11 March 2011

The Mystery of the Missing Ball

Recently, Ron posted an item about ghosts and asked if anyone had a similar experience. Well I did have a ghost in my house and I used the real life experience to create a short story, changing, elaborating, and taking advantage of a writer’s licence to make the story worth reading. The following is an outline of what really happened.

My Ghost Story in brief

Time: during young son’s infancy
Scene: ground floor flat

First sign:

A present given to Jon: a ping-pong ball launcher, a plastic cone thingy that shot a single tennis ball into the air, was instrumental in providing The Mystery of the Missing Ball. It came with one ball which any manufacturer in his right mind would know would quickly be lost, although I believe my lad broke all records by losing it on the first go. He didn’t understand that he should have tried to catch it in the cone as it came down.

The ball fell to the lounge floor and rolled under a chair. The chair’s location was in front of a small radiator affixed to the wall, the other side of which (in kitchen) was the airing cupboard.

I immediately moved the chair to retrieve the ball but .. it wasn’t there. Searched high and low but couldn’t find it. It’s not often you can say you actually saw something disappear but it’s true, I actually watched it go.

Other signs:
Small items of clothing disappeared from the airing cupboard which as already stated was situated in the kitchen
Small toys vanished from all over the flat.
An unexplained fruity smell in the kitchen.
All the above occurred over a seven year period, until Jon went to boarding school. Only during holidays did things go wrong.

Second sign:

A Christmas gift bottle of sherry from workmates was placed on stereo near television. Curtains were drawn, and the room lit by a single table lamp. Jon and I were sitting on the settee watching a programme when suddenly a shaft of light circled the bottle, hovering over the ceiling then swooped out of the room via the open door. I thought maybe Jon was playing silly whatsits with his watch but he was sprawled out and engrossed in the telly. Anyway, he wasn’t wearing his watch. That was the only really scary occurrence. I went into the garden to check if someone was there (not afraid of the dark in those days) but there was no-one. There wasn’t even a chink in the curtain and the door to the French windows was tightly closed. If there had been someone out there they couldn’t have seen inside the room let alone shine a flippin’ light.

Some advice:

Several years later, the spiritualist husband of a work colleague sent a message to say I should call the ghost’s bluff and ask for the return of the table tennis ball, which was the first thing to go missing. I thought it worth a try. I chose a time when I was alone and Ooooh I did feel a fool talking to thin air, asking for my ball back. Well I did it and there the matter ended. Nothing else disappeared from that moment on.

Conclusion, months later:

Met my neighbour, Joan, by the shops. She expressed surprise that Jon wasn’t at school. When I told her that he was away she as good as called me a liar, saying she’d heard him in the garden quite late the previous evening when she herself was out calling her cat to come in. ‘Come on, Blackie’ she’d called and a childish voice answered, ‘He’s here, Mrs Moon.’

Interesting! The only child in the area was mine and he was definitely away at school. All the residents were elderly, they never had night time visitors, and there was no way a child could have got into any of the gardens. I told Joan she must have been mistaken but she was adamant she’d heard a kid out there. I didn’t think about the conversation until later in the day when I went into my garden and found a table tennis ball on the window step. It was super clean, as if it had just been bought from a shop … or lost from a kiddie’s toy.

History of House:

We later discovered that some years before we moved into the house the young daughter of the family died, having been killed in a road accident. Theory goes that her restless spirit returned to play and who better to play with than my son, since he was the first child to inhabit the property after her death.

Here’s the ‘alternative’ story if you would like to read it, it's called Unearthly Pranks.


  1. ooo...chills...grew up in a house by a cemetary...and had a couple run ins myself...

  2. There was a time when things would regularly go missing in my kitchen. I would put something down and turn my back only to discover it missing when I looked again. I thought I was going mad but then I started turning my back again and saying 'put it back' to find it there when I turned around. Creepy! It only happened when my youngest son was at home.

  3. I believe in ghost, was frighten of them when I was a child but not as an adult and Val....every once in a while I talk to mine too!

  4. "Jon and I were sitting on the settee watching a programme when suddenly a shaft of light circled the bottle, hovering over the ceiling then swooped out of the room via the open door."

    OMG...I got CHILLS reading that, Valerie! In fact, I got chills reading this entire post!

    "....the young daughter of the family died, having been killed in a road accident. Theory goes that her restless spirit returned to play and who better to play with than my son..."


    Thank you soooooooooooo much for sharing this story, dear lady!

    LOVED it!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    P.S. See...they're ARE such things as ghosts - tee, hee!

  5. Hi Valerie,

    This is an amazing real life story. Although I have not come across spooky situations like this, I am sure such things do happen. Lovely presentation.

    Best wishes,

  6. Brian, not in the cemetary I hope.

    Akelamalu, what an amazing coincidence, especially as your experiences occurred when your son was home.

    Bernie, I never was really afraid of ghosts, just a little spooked by the goings-on.

    Ron, Heehee I didn't mean to give you the chills.

    Joseph, thank you. The beauty about having ghosts is that it gives us something to write about.

  7. Sheesh! Now that was a tale to give me the shivers.

  8. Heehee Mr V, I didn't mean to make you feel cold.

  9. Goose bumps!! I believe in ghosts, even though I can't think of anything so interesting happening to me - yet!

  10. Valerie - I was reading this and my laptop went off! LOL! Phew - it was the power lead but I can tell you I had a scare! lol!

  11. Oh Valerie you gave me chills too. Wonderfully written. Your neighbor hearing the voice was spooky.

  12. This is my first time on your blog and I have to say I loved this story.

    We have "borrowers" in our house. All sorts of things go missing only to turn up later in the most unlikely places. Like a mobile phone that disappeared from on top of the TV only to turn up in a box of Christmas decoration in the loft! I've learned to live with it, although some people insist it's just me being forgetful.

  13. Nina, hope your goose bumps have disappeared by now.

    Oooh, Denise, that is spooky!

    Hi Kelly, It was a very brief account of what happened, I wondered if I should prolong it a bit...grins.

    Nice to see you, Sharon J. How strange about the phone disappearing. Do you think Santa wanted to make a call...grins.


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