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
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.
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.
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.
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.