12. Ghost Stories
Because of my strong beliefs as in my home page Life after Death theory I do not believe in Ghosts but like most people I have had some experiences that I cannot explain. They do not fit in with my reasonings but because I enjoy a little controversy I have decided to recount two of them. I realise that all I have written is hearsay.
(1) NORMAN'S GHOST is recounted exactly as was told to me and (2) GARLE part as happened to myself.
"Have you heard about Norman C.s ghost?" My dad said to me
"No, what's the story." I replied.
"I don't know the full tale," replied my father, " but that house he bought is supposed to be haunted."
Norman C. was a comparatively newcomer to the coalmine where both my father and I worked. He was an ex. Navy man and having done his three weeks mining training he began working underground. He had bought a house in Holbeck, Leeds and set up home with his wife and six-year-old daughter. There was much gossip at work about the haunted house but I could not verify it first hand because Norman worked in a different part of the mine.
One shift I just happened to be visiting Norman's place of work. It was months after my father had told me about Norman C. but on seeing him I remembered the ghostly gossip. As soon as I had chance I began quizzing him about the presence in his new house. He was at first very reluctant to tell me the tale. But this is the story exactly as he told it to me:
Soon after he and his wife had set up their home 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 even to the extent that they may have been moved whilst one of them was sleepwalking. It got to a point that 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 center of the dressing table instead of at the sides; the alarm clock would go off at the far end of the room rather than on the bedside table. Small floor rugs would be turned upside down.
They had heard sounds upstairs as if someone was moving around but upon inspection found nothing amiss. They put the noise down to old house movement and tried to dismiss it.
A few times their Six-year-old daughter had awoken with cries that the little old lady was keeping her awake and would not go away from the foot of her bed. Again they tried to ignore the signs making the excuse that the young girl was dreaming
One Sunday evening Norman's wife was out visiting her mother. As was usual Norman was getting ready to go to his local pub for a drink. He decided that it might be a little too cold upstairs to get washed and changed in the bathroom and decided to do his ablutions in the kitchen. He took his suit, which was still on its clothes hanger, from the bedroom wardrobe and took it down stairs. He hung the hanger on the doorknob of the door that led from the living room to the hallway. He got washed and shaved in the kitchen. When he came out of the kitchen into the lounge, his suit had seemingly disappeared. He searched both rooms but found nothing. 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. It shook him. He realized that it would have been possible for him to have hung the clothes hanger on the outside of the door and then swung it sideways before closing the door fast. But why should he want to do a thing like that.
A week later Norman was on shifts about. One afternoon he had just finished work and was entering his outside door into the hallway, the staircase was 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. He was not too concerned for he thought perhaps his wife was not at work and had fetched the lady visitor home. He opened the living room door to his right but no one was there. He looked into the kitchen, again no one. Calling his wife's name upstairs, there was no reply. He ran up the steps to see who the visitor was. 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 thorough 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 explained the weird going’s on in his house. A priest came and chanted prayers and sprinkled holy water in every room.
Norman said that after the exorcism, the visitations, movements and noises had ceased. His child had not reported seeing 'little old women'.
I said. "Wow! What a weird tale. So everything at the house has now stopped has it?"
He replied, "Yes. It's been quite for months now. But funny enough last Wednesday when I came home from my afternoon shift I came into the lounge and my wife had asked what had I been doing in the hall. I answered nthing, explaining that I had merely been hanging my coat up and had come straight into the room, why did she ask? She said you must have been doing something as you've been making noises in the hallway for a few minutes I could hear your heavy breathing."
"Oh! Yes" I said, "I did spend a few minutes there. I had been hurrying home and I was catching my breath."
He confirmed to me that he had not spent any time in the hallway before going straight into the lounge. But he dare not upset his wife and tell her that.
Norman’s house was on Cemetery Road, Holbeck, Leeds 11. The house number is known to me and is still there.
I've told the tale exactly as I heard it from Norman C.
I was a Royal Military Policeman in the Army serving in Berlin. The time and year was Autumn1964 I had returned back to the Olymipiche Stadium barracks after three weeks of UK leave.
My first duty back was guarding the Allied Kommandatura. The AK was a large impressive building of four floors. It was presently used as the top-level conference center for the four powers that occupied and controlled Berlin at that time. British, American, French and the Russians, each had a floor designated to them and a Military Policeman from each power was always in situe. A German Civil policeman guarded the underground floor. Many of the cellar rooms down there resembled prison cells, which I had been told had been used as such during the second world war, when interrogating prisoners awaiting sentence.
It was an evening shift and my first duty was to make sure all doors on my floor were secure.
When I came to check room 127 I found it unlocked. That fact in it’s self was not unusual, departing staff and secretaries sometimes forgot to lock their individual offices at the end of the day. I entered the room but it was completely empty no office furniture or anything. It was a small room with one wrought iron barred tiny window. I retrieved the key from our office key-press downstairs and locked the room.
One hour later, on re-checking the doors, 127 was unlocked, once again the room was empty. I determined that the lock on the door was faulty and locked it once more.
Each time that evening when I checked the offices, room 127 was found to be unlocked. Although each time I re-locked the door it appeared very secure at the time. No matter, no problem.
I noted in the DOB (Daily Occurrence Book) that the door-lock on room 127 appeared faulty and repairs may be needed.
At the end of my shift my relief came. He studied the DOB before ‘signing himself in’ and said "Oh no, not that room again."
Puzzled, I asked him what he meant by that. He replied that two weeks previously, whilst I had been on leave, a Lance Corporal had been on duty there. When he checked room 127 he also found it to be unlocked. On entering the room to check he was supposed to have seen a flimsy dressed women cringing in the corner crying out as if in terror. The women turned out to be an apparition and slowly faded away into nothingness.
The Lance Corporal was supposed to have fled to the outside of the building refusing to re-enter it. The American duty MP phoned our H.Q. and informed them of the incident. A relief was sent for the L/Cpl. A thorough search was made but of course nothing was found. The Lance Corporal was supposed to have been RTDed (Returned to Depot) in Woking, England later that day.
A look of disbelieve must have spread across my face, for my relief asked if I had read the DOB of three weeks ago. I admitted I had not, there had been no reason to. The loose leafs of the past Daily Occurrence Book was retrieved from the back issue cupboard and the relevant dated page found. Sure enough the L/Cpl. In question had signed on duty at that time. A Corporal Sedman, whom I knew, had later signed an addendum reporting the events as my relief had described.
I was amazed, I myself had found nothing untoward about the room or the building. I have to admit that AK was a very gaunt and severe place. All the landing lights were on time switches and if you did not check the doors on the landing quickly enough the lights would suddenly go out on you. AK was supposed to have been a building where many Gestapo tortures had taken place. If ghosts do inherit buildings then I am sure they would have been at home in the AK.
A point of coincidence, my surname is Gale; the Lance Corporal who is supposed to have witnessed the apparition was surnamed Garle.Press to return to top of page