April 3rd 2014
The following account was kindly shared with the W.M.G.C. recently by a lady who used to live in the Black Country region, but moved to another - more Northern - part of the country with her family and partner some quarter of a century ago.
An uncle had also made the move with them too and bought a rural cottage for himself that needed complete renovation. Some 3 yrs. on he was still involved with the restoration project, but was really no nearer to moving in and was living in a caravan in the garden of the property. In the early 1990's, he eventually decided that he'd had enough of the lengthy, facelift process and basically asked if the woman and her partner would like to buy the cottage from him? The site itself needed a lot of work and was small..... but they reckoned they could extend. The couple knew they could afford the property and so, bought it! The Uncle seemingly couldn't wait to rush the sale through.....
The cottage didn't have a bedroom, but it did have an attic - with floorboards - so they transformed this into a cozy, cute bedroom. About a month later they found that they had started to have their sleep disturbed. They couldn't work out 'why' to begin with.... but both were waking up at the same times - sometimes 3 or 4 times a night for around a week - then they would be totally undisturbed for a couple of months and so on. They subsequently became light sleepers and, over the space of a couple of months or so, eventually realized that the disturbance originated with a pair of 'decorative plates' that had been hung on the wall of the room!? After realising what the problem was, they watched, on numerous occasions, the ceramic disks 'bouncing independently' on the wall in the moonlight.... even though they were mounted side by side on the wall!! The couple looked looked for obvious causes for such an effect - geological faults, etc - but found nothing.
Further inexplicable 'activity' began when the woman later became pregnant. At 4.30 pm, when she would start preparing supper for her husband, she would get a feeling that she described as "like all the goodness had gone out of the cottage" and would feel as if she were being watched by something "lecherous" in intent! The sensation would 'make her skin crawl', but it would subsequently vanish when her husband returned from work. She openly admits that she would have initially 'put it down to her condition'... though the feeling then started to manifest in the bathroom too. In the end, it became so unnerving that that she wouldn't go in the bathroom without leaving the door open, or, if going for a bath, her husband would have to go in and sit with her.
Despite these feelings, she admits that she was never actually scared to be in the property alone, during the day!?
By the time that their son was born, they had started to build an extension, which took about 18 months to complete. After they had moved into the new section, the boy had his own little bedroom and would often be heard chatting to someone in 'baby babble'. On a few occasions the child would be hot, so his mother turned his duvet down and let him sleep with just his sheet. However, when she would later go back into the room, his duvet was found to have been 'pulled up' and would have been 'tucked' between the wall and bed! Around the same time, the parents began finding themselves woken up in their new bedroom.... this time by the tv remote being thrown around! Most disturbing of all, at this point in time, the husband - a very sensible and level-headed man - reported having been 'held down in bed' on several occasions!!
At other times, hundreds of bright blue lights - like a swarm of bumble bees - were witnessed flying around their room. These would be seen moving around clockwise.... before then travelling in the other direction and finally disappearing through the ceiling!
One particular week, developments began which finally served to push the family 'over the edge' as far as their situation was concerned and things are said to have taken a decidedly scary air. It began with a noise that could only be described as 'a horse farting'..... Both husband and wife heard it and found it so downright comical that it made them both laugh!! Again - the tv remote flew across the room and the woman saw a little shadow on the wall of the hallway.... She thought her son was out of bed, as the form appeared to be that of a small child. When she went to his room to check on him, however, he was found to be still sound asleep!
Very soon afterwards, the woman woke one night to find the figure of a man standing at the side of the bed.... seemingly looking over her! He appeared to be wearing garb made of a rough, sacking-type material, a swathe being draped over his shoulder too. Most peculiar of all was the fact that the form appeared nearly 8 feet tall; well, either that, or he wasn't physically standing at the same floor 'level' as when he was alive? His head was touching the ceiling! Interestingly, when they had put the 'footings' in for the room, they had dropped the floor level by about 18 inches.....
The woman was, understandably, terrified by this encounter and tried to move to wake her husband, but found that she couldn't! Unable to do anything but look at the form, she shut her eyes.... and when she opened them again, he had vanished!
A lot of family friends started to make excuses to meet 'in town', rather than coming to the cottage, because they said that they felt uncomfortable there. When what was taken to be the presence of the 'giant man' was about it was - a lot of the time - accompanied by a smell akin to rotting meat!? 'He' also used to attract the womans attention by flickering the kitchen light and 'blowing the bulbs' a lot in there. ('After' the subsequent cleansing - see later - the light problems ceased).
On another occasion, a carpet fitter working in the property said that he had received such a fright while working there.... he asked if it would be possible for another fitter to pop by and finish off the rest of the house! Because he said he didn't want to come back into the property, he had to be paid while standing in the conservatory! The family cleaner was also scared of the house, because she had experienced a hoover turning itself on and off, along with interference with the tv set...
Feeling that they no longer wanted to live with the disturbances, the woman rang someone that she knew who is psychic and told her that they now needed help. The psychic said that she knew a 'Shaman' from the Newcastle area who might be able to help and, if they would pay travelling costs, the mystic would come and try to 'sort the place out'. (This apparently cost some £200 - by no means a paltry sum and, therefore, indicative of how troubled the family actually were).
It was arranged that the husband should have the day off work for the visit and blessing.... a process that entailed moving around the house with burning sage in a typical-sounding 'smudging' ritual. (It is mentioned that the husband had never experienced anything along such lines previously, so was a trifle bemused, to say the least!). During the course of the visit, the Shaman revealed that the 'spirit' concerned had 'attached itself' to the woman and didn't like her husband being there. It was said that 'he' - the entity in question - was feeding from her energy..... In all, the cleansing procedure took some 3 hours - a process of chasing the spirit around the property - the Shaman finally saying: "Have you had enough now, as I want you to go....!"
The hall was dark, as there were no windows in that part of the building, and the smoke from the ritual appeared to linger; just seemingly sitting there without dispersing. Because of the lack of natural light, the scene was illuminated by an electric bulb and the woman says she could see the large, male figure standing there. Her husband reports having seen the collected smoke moving around, as if there was someone standing in the hallway before them. The feeling was said to have been awful by this point, heavy and threatening. Standing near the entrance, the Shaman opened the door and said: "Go!! You're not welcome!!" It was as if someone had switched on a giant hoover outside the house, with all the smoke - and the oppressive form - being 'sucked' right out of the door! The woman looked at her husband and he said: "I don't believe what I've just seen.....!!"
Before leaving, the Shaman left a pouch with the family, telling them that it had to be put 'behind the wall', so that no one would be able to open it. The woman says she believed there was a rusty nail (iron, to ward-off evil, perhaps?) inside it; and the package is said to have 'smelled odd'... but still they didn't dare to open it. In addition to this, the husband was told to take a huge jar of 'pickled eggs' (that his wife had made for him) up to the local crossroads and bury them.... as the 'spirit could hide in them'!? The Shaman said that this was was because the eggs had the potential to be have been living....... They were also told that they had an 'elemental portal' in their bedroom - the blue, bumblebee-like-lights originating here - and were advised to leave a saucer of milk and honey out to appease and attract any 'fairy-folk'.
While the atmosphere in the property is said to have totally changed from that day, the woman says that she just still didn't want to live there any longer. Even after the 'cleansing', she still didn't quite feel like 'he' had really gone..... but he was just no longer as strong as he had been. She certainly felt 'safer' than she had previously, but not 'at peace'... She was always nervous. A puppy that was brought into the property is said to have barked at empty corners, looking up at the ceiling and racing to its master, whimpering, as if something had scared her......?
so, some 8 yrs. ago, they sold the cottage. The day that the family finally moved out of the house, the brother of the wife took some photos on his mobile phone and seemingly 'caught' the figure of the huge man standing in the window of the cottage, as if watching them go....?! Interestingly, despite the oppressive and mainly negative nature of the effects concerned, the woman informs us that - when her brother revealed the pictures of the form at the window - she felt a terrible sadness for 'him', because, whoever he was, or however 'evil' he was, she believes that, as an evil soul, he will never find peace. She subsequently made her brother delete the photographs, as she was scared 'he' would somehow find his way to her new home.....
Within recent years, the woman managed to snatch some time with her Uncle and - after a few drinks - she asked if anything 'odd' had happen to him when he had owned the property? He admitted that it had.... saying that he'd come home from a night out with friends and had gone to sleep on the sofa. During the night, he found himself being 'shaken awake' by a very angry, 7ft tall man, dressed in rough plaid! The figure had apparently told him that he was not wanted there! He had never told anyone about his bizarre experience and, after that point, had never slept in the house again!
Looking into the general history of the cottage and the surrounding region, it appears that the property was said to have been a resting stop for coaches, in the past, and actually had the old coaching road running along the side of it. According to the shaman, the tall, negative form that had featured so strongly in their 'haunting' had been, in life, a highwayman. Mystical research on the region lists a number of leylines in the area, some of which run directly under the house. Also of local and folkloric interest are the presence of 'stone circles' in the locality and Pictish 'symbol stones' have been found in the surrounding fields thereabouts....