Monday, 14 November 2016

Monday 14th November 2016

Around 2 years ago, an old school friend of mine happened to mention to me that he possibly had some 'strange goings-on' in a shop that he was running......  The property itself - which shall remain nameless - is situated in a bustling, 'Black Country' town; a reasonably old and historic building in a fairly old and historic section of the area concerned.....  The site has been quite dramatically altered (structurally), within the last decade or so, parts being rebuilt, replaced and so on..... though with original, wooden beams retained as a charming feature!! 

At the time that the matter was first mentioned, the friend had said that he and his partner were working late one evening, so the shop, window shutters were down and the light was off in the front of the premises.  They were working in the back of the shop and he was busy printing some documents related to an order that had to be filled out.  Several sheets had already been printed, when another came through... but stopped half way out.  The sheet was 'half blank', so he tried again and the printer just sent through a blank sheet in response...  He then turned everything off at the socket ('as you do', he says!!) and tried again with the same results!!  A 3rd attempt revealed exactly the same results!! 

It was at this precise point that his partner happened to look up and said: "Ive just seen a little boy in the shop.....!!" 

She described the figure as around 8 or 9 years old, with brown hair and wearing what she took to be 'Dickensian-style' dress!  At this point, the shop went icy cold and still!!

After composing themselves, his partner suggested 'trying the printer again'...... and it worked without problem!?  (My friend openly admits that he is 'pretty sceptical', when it comes to ghosts, but couldn't help 'feeling something' might have now been afoot....!?) 

At this point - understandably - curiosity 'took over' and he instantly 'put the laptop on' and tried to find out something on the general history of the place....!?  Ironically, he found himself thwarted in this task, as a site which apparently contained data on the region returned only 'smiley-face' emoticons when he clicked on images supposedly corresponding to the area of the shop!?! 

Finally - because they'd worked so late - they decided to visit a local 'chippy' for their tea, and, while there, they became engaged in conversation with the woman behind the counter.  The woman said that she'd 'seen them working late' and my friends partner admitted that they just happened to have had something of a  'strange occurrence' while doing so!!  Before any more could be said, however, the woman interrupted with the query:  "Oh - so you've seen the little boy then!?'

It transpires that the woman used to work in another shop on the site and said there was -  regularly, it seems - the ghost of a boy in there... 'causing mischief'!! 

My friend had contacted me on the matter the following day.....

It seems that, two years further on  - coming back to the present - 'strange things' are STILL occurring at the shop....  It is reported that sensations of clothing being 'tugged', shoulders being 'tapped' and objects generally 'going missing' - then reappearing again, in plain site - are relatively common happenings!  Normally, most reliable, equipment is said to sporadically 'malfunction'... mostly, for whatever reason, on Thursdays, it has been noticed!?  

The business concerned has been run from the property for some 3 or so years now and the wife and daughter of the family had always suspected that 'something' was 'in the premises' -  tugging at or touching them - prior to the aforementioned events of 2 years ago.   More recently, my friend mentioned that he was in the back of the shop working one day, while his partner was in the front, talking to a customer.  While going about his business, he had glanced towards the front.... and believes he, fleetingly, saw a young boy moving around on the shop floor.....   His partner then called through regarding a job inquiry and - now seeing NO small boy running about - he asked where the lad had gone!?  Apparently, there was no boy there!! 

Only a week or so ago, both were in the back of the premises and heard a 'clatter'....  When they went to investigate, it was found that a 'hook' had somehow fallen off some racking.... though this was deemed 'impossible', as they are firmly 'hooked in' and wont fall out, even if you physically 'bang' the display stand involved?  Even more recently, after the shop had closed, my friend was sitting in the premises, talking to a couple of friends....  He went to put the kettle on for some tea, and - when he returned - his acquaintances were both found to be in the process of 'looking around some boxes' on the shop floor.... When asked what was going on, they said they thought they had just heard something 'fall'...!?  He investigated and discovered yet another hook had fallen off the racking.  At the same time, one of his friends said they got the impression that 'someone had just run past him'!?!  

When I asked about the hooks and racking concerned, I was informed that the 'offending ones' had been in place for about a month - before starting to fall - but others had been hanging in place for as long as the shop had been open.......!?

Having had our interest in this matter re-kindled of late, a local historian (for the town) was approached on the subject and - when the address was mentioned - the authority concerned had blatantly said 'Haunted!!' before anything else could be described.....!?  In response to our puzzled looks, he explained that friends of his had once run a property in the row concerned and, in his words, they'd reported 'all sorts of strange happenings there!!'  The historian went on to say that they had related something about the 'murder of a woman' to him at the time..... a topic they claimed to have read about in an 'old' diary, some while earlier!?

In our own research into this latter-mentioned subject, it does indeed seem that there was a woman killed in the immediate area in the early-Victorian period; a fairly sordid killing, where she was discovered beaten - and her throat 'slit' - by an opportunist thief!!  (Who was soon caught and hanged for the crime!!) 

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