Ghostly Goings On Part 1

As we are approaching Halloween I thought I'd run a special series of spooky posts.  Looking back I have had a few interesting, potentially supernatural experiences so I thought I'd share.

The School Ghost

When I was around 9 I think I saw a ghost, I was out riding my bike with a friend, Glen and we saw a man on a horse.  We both stopped and stared for a while because the man had no head. I started to say something about it but Glen interrupted and said "don't say anything."   It wasn't a frightening experience, maybe a bit creepy but the horse and rider passed us just as a normal man on horseback would. 

The Headless Horseman" by Veronica Smith

I know now that near to where I grew up there is a old house, Beamish Hall that supposedly has a number of ghostly residents.  I have stayed there twice and it is a pretty atmospheric place.  I have heard stories that there is a headless horseman as well as the most famous grey lady.

Although Glen didn't want to talk about it I couldn't resist telling my friends at school the following week.  Even at the age I was a story teller! This first story lead to a new game of telling scary stories during break time.  At that age you would be surprised how many horror stories you know, we had ghosts, possessed dolls and mysterious moving objects.  The whole school was sharing ghost stories after a few days.  Even one of the teachers joined in with her ghost story:

Two of the older teachers Miss Bell and Mrs Elwood had been away on a residential teachers training course.  During the night Mrs Elwood told us she woke to see a woman standing by her bed.  She was wearing a nuns habit and Mrs Elwood said she knew it was a ghost although the woman looked real.  She lay watching until the woman left.  The next day she mentioned it to Miss Bell and turned out she had seen it too.  Both were quite scared by the experience.

It seemed that there were ghosts everywhere, the temptation was too much for my young creative mind.

A small group of us decided that the school needed a ghost, so we made one up (I say we, it was my idea).  It wasn't an old school, built in the 70s but for reasons I don't remember we decided that our ghost was a student who killed herself in the toilets at one end of the school.  I'm sure the story wasn't very well thought out but as we were only trying to convince 7 to 10 year olds before the days of Google it didn't need to be.  The story was rolled out one lunchtime and by the following afternoon it had taken on a life of its own.  New details were added, names and reasons for the suicide.  A teacher bullying the student who wasn't very clever. 

The following week two of the girls from the lower class heard something in the toilets.  Another saw a strange girl in the corridor.  Soon the girls were to frightened to use the toilets and the boys from the top class were daring each other to go in alone.  One girl actually fainted in the toilets she was so scared after hearing a noise.

Eventually an assembly was called and the head teacher explained to us all that no one had died in the school and that there was no ghost.  Did anyone believe them, no chance.  This taught me the power of whispered rumours and the weakness of official statements.  The stories continued in to the next year when we were the top class. 

A few years after I'd left school, in my late teens I went to a reunion at my junior school.  I heard some children talking about the ghost, fortunately at some stage the story had evolved and apparently the ghost is just lonely and wants to be friends. 

I guess I should really apologise to the school and teachers for causing lots of problems with my story.  I never meant any harm and it taught me a lot but I suspect it was a bit of a nightmare for the school at the time.

8 comments:

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

Thank you for sharing this, Mrs Midnite.

I worked on a military base for a while, and there were a lot of stories there too. But I just took them as being entertainment. That was until I was asked to work on shift.

We operated the station’s ambulance, so our section was 24/7. And I worked in the office at night twice in every eight days. And, it was eerie at first!

I used to have to do a bit of paperwork which couldn’t be done until midnight. So, I’d sit there on my own and get on with it, and usually heard footsteps in the corridor. It became more and more regular, and the footsteps used to come all the way up to the doorway to the office and stop, as if whoever or whatever it was, was just watching me.

I remember once in the early hours, tentatively walking down the corridor and seeing a computer and printer in full swing as I passed one of the smaller offices.

But I sort of got used to it, and realized I wasn’t in any danger. I suppose live and let live would be an inappropriate expression, but you know what I mean.
The enigmatic, masked blogger

Mustang Sally said...

ooooh, I'm intrigued by the headless horseman. Is that common sighting in your neck of the woods? The only place I've heard a tale of a headless horseman here on this side of the pond is in upstate New York near the Catskill Mountains.

To see it before hearing the stories lends credence of course. Sounds like your friend was spooked, that's often followed by not wanting to talk about it.

Your school bathroom ghost puts me in mind of "Moaning Myrtle" from the Harry Potter series ;)

Alicia said...

I always love a good ghost story. I don't believe them, but I still love to scare myself silly.

I try to be stern with myself, but I still find myself cowering under the covers.

Iron Criterion said...

Interesting and creepy story there, thanks for sharing.

Reminds me of one I know. When my mum was in her early teens she went to an allegedly haunted school where a girl had supposedly killed herself after being bullied. In the girl's toilets several pupils reported witnessing an angry looking little girl with blood red eyes. Dunno how true any of that is but it creeped me out when she told me.

Miss Melicious said...

so a headless horseman hey? That's pretty neat. And I love the story about school...it's so true the power of whispered rumours...especially when you're young. That's probably why to this day there is still a story circulating about a goat man (half man/half goat) around here.

Mrs Midnite said...

Moaning Myrtle, I see now JK stole my idea. Actually nearly headless Nick could be my horseman.

I suspect headless horseman are less common that say a grey lady but I've heard of a few.

I didn't realise toilet ghosts were so common.

Miss M I think I need to hear the half man / half goat story!

LFC_Loads said...

last year at school (remembering this is a boarding school) I has a similar experience, except it wasn't a story.

I was walking through one of the toilet blocks we have at school, the one designated for year 7,8 and 9, (just for dramatic effect the lights never worked that well)

I was walking along, with the cubicles passing by on my left, and I looked into one of them and just for a second i saw a boy standing on top of the toilet seat, screaming (still unsure of whether I actually heard it or not). On the floor was a spilt packet of these chips they used to sell at the school shop nearby.

I stopped for a second, but it was all gone and I was left staring into an empty toilet cubicle with the words 'flush twice, its a long way to the refectory' scrawled across the door.

I casually kept walking, didn't worry about it, and never really told anyone. It will never worry me that I saw it, but I will never forget it.

DanWins said...

Laughed my butt off with your wild and nutty suggestion and creating your own "ghost" for the school.

Rolling Laughing about it now.

Cudos and way to go. LOL

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