“Have you heard about Norman C’s ghost?” my dad had said to me a couple of months earlier.
“No, what’s the story.” I asked.
“I don’t know the full tale but that house he bought it seems it’s haunted.”
Norman C. was a comparative newcomer to the pit scene. He was ex. Royal Navy. He had done his three weeks underground training prior to him working down the pit. He had bought a house in Holbeck, Leeds about two hundred yards from my house. I afterwards heard much gossip about the haunted house, but I could not verify it because Norman worked in a different part of the mine.
One shift I was visiting Norman’s place of work. It was months after my father had told me about Norman C, but I remembered his Ghost and I sought him out. When I began quizzing him he was very reluctant at first to tell me the tale, but this is the story exactly as he told it to me:
Soon after he and his wife had bought their house things began to move. They never saw them move, but sometimes items would be in a different place from where they had been before they went to sleep, the night before. Both blamed the other for moving the items. It soon got to the point where, before going to sleep, they would note where each item was placed in the bedroom. Sure enough next morning something would have been moved. The ornamental candlesticks may have move to the centre of the dressing table instead of at the sides, and the alarm clock would go off at the far end of the room rather, than the bedside table.
They had heard small noises upstairs as if someone was moving around, but they had put it down to old house noises. A few times their little six year old daughter had awoken with cries that the little old lady would not go away from the foot of her bed.
One Sunday evening his wife was out visiting her mother. As was usual Norman was getting ready to go to his local pub. He decided that it was a little too cold upstairs to get washed in the bathroom. He took his suit and from the bedroom wardrobe, still on its hanger, and took it down stairs. He hung the hanger on the doorknob of the door that led from the living room to the hall way. He got washed and shaved in the scullery. (We did not call them kitchens then) When he came out of the scullery into the lounge, his suit had disappeared. He searched both rooms but to no avail. He decided that he must have only thought he had brought his suit down from upstairs. He opened the door to the hall stairway and his suit swung in from the other doorknob. There was no other person in the house and it shook him. He realised that it would have been possible to have hung the hanger on the outside of the door and then swung it sideways, closing the door fast. But why should he do a thing like that?
He was on shifts about, and one afternoon he had just finished work. He was entering his outside door into the hallway; the stairs were in front of him. Looking up the stairs he saw a woman walking up the last few steps and was just turning round the stair corner at the top. His wife worked and their child was at school. Not too unconcerned, he thought perhaps his wife was not at work and had fetched a visitor home. He opened the living room door on his right; no one was there, looking into the Scullery, again no one. Calling his wife’s name upstairs, there was no reply. He ran up the steps to see who the visitor was, but there was no one to be seen. He searched all the upstairs rooms in such a manner that no one could get past him to the stairs. He said his search was so thorough he even took up small carpets. Why he did this he does not know, but such was his search of the house. No one could be found. He was definite that the person he saw on the stairs was no apparition. It looked just like any normal lady would.
This, he said, was the final straw. He and his wife contacted their local church and a priest came and chanted prayers and sprinkled holy water in every room. He said that after that, the visitations, movements and noises had ceased. His child had stopped seeing ‘little old women’.”
I said. “Wow! What a weird tale. So everything at the house has now stopped has it?”
He said, “Yes. It’s been quite for months now. But last funny enough last Wednesday, when I came home from my afternoon shift, I came into the lounge and my wife had asked what I had been doing in the hall. I replied nothing, that I had merely been hanging my coat up and had come straight into the room. She said you must have been doing something as you’ve been making noises in the hallway for a few minutes as I could hear your heavy breathing. Oh! Yes I said “I did spend a few minutes there. I had been running and I was catching my breath.”
He confirmed to me that he had not spent any time in the hallway. He had gone straight into the lounge. But he dare not upset his wife and tell her that.
I’ve told the tale exactly as I heard it from Norman C.