Here is a story about a couple who married both for the second time, both with baggage, lots of kids that were adults, and both with a lot of furniture. They did what a lot of people do and moved to South Gippsland from the Mornington Peninsula, as it is too busy there now after the new freeway was opened.
We bought a house in Gippsland, and, as they say, we should have done it years ago. Living in a 130 year old house and working in the South Eastern suburbs, we have been there over 4 years now and it still feels like a holiday house. As for our furniture, we have been changing it for an older style pieces that suit the house. Everything is old and we have filled it with period furniture and have collected church pews, old bibles, Victorian side boards. We spend our weekends finding little trinkets, curios from markets and Facebook groups. Before I get to our story I need to add that my beautiful wife is a lapsed Catholic with firm beliefs in the Supernatural and I am a rusted on Atheist who follows geeky NASA websites and am a firm non believer.
Now to our house and our story.
Moving day was like any other moving day, long and exhausting. Rule number one of moving day is to set your bed up first so if you run out of energy you can go to bed at least. By the time the sun went down we were tired, hungry and cold. The house only had a wood heater and a small gas unit to heat the kitchen, so not too long after sunset we went to bed as it was the only warm place. We lay there talking and laughing for a while, feeling the house shuddering in the wind and listening to the rain lashing the house, that’s when we asked each other what the hell had we done. Just then we heard a window shatter, the sound of glass breaking is a bad enough, but to have a window break on our first night of our new adventure was disappointing. The problem with that was we never found anything broken, ever. I put it down to tiredness and alcohol, my wife took it as the first sign that our house is haunted.
A few weeks later, we were both either side of our island bench in the kitchen on a Saturday morning, probably talking about what needs to be the next project on our old house, when the wall clock fell off the wall. I get that there could be reasons for gravity taking over, but the hook was still in the plaster and nothing was broken where the clock hooked on, yet it fell. Okay, to be more precise, it fell into the room by nearly three metres, We looked at each other and laughed. I wish I could explain that one but I am not sure where to start. What has followed is a series of little events, like waking up and hearing a baby crying, or hearing your name whispered right next to your ear, feeling someone sit on your bed while you are sleeping. Things like the downstairs bathroom is over 5 degrees cooler than the house most of the time. I just know there are a lot of unexplained things that go on in our house. I am still a non believer, but I don’t feel right sitting in the oldest part of the house with the door shut. I have bought three mechanical clocks in the house so if you ever do wake up during the night you can listen to the ticking and chimes to keep you company.
My wife told me a story of one of many vivid dreams that she has had. She dreamt that she was downstairs and there was a woman who was crying, anxious and wringing her hands. In the dream a man told her the woman was waiting for her husband to return from war. My wife then asked where is that woman now and the figure replied ‘under your bed’. Not much sleep after that! The next day and a quick Google search revealed that there was someone with that surname in the Parish records of the area at the turn of last century. Our kids rarely visit and now we are in a Pandemic, no-one visits. There are many more things that have happened in our old house that I cannot explain, but it will take more than that to make us leave.
Featured image : detail from photo by Britt Gaiser on Unsplash.