A couple of years ago I went to Wales for a holiday with my daughter and grandchildren. We stayed in a remote cottage, a mile from the road and without any public lighting.
On the first night I was rather tired and went to bed early but sometime about one o’clock Kim woke me to say she could hear something – something fluttering. I told her she was imagining things and that she should go back to sleep but then I heard it too. A gentle quivering high in the beams, probably a moth I reassured myself but then Kim demanded man action so I got out of bed and turned on the light. Oh My God it was a bat. A bat. A bloody bat!
It was quite happy flying about in the blacked out room but the light send it into a delirious panic and it began to swoop about the room and jump from beam to beam and Kim started to shriek.
From under the shelter of the duvet Kim kept shouting ‘get rid of it, get rid of it!’and I was doing my best but as anyone who has ever had a bat in their bedroom in the middle of the night will know this is much easier said than done. I was still half asleep and although I am in peak physical condition the creature was a whole lot faster than me. There were various suggestions ranging from catching it in a fishing net to throwing a towel over it but it was moving so quickly that all of these suggestions were completely useless.
My one and only idea was to open the window and hope that it would find its own way out and in a huge slice of good fortune that is exactly what happened and it suddenly disappeared into the ink black sky.
There is a lot of folklore and old wives’ tales about bats such as:
- It’s lucky to keep a bat bone in your clothes.
- Keeping the right eye of a bat in your waistcoat will make you invisible
- Carrying powdered bat heart will stop a man bleeding to death
- Washing your face in the blood of a bat enables you to see in the dark.
I have to say that I like the idea of being invisible!
It is also said that a bat in the house means that it is haunted and the ghost has let it in…
The following night I stayed up a little later but shortly after Kim had gone to bed I said goodnight to Sally and walked along the corridor to the bedrooms. Part way along someone called out “Granddad, Granddad, Granddad” three times and assuming it was one of the three children I went to their bedrooms and asked who was calling me – all three were fast asleep, very fast asleep. I went back to Sally and asked if she was trying to trick me but she denied it. I went back to the children and in the corridor passed a cold spot that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand out like porcupine quills.
This was a “Blair Witch Project” moment. Let me remind you that this cottage was very, very remote, a mile from the nearest road and the night was as black as tar. It was a ghost, believe me it was a ghost. Do you remember my story about the bat and how if they fly into a house it is because they are haunted and the ghost lets them in?
I was scared, Sally was scared but Kim wasn’t scared and told us not to be silly and just go to bed.
All was fine until about one o’clock in the morning when I had a tapping noise that woke me up. I heard footsteps downstairs and thought one of the children must be walking about so I went to investigate. In the corridor I heard soft and measured footsteps in front of me, the voice said “Granddad” and as I followed into the black treacle darkness I said, “who’s there, who’s there?” but when I checked the bedrooms Sally and all of the children were all still fast asleep, very fast asleep. As I turned to leave something cold brushed past me like a floating whisper and touched me on the cheek.
I was scared, very scared! I put all of the downstairs lights on and fled back to bed, closed the children’s bedroom door, closed our bedroom door (as though that would make a difference) and pulled the duvet up under my chin and listened while the footsteps and the bumping noises continued.
This has happened to me before. Once in a remote Posada in Santillana del Mar in Spain we were left alone for the night, there was no one else there and we both heard something walk along the corridor outside our room and stop for a moment outside of our door. Even Kim agrees with that ghost story.
You may not believe me either but in the morning there was another spooky thing when I discovered fish heads and crab claws in a neat pile on the roof of my car and I have absolutely no explanation for that unless it was some form of Druid exorcism.
Let me tell you as well that on every one of the next few nights I woke in the early hours and never once did I hear another noise in that house and I never felt the cold spot again.
Also in the morning the owner of the cottage came to see us and we asked the question about the haunting. Very quickly she denied it and said that we were being silly but we all thought that she was just a little too quick to make the denial.
Have you ever stayed in a haunted house or seen a ghost?