How does that song go?: ‘If you leave me now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me.‘ This is the story about a ghost who didn’t want a family it haunted to move house. It’s all true – it happened to one of us.
When S was ten, her family moved to an old farmhouse in County Wicklow, Ireland. It was a lovely house at the edge of the village, extended over the years by S’s father. Surrounded by tall, whispering trees it was certainly spooky – even the Halloween trick ‘r treaters avoided the place.
Old people would turn up at the door saying the house had always been haunted; their chilling memories stretching back to youth.
The ghost, it was rumoured, appeared in an upstairs corridor in the oldest part of the house. Once, S’s brother saw an old man sitting on the end of his bed in the bleariness of sleep. Odd happenings – a heavy pan falling from a table in the night, glowing balls of light drifting across a bedroom – were attributed to the ghost.
Despite the ghostly happenings, S was reassured by her treasured book; ‘The Supernatural Explained‘. It said there was always a natural explanation: drying beams creaking as they shrunk, a ticking clock on a bedside table sending vibrations along a pipe in the floor to a distant part of the house.
When it came to selling the house thirty years after the family arrived, the ghost made a new appearance. Every time a potential buyer was shown round, a foul smell filled the upstairs corridor. So revolting, and no matter how many windows were thrown open, the visitors left. The ghost just didn’t want the family to go.
But there was no ghost. The normally freezing cold house was heated up for house viewings to make it more appealing – which also warmed the rotting flesh of a dead mouse trapped under a floorboard.
Some people will always believe in ghosts, smelly or not.
© con jamón spain