During this psychic experiment, my friends and I seemed to make contact with something, which initially told us that it was “God”, then started spelling out loads of weird, unknown names, like Thomas Kepple, Judith Gould, etc. I sometimes wonder whether it was this ouija board experience that precipitated the other strange occurrences.
The final factor that should be mentioned is that my haunted house had been built unnervingly close to the site of a former gallows. The gallows were once the main execution spot for many surrounding areas. Hangleton’s name actually derives from the location’s dark past. The gallows and gibbets that used to line Hangleton Road are described in a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It is believed that Hangleton may have functioned as a place of execution for many, many hundreds of years. Paranormal activity has been reported frequently in the area.