Things That Go Bump in the Night…

By: Anne Corke

Aug 17 2011

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Category: Life stories


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I’m not sure I believe in ghosts but on the other hand, I’m not sure I don’t. Our family has had a number of unusual experiences which we attribute to ghosts for lack of a better explanation. When Gary and I were first married, we lived in the city in a house built in the 1920’s. Three previous occupants had died in the house, one from natural causes, two from asphyxiation caused by coal gas. But whether or not this had any bearing on the unusual happenings in the house is subject for debate. For some time, we experienced problems with the doorknob of the front bedroom. When you tried to open the door, it seemed someone was on the other side, pulling against you, trying to hold it closed. It was a bit of a struggle to get into the room, but it happened so frequently that we became quite accustomed to it. When our son was born, that bedroom became his nursery. The day he moved into that room, the problem disappeared. Coincidence? Perhaps. Or maybe the previous occupant of the room was fond of children and enjoyed having the baby for company. In 1987, we moved to the country. The new owner of the house in town moved out again within a year. It seems her daughter was particularly sensitive to the energies in the house. She would often hear parties going on in the middle of the night and it disturbed her to the point that she didn’t want to stay in the house. The house had at one time been the home of a local jeweller, a member of Peterborough’s upper class. We suspect that she was picking up echoes of the many social gatherings which he and his wife would no doubt have held at their home.

Following my father’s death in 1991, we moved into my parent’s house in Cavan township. My father suffered from severe osteoarthritis in his knees, and had relied on a walker to get around for a number of years. After his passing, my mother often mentioned that she could hear the thump of his walker in the hallway although I never heard it myself.  Across the road, lived another elderly couple who were close friends of our family. Lillian lost her husband, Reg, just a week before Dad died. She told Mum that she stepped out of the shower one morning not long after he had passed away, to see a young Reg standing in front of her, dressed in 30’s style clothes. He spoke to her, reassuring her that he was fine and that everything would be alright and then he simply vanished. Later that same year, my mother died. About a week after her death, I dropped Jeremy off at school and headed into work. I was waiting at the intersection for the light to change, when a large coyote with a beautiful cinnamon coloured coat trotted across the highway. As he approached my car, he stopped and stared right at me. The light changed, the spell was broken and we both continued on our ways. But in that brief encounter, I knew my mother had sent him to me to let me know that all was well. Yet another friend had a similar experience when a male cardinal showed up at her kitchen window the day her brother died and continued to appear each morning for several weeks. She was convinced it was her brother’s spirit visiting her.

We have been owned by a number of dogs throughout the years and it seems that our old dogs like to visit from time to time. I often hear doggy footsteps coming down the stairs when I am in the basement sorting laundry, only to turn and find no dog there. This has been going on for years and I actually find it quite comforting, as though my faithful friends are still following me around the house. And both Gary and I often feel invisible dogs brushing against our legs. One of our past dogs, Dickens, was a very enthusiastic and noisy drinker, slopping water all over the kitchen floor every time he had a drink. A few weeks after he died, my husband heard a dog slurping loudly in the kitchen but when he turned to look, there was nothing to be seen. Our remaining dog was fast asleep on the couch. He’s convinced that Dickens had come back for one more drink.

My father and my husband had an uneasy alliance (no doubt due to Gary’s having taken Daddy’s little girl away!). Some time after Dad’s death, Jeremy was looking for a particular book about the London and Port Stanley Railway but he couldn’t find it anywhere. He enlisted our help and though we searched high and low, we could not locate that book. It had just disappeared! Some weeks later it reappeared exactly where it was supposed to be, in a spot that we had searched many times over. Was it just Dad rattling Gary’s chain? I suspect so! Even now, twenty years after his death, when items occasionally go missing, we always blame it on Dad!

Rather than succumb to skepticism, I prefer to savour these interesting experiences. I believe that some things are best left unexplained. I’d like to think that when we die, we don’t completely disappear from the face of the earth but that our energy, our life force, somehow manages to survive, if not in the physical world, at least in the hearts of those we loved. I fully intend to come back and haunt my family after my death. I hope they’ll recognize me and put the kettle on so we can share one more cup of tea!

Copyright 2011 Anne Corke

3 comments on “Things That Go Bump in the Night…”

  1. you REALLY are a very good writer Anne! GREAT tales!!!!

    • Thanks Stacey. I often wonder if the current owner of the house in town has had any strange experiences. I would love to have a chat with him.

      How’s things with you two?

      Cheers, Anne

  2. I love this post. Kept me hooked!

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