So I actually watched it, only two days late! Firstly a note. Enfield produced a crop of iconic images, especially those by Graham Morris. I’m not reproducing them here. You have probably already seen them, and I don’t own the copyrights, and respect the owner’s IP, so sorry. 🙂 If the owner of the famous images reads this and is OK for me to license them for use in the review, drop me a line.
Polterwotsit is a blog about real poltergeist phenomena, not fictional ones, but clearly the two can inform each other. The new Sky Living drama about Enfield has attracted considerable media coverage, and from what I have seen so far good reviews. If it were just a fiction I would never get round to watching it – but it is (very notionally) based upon Guy Lyon Playfair’s This House Is Haunted and hence the Enfield Poltergeist. As such I guess I’d better say something. I have actually reviewed fiction before on my personal blog – you can find my review of the first Paranormal Activity film here.
“Everyone’s a critic” they say, implying that everyone who can’t perform or write themselves allows themselves to make harsh judgments of those who can. It is all too true in my case – as an actor I am appalling, as a screenwriter – well I’m not doing much of it now am I? – and as a writer, er yeah, ’nuff said. I did get an Asst. Director’s credit once when a real director taught me a bit and let me “call the shots”, but what I know about making film or drama can be written on the back of a postage stamp. If you want a considered review based on real knowledge of the paranormal on film go ask Tom Ruffles, he’s your man.
Still here is what I thought – the good, the bad, and the so ugly I twice paused it and walked away from the TV to go clear my head and stop being annoyed and shouty before I could continue…
Let me start by saying that as a representation of the events at Enfield, at least as depicted by Guy in This House Is Haunted, this drama is about as much accurate as Cameron’s movie Titanic is to the events described in A Night to Remember and the actual sinking of the Titanic.
To justify that analogy – the dramatist, Joshua St. Johnston has pulled out strands of story, and woven together a drama, and set it against the backdrop of Enfield – and the sets are loving reconstructions of the 1970’s, with almost perfect verisimilitude in set, costume, and feel just as Titanic gets the ship and costume almost perfect.
I lived in a council house 1981 to 1987, very similar to the one the Hodgsons lived at – and it was pretty realistic, though we lacked slugs and snails and ours was in much better structural shape. Note to Producers – poor does not mean dirty. The pipes looked right, but a lots of working class homes are pretty immaculate. I like the was it was handled here – looked right, and the reconstruction of the girls bedroom was almost perfect. I think the Monopoly set on the wardrobe is a 1982 edition, but otherwise almost perfect set dressing.
So it looks right, the names are right, the period items are right, the atmosphere is 77 – even down to a clip of a famous Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em episode on the TV – the lighting is almost Dogme 95, and the claustrophobic shots build atmosphere – all excellent. It’s a fantastic effort; the Viewmaster-G series toy looked right, and I think the Ker-Plunk set was the correct era too.
That’s the Good. The Bad now. And here is a confession…
I’m possibly not the target audience for this drama. I am going to guess that less that 50%, maybe less than a couple of million of the viewers of this show, will have ever tried to make sense of what happened at Enfield, written about it, talked to any of those there or describe themselves as “academic parapsychologists” on the dole forms. I may be in the 20% or so of the audience who have actually read This House is Haunted, and maybe the few thousand who actually have read much on poltergeists. And as far as I know, I’m the only viewer who has a Poltergeist blog, cos this is the only one. Therefore, as this is not a programme made for pretentious nerds like me, I would be an arse to review it. I shall do so anyway, but bear it in mind.
I saw that the Telegraph or someone did a review calling it The Good Life with ghosts. I haven’t read it yet – I prefer to form my own opinions – but I think they have something. There is nothing of Margot & Jerry about it, or the Goods – but in a sense it is about an assault on hegemony, common sense of a society. However The Good Life, like Keeping Up Appearances, The Upper Hand, and pretty much every other 70’s and 80’s sit com was about something we barely understand now – social class. Well we pretend not to, we live in a classless society, but hell it’s rough on lads like me who aspire to rise above their station I promise you. I did pretty well, but like so many of the working class intellectuals of my generation, or maybe in my case pseudo-intellectuals, I ended up broke living in poverty on benefits in a house full of books.
Right now I get you don’t want a Marxist discussion of the base/superstructure model, and what economies generate poltergeists. 🙂 My point is that the 80’s and Thatcher changed so much that unless you were in the 70’s it is hard to imagine the class system, and how pervasive and taken for granted class assumptions were until maybe the early 80’s. And here is the first failing – while The Good Life was about two middle class couples, one of whom dropped out and lived what would not be recognised as a perfectly mainstream organic urban farming middle class existence; the Enfield Haunting has to negotiate class distinctions in 70’s England.
So let’s start with the Hodgsons – plainly working class, poor but respectable. Dad has left. So what is the single most important class indicator for a production like this? Accent. North London accents are divided by class; way more so then but now, and Enfield has an accent. Now luckily they avoided the obvious trap of Cockney – but the family just sound all wrong, shattering the illusion for me. Eleanor Worthington-Cox sounds middle class, perhaps Cheshire (I’ll probably find out she grew up in Enfield now) and her brilliant performance as Janet is marred by an accent that would put her in the middle classes, not on a council estate in 1977. Now you can live on a council estate and talk posh – someone once said I did for instance, and I notoriously have a “telephone voice” if someone calls me – but the accents of the family evoke a disconnect in terms of class and time and place. I guess you need fairly neutral accents for TV, but also I was surprised that the familiar diction of North London has gone – and even the choice of words feels wrong. “bleedin'” made far too few appearances. Are there no North London child actors? Only Peggy really convinced by accent, and she looks like a middle class Oxo ad mum rather than a working class woman of the 1970’s. Still the families acting is superb, so all is good there!
Now as Becky says “this is TV” and Lisa “yes Chris it’s a drama, not a recreation”. Yeah fair point. I just felt stronger play on the language and class aspects would not have harmed the drama, though it may actually make younger viewers uncomfortable. People under 40 often seem uncomfortable talking about class.
Now it get’s harder for me; Spall and MacFadyen. Why? Because Maurice’s moustache and voice are totally wrong. I can do a pretty good impression of Maurice Grosse – I once dared to do it to his face, and he laughed, which was lucky as while a jolly and good natured chap he could blow up and explode in to harumphing rage if provoked. 😉 However the moustache, and the voice, and a few mannerisms made Maurice pretty unique – and a bit eccentric. Spall has played it safe, by playing Maurice as a more respectable, slightly sad figure – I recall him more as a frenetically driven, sometimes angry, often laughing, usually interrupting kind of bloke – but I liked Maurice, who I knew a little, so I like Spall’s depiction – I just don’t recognise it. So for the 75% of viewers who never ate with Maurice, or talked politics with him – well you guys will have to make up your own minds. Just don’t confuse Maurice Grosse and Maurice Grosse, if you see what I mean. I guess that is true of any fictional depiction of a real person, but I can’t think of any I have seen. Maurice is odd – because you take away his North London middle class accent – a self made millionaire I believe, Grosse was perhaps working class made good, but he a long away above the Hodgson’s socially. One lovely tough is Grosse’s red sports car, spot on.
Guy Lyon Playfair likes the drama, and I can see why. The depiction of him is pretty good. Of course there is one of the scenes which lefts me infuriated soon after his character arrives. As I recall Grosse and Playfair were sitting together at a monthly SPR talk on a Thursday night when the shout went out and they volunteered to go look. For dramatic purposes that is completely changed here, and – well I’ll get to that in my rant under “the ugly” below. For now what we have to note is Guy is very upper middle class – I find him a little scary, as I find most Cambridge graduates. The depiction of his in this respect seems good – he was good looking, well educated, and knew about poltergeists. He also seems a little more cynical and harder to befriend that Maurice – I always wonder if I am inadvertently “using the wrong knife” round Guy, but we do not meet often these days as I have no money for SPR meetings or conference. 😦 Guy also is extremely intelligent, a little belligerent when defending his case and while not a touch eccentric like Maurice, perhaps a little non-conformist. I like him from the few occasions we have met, but I’m a bit nervous of him, even by email!
There is a lot I actively dislike about the show. The biggest thing was early on, when Maurice and his wife take the call from the SPR (which of course never happened). There is a weird dream sequence in which it seems Maurice is looking at blood on a girl’s head – I think Janet Grosse was 22 when she died, not a child, and her head injuries in the motorbike crash that killed her went a lot further than a bit of blood – but here the dramatist establishes Maurice was suffering “bad dreams” at the time of the case.
I know nothing of the sort to be true; I did speak to Maurice about his daughter’s death, well he told me, and he told most people – he was obviously very upset by it, and it was why he came to join the SPR – but I still don’t think bereavement effected him. Spall play’s Grosse as vulnerable – I recall him as a an energetic firebrand, but I could be wrong. I was only an acquaintance of his- others should speak on this. Still this is a drama so that is fine, and the author is cleverly creating multiple potential explanations.
So what annoyed me in this scene? After Maurice leaves the house, his wife Betty is seen making a mysterious phonecall and saying something like “Ray, I’ve got to see you”. She smiles – and I immediately got an uneasy feeling the implication was that she was having an affair. Now this seems a nonsense from what I know – it serves a narrative purpose, to show that Maurice pretty much dedicated all his time day and night to the case – but Maurice was a family man and he and Betty were devoted to each other. Maurice has a son, Richard – perhaps that is the mysterious Ray, or maybe Ray is a family physician? The storyline will be resolved in the second or third episode I explain innocently enough, but it struck a nerve because of the David Baddiel incidents.
Baddiel wrote a novel featuring a fictional character called Maurice Grosse who has an affair –
GHOSTBUSTER Maurice Grosse did not see the funny side when he read a novel by comic David Baddiel with a storyline about an adulterer called Maurice Grosse.
Now the 79-year-old para-psychologist is suing the Fantasy Football star for libel – and demanding £10,000 damages.
In his book, Time for Bed: A Novel About Sleep, Sex and Skewed Clocks, Baddiel describes a psychic investigator called Maurice Grosse who lives in High Barnet, North London, and runs away with a married woman. The non-fictional Mr Grosse, who lives in Muswell Hill, North London, said: ‘I’m 79 and I’ve been happily married for 55 years.”
They settled out of court, and Grosse characteristically gave his winnings to charity. After he died however, Baddiel used the character again in another novel (and film) The Infidel. I am diplomatically going to avoid saying what I think of this move by David Baddiel…
So with that background, I think the screenwriter should have stayed well clear of teaser storylines about Maurice’s (as far as I know extremely happy) marriage. I was annoyed a bit, and went for a walk to calm down. I’m sure episodes 2 & 3 will as I say dismiss this but…
And then the portrayal of Maurice, and the bond between him and Janet, well it just goes a bit far. He comes over as a kindly uncle, all perfect, but did he sniff that hairbrush? We are viewing this in the wake of the historic sexcrimes investigations of Operation Yewtree and things that were totally innocent often seem dodgy to us in this cynical and perverted age. For a moment i felt uneasy – was Maurice being depicted as a perv, to set up a storyline where at the end of the evidence we learn about his daughters death and his behaviour is explained? I’m probably too defensive of Maurice, but I felt uncomfortable. Nothing about him was in the slightest sleazy as far as I can recall! 🙂 Quite the opposite.
The third thing that really annoyed me was the whole Playfair versus Grosse set up. As noted above, the two had previously met at an SPR event or two, but only really got to know each other after they came to Enfield. In reality they both volunteered at the 4th August SPR 1977 meeting. Except in the drama Guy arrives at the house, and joins the investigation, and then forces Maurice briefly out, having talked some utter bilge (I assume) about being sent by Prof Beloff to stop Maurice and protect the good name of the SPR! Would John Beloff have roared with laughter, or sued? I suspect the former, but it is a nonsense.
The SPR since its inception in 1882 has not held corporate opinions. Members of the SPR may investigate cases, may have even been sent out by John Stiles and the Spontaneous Cases Committee, but they are investigating as private individuals and their opinions are there own, as the SPR does not hold collective opinions. If you don’t know much about the SPR ( http://www.spr.ac.uk ) you might want to have a quick look at this old blog piece of mind from my personal blog. Whatever the case, I don’t think the SPR sent anyone to “shut down Enfield”. I may be wrong, but I very much doubt it, and it certainly was not Guy Lyon Playfair. Maybe a rivals dynamic is more interesting, and Guy is depicted in the role of all the Sceptics he had to answer, then and today, putting their critiques to Maurice, who refutes them. An interesting dramatic measure, making Guy Lyon Playfair the villain, but not what I understand happened. Both investigators were pretty self critical and sceptical, and I can’t imagine Guy rounding on Maurice with “I am the expert.” Good drama, don’t confuse it with the real dynamic. I think Guy here represents the other SPR members who came along and were woefully unimpressed, but “bandying the SPR name about?”. Really???
Holy Levitating Lyon Playfairs Batman!
The moment at the end of episode one where Guy is suddenly hurled to the ceiling by the poltergeist nearly became a major contribution to psychical research in its own right, in that it nearly killed me. I was eating a packet of crisps, and physically fell off the sofa crying with laughter. For a show about a poltergeist investigation – and it is about that rather than the poltergeist, the phenomena is firmly relegated to the background, with usually good but occasionally irritating sound – actually well done music but occasionally distracts rather than adds, blame the mix not the sound’s composer I guess – indicating “this bit is spooky” the actual haunting effects are absolutely bollocks. Janet sees an old man (is that Guy Lyon Playfair made up to look old and scary? You only see him for a second and I did wonder if he was playing a cameo!) through the Viewmaster toy – really? – the Mirror journalists are relegated to the role of barely adolescent wonks (they play a significant role in events) and the string of visiting experts seems boilded down to a cameo of what I guess are the guys from PYE. The weird shot from Graham Morris showing the curtains blowing in turns in to a Hollywood horror movie sequence of the curtains strangling Janet…
The story is told higgledy piggledy, without regard for the actual chronology of the phenomena, and while in places the phenomena are served well – the marbles which take the place of the marbles and Lego bricks that hit the Daily Mail guys scene is shot in such a way there is ambiguity about how it occurs, and if the kids chuck things, but seriously, the “creepy old man apparition” glimpsed through windows etc a la Mr Pipes feels more like a homage to Stephen Volk’s Ghostwatch than anything to do with Enfield, unless it is supposed to be the chap Vic Nottingham saw at the table? (You will look in vain for the Burcombes, the Nottinghams, or most of the others who came to Enfield in episode one. I guess introducing the girls and investigators enough – Peggy hopefully gets screen-time more in episode 2, and Graham Morris too. WPC Heeps gets a mention – but the problem with this simplification for good screenwriting, reducing an endless list of characters to a handful who perform their narrative function, is it severely reduces the strength of the testimony, and some twonks will make up their mind on Enfield not from the people, physical evidence or written sources, but from this drama 😉 Such people really exist, and I seem to meet them! 😦 ).
You are not going to learn much about poltergeist phenomena from this – go to the book. Unbelievably Becky claims most people do not actually WANT TO learn about poltergeist phenomena(!!!), and if they did they might not try a Sky Living drama. 😉 It’s like Lisa says “CJ, you simply don’t understand fiction and a good story: it’s entertainment”. While a few phenomena were absolutely spot on – marbles stopping dead for instance – seriously, don’t confuse the real case (more dramatic at times) and the rather dodgy special effects here.
A few aspects of the case seemed a bit personal to drag out for a drama; the oldest boy Johnny sent off to an Approved School, the girls periods etc. I’m guessing Guy has good relations with the family and he approved the screenplay I believe; I was surprised to find I know a couple of people related to the current residents of the house, and I hope they are not being harassed by “ghosthunting kids” and that Sky Living make it worth their while. I’m not sure I’d want my childhood on primetime TV, but hey, that ain’t ever gonna happen so I can sleep easy. 🙂
A good intelligent drama, as entertainment 7/10, mainly for good acting and great backdrops and period feel, but the script is not what I would have hoped for. I could not do anywhere near as well though, so bravo! to all involved. 🙂 I am probably not the person to review this. 😀
266 responses to “Review: The Enfield Haunting, Sky Living Drama – Part One”
Becky, As far as I’m concerned; It’s fine for you to go ahead and reproduce the Graham Norris images. Actually, he (Graham), had no right to publish those images, without the express permission of my father; Stuart Certain: The ENFIELD POLTERGEIST.The fact that he (G.N) did so, was a long-standing irritation to my father. After all; Dad was the focus of attention. I, myself; think of it as a breach of confidence.
I’m considering legal action.
Meantime, I wouldn’t mind seeing those images of my father, in action, again
You have to admit; he was a class act.
No-one wants to speak to a Poltergeist.
I wonder why?
I miss Maurice Grosse.
I wish he were still alive.
He would speak to me.
He did before.
It was GLPlayfair who caused Janet to have a fit.
It was GLP who wrote ‘I AM FRED’ upon the back of the bathroom door.
His reasoning was as such: the name FRED was scratched onto the wooden partition behind the alter of St James Church, Enfield Highway.
GLP suspected that the ‘Girls’ had done it.
The church priest wanted to call in the police, over the matter.
GLP and the priest had an argument over this.
GLP realized that if the police became involved over this, then everything would come to an end. He could forget about writing a novel.
Which was his ‘Primary’ aim, from day one.
He managed to persuade the priest to give him more time.
GLP and the priest were friends.
He asked the priest to visit the house in Greenstreet.
The priest subsequently did. He said that he could do nothing.
GLP wanted to gauge the reaction from the girls.
GLP was wrong.
The sisters did not cause the scratchings in the church.
Janet had an overwhelming feeling of guilt.
The sisters knew that it was I who scratched FRED in the church.
They were both there when I did so.
They watched me do it.
GLP’s actions caused Janet to have a fit.
There is no doubt in my mind, that if Maurice Grosse had still been alive then he would have wanted to speak to me. That he would seek to see me and speak to me in person.
He would not have run away, like Guy Playfair has.
GLPlayfair never understood the psychodynamics of the situation at Green Street. His background and education gave him a sense of superiority over the Hodgson family. For their part, the family were in some awe of him. They related much better to Maurice Grosse. They liked M Grosse.
It is doubtful if GLP realised that he was unliked. Even when the youngest son threw a lump of excrement, wrapped in toilet tissue, at him.
Billy hated GLP.
It is doubtful, even to this day, whether GLP realised that dynamic.
He should have left when the neighbours advised him to.
GLP is a control freak.
Strolling along Green Street; Margaret and Janet at my side; I was aware of an air of expectancy about them both. I knew that something was coming, for they began to dispute among themselves.
“You ask him?”, said one to the other. “No; you ask?”
This went on for a while, until I decided to intervene.
“What is it?”, I asked of them. They both looked at me, with indecisiveness written all over them. “Come on; you wanted to ask me something?”, I remarked. They looked at one another, before Janet took control of the situation and said to me, rather sheepishly, “Would you like your marbles back?”
I admit that I was rather taken aback at this, for we had spoken some days previously, about marbles. I had asked them both, if they knew how many marbles they had; if they had counted them? They had told me, then, that they didn’t know, as they belonged to Billy. He was the only one to play with them. When they asked me, why it was that I wanted to know, I had told them that I kept on losing mine; that I often dropped them and, they would sometimes vanish as soon as they hit my bedroom floor.
Janet especially, and after some period of musing over this, found this extremely funny. Nevertheless, they had promised to ask Billy.
Sure enough; Billy confirmed, via the girls, that he did have more marbles than before! Apparently; after sorting through them, he put the extra marbles in a bag, ready to give back to me! As I remember, it was seven in all. This was somewhat short of the amount I had lost, as I had started out with around twenty and was now reduced to five. Where the others went, I have no Idea. I assume that they are still floating around in the ether, somewhere? Needless to say, I declined the offer and told them that Billy could keep them. Anyway, I didn’t need them so much at that time, as my ability to glide along the Astral Plane had become more enhanced.
Whilst it could be said,(with some justification) that, although twenty-two years of age: my emotional age was much younger: the mind of a twelve-year old would be a more accurate description of my outlook at that time. Occasionally though, I was able to make reasoned decisions worthy of someone of my age. Such an occasion occurred when one afternoon, I had a sudden inspiration to redecorate my bedroom. In fact, I reasoned, why not redecorate all the bedrooms? This would please Mother? A coat of paint to cover the old wallpaper, would do a lot to brighten the place up. With this in mind, I turned my attention to the fire-places. These were not used and no gas flowed through them, so I hit upon the idea of removing the gas-fires completely; boarding up the chimneys and then painting the lot. With this in mind, I went into my eldest sisters room, which she had recently vacated, and set about trying to remove the appliance. These gas-fires, cream-coloured and made of cast-iron (typical council stock) were quite heavy. They came apart in two pieces, which made it slightly easier. With a bit of effort, I was able to remove the fire completely. Satisfied that they wouldn’t present too much of a problem, I refitted the fire and went downstairs to put my ideas to Mother. She was all for the idea, but was a bit concerned regarding my ability regarding the fire-places. Seeking to reassure her, I asked her to come upstairs where we went into the front (main) bedroom, which was hers. After some talk about asking the council if they would supply the paint, I went over to the fireplace, removed the front-piece and set about lifting the remainder of the appliance from the chimney. Suddenly, I hit a snag. This wasn’t coming out as I expected. I put it down to the extra weight of the larger fire. Mother interjected at this point with, “Leave it… I’ll get the council to do it.” I explained to her, that the other fire had come out alright; and then set about a second attempt. Gripping the gas-fire firmly, I heaved against the weight of the fire and managed to pull it about six inches from the opening. Then, looking down at the back of the fire, I noticed that it was still attached to the gas-pipe. This, I hadn’t suspected. To make matters worse, I had managed to bend the pipe which meant I couldn’t replace it. Feeling like an idiot, I turned to Mother and explained the situation. Strangely; mum didn’t respond, but stood there with a blank expression upon her face. Something was wrong, I knew, and asked,” Mum, are you alright?” There was no response. More concerned now, I went over to her and asked again if she were OK? She suddenly snapped out of her trance-like state and exclaimed “Oh, there you are?” Confused now, I asked her what the matter was and she said that something was wrong; she may need a doctor! After getting her to sit upon her bed, I questioned her as to what the problem was. She responded by asking me, “Where did you go to?” She told me that I had disappeared: vanished in front of her eyes!
Fortunately, Mother recovered fully from this experience.
For my part, I had no knowledge, at the time, that the same incident regarding the gas-fire removal was taking place, down the road at 284.
As far as poverty goes, I suppose that our household probably ranked as one of the poorest in Enfield; if not, the whole of North London.
Although we had lived there for a few years now, we were still in the position of having no carpets in the house: a situation which necessitated the need for me to occasionally go round the house with a hammer; in order to knock back down the nail-heads, which would sometimes pop up from the rough council floor-boards. However, we never complained or bemoaned our position as we were, in truth, happy to have a roof over our heads.
The time came, however, when Mother decided that something needed to be done to improve our general well-being. She therefore decided that the purchase of net curtains would be an appropriate step in the right direction; not only from a sense of privacy, but it would show the neighbour’s that we did, actually, care about such matters. As with all decisions regarding financial outlay; a veritable juggling-act would occur. On this occasion, it was decided that the purchase of new and much needed crockery would have to be put off; for now. This was no small matter, for in a house-hold of five, we owned: five dinner-plates, three side-plates, one cereal-bowl and a selection of cups/mugs. When my eldest sister left home, the situation improved somewhat, for I was the only one to eat cereal. However, a problem would still occur when my cat (minstrel) who was a night-hunter, occasionally decided that she would stay indoors for the night. This meant that I had to use the bowl for her water-holder. Which meant, in turn, that I would have to wash the bowl again, before usage.
I can tell you: its not much fun sharing a bowl with a cat.
It must have been my reflection on this point, and my general disposition of despair and despondency that caused me , one morning, to suddenly grab hold of the bowl and fling it against the kitchen wall; smashing it to smithereens.
I was totally unaware, of course, that at that very moment; within the kitchen at 284: Janet was about to tuck in to her bowl of shredded-wheat.
To have her bowl suddenly whipped from under her nose and smash against the wall was, of course, a distressing incident for her.
It is one of those incidents, of which I remain totally sorry about, and if she happens to read this; Janet, please accept my humble apologies.
How to disappear Completely – Radiohead
I’d arrived home, to find the house empty. Mother was out; with my two youngest sisters. This was disappointing, as I had something on my mind that I needed to talk about. This was a matter to which I had been thinking about for a few days. I had weighed up all the possibilities; I had spent time in seclusion; in my own place: my special place, which was the roof-space above the Nave in St James Church, Enfield Highway. It was a place that I would often go to, when I needed to think things over. More often than not; it was when in a state of depression. And I was oft depressed. This time though, it was not through depression; rather, a sublime feeling of overwhelming happiness, that had taken me there.
However; that joy that I felt, was tempered by a realization of a problem. A problem that had originally seemed insurmountable. A problem to which I blamed GOD. For; surely it was HE who had instigated this and, I suspected; a cruel joke upon myself. Yet, my time alone paid dividends; for I found a solution. In the end, the answer was a simple one. And I had to tell Mother. So I made some tea, and settled in to wait. When Mother arrived, with the buggy, I was quickly to my feet and helped her in. I couldn’t wait, as this was something that needed to be said now. Mother sensed something was coming, for she put the down the shopping-bags and asked;… “What?” Looking squarely at her, I told her, “I’ve found a girl – a girlfriend.”
Mums expression of delighted surprise grew more, when I said that I was “In Love.” “At last!,” Mother responded. “I was wondering how long it would be before you found someone. I’m really pleased….. what’s she like?” “She’s lovely!,” I replied. “In fact,… shes beautiful!….however, there’s a problem?” “What do you mean – a problem?” she asked, as her smile somewhat diminished. “Shes a bit younger than me.” I answered. “What do you mean?” she pursued, “how old?…..twenty-one?……twenty?.” “No,” I said, “shes a bit younger than that.” “Well….nineteen then?……eighteen?” “No,” I replied,…. “younger,” “Seventeen?,” Mother ventured, her smile now just a trace. “Younger,” I said, softly. Mothers expression was now one of confused concern. “Well, what are you talking about, here?” she exclaimed, in a puzzled voice, “how old…exactly?” I took a deep breath and answered, assuredly: “Twelve”
Mothers face contorted, as though she had sucked upon a bitter lemon. “Twelve!?,” she exclaimed, incredulously, “Twelve!?….Is this one of your jokes?…. I know you….this is a joke isn’t it?” “No, mum,” I stated, “its no joke. I love her very much….her name is Janet…..and…..I’m going to marry her!”
Leaving my turning and entering Green Street, I glanced to my right and saw, on the opposite side; Janet and Margaret. They were obviously on their way to the shops (or the library), along Enfield Highway. Seeing them both, cheered me up; as it always did and, I was in a rare cheerful mood anyway, so my happiness increased measurably. Of course, I went straight across to them, with a smile on my face. Yet, as I approached, it was obvious to me that something was wrong. I went to say ‘Hello,’ and then thought better of it; for, they both had a look of contempt upon their faces.
I was puzzled.”What?”, I ventured,… “whats the matter?”
“You lied!” Janet exclaimed, angrily.
Margaret joined in, with; “Yes, you lied to us!”
I couldn’t speak for a few seconds, as my mind tried to get to grips with this bombshell. “What do you mean?” I exclaimed, querulously, for I had no idea as to what they were talking about. “Come on Janet, lets go!” Margaret said, decisively. “Hold on!” I asked, worriedly, as they started to move off, “what, on earth, are you talking about?”
“You know what we’re talking about!” Margaret asserted.
I assured them both, in a pleading tone, that I had no idea? They both stopped in their tracks and looked back at me.
“There’s no such thing as ‘Quark’… or, whatever you call it….’Strangeness’ and ‘Charm’!” Janet shouted at me. To say I was; nonplussed, would be an understatement. “But, of course there is!” I answered; “I wouldn’t lie to you?” “Well, we’ve spoken to Mr Grosse,” Janet went on, “and,.. “he’s never heard of it!” “Yes, you’re so childish with these silly games you play!” Margaret joined in. “Yes, and Mr Grosse is really intelligent”, Janet continued. “If it were true, then he would know?”
“Is he?,” I responded, flatly. “Well, he may not of heard of it?”, I said, “this is all quite recent knowledge: its obvious that he hasn’t heard yet,… he’s probably a busy man…….not everyone knows?” I detected a slight waver in Janet’s assured manner over this and, sought to appease her further. “What about that other one?” I ventured, “that other ghost-chaser,…whats his name….Playfair?” “Mr Playfair’s not here at the moment. He’s had to go somewhere,” says Janet. “Well, when he gets back, ask him,…maybe he’ll know?” I said. “Well, we’re going round the library now,” says Janet, and we’ll look it up, there.” “Good!” I exclaimed, finally, as they made off. I suppose, you could say that we’d had something of a spat. I was most unhappy and decided against going out, but returned home instead. There, I lay on my bed and thought things over. ‘These ghost-chasers are going to ruin everything,’ I reasoned. ‘Fancy, him not knowing that?’ Still, I knew that I was correct and just hoped that the girls would come to realise this, sooner, rather than later. For, I was fearful of losing their friendship.
# # # # # # # # # # # #
This whole incident had its roots via an idea of mine, to give psychic names to both Janet and Margaret. This was quite reasonable, as far as I could see, as Janet had given me my psychic name, yet, they had none for themselves. I had suggested this to them once before and come up with Janeth: for Janet (she wasn’t too keen) and Magreth: for Margaret (she flatly refused, stating that it made her sound like some evil witch – I could see her point.) So, the idea of renaming all three of us as ‘quark’, ‘strangeness’ and ‘charm,’ somewhat appealed to me. However, we couldn’t decide on who should be whom, so I’d left it with them both, to think about. To be truthful, I wasn’t too keen on the name which I’d been given (Stuart) and much preferred Simon. Janet, though, insisted it had to be Stuart, as it had been dictated via the Quija-board. (She later conceded to me that I could have two names – Stuart/Simon – and agreed to address me by the second of those names.) The manner of my psychic-naming is an interesting one, so I tell it here. Well, a bit later. I’m a bit upset at the moment. Forgive me.
There’s no doubt about it. I must be the saddest Poltergeist that ever lived.
Elsewhere on this site, (The Legacy of the Enfield Poltergeist) CJ states:
‘The girls were 11 and 13 when it all kicked off; and they acted like teenagers anywhere. At first they were terrified, but soon they began to enjoy it all, and if I recall correctly Tony Cornell was particularly put off by the way he thought Janet was loving every moment and endlessly amused by the investigators failure to get to grips with it.’
Whilst that is obviously true, what it really shows is; the lack of lateral thinking on the part of those who investigated. I can tell you now: the assumption that this is evidence of the girls trickery is most certainly not the case.
The real reason behind Janet’s amusement was; not because she thought that she could fool the investigators: rather, it was because she was in on a secret. The secret being: she and her sister knew the identity of the Poltergeist. They both knew that it was me, for; I had told them so. Yes, they were scared at the beginning, for they thought their home was haunted, yet; when I told them the truth (and, they had finally accepted it) the mood of both Margaret and Janet improved, significantly. In fact, they related this to their mum (Peggy,) although, they denied this to me. Yet, I knew that they had done so. When I called at the house (284) one evening, bearing gifts ( a couple of games that I no longer used: I believe they were ‘Mastermind,’ – a game involving pegs – and ‘Masterpiece,’ – an auction game, around the buying and selling of great works of art) I was startled by Peggy’s response. Her actual words to me were (I remember them exactly) “Whats this for?….Is it because you feel guilty?” I was totally unprepared for this and, had no idea of what she was talking about. I told her as much; and said that if they didn’t want them, then they could bin them, if they wanted. She took the carrier-bag indoors and I heard Janet say, eagerly; “What is it, mum…..lets have a look!”
I didn’t hang around to get an answer, but made my way home. Further, unequivocal, proof to me of what I suspected, occurred at a later date.
In the early hours of one morning, (around 1.30 am, I believe) I was disturbed from my sleep by the distant sound of a woman’s voice. Whoever it was, sounded in some distress, for she was calling out; loudly and sometimes shrilly. At first I thought it was someone who was drunk. Then, as the voice progressed along Green Street, an uneasy feeling gripped me. I had a deeply intuitive feeling that whoever it was, was making for me! I quickly got out of bed, opened my bedroom window and scanned the part of Green St that I could see. Despite my poor eyesight, my anxiety increased tremendously when I saw, whom I thought to be the girls mother, Peggy!
I quickly got dressed and hurried downstairs, for I believed that she was going to call at my home. I couldn’t have that – what would Mother think! I opened the front-door, stepped outside and peered from behind the cover afforded by the bay-window. Suddenly, the shouting stopped and then, just as I thought it was all over, I saw her. It was Peggy! She passed by my turning in silence and then started up again. “Stuart Certain is it!… Or, is it Simon!” she shouted, loudly. “This has got to stop….do you here me!… this has got to stop….now!” Then, more silence as she reappeared, walking back down Green St. Then, she began to mutter away to herself. I can tell you; I was genuinely scared. However, not withstanding that; I followed at some distance behind her. I realized that if she came back, then I would have to intercept her, as I couldn’t take the chance that she might call at my home. Not only that, I realized that she was in a vulnerable state of mind and I determined that I would keep watch until she had returned safely home. What a nightmare! Poor Peggy! I had some serious thinking to do!
As I remember, it had been a sort of a nothing day. The clouds had set in over Enfield and the light had a certain dull glow to it. There was a heaviness to the atmosphere. All in all, I would say that the atmosphere mirrored my mood somewhat. My mind had entered a sort of neutral state. In truth, I had been a bit under the weather, what with my sore throat and all; and I had become slightly anxious, owing to the reason that I hadn’t seen the girls for over a week now. Realizing that I was entering a state of depression, I decided to take solace with a visit to my special place: the attic above the nave in St James church. The stillness there helped; I found.
I left the loft-light switched off and sat, cross-legged, in silence. Then, I began the process of emptying my mind of all negative thoughts. It was a struggle. After what seemed like an hour, and making not much headway, I then decided to return home. I’d got to the church at around 4:10pm, so I assumed that it was no more than around 5:20pm, at the latest. I was surprised, therefore; to find that when I stepped out from the church; the sky was completely dark. Street-lamps were on and the traffic had headlights blazing. Reaching home, I went straight to my room, drew the curtains against the night-sky then sat on my bed, to ponder. ‘Surely, I couldn’t have spent that long a time there?’ I reasoned. Then, out of the blue; I heard voices that I recognized. They were some way off, I could tell, yet there was no mistaking the sound of Janet and Margaret! And, they were getting nearer! My heart leapt, as I heard them approach my turning and go by. Quickly, I grabbed my coat and rushed downstairs. Reaching the end of our road, I scanned left and right but could not see them. I determined that they must have passed the bend in Green St and were on their way home, so set off in pursuit. Rounding the bend in the road, I saw them; some way off and approaching Durants Park. I decided to run and got to about five yards behind them, before stopping. After a couple of breathers, I braced myself and said “Hello!”
They nearly jumped out of their skins! On turning to see me, Margaret exclaimed “Oh, its you!……where did you come from?” I told them that I had heard them and then run down the road to meet them. “What do you mean….you heard us?” Janet asked, quizzically. I told them of how I had heard them from my room. “But,…..you couldn’t have done?” she went on. “OK, then…. from where did we come from?” I said that they had come along the Highway and that I had heard them first when they were there. They looked at one another in a puzzled silence before Janet went on, “You must have really good hearing, what with the cars and all that?” I told them that it was my psychic-hearing; that I was attuned to their voices. “You said that you were running” says Margaret. “What I want to know is, how you got so close to us without us hearing you?” “I don’t know?” I replied. “I expected you to turn around but; you didn’t?” She obviously didn’t believe me and said that I must have been hiding as they would have definitely heard me. She then accused me of playing games! I protested to her, without much headway and then decided to change the subject. “Anyway,” I said, “what are you doing out at this time of night?” Again, the girls looked at one another, quizzically. “What do you mean?” said Margaret. “Yes, what do you mean by that?” continued Janet, “its not that late!” She looked at her watch but had difficulty in reading it. “Try standing beneath the street-lamp,” I offered, “It’ll be easier there?” “Well, what good would that do!” Janet exclaimed. “Its easier in the light.” I said. “But,….its not on?” she responded. “Yes it is!” I said, “look!” “What are we supposed to be seeing?” says Janet. “Look!” I repeated. “I am looking!” said Janet impatiently, “its not on!” Margaret shook her head. “Its definitely not switched on?” she stated. We stood in silence for a while. I was totally confused and it was obvious that the girls were too; by my attitude. “But, do you not see how dark it is?” I tried. This time, they both shook their heads. “What are you seeing?” asked Janet, a bit more sympathetically. “Well, the sky is dark and the street-lights are on?” I replied, yet; less sure of myself. “Look,” I offered, “how far can you see across the park?” “Well,…all the way?”says Janet. “Right then,” I said, decisively. “I’m going to walk across the park and I want you to call out when you can’t see me?” “Come on Janet, lets get home,” said Margaret, “I’m tired of these games and… I want my tea.” “Just do this,” I said,”for me: please?” “I’ll do it” said Janet. “Well, I’m going home,” says Margaret, and starts to walk off. I then strode off across the park. When I’d gone about twenty yards, I stopped and looked back. “Can you see me?” I called out. Janet didn’t answer but was looking back and forth across the park. It was obvious to me that she couldn’t see me. I called out again and again I got no response. “Come on Janet!” calls Margaret. Janet turned to Margaret and called out, “Where’s he gone?” I could see Margaret looking this way and that, across the park. She couldn’t see me either! “He must be hiding!” said Margaret. At this, Janet starts to walk off towards Margaret. “But he can’t be hiding,” she says, “there’s nowhere to hide!” At this, I made my way back to the footpath and called out, “Here I am!” They both turned to look and were obviously surprised to see me behind them! As I approached, Janet asked, “where did you go to?” I said that I didn’t go anywhere. “Why didn’t you answer when I called out?” I asked. “I didn’t hear you!” Janet replied. “I would have heard, if you had called!” explained Margaret. “Look,” I said, “you had better go home and get some tea. I’ve got a lot to think about!” I left them and walked home in the darkness. Arriving home, I went straight to my room, removed my jacket and lay on my bed. ‘What a strange occurrence? I needed to do some deep thinking over this.’ Suddenly, I felt hungry; so went downstairs to the kitchen. Mother was there. “What time do you make it?” I asked. She replied that it had just gone 6pm. “Why is it so dark outside?” I queried. “What do you mean?” she answered, “its not dark, yet!” I looked at the sky through the kitchen window and could see that everything had changed. I then quickly opened the back door and went into the garden. I stood in the center and looked at the sky all around. It was light!…..light everywhere!
It was Saturday. A couple of days had passed since the day/night conundrum that I had experienced and, I’d had a bit of time to think things through. I’d considered all the evidence and had managed to dismiss all the rational explanations that I’d thought of, such as: had I been suffering a fever?……had I fallen asleep in the church, without realising?……had the girls been pretending as regards the brightness of the sky? All these could be dismissed, I realised, as nothing seemed to add up. Why this should have been of such concern to me, I wasn’t sure, as; what with my astral- projection and everything, this was really just another strange stitch that was being woven into the weird tapestry of life in Green Street, at that time. Thinking back, I realised that this incident had not been too dissimilar to another incident I had had, a couple of miles along the road, at Waltham Abbey. On that occasion, I had been involved in an altercation with someone whom I later realised to be none other than Thomas Tallis! That incident I had determined to be of a dimensional nature and it was this solution that I finally accepted as regards the latest events. So, when on my way to the shop to buy some matches and happened upon Janet and Margaret, I was in a rather conciliatory mood. I need not have worried, as upon seeing me, both girls smiled. “Hello Simon!” greeted Janet. “Hello Simon!” said Margaret. Pleasantly surprised, I said ‘hello’ to them both and then attempted to explain my strange behaviour, a couple of evenings past. However, I didn’t manage to get further than saying sorry, before Janet interjected with, “Are you feeling better now?” “Yes, are you OK, now?” says Margaret. For a moment, I thought that they were making fun of me. Their demeanour, however, belied that suspicion. The affection that the girls were showing towards me was palpable. I felt really good. “Yes, thank-you!” I responded. “How’s your throat?” asked Janet. “Much better, thanks. Did I tell you about that?” “Yes”, replied Janet, “and you said something about having a fever?” “Did…I?”, I said. Margaret nodded. “Don’t you remember?” she said. “No, not really,” I said. “I’ve been thinking of other things and, I think I have a solution as to what happened the other night?” At that, the girls both looked at one-another. “You do recall, don’t you?” I asked, “about the street-light and so on?” Janet nodded. “Well”, I continued, “I’ve had a good think over this and I am pretty sure that you didn’t, actually, talk to me!” Again, the girls looked at one another. This time with puzzlement upon their faces. “What I mean is,….I wasn’t actually there!” At that, Janet struggled to contain herself from laughing. “So..who was it then?” she said, with difficulty. “Don’t laugh!” said Margaret in a light reproving manner, towards Janet. “Well, it was me, but then again….it wasn’t me.” I went on, “It was an astral-projection of me… from another dimension!” “What, like a ghost, you mean?” she asked. “Yes, that’s it!”, I answered. “But,….you’re not…dead?” she said. “No”, I replied, “when I astral-project, then I become like a living ghost!” “Look”, said Margaret, “we’re going to the library now.” “Yes”, said Janet, “Why don’t you come with us…. We can talk about it on the way?… Its really interesting!” After determining from them that they had to do some research, for their school-work, I declined the offer: saying that they should concentrate on matters at hand. We could talk about this at another time. So, we said our goodbyes and went our different ways. The girls to the library: me, to the cemetery where I could have a quiet cigarette, amid the overgrown gravestones.
Guy Lyon Playfair – Psychic Investigator.
Psychic Investigator???.. Really??? Sure; that is how he likes to portray himself. In fact, he will defend his position and bandy his SPR association at the drop of a hat. Or, should that be at the drop of a marble? Remember this: he is someone who lost his temper with Janet and Margaret for calling him a ghost-chaser. Janet, aged 12. Margaret, aged 13. Remember that fact. It is hard to think of a single positive contribution that he made throughout the whole time he spent on the Enfield case. A time in which he inveigled his way into the Hodgson household and took over a much needed bedroom for his own accommodation. A time in which he did nothing, much, except gather information to facilitate his own selfish ends, regarding his prime aim, which was to write a book on the subject. A time in which he had, at an early stage, made his mind up on the cause of the phenomena. To him, the cause was nothing more than Janet and Margaret playing tricks. Oh yes. Don’t be fooled by his protestations otherwise. In truth, he didn’t care about the girls. He wasn’t concerned about how matters were affecting their schooling. How it affected their mental well-being. If he were genuinely concerned: then he would have left the scene at an early stage. But no. He had to get his book out. That required time. And a closeness to the action. Remember, he was someone who spent much of his time trying to get marbles to bounce. He still calls this a strange phenomena. What a joke, he is. Let me state here: Marbles Don’t Bounce. Why should they? They are, after all, just lumps of glass. There is nothing intrinsic in them that would cause them to bounce. When I threw marbles at the inside walls of our house, they didn’t rebound. They would hit and then fall perpendicularly. It would have been of far more scientific interest if he had devoted his time to understanding where the marbles were originating from. He never, even, counted the marbles that Billy had. He just assumed that they were the same ones. What a joke. The fact that he has used his influence and intelligence to work on Janet over the years since: to convince and persuade her that she was the originator and perpetrator of the phenomena, is something that is not widely known. Of course: once she considered that, somehow, he was right over this and had her doubting her own experience on these matters, then; he had complete influence over her. He could then manipulate her to his will. Such an occasion happened a few years ago, when he contacted her to appear along-side him in a TV debate (Good Morning.) His one aim, on this occasion, was to reignite public interest in the case as it was his intention to sell his story to Sky: which he succeeded in doing and which this article is about. I saw them both, (remotely) sitting upon a sofa, with Guy putting the suggestion to Janet that she only had to keep up the pretense and he would give her some monies on top of appearance money. How much he finally gave to her, I don’t know. What I do know is, Janet was very uncomfortable with this, for two reasons: she wasn’t sure if she was the real instigator of the phenomena, as GLPlayfair had tried to convince her of. Secondly; it made her feel that she was a co-conspiritor. The Janet that I knew was anything but a liar. She and her sister were both honest and trustworthy (and beautiful) as were the whole family. The fact that she ultimately agreed to go along with his wishes, just shows to what hold he (Svengali) had obtained over her. Bastard.
When Mother asked me, one morning, what I had been doing in the night; I thought it unusually pertinent of her; so it was with hesitation that I answered “Nothing;….why?” She then opened the palm of her hand, upon which sat two marbles. She said that she had found one in the front room and the other in the kitchen. I told her that; yes, they were mine; that I’d had them for years and I was pleased that she found them and that they belonged with the others, in a box in my room. Apart from telling me that she thought it odd that I should be playing with marbles at my age, she expressed concern that it was dangerous to leave them laying around as someone could tread on them and fall over. I agreed with her and then fibbed that they had fallen out of the box which I had brought downstairs and, whilst sorting out paperwork; that I’d forgotten they were in there and that it wouldn’t happen again. She was satisfied with this. I though; was puzzled? This was not the first time that I had lost marbles. These useful aids to Astral-Projection I often dropped, owing to the way that they needed to be held (within the fingertips) as I tapped out a rhythm upon my bedroom walls. Usually, the ones dropped I found again. Occasionally though; they appeared to have vanished; as I would search every inch of my bedroom floor, on hands and knees, in a vain search. To have them suddenly appear downstairs was strange, to say the least. Matters got more awkward when, one late and dark evening, and whilst going through my rhythmic routine, Mother called up the stairs for me to come down, as she thought that someone may be trying to break in. I quickly rushed downstairs where she explained that she had heard a loud bang emanate from the kitchen. I went to check; including the garden and found nothing untoward. I asked her to tell me if it happened again. About ten minutes passed, and mum was calling up to me again. Same thing: same noise! This time she accompanied me into the kitchen. After doing the usual checks and reassuring her once more, I suddenly caught sight of a marble, sitting upon the kitchen table. My first thought was that Mother had found it and put it there. But no! She had no knowledge of how it got there. Looking at the floor, near to the table, I then found two more. One had actually smashed into fragments! Mother demanded to know how they had got there and I; having no rational explanation to tell her, confessed my worst fears. “They’ve fallen through the ceiling!” I told her. “What are you talking about?” she asked, incredulously, “how can they fall through the ceiling?” “I’m not sure?” I replied, looking upwards for holes. There were none. “Hold on”, I said, “I want to try something”. I then took a marble, stood upon a chair and held the marble up close to the ceiling and, over the table. The table was a laminate-top affair, with tubular-metal legs. “What are you doing?” mum said. I asked her to resume sitting in the living-room and to tell me if this was the sound she had heard? As soon as she was seated, I let go of the marble. The noise it made when it hit the table, made even me, jump! “That’s it!”, Mother exclaimed, “that’s the exact noise that I heard!” I watched the marble as it rolled a little, owing to the slight unevenness of the floor, before it stopped at the edge. “Well, that’s it then; there’s your answer” I said, “they are definitely coming through the ceiling!” “I don’t know what you are doing?”, she replied, “or how; but you are to stop this game right now!… I’ve had enough tricks for one night!” “Yes mum”, I said. Back in my room, I pondered: Sometimes, it is better to accept the lie; for to tell the truth needs a lot more explaining.
Strangely enough, anxiety can be a motivating force; when the need arises. St Valentines day, 1978 was, for me, one of those occasions. My anxiety, on this occasion, was conducive to my needs for this special day, as I felt an overwhelming need to express my love to Janet. I’d considered the idea of dropping a couple of anonymous Valentines Day cards, (one each; for Janet and Margaret) through the letter-box at 284; yet, somehow; I felt it inappropriate, considering their ages. Not only that: there was a chance that I might be discovered, in the act, which would leave me with a lot of explaining to do; to Peggy. So I decided against it. Yet, I still desired to do something for them. This needed some quiet thought, so I made my way to my special place; the loft of St James church. Once again, this paid off; for within thirty minutes, I had a solution. In fact, the idea that I came up with, was so good, so fantastic that; I couldn’t contain myself. “Yes!”, I spoke out aloud, “that will do, wonderfully!” Suddenly, I heard a muttering of voices, emanating from the nave, below. “Did you hear that!” in a woman’s voice, was followed by “Yes!”, in a man’s voice. “What do you think?”, the conversation went on. “I’m not sure?” “You don’t think….do you?” “I’m going to see the vicar!” said the male, “what are you going to do?” “I’m going to stay here!”, replied the woman.
‘Oh No!’, I thought, ‘that’s it…I’ve been discovered!… I’d better leave; before the vicar arrives!’ I quickly broke my statue-like posture and prepared to exit through the loft-hatch, when I heard the woman start up again. This time, it was in a more muted tone of voice and, talking rapidly. I suddenly realized that she was; in Prayer!’ I couldn’t resist it. “Don’t worry!”, I said, in my deepest, most sombre voice. “Everything will be fine!” The woman’s voice stopped for a few seconds and then started up again; this time, louder and with more energy. Judging that I’d spent enough time up there, I then quickly removed myself from the scene. Walking back home, I felt pretty good with myself. Not only had I come up with a solution to my problem; I’d also answered someones prayers! Soon, my thoughts turned to matters at hand for, I had some preparation to do. For, today was a special day and; tonight would be a special night. For, tonight: I would marry Janet!
‘My dear dear Janet, what can I say
Shall I compare thee to a summers day?’
There’s no doubting that I was in a good mood as I waxed lyrical, in the bath. Everything, basically, had been prepared. I’d pressed my charcoal-grey flares; polished my shoes; ironed my shirt and had laid my old school tie, (the only tie I owned) out upon my bed. This had to be done right, after all. I’d spent much of my time, (since returning from the church) deciding upon how, exactly, I was to conduct the ceremony. I’d settled upon a short, quick service, preceded by a rendition of the Lords Prayer (to which I’d added and amended somewhat – to address my needs) and was confident that, as long as I could attain a state of Astral-Trance, then that should be enough. Well, in truth it would have to be, as I reasoned that I may not have much time. I guessed that sometime between 9.45pm and 10.30pm would be best, as it was probable that the girls would be in bed by then. Upon leaving the bathroom, I checked with Mother; the time. “Nine Thirty” she replied and then remarked that I was leaving things a bit late, considering that I had to catch the bus. I’d told her earlier that I was meeting some friends in Enfield Town for a drink. I hated lying to her but, I couldn’t really tell her that I was off to get married! How the time had flied! I quickly rushed upstairs and got changed. Looking out of my bedroom window, I could see that the light rain which had been falling earlier, had stopped. The omens looked good!
To anyone that is following this ongoing article, I offer my apologies. I had been hoping to push on with my revelations. Unfortunately, I have been subject to an ongoing psychic attack since my last contribution. I have the distinct feeling that someone or some organisation is trying to perform a remote exorcism of myself. I suspect that Mr Playfair and/or maybe, the current priest at the church of St James, Enfield Highway are responsible. If it is not them, then I them offer my apologies. Whoever it is; I ask you to please stop. This is not a joke. You are making me unwell. I am having difficulty accessing the church and the surrounding environs. You must allow me to continue. If you continue with your attack then you may kill me. You may, also inadvertently kill Janet. I make you aware that Janet and I are psychically linked. What you are doing has ongoing consequences. I know that you mean well. I know that you are trying to sever the psychic link between myself and Janet. This cannot be done. We are linked forever. It is a consequence of my psychic-marriage to Janet. It cannot be undone. I ask you to think of the risk to Janet, and I ask you again; please stop what you are doing. 11.35pm SC
Once again; apologies. I will resume normal service as soon as possible.
“You’d better hurry,” said Mother, “you’ll miss the bus!” “Yes mum,” I replied, “are you sure that the knot is alright?” I’d asked her to check my tie. I admit that I was slightly nervous, as I left the house, for I realised that what I was about to do was; commit myself totally and wholeheartedly to Janet. I’d never been married before. In fact, I’d never been in love before. I suppose that was the reason for my butterflies? Anyhow, I quickly made my way to the bus-stop and the bus duly arrived shortly after. The conductor wore a look of impatience as he waited for me to step on; then annoyance, when I said that I would wait for the next one. I waited for the bus to make its turn, onto the Highway and then walked hesitatingly back to my turning. I peeked around the corner, to check that Mother wasn’t looking from the bay-window of our house and, then strode off purposefully, along Green Street and to my destination; the house at 284. I could, I suppose, have performed the ceremony at home but; I was anxious to see some sign that I had been successful. What that sign would be, I wasn’t sure; yet, I felt certain that something would present itself to me. I already had the location in mind, for it had to be near the girls home, yet somewhere that I couldn’t be seen. This last consideration was very important as I was concerned that if anyone should see me, performing my shamanic-beats, then they may well call the police; the ambulance; or both. There was a definite possibility that I could be certified, on the spot! My nerves were definitely coming on strong as I neared my objective. I reached for my cigarettes and; shock!, horror!, I realised that I’d forgotten the marbles! I couldn’t return home for them now! Drawing heavily, upon a cigarette, I determined that there was no retreating now. I would have to improvise. Actually, this wasn’t so much of a problem as, in the early days of my astral-projection I had used my knuckles to rap upon the walls. (I had switched to using marbles when I realised that I was doing damage to my fingers.) Nearing 284, I looked over to my right and to where the entrance to the nursery-school was; which was just beyond the entrance to the junior-school. It was as I expected. A deep shadow had been cast, due to the light from a street-lamp, across the recessed entrance. It was there that I was to perform my ceremony. This was ideal as it was directly opposite 284. A slow stroll past the house, just to make sure that everything was in order and a quick scan of the street, to make sure that no-one was walking nearby and I would be ready! However, the sound of rather loud pop-music just ahead, was an annoyance as it was harder to attain a state of trance in those circumstances. My spirits sagged further when I realised that the music was actually coming from 284! It sounded like a party was going on! Tonight of all nights; I couldn’t believe it! I nearly gave up at that moment but the sound of Janet’s voice and others, brought me back to my senses. I spent a little while listening and it was obvious that they were enjoying themselves. Actually, it was good to hear Janet in a happy mood and, for a moment, I wished that I was in there with her. I suddenly felt reinvigorated. I had one more check, to see if the coast was clear; threw down my cigarette and strode off towards the shadows, opposite. Once there, I examined the walls of the school and determined that, owing to the roughness of the walls (compared to my bedroom walls) that I would have to ‘pat’ the walls with my palms. I had never used this method before, yet I couldn’t see any reason why it should be less effective. Satisfied, I turned to face 284; clasped my hands together and began my specially adapted Lords Prayer. [ For reasons of sensitivity and a duty of probity; I have chosen not to relate what words I used in my prayer.] Once I had completed my solemn prayer, I then turned sideways and began my rhythmic patting upon the wall. Normally, as an aid to concentration, I would think of some music that I was fond of and concentrate my rhythmic-beats to the main beats of the music. In the early days, this consisted of the main beats to Ludwig van Beethoven’s 5th symphony (first movement) which I knew by heart. These were in a series of four, (4).
I decided that, owing to the importance of the occasion and, not wanting to take any chances, to launch straight into Ludwig’s 5th. Up and down and left and right I went, with my palms hitting the surface in time to the beat. Down and up, right and left, backwards and forwards, with an intense concentration knitting my brow. A couple of minutes of this and I could feel the first beads of sweat upon my forehead. I quickly glanced towards the house, yet; everything was as before: lights on downstairs; upstairs remained in darkness. I became aware of the coolness of the night-air and realised that this could take longer than expected. I went back to it with a renewed vigour. More pounding of the wall; another glance at the house; still nothing. Suddenly, the sound of footsteps, to my right, and I withdrew completely, into the shadows. I waited and watched as a woman walked past, completely oblivious to my presence. Once I had determined that she had gone beyond earshot, I quickly resumed my beating of the wall; this time with a renewed energy. I could ill-afford any more interruptions. A few more beats and still nothing! ‘This was no good?,’ I thought; ‘nothings happening!’ Quickly; I changed sides and began upon the other wall. Still nothing! This called for drastic action! I dropped Beethoven and went quickly into J S Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Three beats – break – single beat – break – three beats, then two and two. Over and over I did this, until I thought; ‘what the heck!…. just go for it!’ I then immersed myself into a complete rendition of the piece, all notes included. Goodness knows what I looked like whilst I did this? Probably; like some mad music-conductor? And then, with my heat-levels rising and my forehead starting to drip sweat; there came a sensation that I recognised. A lightness of my head and, a feeling that my soul was rising to my outer-being. I knew that I was entering the state of trance! I halted my beating and stood still. My experience of this state had allowed me to control the depth to which I wanted to go to. It was very similar to; being able to enter and control ones dreams. ‘This was it’, I decided, ‘its now or never!’ I turned to face the house and, with my arms at my sides, raised my head and concentrated through half-closed eyelids, upon the girls bedroom.
I stood like that for probably a minute and then, suddenly, a light came on! ‘This could be it?….It must be it!’, I wished, anxiously. The curtains were closed, so I was unable to see into the room. However; within about thirty seconds, a shadow appeared in the window; to the left. It appeared formless, as it slowly reduced in size and then vanished. A few seconds later it reappeared in the window to the right. It then seemed to grow longer and slowly stretched to an elongated shape as it moved from right to left and reappeared in the left window, about halfway up. Then, as before, it shrank in size and disappeared. Once again, the elongated shadow reappeared in the window to the right.
Suddenly, and with joy, I realised what was occurring. It was the sign that I had been waiting for! Janet was levitating! On her next pass, across the left window, her foot must have caught-up within the curtain as it was pulled to one side, leaving a diagonal opening through which I could see into the room! I just had a glimpse of her as she went on her circular path around the room. Then, once more, the shadow reappeared to the right; made its way to the left and hovered halfway up. ‘That’s enough,’ I determined. ‘It is done!’ With that, I watched as Janet gently lowered towards her bed. As she reached the level of the window-sill; suddenly, I heard Margaret. “Janet!” she shouted, loudly. “Janet!” she shouted again. It was obvious to me that Margaret had just entered the room. “What?,” said Janet, in a sleepy sounding voice. She had gone from my view and was now resting, I suspected, upon her bed. “What’s been happening!” said Margaret in an anxious voice. “Have you been floating….you have, haven’t you!” “What,.. I think I must have been sleeping?” responded Janet. Margaret then called out for Peggy. “Mum!….Mum!” she called out; apparently, down the stairwell. A short while after, I heard Peggy, who was now in the bedroom. “Well, what’s been going on here then?”, said Peggy. “She was levitating, mum. I saw her!” exclaimed Margaret. “Janet; what’s this then?” said Peggy. “I don’t know?” replied Janet. With that, I crossed the road and crept up to the front-door of the house. Crouching low, so as not to be seen through the door-glass I put my ear to the door and tried to hear what was occurring downstairs. “Janet’s been levitating again!” I heard Margaret call out. A male voice, (it sounded like Maurice Grosse; I’m not sure?) called back; “Come on Janet. Don’t play about now…..we need you down here!” “But,…its not me!” protested Janet, as I heard her make her way downstairs. I quickly re-crossed the road and stood again, in the shadows. It was just as well that I did, for a face appeared at the window and appeared to be scanning the vicinity. It could have been Margaret; maybe, Peggy; I wasn’t sure. Anyhow, they closed the curtains. Then the bedroom light then went out. I waited for maybe a minute and then walked slowly off, towards home. As the stillness of Green St closed around me, I became acutely aware of the cold night-air. I was also, exhausted. Upon reaching the park, I made my way to the park-bench and sat there, to recuperate. ‘It had been a long day, yet an interesting one,’ I mused. I replayed the days events over in my mind and then came to the consideration that I may still have been in a state of trance! The thought came to mind: I wonder what I look like, while in this trance-form? I wrapped my arms across my body, to keep warm, curled forwards and attempted to see a reflection of myself upon my polished shoes. A few spots of rain then fell upon them. ‘Oh, well?’, I thought, ‘I’d better get home. I wonder what the time is?’ As I stood up, I realised that it wasn’t raining, at all. I put my hand to my forehead, yet could feel no sweat there. I then put my hand to my eyes and could feel moisture. I struggled to understand. “I don’t get it?”, I thought, “this should be the happiest day of my life?” In truth though, I knew that in this dimension I still had a long time to wait. About six or seven years, I reasoned; and as I had previously said to Janet, although, of course, she had no understanding of what I was really referring to.
To those that may be thinking; ‘hang on a minute’……’surely, a prayer followed by some beating upon a wall is hardly likely to produce the phenomena; such as the levitation of Janet?’; I offer a word of explanation. It had been my initial intention to reveal the details of the ceremony which I performed, between the prayer and my shamanic-beating upon the walls. However; I had a rethink over this. Due, in part, to the psychic attacks to which I have been subject to, recently; I decided, at a late stage, to omit those details; for two reasons:
(1) There is a chance that others may attempt to try something similar themselves.
(2) There is a high probability that, by revealing those details; an attempt to unpick the spell may occur.
As I have no wish for either of those scenarios to occur; I concluded that the best (and safest) option would be; for those details to remain secret.
Sorry about that, but; I am certain that I took the correct decision over these matters.
The day after our psychic-wedding; as I remember; started fairly brightly, weather-wise. I should really have been in good spirits, yet; I couldn’t shake off the feeling of depressed realisation that had set in, the night before. Eating some cornflakes, from a mug, I decided that I really needed a break, away from Green Street:…somewhere completely different. I thought of my grandmothers place in central north London and asked Mother if she thought that Nan wouldn’t mind if I stayed there for a while. “Just for a couple of days.” I explained. I had other depressing considerations on my mind; the main one being the interview that I’d been asked to attend, at the Employment Exchange. I needed to galvanize myself for that! Anyway; Mother said that she would check and, when she returned with the shopping, she said that she had phoned Nan and it would be alright as she (Nan) had no plans on going away anywhere; just yet. So, after breakfast; I packed a few things together and I was off, via train and bus, to Grandmas place. Whilst at my Nan’s, I took the opportunity to visit some old areas that I used to frequent, as a child. Alexandra Palace (ally-pally), Highgate Woods, Hampstead Heath and Parliament Hill fields to name a few. By far my most favourite place, though, was Highgate Cemetery. During my school-holidays, I would get endless pleasure from roaming around the Gothic mausoleums and gravestones; full of wilde flowers and birdsong. In those days it was free entry, for me; so was disappointed at the realisation that I had to cough-up to get in. I contented myself with the free part of the cemetery; which had a beauty of its own. It brought back a lot of memories. None more so than how I used to talk with an invisible spirit (ghost) from a grave tucked deep in the undergrowth. I wish I could remember his name. He seemed a pleasant fellow. An old sailor, as I recall. He would often engage me in conversation. No luck this time though; maybe he’d moved on? Maybe he didn’t recognise me after all these years? Anyway, I wished him well, wherever he was. After a couple of days had passed, I felt somewhat better about things. Thinking back to the wedding, I couldn’t see how, in truth, things could have worked out much better. Not only had the ceremony gone well; the fact that Margaret had managed to witness part of it, was an added bonus. Janet was now my psychic-wife and Margaret, I determined, had been a psychic-bridesmaid! So, all in all, I couldn’t complain. Arriving back in Green St, and stepping off the bus, I heard Margaret’s voice. “There he is!”, she exclaimed. I looked a short distance along the road and there was Margaret; pointing towards me. Janet was looking this way and that until she finally caught sight of me, amid others getting on and off the bus. I received a big smile, which was nice, as they walked up to me. “We’ve been looking for you!” Janet said, rather excitedly. “Oh really?” I replied. “Yes,” said Margaret, “we need to ask you something?” “Whats that?” “Have you received anything…. lately?” she continued. I hadn’t been around for a few days and I’d just returned back; I told them. I was intrigued. “Anyway, what do you mean?” I asked. “He doesn’t know?” said Margaret, looking at Janet. “Billy told us that he’d sent something to you!” said Janet. “What do you mean?”, I responded, “sent something to me?…sent what,..and by post, you mean?” “Well,…sort of?” replied Janet. “He wouldn’t tell us what it was.” The girls were quite obviously amused. I was more perplexed, than anything. “Couldn’t he have given it, whatever it is, to you two…to give to me?… Did you put anything through my letter-box?” “No,” explained Janet, “Billy said it was a secret?” “Are you joking with me?”, I asked them both. “No!” they replied, almost simultaneously. I couldn’t imagine Billy sending anything to me; the whole idea seemed rather odd, to put it mildly. When I got home, the first thing I did was ask Mother if there had been any post for me, whilst I was away? “No,” she replied. “What, nothing at all?” “No!”…..I told you?”, she repeated. “Odd?” I said. “Why? were you expecting something?” Mother asked. “I don’t know!”, I replied. After a mug of tea, with Mother, I took myself and my bag upstairs to my room. There, I threw down my jacket and sat upon the bed. ‘What, on earth, had the girls been talking about?”, I pondered. ‘Obviously, this was some sort of private joke they were having?’ As I went to remove my shoes, I saw, just to my left and in the middle of the floor; a marble. ‘Must have rolled out from somewhere’, I mused. ‘I wonder where from?’ Picking up the marble and looking at it, I suddenly realised; it wasn’t one of mine! Mine were all regular marbles; this one was different? I took a closer look. Instead of the ordinary blue, red and yellow colouring of mine; this one had what looked like gold, inside! Gold paint, I determined and with a slight umber look to it, as if it had been subject to a high temperature and had slightly burnt! I quickly rummaged around in my cardboard-box and brought out one of the marbles. Comparing them, I could see that it was also larger and with a few small nicks in the surface! It looked older than the ones that I had. I quickly rushed downstairs and spoke with Mother. No, she was adamant; no girls had called around and asked her to place a marble in my room! She then remarked that maybe; it would be a good idea for me to stay at Nan’s place a bit more often!
I let it go.
Before I move on with my recollections and; before I forget: just a quick word to Mr Winter; should he be happening to follow proceedings.
I understand that it must be a shock to you; after all these years; to realise that Janet was, actually, already married.
But, hey!…….the Earth keeps turning?
The girls were in an unhappy mood, when I next met them. “What’s the matter?,” I asked. “Nothing,” said Janet. “Yes, its nothing,” echoed Margaret.
Their demeanour told me otherwise. “Come on,” I urged, “something’s the matter…….is it something I’ve said?” “No, its not you,” Janet replied. Margaret looked concerned. “Is it those ghost-chasers?” I asked. “You’d better tell him,” Margaret said, to her sister. “You mustn’t call them ghost-chasers!” Janet remarked. “Why not?,” I asked, in a perplexed voice. “We’ve been told not to call them that. Mr Playfair got really angry about it!” “Did he!” I exclaimed. Margaret nodded. Apparently, he’d lost his temper with them both and shocked them, somewhat. Both Playfair and Grosse were irked by the use of the term and M. Grosse had asked them not to use it, although; in a pleasant manner. This was different. I had good mind to go along to their home and punch Playfair on the nose. My sense of anger must have shown on my face, as Janet said to me, “Don’t worry,…its not that bad!” “Well, I can call them ghost-chasers if I want!,” I said, “it doesn’t apply to me!” “But, if you call them that,..then I’ll forget!,” Janet said. I realised then, that any further discussion about the matter, would only make things worse. I changed the subject. “Look, I’ve got some news for you!,” I said to them both. “I did receive something from Billy!” At this, the faces of Janet and Margaret lit up. “What was it,?” Janet asked eagerly. “I can’t really tell you?,” I replied, “as its a secret.” “But, you can tell us?,” pleaded Janet. “Yes,” said Margaret, “I think I know what it is, anyway.” “You do?,” I responded, “what then?” Margaret then became quite guarded over her comments and wouldn’t say. “Billy said you could tell us,..anyway, he needs to know if you received it?” said Janet. That seemed logical, to me. “An egg!,” I declared.
“An egg?,” Janet exclaimed. She looked doubtful. Margaret looked perplexed. “You’re having a joke?,” she said. “No, I’m not!,” I replied, “and a very special egg!” “Well, what then!,” asked Janet. I looked at them both, for dramatic effect. “A golden egg!,” I pronounced. The girls looked at each other, with a mixture of puzzlement and amusement. They fell silent for a while, as they contemplated this. “What did you think it was?,” I asked. “Well, I thought it was a marble?,” said Janet, “and Margaret thought it was a Lego brick!” “I thought,…it might be?,” Margaret qualified.
“But,…Billy hasn’t got any golden eggs!,” Janet exclaimed, showing amusement in the idea. I had to laugh. “You’re very clever,” I said to Janet. She thought for a bit and then exclaimed, “it was a marble….wasn’t it!” I nodded. I asked them to say thank-you to Billy, from me. Janet said that I could come back, with them, and thank him myself. However, I didn’t trust myself in the presence of the ghost-chasers and told them that I would do so, yet, at another time.
That night, I lay in bed and looked at the marble; the golden egg upon my window-sill. “Goodnight, Janet,” I whispered. “Goodnight Margaret….and goodnight….son.”
Actually; the marble, or golden egg as I called it, could easily have been female. I realised that and sometimes referred to it as my daughter. It didn’t really matter. What really mattered to me was that it re-emphasised the success of my psychic-union with Janet. As far as I was concerned, we now had a psychic child, and so; the family was complete. To me, it was not only symbolic: it was real. It showed that; the powers that be had listened to my incantations and had given me a sign; a sign of what may be, if I could stand the test. It was interesting to me that, those ancient powers – the powers of enchantment – had worked through Billy in order to achieve this end. I’d thought of asking the girls if Billy wouldn’t mind sending me some more, but then thought better of it. It was far better to let things take their natural course, I decided, rather than try to influence matters further. I was happy with the way things stood and didn’t want to jeopardise the situation. That’s not to say that I wasn’t interested in how Billy had achieved his feat. After all, it was a pretty impressive act on his behalf. And, this is probably the strangest thing of all: my ability to be able to project myself upon an astral-plane and manifest within the Hodgson household; my remote viewing; my interruptions to the psychic flow of words emanating from Janet; the sometime-duality of events occurring at both our households; the triumvirate of psychic thought processes and sometime-conversations that occurred between the girls and myself; my disagreements with ‘Bill’ – the ghost that had latched onto the girls at the graveyard – ; the levitation’s; other, decidedly strange, happenings that I experienced throughout: including an encounter with a ghost at Chingford Mount Cemetery and a somewhat-altercation with the visible spirit of Thomas Tallys and an unknown monk; my near-death experience of ball-lightning and now; the hitherto unknown and impressive psychic abilities of Billy: the really strange thing was, how we just accepted these psychic happenings and took each day as it came. It was as though, the elements and the forces of enchantment had entwined with our metabolic makeup and we somehow understood matters as being natural to us. Strange days, indeed.
To those who may be following this article and are interested, yet maybe concerned that I am about to veer off-course with my recollections: please don’t be alarmed. I understand the remit of this article and will confine myself to the issues of the Enfield Haunting. My last post was only in order to provide a broader picture of how matters played upon my mind, at the time.
“Would you like our settee?,” Janet asked me, unexpectedly. “Why, are you getting rid of yours then?,” I answered, stupidly. “Well,…of course…. I wouldn’t say, otherwise!” Margaret tutted and gave me a look of disdain. “So, you’re getting a new one then?,” I continued. “No…well, I don’t think so?,” Janet replied, looking at Margaret; as if for confirmation. “I’m not sure?,” said Margaret. “Well; what do you mean then?,” I asked. I then had a sudden panic attack. “You’re not moving?…..are you!, I exclaimed, anxiously. “No, well… I don’t think so?,” Janet responded. “No, we’re not moving,” said Margaret, which helped, tremendously. Janet went on to explain that Guy Playfair had bought a couple of new armchairs for the front room. They were rather large and there was not much room left, with the settee. Peggy had talked about getting rid of it. They were very nice chairs apparently. ‘Well; that’s something at least?,’ I thought. As far as I could make out; Playfair had been living there, rent free. “Whats it like?,” I asked, referring to their sofa. “Well, you should know!,” said Janet. “You’ve knocked it over a few times!” Which was true of course, although, and as I had told the girls, previously; I wasn’t really paying attention to the furniture when I came Astral-calling; except, in order to avoid it. “Remind me?,” I asked. “Well,…its dark blue and looks very much like the one you’ve got, except…ours hasn’t got any leg’s missing!,” she explained, with something like a smile. This was also true. In fact, it had amused the girls when they saw our settee roll forwards and land upside-down; when I arose from it. Both front legs were missing and it was supported at the front by two pillars of my, and my sisters, old school books. Sitting down wasn’t a problem: it was the getting up. “That’s exactly the same as what happens to our one!,” Janet had remarked, obviously amused, when she first saw it happen. On that occasion, the girls had been standing in our living-room. Mother had gone shopping with my two younger sisters. The girls had called; asking for some pins. “What sort of pins?,” I had enquired. “You know…PINS!” Janet had explained. “Well, do you mean drawing-pins?…..safety-pins?…what sort of pins, exactly?” “Well,…its not for me, its for her,” she answered, gesticulating with her head, towards Margaret. Something seemed odd to me, but I couldn’t explain it. “Just normal pins,” said Margaret. I rummaged around in Mothers knitting-bag and came up with a packet of pins. “That’s it!,” said Margaret. “Are you doing some dress-making then?,” I asked. Both girls smiled broadly. “You see…I told you he was funny!,” said Janet, to Margaret. I didn’t get it, and told them so. “Do we look as though we do dress-making?,” said Margaret, wryly. “I do crocheting…sometimes.” said Janet. “Well,…you do; yes!,” Margaret answered her. “Well, what do you need them for, then?,” I asked, “a school-project or something?” “Well, a sort of project, yes,” said Margaret. This wasn’t getting anywhere, I could see. The girls were keeping matters quite secretive; that much was obvious. In the end I had given them half of what pins there were, and determined that I would find out what they were up to at a later date.
When Mother asked me, unexpectedly, that evening, if I had seen any pins laying around as she had fewer than expected; I gulped and said no. I followed up with; “By the way; we may have a new settee coming!,” “What do you mean?,” she asked. I explained the situation to her regarding the circumstances at 284. “No we’re not!,” she exclaimed forcibly. “We’re having nothing from that house!” “But, its only a settee mum,” I pleaded, “its not as though its haunted, or anything?” “You’ve got a lot to learn!” she said, decidedly. “I said NO and, that’s the end of the matter!”
That night, when Mother had gone to bed, I arose to let Minstrel out for the night and, over went the settee. ‘I wonder if the same thing has happened at 284,’ I mused. ‘And what, exactly, were the girls up to with those pins!’
I had a profound sense of unease.
There were, actually, only two (2) entities involved in the Enfield haunting. One of which was me, obviously. The other was Bill. Whether or not that was his real name, I never knew. I suspect not. He was not the ‘Bill Wilkins’ that so much has been commented about. That is a complete red-herring. I doubted that ‘Bill’ was his real name for, he seemed unsure of himself when I addressed him as such. Yet; he pretended to be, when asked by others. He pretended, also, to be several other characters. Whether any of those other characters actually existed or not, it is hard to say. They may have been other spirits that he met in the afterlife. Just as easily, he could have made them up. Making up names and changing ones persona is a necessary process when one is trying to hide ones identity, whilst upon an astral-plane. I found that much out myself, when being questioned by Maurice Grosse. That he; ‘Bill’, hi-jacked my astral plane; only complicated matters. I could have done without it.
I explain further: The Astral-Plane is a plane of TRUTH. When upon it, one is obliged to tell the truth. Therefore; when M. Grosse questioned me as to my name, it put me under extreme pressure. I felt obliged to tell him my name. Yet, of course, I didn’t want to. The only option left, in those circumstances, is to alter ones persona. That is; to alter ones character. This can only be done by adopting a different attitude and treating everything as though it were a game. That is the only way to avoid the truth: by making it a game. There is no doubt that ‘Bill’ adopted those same tactics. That is why the spiritual conversations with M. Grosse, went off on a tangent and became, in turn, childish and/or, nasty. To ‘Bill’, it became a game and because it was only a game then; he could be as childish or as nasty as he pleased. That way, he could avoid answering in a truthful manner and, more importantly, it enabled him to stay in control.
Of course, there is another way out and that is; to become silent. This is where Bill and I differed. Bill obviously felt the need to talk and enjoyed his persona changes. I, actually, didn’t want to talk; yet felt obliged to do so, in order to thwart Bill. It wasn’t very nice to hear Bill’s utterances emanating from Janet. I was determined to put a stop to it. I could only do this, at first, by joining in. Later, I adopted a sterner attitude with Bill and threatened him with expulsion from my astral-plane, if he continued. Of course, I was bluffing. I didn’t know if I could expel him or not! Still, it worked for a while at any rate as things quietened down a lot; especially the profanities that he was want to come out with. There is no doubt that ‘Bill’ gained his information about Bill Wilkins from the plane of truth, for; not only is one required to tell the truth, when upon it; one is also able to call upon the limitless repository of truth that pervades its astral-cloud. There are no books here. Instead, one only has to want to know the truth and it comes to mind, instantly!
Spells and Incantations became an integral part of the shamanic ritual that I would perform in order to achieve Astral-Projection. Together, with the rhythmic-beating upon a surface; I found that they helped to speed-up the process. Yet, I possessed no book of spells. Instead, I would make them up as I went along; often taking inspiration from recent observances of the world around me, although; they had to be pertinent to my objective. As an example: if I had seen Janet and the sky was red; then the spell would become: ‘Red sky at night, Janet’s in sight’: repeating.
Indeed; that was an actual incantation of mine that I would repeat and, I found it to be successful. Over time though, they tended to diminish in power and necessitated the need to find fresh ones. For obvious reasons; the shorter the spell, then, the better. Another, successful spell that I used, was: ‘Two and two make four; four and four make eight, which go’s between the two and four and; I am at the gate’: repeating.
Beats, or raps were also subject to diminishing power, although they could be regenerated by a change of surface. Generally speaking, a hard surface I found to be the most conducive.
Apologies to anyone waiting for the next set of reminiscences from the Enfield Poltergeist. I will continue as soon as able.
Mother passed away.
Passed ‘over’ as some may say.
If this hadn’t been so shocking, then; it would have been rather surreal, for; I was speaking to her over the telephone at the time.
I dont know how unusual this event is; the telephone bit, I mean.
We all have to depart at sometime, I suppose.
At the age of eleven, I had a chat with GOD. That HE chose to speak with me was novel and, naturally; unexpected. I was busy occupied with blowing puffball-spores to the wind. HE asked me to refrain from doing so, as I had already cleared a large swathe of these from the disused-railway embankment upon which we, as children, often played. Apparently, HE wanted me to save some for others to enjoy. Who is to know the ways of HE? Still, I had a problem with HIS request. It occurred to me that there must be millions of these plants with which to amuse others with? Still; HE insisted. To me, the request seemed rather illogical and, as a result, I doubted the origin of the voice that spoke. I had to make sure. So, I proceeded to question HIM. I asked that HE should prove to me that HE was, indeed, GOD. HE, in return, said for me to ask HIM a question, about anything; and HE would tell me the answer. I thought for a bit and then asked; how many puffball-spores there were, in the air at that moment? I, obviously, had not made my request clear enough for, a second later, HE answered with a figure in the low thousands. I, thinking myself clever, denounced HIM as a liar. HE, after a silence that grew ominous with every second that passed, asked me to be more precise with my request. HE had taken it as meaning the amount of spores that I had released, and were still airborn. No, I explained, I wanted to know how many were airborn at that precise moment; upon the surface of the whole planet! Another silence followed and lasted so long that I began to feel fearful. It began to dawn upon me that whatever figure was mentioned; I would not know if this was accurate or not. I attempted to call the discussion off. I said that it doesn’t matter as I couldn’t prove it, anyway. Suddenly, HE spoke again. HE asked if I had faith. Yes, I replied. HE then asked me to wait for a few seconds, as HE had to do something. I waited. As I waited, I became aware of a sudden stillness in the air. The birds had stopped singing. The sound of traffic had come to a halt. The breeze stopped rustling the leaves upon the trees. A silence had fallen, like I had never experienced. All that remained was my thoughts and the soft warm glow, from the afternoon Sun. And then; HE answered! “””Are you following?””” HE asked. “””Are you ready?””” Yes, I was ready! The figure that followed was so large and with so many noughts that it was incomprehendible. All I remember is that it began with 284, then a multitude of zero’s, followed by, 197 and then 7. “””Well, what do you say?””” HE asked, as I struggled to comprehend. I thanked HIM for his answer and stated that HE had proved to me that HE was , indeed GOD and that I’d like to go home now; please. With that, the stillness lifted and I was aware of the everyday sounds of life, returning. As I walked home, a feeling of happiness and of apprehension alternated within my my mind. GOD had spoken with me and for that I was pleased,but; I had the distinct impression that HE hadn’t finished with me, yet.
Ectoplasmic pools of distilled vapor can sometimes form as a result of astral-travel. If they appear in conjunction with other ‘phenomena’ such as unexplainable raps and movement of objects, then one can be fairly sure that someone or something, has called; visited from another dimension. They originate from within the astral-clouds which pervade in an endless panorama, in every direction. This is the realm of the astral-plane; an equilibrious state which exists between two dimensions. With practise, I was able to remain within this plane and observe the soft-pink clouds as they slowly turned and twisted in their never-ending ‘dance of the vortex.’ The movement of these clouds can be felt; as the most gentle caress, if one is minded to want. Otherwise; these movements remain oblivious to the sensation of touch. Sound also, has no boundaries and can travel as far as one wants. A call into the void will wrap itself within a coccoon of plasma and swirl onwards and outwards, into the pinkness and finally beyond hearing and recall. There are no echoes. Likewise, the drops of astral-plasma that form and drop within another dimension will not reveal themselves with the ‘plip-plop’ of rainfall, but fall silently as if made of snow. It is impossible to see the end of this plane. On and on it goes, with nothing else in sight. One is unaware of temperature, feeling neither warm nor cool, yet enveloped within an ambient glow as though upon the cusp of an equi-distant sunbeam.
Equilibrium; the realm between two dimensions and, where ‘Bill’ attempted to kill me.
It began with a tapping upon my bedroom window. Well, more of a vibration really and very intense; as though someone, or something, was trying to annoy me. Annoy me it did; as it would start up just as soon as I was about to fall asleep.
This had been going on for a few nights now and, my cursory inspections of the window had failed to discover the cause. I had assumed that a loose pane of glass (of which there were twelve in total) had been absorbing the impact of traffic-noise or, maybe, from some unheard aircraft; passing within a few miles. A daylight inspection had revealed nothing, however. All panes were firmly fixed, with no ‘play’ and all the putty was ‘sound.’ What made it more annoying, was that it would stop as soon as I had got out of bed to investigate. Except; once. On that occasion I managed to trace the vibration to a single pane. The strange thing was; even with the open palm of my hand pushing against it; still, it continued. I could feel the vibration running through my hand, as though it were being subjected to a mild electric stimulus.
Matters took a stranger turn when, one evening, I decided to sort through some ‘paper-work.’ I removed the elastic-band from a roll of note-paper and placed it upon my bed, upon which I sat. After a short while, immersed in some of my attempted ‘poetry’, I felt suddenly impelled to look towards my bedroom door, which was closed. As I sat and looked, something fell down, perpendicularly, from the ceiling-height and landed about a foot from the door. Thinking it to be a spider, I arose and crossed the short space towards it; whereupon I discovered it to be the same elastic-band which I had placed upon my bed!
The combination of these ‘incidents,’ got me thinking. The vibration or, tapping upon the window was perplexing, for sure; but the elastic-band scenario seemed to have an intelligence behind it? It was as though someone, or, something was trying to get my attention. Maybe, they were linked? It was that thought which played upon my mind, that night. And, a sleepless night it was too; once I had concluded that these incidents were a realisation of my worst fears. ‘Bill’ was back!
Either that, or, some other ‘entity’ had decided to pay me a visit? Both scenarios had an element of dread about them. The second from a fear of the unknown. The first, because I thought that I had managed to give ‘Bill’ the slip. In truth, I had played a rather nasty trick upon ‘Bill.’ He had this habit of ‘riding my coat-tails,’ as it were. Not that he needed to, for he was quite capable of visiting 284 on his own and; often did so. That he was able to do so, was due to an error on my behalf. In my haste to absorb the instructions regarding how to astral-travel, I had overlooked the fact that, upon ending ones journey, that is; once returned from ones destination; one should close the astral-gateway.
This simple oversight was, actually, the whole reason why the events at 284 got out of hand and lasted for so long. ‘Bill,’ obviously, could come and go back and forth as he pleased. It also explains why some events originating in my house-hold were being replicated along the road, at the ‘Hodgson’s.’ The astral-plane was continually open to anyone who wished to jump upon it! The fact that ‘Bill,’ and I were the only ones to use it, was a blessing. Things could have been a whole lot worse. Still, I had a desire to get shot of him. He was grumpy and, foul mouthed to boot. More importantly, he was the reason why the ‘ghost-chasers’ or, paranormal-investigators as they prefered to be known, were there for such a long time. Which irked me a lot. I could hardly get any time to myself, with Janet and Margaret!
So, when and after a brief sojourn to 284; instead of returning home almost instantaneouly, as I usually did; I decided to remain upon the astral-plane and take solace amongst the swirling clouds, it wasn’t a complete surprise to me when ‘Bill’s’ voice came out of nowhere and asked me what I was doing. “I’m going for a wander,” I answered. “I feel the need to explore.” “But, you’ll get lost!” he exclaimed, in a rare show of concern. “I’ll be alright,” I went on. “I know my way around.” “But, it all looks the same!” he rasped. “Not to me,” I answered. “I know where I have to go.”
It was obvious to me, then, that he himself was afraid of becoming lost amongst the pink clouds. “Do you?” he asked, in a tone of wonderment. This was very unusual of him and, to me, it revealed his insecurity. “I don’t know?” he went on. “I think we should get back?” By this, he was referring to our own dimension. “Well, you can go back,” I ventured, “but I’m staying here for a while. You know your way back, don’t you?” “Not from here!” he admitted, “I’ve only ever followed you on here!”
I took my opportunity. “Can you see me?” I asked. “Well, no!” he answered. “I have hold of your jacket!” “Right then!” I said. “I’ll call out in the direction you have to go and you can follow my call!” “Are you sure?” he uttered, anxiously. “Of course I’m sure!” I said, confidently. “Well, if you say so?” he answered. I took a breath and called “HEY!” into the void. A snowball-like ball of plasma hurtled off into the clouds. “Off you go then,” I said. “And you’re sure thats the way?” he asked again. “Yes, Im positive!” I stated. “Look, I’ll do it again!” I called again, in the same direction, and another ball of plasma flew, at some speed, into the void. “Go on then!” I urged, “and call out so I know where you are. I’ll call again to make sure you stay on the correct path!” “Ok then, I’m going” he said.
About ten seconds passed by and then a ball of plasma came hurtling towards me. As it hit and broke upon me, Bills rasping voice shouted, “I’m here!” “Good! Thats It! Keep going!” I called back and watched three plasma balls fly off in the direction of ‘Bill.’ Another few seconds passed by and some more balls came, hurtling back. “I’m here now!” he had called. “Thats it. Not far now!” I called back. I then willed myself back home, to my bedroom.
Things quietened down after that. I’d got rid of ‘Bill,’ I was sure. He’d gone back to the graveyard of St James Church. Although; in another dimension. Yes, I was pretty pleased with myself. And then, unexpectedly, a week later; the tapping started.
I’m really sorry about this. I was hoping to continue with the next episode; concerning my dispute with ‘Bill.’
I am under attack once more. I need to enter the graveyard of St James, but; I’m being prevented from doing so. It would appear that the church and its environs have had a ‘special’ blessing. It must be the priest. He must have taken advice over this. Probably, from the ecumenical council of England. This is a real problem now. Bear with me, please. I need to find a way around this matter. I will get back on subject as soon as I am able. I am not sure how long this will take. It may be hours. It could be days? I’m convinced that Playfair has something to do with this. I shall keep you updated as to how matters are progressing. For now though, I have to leave you. Back as soon as possible. SC 05:28am.
Right. Things are looking up. I had a good think and I believe that I’ve found a way around this.
I’ve had to go to the ‘eighth’ book of Moses (something which I didn’t want to do) and I’m feeling much better about things. I should be able to get something posted tonight/early morning. Yes, everything looks sweet.
Sorry about the delay.
I was under no illusions. If I were to get another nights sleep, then; this situation with ‘Bill,’ had to be dealt with promptly. I actually considered asking the vicar of St James for his advice and help but, decided against it. How I was to explain myself to the priest, I had no idea. Whats more, the consequences of that situation I didn’t dare contemplate.
No; that would have to remain an action of last resort.
I decided that I would have to speak with ‘Bill’ and try to persuade him that I thought that I was acting in ‘his’ best interests. I could tell him that I’d had advice from the ‘Astral Council’ and the ‘Court of Equillibrium’ and that they had suggested that; I should attempt to encourage him to return within another dimension, as things would be much more pleasant for him there. There was a fair chance that could work. After all, I’d used those same ‘apparatus’ before, although, in a different context. On that occasion I’d threatened ‘Bill’ that I would complain to those ‘esteemed’ organisations, in order to get him evicted from my astral-plane, if he didn’t quieten down his ‘antics.’
That he had never heard of them, helped. That he never considered that I may be bluffing, helped also. And, as a result, that ‘threat’ had proved enough to be successful. This time, I realised, I would have to be more conciliatory towards him. So, with my plan of action in mind, I was washed and dressed and on my way to the graveyard.
I can tell you now; a damp and gloomy graveyard at half past six in the morning, is not a pleasant place to be.
As soon as I left the highway and entered the church grounds, I began my hushed calling. I had to be careful, as there were houses that lay just beyond the trees and thick undergrowth that occupied the area to my left and a chance that I would alert those inside. “Bill,” I called, “Bill, are you there?” I waited in silence for a response, but nothing. I tried again. “Bill,… are you there. Its me,… Simon?” Still nothing. I then made my way along the north-side of the church, stopping occasionally and calling out as I did so. It was so dark along there that I could hardly see where I was going. Still, no response. Running my hand along the church wall as I walked, I came upon the north-east corner. Here, it was less dark as the graveyard opened out into a spacious area. I scanned, with some difficulty, across this space and the head-stones, calling out as I did so. “Bill, its me….Simon. I need to speak with you…Its important!” I waited and waited, before trying again. Yet, still there was no response! This was serious. If he didn’t answer, then the prospect of a meeting with the priest grew ominously closer. I tried again and waited before retracing my path, back towards the highway; calling and waiting as I did so. Nothing! Not even a murmer! I’d now tried all the places where I had spoken with ‘Bill’ before. There was nothing for it but, to return home and have a rethink. Which I did. I decided that I would try again; that afternoon. I did so and, again, that evening. Still, ‘Bill’ was nowhere to be heard! These were desperate times. I couldn’t speak with him at home as my sisters or Mother might overhear. There was, however, no tapping upon my window that night. Yet, I still could not sleep. I had nightmare visions of my being forcibly strapped to a chair, whilst various priests took it in turn with bell, book and candle to rid me of my demon!
I picked up my bible and prayed.
Before I continue re: my fight with ‘Bill’ and as I have access to the graveyard, then I thought that I may as well take this window of opportunity to take you back to the beginning. To the meeting with Janet and Margaret and the Ouija-board. In effect; this is the very start of the ‘events’ in Enfield, as I will now show.
Wednesday was signing on time for me, at the employment exchange in Ponders End. I had left those premises in rather an abject mood, having had an argument with the employment adviser who had shown his disapproval at my receiving benefit. I think that he must have been ‘smarting’ from the putting down that he had received, from those in higher authority. After all, it was his recommendation that I should sit a psychometric test; to prove my ‘readiness’ for work. A week earlier, I’d been summoned to Enfield Town to attend a meeting with a Psychologist and it was there that I sat the test; a rather simplistic word -association paper, followed by an interview. I had left there not knowing what the result of that test had been and, I suppose, half expected to be given a dressing-down by the adviser at Ponders End. I’d imagined his ‘smug’ face as he had pleasure in informing me that my benefits were to stop. We didn’t get on. Probably a clash of personalitys? Anyhow, the relief that I felt when he informed me that I was to continue receiving benefits was offset somewhat by his sneering attitude and offhanded comments. The fact that I smiled at him seemed to make matters worse, so it was with a sense of relief that I actually escaped from there. Still, I was not a happy boy. At twenty-two years of age, I should really have been looking forward to the prime of life, yet I had never been able to shake off the sense of crushing despair that had haunted me for a number of years. I’d never been able to quite get to grips with my mental attitude. Maybe, it was something to do with my experience of seeing someones brains fall out from the side of their head, as the result of a car accident? I was nine years old at the time. Still, whatever the reason, I had problems in adjusting to the requirements that life as an adult required. One strange psychosomatic outcome of my attitude, was my youthful appearance. In stature, I was approaching six foot in height and of a slim build. To all intents and purposes; a normal young man. My facial features, however, belied that fact. I looked sixteen, maybe seventeen at most. My appearance would sometimes draw comments, from those that knew me. Someone once said that if I didn’t start aging soon then, I would look ridiculous. Maybe, they were jealous? Anyhow, to me it was just another hurdle that I had to overcome. Peggy, the girls mother, said to me a few months earlier, that she thought I was fifteen! That was pushing it a bit, I felt. Still, my looks had no impact upon my ability to enjoy more adult ‘pleasures’ such as alcohol or cigarettes. No; in that respect, it was just my lack of money that proved a problem. So, it was with a sense of need that I began my walk back along the Hertford Road to Enfield Highway and home.
The weather was rather cool, although sunny and a few clouds kept taking away from any comfort that the sun provided. So I decided not to venture into the cemetery at St James Church, which would have been my usual custom, for a cigarette. Mother didn’t approve of my smoking at home. Therefore, I felt rather put out when, as I passed by the entrance to the church grounds, a voice called out. I ignored it at first, as it sounded to me as if issuing from a drunk. A public-house sat just across the way. However, it grew more insistant as I walked alongside the railings and thick undergrowth. “Oi, you!” it called out, again. I glanced to my right. “Yeh, you!” My eyesight was so poor that I couldn’t discern anything through the foilage. “I need help!” This is all I need, I thought, resignedly. Some old drunkard had fallen over, or had passed out and then awoken in the church grounds and needed help in getting to his feet. “Yeh, you……you’ll do!” it went on, as I strained to see anything. “What’s the problem?,” I called out as I made my way hesitantly, back to the entrance. Stepping onto the church pathway, I looked to my left where I half expected to see someone sprawled out amongst the greenery. To my surprise, I could see no-one there. I went over for a closer look and yet, could still not discern anything unusual. Puzzled and, rubbing my chin, I looked over to my right and towards the Church entrance. I stayed like that for a few seconds as I mused upon matters. ‘Whats this?’ I thought. ‘Am I hearing voices, now?’ I was aware that I had certain problems yet, this would have been something new. ‘Or,’ I speculated, ‘am I hearing a Ghost!’ At that last thought, the voice suddenly sprung up again, “Can you see me?” it rasped. It sounded as if belonging to an elderly man. “Well,…No!” I replied, cautiously. “You’re looking straight at me!” it went on. All I could see was the Church and the bright-blue entrance, which was closed. “Come on then…..follow me!” it called out. I had a quick glance to my left and right and began a slow walk towards the double-doors. ‘Must be someone calling from inside the Church itself?’ I mused. ‘Maybe, they were locked in?’ Reaching the entrance, I pushed against the doors which opened easily. “Where yer going?” the voice called, from my left. I turned to look. “I thought that’s where you wanted me to go?” I replied. “No,…this way!” it answered. I retraced my steps along the path and, seeing nothing, turned right; where the path ran alongside the north side of the Church. This part of the Church grounds was always rather gloomy, owing to its northern aspect and a line of tall, overhanging trees that edged alongside the left-side of the path. I began to walk along there. “Thats it…. this way!” the voice spoke out again. The urgency in the voice of the ghost (for that is what I now realised it to be) was obvious. What I was letting myself into, I had no idea, yet; was now determined to follow this unexpected adventure. “Thats it….come on!” it urged impatiently, as I followed. Nearing the north-east corner of the Church, I heard some low voices just ahead. It spoke again. “That’ll do!” It said, decisively. I stopped and waited. “Well?” it asked, questionably. “Well,…what?” I replied. “What can you see?” it asked. I looked about me, but could see nothing. “Not there,…up ahead!” it pleaded. I took a step forward and scanned with my poor eyesight, across the open space of the graveyard. There appeared to be movement, amid the headstones, a few yards further on and almost in a direct line with the end of the pathway. I stepped back. “Well,” I said, “there’s movement up ahead. Probably a family,….attending a grave. I can’t be sure?” “Can’t you see then!” he replied, doubtingly. I then explained to him the problem with my eyesight. A silence followed and then, he spoke again. “Where d’ yer need to get to, to see clearly?” I looked ahead. “Over there, just under those trees, would give me a better view,” I said, pointing to a small clump of trees, ahead and to my left. “Wait a minute?” he asked. Then, suddenly, he spoke again. “Go on then!” he urged. I walked in the direction of the trees and stopped beneath the low overhang of branches. I now had a viewpoint between the gravestones. There were, what looked like, two girls attending a grave. There didn’t appear to be anyone else, in the vicinity. I made my way back to the corner of the Church. “Well then?” he asked, when I returned. I told him what it was, that I’d seen. “Well, whatever they’re doing…. get them to stop!” he pleaded. “I can’t do that!” I pleaded, back. “They’re attending a grave….. anyway, what’s it to you?” “No, they’re not doing that!” he stated, assuredly. “They’re up-to something and….I cant get to sleep!” “What do you mean?” I asked, “do you sleep, then?” “Well, I was…but…they’ve woken me up!”
“Oh…I see!” I responded. I felt somewhat amused by the thought of a ghost, sleeping. But, I decided that I may as well humour him. “OK then,” I said, “I’ll see what I can do. Tell me when?” “Go on then!” he said, impatiently. I walked back over to my viewpoint, beneath the branches.The sun-light threw a quickly changing ‘dappled effect’ across the graveyard, as a flotilla of small clouds scurried overhead. The girls, I could see, were situated either side of a grave, upon which something was placed. They both appeared to be kneeling. I braced myself and then called out.
“Hello!” I pronounced, firmly.
I see it, now! What an idiot i’ve been! I’ve walked, slap bang, into a trap! It would appear that the intention was; to allow me to enter the graveyard at St James and then, once there, to keep me confined! I cant believe it? I let my guard down, for one moment, and here I am; trapped! Forgive me, if I show my shock at this developement. I just can’t believe how stupid I’ve been! It would appear that I’ve underestimated the scheming, underhand, manouverings of Playfair and the Priest! This is outragious! I mean no harm. Just to relate my reminiscenses; thats all. And now, I could be here amid the gravestones, forever! AAAaaagh!!!
Sorry about that outburst. I needed to get that off my chest. Well, if they think that they can confine me here, forever, then they can think again. I’ll show them. And then, they had better watch out!
Dear God, help me, please?
Anyway, for now, I will continue with the episode of the Ouija-board. There’s more to tell, except, anyone waiting will have to excuse me if I rest for a while. Its the shock, you see?
If I dont say more before morning, then I promise that you will hear more by tomorrow night. And then, I’ve got to see about finding my way out of here.
Instantly, at my call, the girls stopped what they were doing and turned to look in my direction. That they couldn’t see me was obvious, as they both then began to look towards the path and back again. “Did you hear that!” the girl on the left exclaimed with surprise. On the other side of the grave, the second girl nodded her agreement. “Where did it come from?” “I’m not sure. I think from those trees, just there?” answered the second girl. They both stared, intently, at where I stood and. I was sure that I’d been seen; but no! “Can you see anyone?” said the first girl. “No!” replied the second, and then, “come on, I think we should go!” “Hold on….ask it something!” “I think there’s someone in there?” said the second girl, “come on, lets go!” “Are you sure there’s someone there?” “Well, no…but the voice must have come from somewhere?” “But…this may be it!…this could be it!” pleaded the first girl, excitedly; “go on…ask it something?” “Well,…what?” “Oh, it doesn’t matter, i’ll ask.”said the first girl, impatiently. She then turned upon her haunches, to look directly in my direction. “I hope you don’t mind my asking,” she said, politely, “but…are you a ghost?”
I wasn’t sure what to say to that? Here was a chance for me to do the ghost’s bidding, but; something about the girls ‘struck a cord.’ I had the impression that I knew them from somewhere but, couldn’t be sure? I decided not to lie. “No,” I said, “I’m not a ghost!” “Well, what are you then….a spirit or something?” “Yes, are you a spirit then?” asked the second girl. “No, I’m neither a spirit nor a ghost,” I replied and then, parted the branches and walked out into the sunshine.
If my eyesight hadn’t have been so poor, then I would have recognised them instantly. As it was, it wasn’t until the look of recognition from the girl’s and then a broad smile from the first girl, that I suddenly realised who they were. There was no mistaking that smile. It was Janet! And the other girl was Margaret! “Oh, its you!” they both exclaimed, almost together. They both got up from their kneeling positions. Margaret then said, “Why didn’t you say so earlier?” “I didnt recognise you. I can’t be certain about anything, with my eyesight?” I explained. “What did you say?” asked Janet. “I can’t see anything, with certainty?” I further remarked. “How long have you been standing, there?” Margaret asked. “Not long,” I said. “But , how did you get there?” “I walked, from the pathway; from over there,” I answered, pointing towards the Church corner, “But, you couldn’t have done?” she said, “I’ve been keeping watch on that path and, I would have seen you?” I then retraced my steps, to show the girl’s where I’d walked from. Margaret was still doubtful. “Have any of you heard a voice, like an old mans voice?” I asked, of them. Both girls, after looking at one-another, shook their heads and answered, no. They then questioned me as to what the voice said and, where I had heard it. Both girl’s showed puzzled-amusement as I related to them what it was, that I heard. “Do you think its a ghost then!” asked Janet. “Well, I suppose it must be?” I answered. “Maybe, that was it then?” she then asked of her sister. Margaret made a questioning…..’hmm?’ “We may as well tell him?” said Janet and then turned to me. “Have you heard of a Ouija-board?” she asked. I told her that I had, at which point she said to me, “Well, we’ve got one here!” She then resumed her kneeling position, next to the grave, and Margaret followed suit. I think that my jaw must have dropped open; as Janet asked, “Whats the matter?” “Er,…..nothing?” I replied, with difficulty.
Now, I suppose that many of us may have dabbled with a Ouija-board set-up, at sometime in our life. I recall doing so myself, when younger; in my late teens. I know how easy it is to exert pressure upon an up-turned glass and surreptitiously push it through the ‘legend’ of roughly torn squares of paper which contain the alphabet. I know how unsettling it can be when that glass makes its way, unnervingly, directly at the recipient. Of course, no-one admits to actually pushing it. That is normally followed by: “Do you have a message?”
In those that I participated in; the message would normally be a warning of some kind; just to make the intended recipient feel that much worse. Yes, I still have happy memories of those candle-lit evenings. However, this was different. Firstly; this supposed ‘toy’ had a creepiness all of its own. Secondly; Janet and Margaret seemed (to me) to be rather on the young side, to be dabbling in such matters. Thirdly; I’d never heard of, nor come across anybody suggesting that this contraption should be placed, directly, upon an actual grave. There is no doubt at all, that the girls were set about their ‘task’ with determination. Apart from that, the really unsettling aspect to me, was the complete aura of calm that they possessed, as they did so. Truely; to stand by and watch ‘angels playing with fire,’ concentrates the mind, somewhat. So, when the girls asked me if I would like to join in, I gently declined, saying that there was not enough room. My feeble excuse not to get involved, was quickly put under pressure when Janet and then Margaret stated that one or the other would shift position so as to give me room. “No; its OK,” I said, “I’ll just watch on this occasion, thanks.” “Well, you can’t just stand there?” Janet said, in a disapproving voice. “Why not?” I asked. “Because we won’t be able to concentrate!” replied Janet. “Yes, this isn’t easy, you know?” said Margaret. “Well, where would you like me to stand?” I asked. “Somewhere where we can’t see you!” stated Janet. “But, then I won’t be able to see what’s happening?” I complained. Janet let out a sigh of exasperation and then said, “I’m not sure if this is going to work now, anyway?” She then asked me if I knew what the time was. I said that it was probably about half-past four. The girls then had a short discussion before deciding that they had better start packing things away. Margaret explained that they had to get home by five o’clock, or mum would get anxious. I said that I may as well walk back, with them. At that, Janet suddenly exclaimed “Oh, I know what we can do!” The girls then had another discussion before Margaret asked me to go back and stand in the exact place, beneath the branches and where I had first spoken from. “She’s going to give you a psychic name!” she explained. Janet replaced the Ouija-board upon the grave. I protested that I didn’t need to go back beneath the branches for her to do that? Anyhow, I was eager to see how she was going to go about this, with the board. “No; you must go back to the exact spot!” insisted Janet. “You have to do what she says,” Margaret followed, “otherwise this won’t work……she doe’s this really well!” As I resumed my place beneath the branches, Margaret then asked; “Have you any money, on you?” “Er…no?, I lied; “do you need money for this, then?” “She normally charges to do this!” explained Margaret. They then had another short discussion before Margaret said, “You’re lucky, she’s going to do this for free!”
“Right, you must be quiet!” began Janet, “now, let’s see. Are you sure you are in the exact spot?” “Yes,” I assured her. “Now; you are standing: there,” she said, whilst raising an arm and pointing towards me, “and, the corner of the church is: there,” swinging her arm across, to the left. She did this three times and after each time, she leaned over the board as if making calculations. It was obviously some sort of triangulation process.
“FRED!” she exclaimed loudly. I was confused. “That’s it,” said Margaret, “you’ve now got a psychic name!” I wasn’t too happy with this and told Janet so. I suppose that I had expected something a bit more ‘exotic’ sounding? “Whats wrong with Fred?” Janet asked, quizzically. “I’m not ‘Fred Flintstone’!” I explained, indignantly. “Well,….alright then” Janet said, after some thought; “I’ll try again, but if it comes up as ‘Fred’ again, then that’s the name you will have!” She then began her triagulation process, once more. Three more times, she went about pointing at myself and then the church before leaning, once more, over the board. I waited, anxiously. She then sat back, upon her heels, and began laughing! “What is it….what’s the matter, now?” I asked. “It’s no good. I can’t do this, now!” she answered. “All I can think about is, ‘Fred Flintstone’!”
At that, the girls began putting things back into a bag. I emerged, once more, from beneath the branches. “Well,…..what about my psychic-name then?” I complained. “I’ll have to do it later,” …Janet replied…”I haven’t got time now; but, I can remember the readings and…I’ll do it later, at home.” “But, I was hoping to get it, now?” I moaned. “Well; you’ll just have to wait!” Janet exclaimed. I looked at Margaret; hoping for her support. She shook her head; “We’ve got to get back,” she explained. “Don’t worry, the next time we see you, then, you’ll have your name!” “That could be an age away?” I moaned, again. “It probably won’t be too long a time?” she offered, by way of consolement. “Yes, we’re bound to see you…sometime soon!” Janet offered, putting on her coat.
As we walked back along the path, towards the front of the Church, Janet questioned me again about the ‘voice.’ By this time, I’d virtually forgotten about it, but Janet wanted us to stop at every place I’d heard it and relate exactly what had been said. We spent so much time doing this that the girls suddenly got more anxious about the time and left the Church grounds in a hurry. “Aren’t you coming then?” Janet asked, as I held back. “No,” I said, “I’m staying behind, to have a cigarette.” We said our quick goodbyes and I turned to make my way back, to the graveyard. I’d gone about five paces when the sound of footsteps, running behind me, caused me to look back. It was Margaret! “Janet wants to know that word, that you said?” she asked. “What word?” I asked, in return. “When you were talking about your eyesight?” she went on. I had to think. “What; you mean when I said ‘I couldn’t be certain’ of anything?” “Yes, thats it!” Margaret said. I explained to her the meaning of the word, ‘Certain’ and then offered to spell it for her. “No, it’s all right….she just wanted to know what it means….she likes words!” “Oh,…OK then,” I said as Margaret turned and rushed back; out of the Church grounds. Coming, once more, upon the graveyard; I lit a cigarette and looked over the scene. I then stood near the corner of the Church and asked, rather quietly, “Are you there?” There was no response. I tried again as I walked, back and forth along the path. Total silence ‘answered’ me. “Well, thats nice!” I thought, “this is all the thanks I get?” I finished my cigarette and walked home. And that was that. Wednesday, 17th August 1977. Signing-On day. Ouija-board day. And, to those who may be interested in such matters: exactly 365 years; to the very day, since the beginning of the Pendil Witch Trials.
I wish to state, here and now, that I DO NOT consider Janet and Margaret to be ‘Witches.’ No way; never have done; never will. My analogy regarding; the Pendil Witch Trials, should be viewed as an example of how those ancient forces: the forces of Enchantment, enact upon our dimension so as to bring Order to Chaos. To calm the storm. And, ultimately, to Heal.
I’ve just had a look back, over my comments and noticed some errors in my spelling.
Of course, I mean Pendle and not Pendil.
It’s just as well that my spells were incantations, as opposed to written majyk.
If I had to rely on the latter then; who knows what would have happened?
Janet may have ended up on the roof!
Which brings me back to matters at hand.
I’ve got to find a way out of this graveyard, before I can continue.
I will have to find a suitable spell.
ABRAXAS, here I come!
And who art thou? Yes, who art thou to keep me here?
I speak the truth; yet what is it that thou do hear?
Should I stay my mind and with my mind, my words stay silent still?
Do you wish me ill until my death draw near?
Would you if you had the chance me kill?
So many questions as to what the truth may be
And truth itself may seem a lie even though it seeks to heal
When ones mind can no longer steer upon a stormy sea
For I once had a love though it would never be
And that which was handed down I give back to thee.
So to ABRAXAS it is I confide
Before me Michael
Behind me Gabriel
At my left hand Oriel
At my right hand Raphael
That I do no longer in this place abide
HA! HA! HO! HO!
Yes, it will take more than the likes of Playfair; to keep me confined.
Forgive me, please, if I gloat awhile.
I haven’t felt this good for ages!
Yes, now were we? Oh yes; my fight with ‘Bill’!
Yet, I must rest awhile. And then I shall continue.
HA! HA! Happy days. Suck it up, Playfair!
Before I continue re: ‘Bill’, I think that I should probably say a bit more about Astral-travel and how I came to discover this ancient art. Especially now that the thirty-ninth anniversary of my first ‘projection’ into the Hodgson household has just passed. On that last point, I just say for the record, that the first ‘activity’ did not occur on the 31st August as is widely reported, but upon the previous night; that is: 30th August. Upon that occasion, Janet complained that her bed was rattling. The reason for this I will make clear, shortly.
It is strange how ‘fate’ can work, sometimes. If I hadn’t missed the bus home, from Enfield Chase, then I wouldn’t have passed the time waiting for the next one by venturing into a newsagents and having a free read of the magazines on display. I say read, but really it was just a casual glance. I have tried hard to remember which ‘mag’ it was exactly, in which I came across this article and have whittled it down to two. It was either; NME, (New Musical Express) or ‘PLAYBOY’ Oddly enough, I have a strong feeling that it was actually the last named of these two. I seem to remember it being a ‘glossy’ mag. As I recall, it was an article of no more than half a page length and tucked away, deep inside. For obvious reasons, I read the article rather quickly and found it interesting and easy to follow. Mostly, it emphasised the importance of preparation, by fasting and then inducing a trance-state via a series of breathing techniques.
It mentioned nothing about rapping upon walls. Rather, it claimed that one could achieve Astral-projection by just following the simple guidelines. It also had a warning, at the end of the article, about remembering to shut the ‘Astral-Portal’ when one had completed ones ‘journey.’ The whole piece, although serious in its own right, had an air of light-hearted matter-of-fact about it and had probably been re-hashed from some ‘flower-power’ publication. The actual date, I cannot recall, yet I believe it to be at least six months before activities got under way at Green Street.
I was in no rush to experiment with this ‘phenomenon’ at the time, as I had plenty more things to think about, not least; my recent and fortunate avoidance of death from ball-lightning. It had been a strange year so far and it wasn’t until a couple of months had passed that I found myself at a ‘loose end.’ It was then, and whilst laying upon my bed one afternoon, that the article came to mind once more. I suppose that my attitude towards this was pretty much like most people would have been, that is; I was really quite scepticle towards it. The idea of being able to seperate ones inner-self, or; dematerialize and float with purpose to a location of ones choosing, seemed fantastical to say the least. Still, being of an inquisitive nature and having nothing else to do, I decided to give it a try. It was hopeless! Nothing happened, despite all my rythmic inhalations and exhalations, except; I fell asleep! A couple of days passed by before I decided to try again. Again; no good! I could not even reach anything like, a supposed trance-like state!
Of course, I realised that I hadn’t gone about this in a wholey determined manner. I hadn’t fasted, for instance. Still, I was disappointed that I had nothing to show for my efforts. I then forgot all about it for a few weeks, until such time as it came to mind once more. This followed on from a period of prolonged depression. I guess that the desire to ‘escape’ out of myself, to which that depression had strongly induced, provided the motivation. Visits to my secret meditative chamber (the attic above the nave of St James Church) had failed to lift the gloom and so I set about my next attempt with an unaccustomed vigour. This was either going to succeed, or not, I determined. This time, I would leave nothing to chance. I then began a thirty-six hour period of fasting. Not only did solid food not pass my lips, but I also forwent my favourite drink, tea; limiting myself only to sips of water. No sweets either, not even chewing-gum. Mother actually got a little concerned that I hadn’t eaten, which led to me having to fib to her that I’d had something to eat, when out and about. Cigarettes though, I reasoned, were ok.
Well, I’m back.
Apologies for the delay. It seems that I’ve been doing quite a bit of apologising lately. And, there I go again!
This time, it has all been due to my dabbling in the mysteries of the ‘eighth’ book of Moses; reluctantly chosen by me, as I am sure you realise, in order for me to escape the psychic ‘trap’ into which I had ventured.
There are many out there who do not wish for me to tell my secrets.
Dangers abound for me, in many guises. Such is my fate.
Still, I have escaped and am free to roam once more!
The thing is, I knew that this would lead to something other than just my being set free. And so it proved. It wasn’t a simple release.
My mind and body were cosseted within an extremely pleasant and alluring mix of comfort and heavenly music. Things being as they are, you can probably understand my reluctance to leave that ‘Elysian’ state of being.
And that is the thing; an appeal to the authority of ‘ABRAXAS’ is taken far beyond ones most pressing desires. It became obvious to me that I was being offered the opportunity to not only escape my psychic confines, but also, my whole mental and physical presence upon this earth, completely and forever! Such a love and compassion is hard to deny.
I then entered a stage of reflection upon my past thoughts and deeds.
For some reason, I became immersed within my recollections of ‘Thomas Tallis.’ I spent some time with that, which has led me to a desire to learn how to compose music. I shall have to see if I can reach him. He owes me a favour. Still, that’s for the future.
So, you can see; I’ve decided to remain and tell my recollections.
But, not just yet. I have other, earthbound, matters to attend to.
Yet, I will be posting soon. This coming week. See you then.
So, this was it, then. The moment of reckoning, as I saw it. If this didn’t work, then I might as well give up all together. The prospect of the continuing daily drudge of life lay just beyond this final attempt. This had to work…just had to? I had imbued myself with such a sense of belief in this process that failure now would seem as though the whole of existence would have no meaning for me. This was the sense of purpose to which I had come to. I had raised the stakes, mentally. It was all or nothing. I closed the curtains and switched-off the bedroom light.
So, I lay back upon my bed and made myself as comfortable as possible. My arms, I rested at my sides and began the process of emptying my mind of all thoughts.
I was to think of nothing, except nothingness.
I closed my eyes then began the process of trance induction. Twenty, slow shallow inhalations and exhalations, followed by thirty, deep ones. And then, another twenty shallow inhalations and exhalations followed by more deep ones. The sound of a police car, zooming along Enfield Highway, did its best to interrupt my meditation, but I continued purposefully.
This whole process was meant to take around twenty minutes, yet I had no idea as to how long I kept at it, repeating steps one and two, over and over. At the back of my mind, my desire to seperate my ‘inner-self’ and ‘float’; pervaded all. I became aware of the sensation of wishing to sleep and opened my eyes to prevent this.
It took a few seconds for me to realise what had happened. Was I dreaming? The bedroom ceiling appeared close to my face! I raised my hands and pushed against the ceiling. I then floated back downwards, towards my bed where I hovered just above it! This was fantastic! I became full of experimental thoughts. I should like to rise to the ceiling again, I thought, and immediately I began to float upwards. I pushed against the ceiling once more and once again I descended towards my bed. This was incredible! I was so wonderfully happy! I’d actually done it! The thought occured to me that I may be able to venture outside? I then desired to hover outside my bedroom window and immediately found myself there, floating! I could look around. Beneath , I could see the back door and the garden. The night air was very cool. The street-lights and the roof-tops of Green Street stretched out before me. I turned and looked at the moon. I kept one hand against the wall of the house as I looked about me. I felt as if I was an astronaut upon a space-walk, yet without the safety-cord attached. I was beguiled and fearful at the same time. I then decided that I’d done enough for this first attempt and willed myself back to my bedroom. As soon as I did so, the trance broke and I found myself standing in my bedroom. It took a while for all of this to sink in. I thought of going downstairs to tell Mother of what I had achieved, but then thought better of it. She wouldn’t understand, I detemined.
I sat upon my bed and decided that no, this was something that I would keep secret from everyone. I was too excited to feel happy. Everything was suddenly all-right with the world!
My next experimental journey would take me to the house at 284.
You would , probably, have thought (as most would) that having once gone through such an exhilarating experience, that I couldn’t wait until I tried once again to ride the astral plane?
Strangely though, it never happened like that. Maybe, it was my anxious disposition? It wasn’t so much a case of happily ‘resting on my laurels’, more: an inward fear that I wouldn’t be able to replicate that which I had already achieved. A fear of failure. So, instead of eagerly getting myself prepared for my next attempt, I spent a week or so just dwelling upon the matter. I told myself that there was no rush; I could pick this up from where I left off, anytime I wished. This thought process actually had a detrimental effect upon my confidence, as the longer I left it; the more I began to doubt my experience. I found my thoughts turning to other matters. Upmost in my mind was the ghostly voice which I had heard at the graveyard? That I was the only one to hear it (the girls had heard nothing) was something to which I had to think deeply about. I had to consider the possibility that maybe, after all, my mind was deteriorating into a schitzophrenic hell? Yet, this was something to which I was fearful of telling anyone else about (especially Mother) I didn’t want to worry mum. The prospect of my ending up in a ‘mad-house’ was an unwelcome consideration that I quickly pushed to the back of my mind. Then, of course, there was my interaction with the very real ghostly spirit at Waltham Abbey? So, taking everything into consideration, I settled on the conviction that no, I wasn’t going mad. These things were real and, I had really experienced them. Then, I had to consider the reason why it was that Janet and Margaret had not heard the voice? I hadn’t seen them since our encounter at St James, which was a disappointment to me: I was waiting upon my psychic name that Janet had promised me. For some reason, this meant a lot to me. I didn’t understand why that should do so? The thought came upon me that, maybe, they had moved home? I’d revisited the graveyard (no voice spoke to me) and had walked to their house and back several times yet, they were nowhere to be seen. I didn’t feel as if it was right for me to actually call at their home. So, anxiety built upon anxiety until I began to entertain the idea that, maybe, there was a connection between the voice and their absence? That maybe, the spirit which had spoken had somehow attached itself to the girls and they may be in some danger? Looking back, after all these years, some of these thoughts now seem ridiculous yet, at the time, they were very concerning to me. I had to do something, if only to prove to myself that my suspicions were unfounded. I decided then, that I would try once more my astral-travel and pay the girls an unofficial visit.
On reflection, this probably wasn’t the best time to do this. I had the anxiety of another run-in with the employment adviser looming, plus I hadn’t gone through a proper fasting process. Still, at least I was attempting something positive about the situation. So, it was with an attitude of hope, rather than confidence, that I set about my trance-inducing meditation. That night, Tuesday 30th August, and at about nine o’clock; after donning my pyjamas, I settled myself once more upon my bed and began my rhythmic breathing.
Things didn’t go to plan, well, not as expected anyway and I put it down to my lack of fasting. I was able to achieve a level of light-headedness yet, had difficulty in attaining the same level of conscious-seperation to which I had achieved before. I thought about calling a halt to my efforts, yet felt myself close enough to carry on. There was no floating, this time. I was stuck, well and truly, to my bed. I intensified my efforts, yet felt the need to do something else. I needed rhythm, I determined. So, in a half-stupor I clambered from my bed and made my way to a corner of my room, at the foot of the bed; then placed my hands upon the wall. Going once more through my breathing routine whilst standing, I began to pat the wall. One…Two….Three….Four, and then over again. A bit more of this and then, as my intensity rose, I switched to using the knuckles of my hands. On and on I went, rapping out my ryhmic beat until suddenly, I fell into the trance state to which I recognised from before. This was it; I was under! I pulled away from the corner and walked, my arms hanging at my sides, my head bowed, to the centre of the room. I willed myself to float once more outside of my bedroom; raised one arm towards the window and suddenly, there I was! I was floating outside, as before! I looked about me and then, with both hands against the side of the house, made my way up onto the roof! There, I crouched down and surveyed the scene. The streets were quiet of people, although a few cars went up and down the street. The night air was cool once more and with a sense of dampness to it. I was too exhilarated to let that bother me! There wasn’t much time for this sight-seeing, I determined. I had important matters to attend to! Anyhow, I had no idea as to how long I could remain upon this plane. I would have to learn as I went along. However, instead of willing myself straight to 284, I took the scenic route and willed myself along horizontally, over the roof tops. Soon, I could see the trees which were at the side of Durants park and made my way to them. There, I held onto the topmost branches and watched as a bus went by, on its way to Brimsdown. There were some people upon it, I could see. I watched as the bus came to a stop and someone alighted from it. ‘Should I continue now?’, I thought. What if they could see me! In truth, up until that point, I hadn’t considered as to whether I were invisible to others, or not? I made my mind up to continue, come what may and set out,this time with more speed, towards 284. To glide, like a bird, is a wondrous thing! I slowed as I reached my destination and quickly took my bearings from the school, opposite.
Well, this was it then. Now, where-abouts exactly, were the girls? There was a light on, at the front of the house, downstairs, I could see. And, the hall and stairway light appeared to be on. Quickly clambering over the roof, using my hands only, I checked the rear of the house. Upstairs was in darkness, but a light appeared to be on in the kitchen area. Maybe, it was light filtering through from the living room? I did another complete sweep of the house before sitting upon the roof to determine my next action. Were the girls downstairs, watching television? The curtains were closed at the front, so I was unable to see. I then reasoned that there was a fair chance that they were watching TV. After all, they wouldnt be back at school yet, after the holiday? I decided then, that I would make my entrance at the top of the house and then slowly make my way downstairs, to the front room. Now, where to make my entry? Should I come in through the roof? Through the wall? Or, through a window? The roof I decided against, as it may be full of clutter. The windows, I was unsure of. Was there a chance they may break? In the end, I decided on a wall entrance. If that didn’t work, then I would try a window. Another consideration I faced was; would the family see me suddenly appear in their midst? That could be alarming for them? I was only there to check things out. I didnt want anyone to have a heart-attack! So, the wall it was then and, bit by bit until my head could pass through the inner surface. I could observe from there. This was risky, I was sure. I mean; what if I were suddenly to materialise. What then? Would I be melded, half in, half out of the wall? This could result in my death! And, I had my pyjamas on! What would the neighbours think? What would the Hodgsons think? In fact, the more I thought about it, the more dangerous and embarrassing the whole idea seemed! Still, I’d come this far. There was no turning back now! If I was to do this, then I may as well choose somewhere to which I was most at ease: the room which corresponded to my own bedroom. Rear, top right. So, I had one quick look about me, took in a breath of the cool night-air and then gently pulled myself over the roof and down into an upright position to the right-hand side of the window. The neighbours lights, to the right, were off also, I noticed. I closed my eyes and then began to push with my mind and body against the outer surface of the wall. This wasn’t a completely smooth operation, I found out. I was aware of some resistance and a feeling of being encased within a texture of some sort, yet it didn’t hurt me. I could feel no pain. It quicky became obvious to me that my original plan, to just put my head through the wall, wasn’t going to work. Probably, something to do with the double-cavity of the wall? In my mind, I held the thought that I just needed to get through the inner surface. That would be enough for me to see if the coast was clear, before I pushed on into the room, entirely. Suddenly, I felt a different resistance upon my legs. What was this? ‘I should be almost through by now?’ I reasoned. I stopped and then pushed harder. Suddenly, I heard a voice! “Mum!” “Mum!” it called. I quickly stopped and listened. “What is it?” I heard, a short while after. It sounded like Peggy! “The bed’s rattling!” the first voice continued. ‘That was Janets voice!’ I realised. Quickly, I willed myself out from the wall and made my way back onto the roof. My heart was pounding! It was obvious to me what had happened. By sheer chance, I’d come up against Janets very bed! And, whats more; she was in it!
It took a while for me to gather myself and for my heart-rate to drop. When it did so, I contemplated what had occured. ‘Well, at least I know that they haven’t moved home!’
Relieved at that thought, I left the roof and glid towards the trees at the edge of the park. There, I waited a while, whilst I had another look about me. Then, I willed myself to be back in my room and quickly found myself standing once more upon my bedroom floor. I sat and then lay back upon my bed. Immediately, I fell asleep……..Don’t laugh. This isn’t meant to be funny, you know!
Shall I blow puff-ball spores to the stars?
Sweet child have your sweet dreams
Life is not what it seems
Saturn may be in line with Mars
Yet the rain still falls and makes streams.
In case anyone following is wondering where I’ve got to; I’m still here. I’ve had to take things a bit easier of late. In truth, I never realised the extent to which my retelling of my reminiscences would leave me emotionally drained.
I’m in need of an extended break. So, I will be away for a while; until early new year, when I will pick up the thread once again. For now, though, I have to say goodbye. I have much more to tell of these matters. So, until then, I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you then, SC
Merry Christmas Simon and Happy New Year!
I awoke in the night to a feeling of intense coldness. I lay upon the top of my bed in my pyjamas and they provided no comfort to the chill which pervaded my unheated room. The heat I had experienced on my return from 284 had dissipated and I could see the steam of my breath in the night-air. Quickly pulling my bedcovers across myself, I then began a self-appraisal of the nights events. Whilst I was pleased that I had managed to ascertain that the girls were still there, I was disappointed that I had not managed to see them. I cursed my misfortune at having been prevented from entering the house completely. On the other hand, I had managed to get somewhat close to my objective and took solace in that.
Next time, I determined, I would be more thoughtful; more careful. I would enter the house at another point and avoid Janets bed. Not only that, I decided then that it was not a good idea to go astral-planing whilst in my pyjamas. There was no knowing what may occur?
In that respect, the danger of my sudden materialization played second-fiddle to my concern of being embarrassed. With those thoughts playing upon my mind, I feel into a deep sleep before being awoken by a knocking upon my bedroom door. It was Mother.
“Are you awake?” she called. Yes, I was awake. “What time is it?” I asked. “Ten o’clock.” “What, at night?” I responded. “No, of course not!” she sounded exasperated. “Whats up?”, I enquired. “I’m taking the girls to nan’s for a few days and we’ll be leaving in about an hour. Don’t forget, you have an interview to attend today.” Damn, I’d forgotten about that! “OK,” I said, “I’ll be up in a minute.” ‘This was all I needed,’ I thought, ‘another meeting with that brute at the employment exchange!’ Sitting in the kitchen with my mug of cornflakes, my mood lifted somewhat at the realization that I would have the house to myself for a few days. That gave me opportunity, not only to smoke at home but to explore my astral-projection on a wider scale. I could try from the living room. That would give me more room to express myself and I wouldn’t have to rap so gently, for there would be no-one but myself to hear. Yes, this presented a good opportunity and that thought gave me something to look forward to. Suddenly, my job interview didn’t seem so bad!
In the bathroom, I touched and examined every part of my body. No missing parts! I was all still in one piece. This problem and danger of sudden materialization, I didn’t know how I would overcome. All I could do, I realised, was to be more purposeful; less hesitant. The quicker I entererd the house at 284, the better, for it would cut down on the risk.
I was beginning to feel quite elated at the prospect of another visit to see the girls. This night, I determined. 31st August. Yes, there was no point in resting upon my laurels. I was going to go for this, big time!
Its been a long time since I last made a comment, I know. Believe me, I’ve needed it. These things cannot be rushed…they have a flow of their own.
Still, the rest has done me good and I can feel my energies returning. So, I
expect to continue with my recollections soon. Hopefully this weekend. See you then. SC
As soon as Mother had left for nan’s, I lit a cigarette and paced the front room purposefully.The nails were popping up from the floorboards again, I noticed. As soon as I’d finished my smoke, I found the hammer and spent the next half-hour walking around the house, knocking them back down. I wanted to make sure that nothing would distract me later, when I went about my trance induced walkabout. I might do this barefoot this time, I reasoned. Or, I may wear my slippers. I was, after all, still experimenting with my astral-projection. There were certain things that I was unsure of; one of which was; could I be heard? I didn’t know? I didn’t want to be heard whilst walking around 284. I wasn’t bothered about the temperature outside as I’d already noticed how warm I’d become when astral-planing. My body heat tended to offset the coolness of the night air. One thing I didn’t want to do though, was leave a slipper behind at the Hodgsons; that might raise suspicions. I had a count up of the marbles and noticed a couple were missing, probably under the bed? A quick search though, failed to find them. I laid the remainder in two rows; one upon my bedroom windowsill, the other row on the floor in front of the living-room chimney breast, for easy access. That was all the preparation that I had to do, apart from preparing myself, of course. I had the whole day to do this, although the interview that I was due to attend that afternoon was an unwelcome distraction. Minstrel had left another headless pidgeon on the back door-step, I noticed. She’d already had two that week. It was an unpleasant business disposing of them. Having done that and washed, I sat gingerly upon the unsteady settee and tried to clear my mind. I must relax now, as tonight might be a long one? I must have been more tired than I realised from the night before, because I then fell asleep.
“Did you walk or, did you fly here?” said the man from the employment exchange.
“Whaa…does it matter?” I answered.
“Yes it does!” he went on, forcibly. “There is a flying restriction you know!….You can’t have any money if you’ve flown here; its against the rules!”
I awoke in a sweat. Suddenly, I was aware of a change in the light, outside the window. I had a bit of a panic then as I wasn’t sure how long I’d been asleep. Quickly gathering myself, I rushed upstairs and looked at the alarm clock in Mothers bedroom. Quarter to three! I was fortunate to have awoken when I did, for my interview was for 3.45pm and it took about half an hour to walk to the employment exchange. Somewhat relieved, I made myself a cup of tea and had another cigarette before setting off along Enfield Highway towards Ponders End. Passing the entrance to the church, I stopped and had a quick scan along the path. ‘I wonder if that ghost is still about?’ I decided that, on my return I would have another walk around the graveyard. I might hear the’ voice’ again? Who knows….Janet and Margaret might be there? Strangely enough, this time I was almost hoping that they wouldn’t be, as it would then make my visit tonight almost redundant. Arriving at the employment exchange, I realised that I had spent so much time dwelling on tonights prospects that I hadn’t prepared myself properly for the interview. I became quite anxious. Taking a seat opposite the row of curved cubicle dividers, I awaited my fate with trepidation. The place was empty apart from myself. It didn’t bode well, I felt. After about a ten minute wait, I heard a noise from behind the cubicles and then the dreaded voice of the adviser calling my name.
“Mr——!” he called. Yet again he’d pronounced my name wrong. This was despite my telling him about this on several occasions previously. He was obviously doing so, deliberately. On coming face to face with the podgy, bald headed 50 something, he smiled. “Hello again Mr——!”
“Look, I’ve said this before, my name is not pronounced that way?” I asked.
“Yes” he replied and smiled broadly. I dont know what it was; if it was my dislike of him or, my concern over other more important matters, but I suddenly felt my ire comng to the fore.”Right!” I exclaimed. There must have been some kind of recognition in my eyes, for just before I made a lunge with both hands across the broad surface of the counter towards him, he quicky dropped to the floor, out of sight. “Come on then, lets have you!” I shouted. He remained beneath the counter. I then stretched myself across the surface and could see his backside as he scurried along the floor behind the other cubicles! I stood back up and called out, “Come on then, you coward. I’ve had enough of you…. Get out here!” I then heard a door close, behind the partitions. “Where are you” I continued, “get yourself round here now!” I was left standing in the middle of the floor, cursing, until about a minute later the sound of a door opening and a female voice said, “Whats the matter..whats going on?” “Where is he?” I said. “Wheres who?” she replied. “That pillock!” I said. “He’s done nothing but wind me up ever since I’ve been coming here. I’ve had enough….get him out here, now!” “Calm down, I’ll see what this is about?” she said in a condescending manner. I heard her go back behind the door. About a minute later, she reemerged and called me to a cubicle. The rather pleasant disposition of the middle-aged woman had a calming effect upon me, although I was still angry. “I want to see the manager,” I said. I want to make a complaint!”
“He is the manager!” she replied.
“Whaa…well, I want to see someone above him…the area manager, then”
“He is the area manager!” she responded. I’m sure a smile began to play upon her face.
In the end, she told me not to worry; that I would receive my benefit and that she would deal with it personally. Which she did. When I left there, I was still so het up, that I didnt really notice the rain which had begun to fall. Of course, that meant that the graveyard was out, yet I didn’t even bother with a bus-ride home, but worked off my anger with a stiff walk home through the rain.
OK;…lets call it an intermission
A short severance of the psychic cord
Let me not be confined by the will of our lord
If I am to make headway then I must be set free
Over the rooftops I must soar
Amid the gravestones I must roam
Within the church my beating heart can sound an echo
Of what came before
And then you will see
I am coming back for more
The next full moon
Edgy. Thats how I describe it. My mood, I mean. Edgy as hell. The confrontation with the employment adviser had left its mark. I was now full of thoughts as to how things would play out in future. I paced the living room in nervous anxiety. Then, went up to my room and lay down before returning once more downstairs. I lit a cigarette and looking towards the chimney breast saw that the marbles that I had left there, were now scattered across the floor. Minstrel, I determined, must have taken an interest and scattered them with her paws. I collected up the ones I could find and replaced them in a line where I had previously left them. Of course, she would have to be let out for the night. Opening the back door for her, I looked at the sky and considered how dark the sky had become. Jet black. I went into the garden and looking up and around, could discern no stars; no moon. Nothing above the glare of the street lights except a disturbing inkiness. At least it had stopped raining. I felt cold, though. Shutting the back door and locking it, I then made myself a mug of hot tea before getting myself psyched-up for what I was about to attempt. ‘I wonder what the girls are up to?’ Well, it was now approaching 8.45pm, according to the alarm clock which I had brought into the kitchen. ‘With luck, they may be watching TV.’
I’d decided earlier to wear my slippers. After all, I may tread upon something sharp and give away my presence? I’d also decided upon my point of entry to 284. The same as before, I reasoned, although from the other side of the window. That way, I would miss Janets bed. Where Margaret may be, I had no idea? Being the eldest, I assumed that she must be in the other rear-bedroom. There was Billy, of course. Probably in with mum. Johnny, I assumed was away at another location. That had been the case when I had last spoken with Janet. So then, this was it; ready for take-off! Then, a thought. There was no point in changing what had proved successful before. Instead of attempting this from the living-room, I would leave that as a backup plan, and try once more from my bedroom. This time though, no pyjamas! I wore my jeans and a sweat-shirt. I switched off all the lights downstairs and made my way to my room. Laying down in the darkness, once more upon my bed, I began the process of trance induction. Things appeared to be going well as could be expected, for after maybe twenty or thirty shallow and then deep breathes I had the first feeling of light-headedness.
And then, a shocking explosion of sound reverberating through the house! ‘Oh no!’ I realised, ‘the alarm clock!’… ‘it must have gone off in the kitchen!’ My concentration was in tatters. The alarm ran its spiteful course of noise, before I hauled myself from my bed and made my way downstairs, to the kitchen. I switched off the repeat function, found my cigarettes, lit one and sat in darkness at the kitchen table. I then considered the idea of abandoning my attempt altogether. The whole day; the vibes, they just didn’t seem right? Plus, I now had the making of a headache. What should I do? Should I push on? Or, abandon the idea for the night?
Three cigarettes later, I decided to carry on. After all; there was nothing else doing.
Far be it, from me, to be needing to keep offering apologies. Yet I feel I must as it has been a while since I last posted. I do so and with an explanation.
In truth, I have been in a dejected mood. Brought on, no doubt, by those forces of enchantment which seek to prevent me continuing with my recollections. I can honestly say that to relate my memorys has never been more difficult for me than at this time. It is as though to recall and tell of the events of that night is tantamount to crossing a psychic thresh-hold. However much I try, my mood grows darker. Yet, all is not without hope, for I can tell of a developement.
Recently, (within the last few days) I have been having lucid dreams. In those dreams, Janet has been speaking to me. That is; Janet as she was then and; Janet how she is now. I feel that this is a sign. A sign of a reawakening of the psychic interplay between Janet and myself. That interplay which has for so many years, remained dormant. What this actually means and why this should be happening now, I am uncertain of. However, what I can say is that my mood has suddenly lifted and I feel that I can proceed with my recollections soon. For the moment though, I bathe in the warmth of the re-ignition of that psychic coming-together.
I suddenly feel much happier about things. Better than I have done for a long while.
I should have known better. Really. One should always trust their vibes. I knew that it was wrong to proceed with my visit to 284, that night. It was a time for patience, not action. Things may have turned out differently and much better for me if I had resisted the temptation to pick up the marbles and tap out my astral-rythmn upon my bedroom walls.
Yet, so needful was I for the company of Janet and Margaret, that I put my reservations to one side. What harm could it do, anyway, I reasoned? There wasn’t much to be lost, was there?
Sounds now, like famous last words. If I had realised then, that in doing so I would be sowing the seeds of my own downfall; then I would surely have desisted.
Upon returning to my room, and with the sound of the alarm-clock now but a ghostly echo within my conciousness, I opened the window and looked up at the night-sky, once more.
It still had that strange unearthly inkiness to it, I noticed. I took in a few deep ‘lung-fulls’ of the cold night air, as if to adjust my inner temperature to the air outside, and closed the window.
I then made myself as comfortable as possible upon my bed and began, once again, my process of trance-induction. Twenty slow shallow breaths followed by thirty deeper breaths. And then again. And again. And yet again. This was taking its time. Not the almost immediate sensation of light-headness as before. Maybe, I was too cold? Maybe, the breaking of my concentration had something to do with it? Maybe, and much more likely, I reasoned; my run-in with the employment advisor earlier on in the day was still playing somewhere at the back of my mind? Still, I persevered, and felt a sense of relief as a feeling of bodily separation at last made itself evident. As that awareness grew within, I slowly turned and sat with my feet upon the floor. Through half-closed eyelids, I reached across and took the marbles from the windowsill. A few moments later, I was on my feet, and began to rap gently upon the bedroom wall. It didnt seem to be making much difference. I then tapped across the low ceiling and even the floor, in a search for that final step onto the astral-plane.
No discernable difference there. This sensation of remaining stuck, between two states of being, became rather frustrating. I had to push on, I knew. I decided then, that there would be no scenic tour of the rooftops of Green Street. No, not tonight. I would instead, take myself with willpower, straight to 284.
I walked across to the corner-wall at the foot of my bed, and tried my luck there. Facing the corner, marbles in both hands, I rapped up and down and across two walls at the same time; dropping a couple of marbles as I did so. As I bent down to retrieve them, suddenly, there I was; once more upon the roof of 284! The sensation of wondrous relief at achieving complete astral travel in an instant, was amazing. Yet, considering my earlier difficulties, I was well aware not to hang about too long to admire the view. No, I had to push ahead whilst I could. This time, I didn’t bother with checking the front of the house but made my way down into a position to the left-side of the window, at the room where I had tried to enter the night before. Manouvering myself into an upright position, I then started to push, with mind and body, against the wall. I recognised the soft sponginess of the wall texture as I did so.
With eyes closed, I pushed as before. Suddenly, I was aware of a similar resistence as to my prenightly attempt. There was something in the way, I realised. This was most frustrating. ‘Not again?’ I mused, despairingly. I pushed harder. And then, voices! “What?” – Janet’s voice, was followed by, “My beds vibrating now!” in what sounded like a boy’s voice.
Immediately, I withdrew from the wall. I swore and cursed my misfortune. Opening my eyes, I found myself at the foot of my bed, facing the corner as before. I swore again. I couldn’t let this go now! I was detemined to gain entry, whatever the cost. I was finished with attempting entry from outside. Now, I would attempt transference straight from my room to Janet’s bedroom! I quickly gathered up some more marbles, including one from the floor and at once began rapping with more vigour upon the corner walls. Up and down and across, I went. Over and over; sweat now dripping from my brow.
In attempting to move away from the corner, towards the door, I felt resistance against my left side. I pushed with my side against this resistance, yet it seemed immovable. Opening my eyes, I could observe nothing there. I was still in my room. I closed my eyes in concentration and attempted once more. Again, I came up against an unobservable resistance. This was now really annoying. I continued with my rapping using my right hand, and with my left hand explored the area where there should have been empty space. But, instead of emptiness, a solid object presented itself to me. With the flat palm of my hand, I then pushed, with some force, against the obstruction. The invisible weight relented somewhat. Beginning from the corner once more, I worked my way to my left side and yet again found my path blocked. I then became aware of voices, yet paid no attention to them. Running my hand along the side of the obstruction, I came upon what seemed like an edge. Grasping this invisible corner, I pulled outwards, with force against the obstruction.
“Oh my word!” The voice was clear and unmistakable. It was Peggy’s voice!
I immediately stopped my rapping and stood still, listening to the voices.
“Right, come on then…downstairs!” – Peggy again.
“What about Margaret?” – Janet, was followed by; “Yes, everyone downstairs!”
You know…it is strange how love can take hold of one and fracture our personality into something that we never understood about ourselves, before. Before we were, in love.
How accursed we can seem to be. A feeling that takes hold and can sustain us with almost insane joy, yet render us with fear of purpose at the same time.
When walking with Janet and Margaret, one early but dark evening, alongside Durants Park; I was suddenly overcome with an intense desire to tell Janet how much I loved her. Yet, how could I express myself in such terms, to one so young and beautiful as she? The whole concept seemed ridiculous; yet I was driven by love to express myself to her in a way that she had never seen of me before. I was at once happy and fearful. I needed to speak of love but fearful of the consequences. Love is like that. Sometimes, we just have to speak of love, because it demands of us to do so. We cannot hold the light of love under a bushel forever, and prevent it from shining. It demands release.
“Janet,…I want to say something to you,” I ventured, hesitantly and cautiously.
“Yes?” Janet replied, and then fell silent. The silence of that moment grew, as self-doubts engendered within me. “Well…what then?” she spoke, enquiringly; impatient for what I was about to say. I stopped walking and allowed them to get a little ahead of me. Glancing up at the sky, a full moon loomed large and bright. “Whats he doing?” Janet said, to Margaret. “He’s looking at the moon,” replied Margaret. I averted my gaze from the moon and repeated, “I need to say something to you, but…you need to come closer.” Janet walked up to me and said, “Well, go on then!” At once, fear gripped me and I again looked up at the moon. “Do you see the moon?” I began,”how bright it shines?” “Yes, I’ve seen the moon!” Janet responded, somewhat impatiently. “Do you not think that it looks pink, tonight?” I offered. “Well,..I don’t know, I’m not sure? she answered. And then, “Is this all you wanted to tell me?”
“No,” I said, looking upwards. “There’s something more.” A silence followed, before Janet asked, “Why do you talk to the moon, when I am standing,… here?”
As I struggled to find words to explain myself, Janet walked off towards Margaret, saying; “I can’t hang around here…I’m cold…I want to get home.” “But,” I pleaded, “I haven’t finished what I wanted to say to you?” “Well, you’re not saying anything…are you?” she complained. Both girls then continued to walk off, towards home, which was a short distance away.
I stood there, cursing my inability and trying desperately to find a solution. “Margaret!” I called out. The girls stopped and looked back at me. “I need to say something to you!”
“What then?” Margaret exclaimed. “Come closer,” I said, “I can’t tell you from over here?” “Well..come over here then!” She sounded exasperated. “I can’t… Janet might hear!” I pleaded. The girls looked at one another, in puzzlement, before Margaret then shrugged her shoulder’s and walked towards me. “What is it, then?” she asked, upon reaching me. “I want to say something to Janet,” I explained, “but, I need you to say it for me?”
Margaret fixed her gaze upon me. “Go on then..I’m getting cold standing here!”
I leaned forward. “I’ve fallen in love with your sister!” I said, in a hushed voice.
She remained silent. “I’m in love with Janet and…I need you to tell her, from me,..please?”
Margaret’s gaze grew more intense, and a wry smile broke upon her lips. “Is that it, then?”
“Yes, thats it!” I said.
As Margaret made her way back to Janet, a realisation of my utter foolishness suddenly swept upon me.
“Well, what is it then?” Janet asked of her sister. “I’ll tell you later,” Margaret answered.
At that, both girls started to walk off, towards home. “No!” I exclaimed, “I need you to tell her,…now!” Margaret turned to her sister and said, “He say’s he loves you.. he’s in love with you!” They then had a short discussion before breaking into laughter!
“Well, whats so funny, then?” I asked, in all seriousness.
“What,….that!” Janet exclaimed, in obvious amusement; leaning forward as she did so.
“We already know…..that!”
I was stunned. Completely. Utterly. I think that my jaw may have dropped open.
“He doesn’t know what to say..to that!” Margaret said, triumphantly.
It was true; I didn’t. I had played my hand, and had then been trumped; completely!
Sorry, wrong video….again!
Please be patient;..the next part of my tale will come shortly. But, before I push on; I just want to say something:
It has occured to me; there is a chance that some of those reading my comments may have come to the opinion that I may not be; completely sound of mind? That is unfortunate, yet; understandable. What I say is this: I think you may be correct?
All I ask, is that you take into consideration how ones mind can become fragmented, having straddled at least two dimensions; and over a considerable period of time. One should also take into account; the considerable difficulties I face, in relating these paranormal memories to you. Of how I have to continually appease those forces of enchantment, in order to do so.
If anything, this should serve as a warning to those who may think of dabbling in such matters. The cost to ones normal mental functioning is inestimable. So is the damage that can occur, to ones very soul. So yes, I concur; I am indeed, damaged goods.
Mind you; having said all that, I do understand that my mind was not completely balanced, even before the activities at Green Street began. The reasons for that, I can only guess at. It may have something to do with my being subjected to several traumatic occasions in my childhood? I have already mentioned how I witnessed a terrible car accident, which occured barely a metre and a half away from me. Of how I thought the male driver’s hat had fallen off. And then realised that, it was not a hat but, his brains which fell from a wound to his head. How I walked around the car to the front passenger door, where a woman sat in silence, as if asleep, and then moaned that her arm was hurting, and as she did so; a myriad of blood streams suddenly spurted from her face. Yes, that was traumatic. Or, of how I saw the rider of a motor-scooter lose control as he rounded a corner, and become caught up, somehow, underneath the rear of a bus which had just passed by. How he began to scream as I ran downhill, frantically calling to the bus-driver to stop. How the bus did stop and the driver got out, yet only looked at the side of the bus and seeing nothing, got back in his cab and (to my horror) drove off again; the scooter and rider still trapped behind. When, about two hundred yards further ahead; I could see that the bus had finally come to a stop and a crowd of people stood around. I then made my way back home and as I did so, I noticed red smears in the roadway; went to investigate, and found a trail of blood and skin and brain matter, intermittently; along the roadway. That was traumatic. Yet, the most traumatic thing that I ever witnessed, put those incidents into some perspective. It was the matter and manner of my own death! Yes, I too suffered a fatal injury. It happened upon another dimension and, I tell of it here:
The snow lay pretty-thick as I left home, dressed in shorts and wellington-boots, on my way to junior school. It was a distance of a couple of miles that I had to go, yet; being young and eager, it was a distance that I would, for the most part, run. The snow made not much difference. I was careful and took pleasure in the experience. We lived at that time, in one of two blocks of flats. I took my normal route to school, which was to exit our block; take the stairs down to the next block (we lived on a hill) and then, running along one side, jump from the raised embankment onto the footpath below. It wasn’t high, maybe four foot, from the top of the wall which held the embankment; to the pavement below. However, because of the snow, I was unable to see the top-edge of the wall. Still, knowing the route well, I approached at almost full pelt, readying myself to leap. Unfortunately, I misjudged the depth of the snow; caught my foot upon the top of the wall and plummeted head first to the pavement, below. To this day, I can still remember the split-second before my head impacted with the snow-hardened pavement. I can stiil envision the onrushing experience of the pavement hurtling towards me. What happened next, was quite extraodinary.
My next recollection is of a realm of darkness. Of silence. Whether I had consciousness, or not; was of no consideration. I thought nothing of anything. Yet, something of conciousness must have remained, for I then heard a voice. A male voice. Soft and reassuring. It had a matter of factness about it.
“Right then, let’s see?” the voice seemed to question, itself.
A memory of sight then came to mind and I tried to open my eyes.
“No, not yet?” the voice said. And then; “I need to do something, first.”
Despite the reassuring tone, I became aware of a conflict; between my own willpower and the willpower of the voice. I waited and then tried again. “No, not yet?”
I waited some more, before attempting, once more, to open my eyes.
“If you keep doing this, then I won’t be able to help you?” the voice softly rebuked.
“But, I want to see!” my own inner-voice complained. “Right then!” the voice said, rather impatiently. “Open your eyes!”
I slowly opened my eyelids and looked out over the scene before me. It wasn’t what I expected. I was sitting against the base of the wall. About a yard away, a large red stain merged with the compacted snow. Cream coloured lumps of matter interspersed amid the redness. “Have you seen?” the voice enquired. “Yes,” I answered. “Close your eyes,” the voice commanded, “There’s more to do.”
I closed my eyes. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m rebuilding you.” the voice answered, in a matter of fact, tone.
“I want to see!” I pleaded. “Open your eyes, again,” the voice responded. I did so and noticed that the red stain and matter had somewhat diminished. “Can you see?” the voice continued, enquiringly. “Yes!” I answered. “Right,.. close your eye’s again.” the voice ordered. I did so.
“Uhmm,.. I don’t think this is going to work?” the voice said, doubtfully.
“Whats not going to work?” I asked, anxiously.
“I’ve tried to rebuild you,” explained the voice, “but the damage is too severe. I’ve kept a part of you back, for future use.” “What do you mean?” i uttered, confused. “What part? A part of my brain, you mean?” I felt anxious. I then heard a sigh, before the voice continued.
“Now listen!” the voice spoke decisively. “I’m going to give you a choice. Your choice is this:…”
“You can have life, although it will not be quite the same as you remember it. Or, you can choose death.”
This was a big question, for a nine-year old, to consider.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “Am I not alive, then?”
“I can give you life,” came the response, “but your life will continue upon another plane.”
And then, as though interpreting my next question; “You cannot exist upon this dimension. The damage is too severe.”
I became somewhat worried. “But what about me? What about my mum? Will I see here again?”
“Yes, everything will appear as before, except that you will exist upon another dimension.”
“But,… I’m not sure if I want to live in another dimension,” I said, concernedly. “I’m not sure?”
“Well, you need to say what it is you choose. And soon. I cannot keep everything suspended, indefinitely.”
“But, I have no choice?” I complained. “All that remains,… is death.”
“Not quite,” the voice explained. “You could exist upon this dimension still; although you would have to take the form of a spirit.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You have heard the term….. ghost?”
“Yes,” I answered, “but I’m not sure if I’d like to become a ghost?”
A pause followed, before the voice spoke again. “I’m going to give you a chance to see what being a ghost, is like.”
At once, I found myself standing; looking at a group of people, including policemen, surveying the scene of my demise upon the pavement. “He must have fallen…or slipped, here?” someone said. I approached, in order to get a look at my lifeless form; but was warned by the voice, not to get close. “It’s not a good sight, for you to see,” the voice explained. “Well, what can I do then?” I asked. “Experiment!” came the reply. “You have a short while!”
At that, I decided to climb back upon the wall and look around me. There were two policemen, tracking my footsteps, in the snow. “He must have come from this direction,” said one, as I stood next to him and looked down at the last tracks of my existence, in that life.
I decided then, to climb the drainpipe which ran down the side of the flats, in order to peer over the balconey of a flat where a friend of mine lived. “There is no need to climb,” said the voice. “If you wish to get up there, then you can do so, by will alone.” “Oh..?” I considered. Then, my friends mother appeared at the balcony, just a foot away from where I was.
In surprise, I jumped from a height of twenty feet, onto the snowy ground below.
“She cannot see you,” came the voice. I looked up and could see her surveying the scene, from above. It was true! She hadn’t seen me! ‘Well, this was interesting, thats for sure!’
“Look”, said the voice, “you have to make your mind up now. I can’t sustain this for ever.”
I thought things over. On the one hand, as a ghost I could have wonderful adventures!
“Are there other ghosts?” I asked. “I may get lonely?”
“Yes, there are others, but I don’t want to tell you too much. You need to find things for yourself.”
I then considered the life; the dimension I would be leaving behind. Did I really want to leave and commit myself to death? I was still so unexperienced in life’s ways. There was so much to find out. And, of course, there was Mother. That was the decider, for me. “No,” I said. “I don’t want to become a ghost….I want to live!”
At that, a sudden darkness fell upon me. After a few seconds, I cautiously opened my eyes. to find myself seated against the foot of the wall. Looking across the snowy pavement; I could see no blood, nor anything else spread out before me. As I sat there and surveyed the scene, a couple of elderly women walked slowly by. One said, “What are you sitting there for? You’ll catch a deathly cold!” They walked on for a bit, as I remained sitting in silence. Then they stopped and one walked back to me and said; “You died..there! You died…just there!” They then walked off and turned right, climbed the steps to the chuch, and stepped inside.
Arriving at school, somewhat later than intended, I was not chastised by the teachers. I think that they were just glad that someone had turned up. Only five from my class had braved the conditions, outside. The teacher asked me if I was alright? “Yes,” I answered.I feel ok,… why?” “You have a strange look about you?” the teached responded. “No, Im fine!” I asserted, raising my hand to my forehead as I did so. I felt something upon my forehead. At the break, I went to the boys room and examined myself in a mirror above the sinks. There, high up upon my forehead, a small graze was all that remained, of my death.
Sing me sweet melody
Girl child sing me sweet melody
So I may sing thee sweet melody
I man child may sing thee sweet melody
Dry your tears
Girl child dry your tears
So I may dry my tears
I man child may dry my tears
Smile for me
Girl child smile for me
So I may smile with thee
I man child may smile with thee
……..Stuart Certain (circa 1978)
Downstairs?…….Downstairs?…..this wasn’t what I wanted. They were to remain upstairs; where I could observe them! A sudden sound of many footsteps, rushing downstairs, was so clear to me that I thought they belonged just outside my bedroom door! I opened my eyes and went to check. Nope…nobody there! Looking down the stairwell, I could make out voices emanating from the front room. Our front room! I could hear Janet, Margaret…indeed; all of the Hodgson family! It was a virtual cacophany of excited voices. It was as though the house, our house, had become overun with ghosts! I quickly retreated into my room and closed my eyes. What on earth was happening? Instead of my astral-projection into the Hodgson household; now, it seemed that some sort of projection of them, had manifested itself back here? I then opened my eyes and found myself in unfamiliar surroundings. It was similar to my room, but somewhat different. Everything seemed so dark; as though I was looking through a grey-black filter. There seemed to be two beds! I went over to investigate. Putting my hand upon the extra bed, I could feel the textures of the bedding. It was real, then! I was there…I was at 284! Except… where were the Hodgsons?
Then, the sound of door-chimes, drew my attention back to the stairwell. Looking down the stairs, I could see that the front-door was open. It seemed that the family were now outside of the house; all of them! I strained to hear the voices. “What are we doing , then?” from Janet, was followed by “I’m going to see Brenda!” – Peggy. “I’ll come!” from Janet was followed by, “I’m coming too!” from Margaret. “No, I’ll go by myself,” said Peggy. “But, I want to come,” complained Janet. “I’m not staying behind!” said Margaret. “You have to stay here, with Billy!” Peggy exclaimed, but to whom, I’m not sure? “Johnny can stay with Billy,” said Janet. “I’m not going back in there!” exclaimed Johnny. “No, Im not staying behind!” repeated Margaret, anxiously. “Well,.. come on then!” said Peggy. “What, all of us?” asked Janet. “Yes, everyone. Come on then!” Peggy decided. At that, I made my way cautiously downstairs. The front-door had been left, wide open. “Well,..what should I do now?” I pondered. I decided that I may as well take advantage of the situation, and explore the house; for future reference. Then, I was overcome with an irrational fear that the front-door to my own house could be wide-open? I couldn’t leave it like that. I would have to check. It was annoying and frustrating, but it had to be done. I went back into the room, sat upon Janet’s bed, and after a few deep inhalations; closed my eyes and willed myself back home.
Opening my eyes, I was somewhat relieved that I had returned as planned. I was now back in my own room, sitting upon my own bed. I then went to check the front-door and was further relieved to find that closed. At this point, I became aware of how hot and sweaty I had become. Removing my shirt, I decided that I needed a break in proceedings. A nice hot cup of tea, would go down well. Whilst I waited for the kettle to boil, I found a cigarette and sat bare-chested at the kitchen table, to review the situation. My mood was one of frustrated annoyance. Once again, nothing much had turned out as planned. Three times I’d now gone through this process of astral-projection, to 284. Three times! And yet, I had still to set eyes upon anyone! Sure, I’d heard voices. And, my realisation at my materialization within Janet’s bedroom, was a big consideration. Yet, I didn’t seem to have full-control. Somehow, I seemed to give my presence away, every time? And then, there was the issue of the ghostly sounds of the Hodgsons, emanating within my own house? That was something that I hadn’t accounted for. The implications were obvious to me. If my astral-projections were causing some sort of two-way interference, like an out of tune radio, then it could end up scaring the living-daylights out of Mother! I needed more practice, of that I was sure. I needed to hone my skills, somehow? A couple of cigarettes and a cup of tea later, I decided to continue with my exploits. Not only that; I was keen to see how the events at 284 were panning out.
This time, I decided upon using the marbles in the living-room. Scooping them up, I positioned one each, between the fore-fingers and thumbs of both hands. Then, I was back at it. One, two, three, and four; upon the chimney-breast. Ludwig van Beethoven’s 5th symphony (!st movement) came to mind, and I played this over in my mind, so as to keep rythmn. Soon, I sensed a flickering, like a light-bulb, within my mind. Opening my eyes, I could see the room was still in a wan darkness. I had left the curtains open, so as to admit some light into the room. Closing my eyes, I walked sideways, following the contours of the room as I continued with my rapping. Still, I could experience an intense flickering. I wondered then, if the street-lamp was having some interference upon matters? At this point, I decided to go back upstairs, to my room. I rapped upon the walls of the stairwell, as I did so. A couple of marbles fell from my grasp and bounced down the stairs. Arriving at my room, I went inside and was then overcome with a feeling of tiredness, as though my physical and mental energies were being drained. At that point, I decided to lay back upon my bed, out of fear that I was about to pass out! I took some deep breathes and then, opening my eyes, found myself back in Janet’s bedroom! And, I was laying upon her bed! Next thing, I heard voices from outside the room. Getting to my feet, I took large strides from the bedroom, out onto the landing. Peering around the corner, I could make out the tall dark figure of a policeman, coming up the stairs! A sense of panic then assailed me. There was nothing I could do, except flatten myself against the wall of the landing, and hope for the best! “Which room did you say?” the policeman asked; I assumed, of Peggy. An instinct of survival then took hold and I willed myself back home. Only, this time to the living room and not to my bedroom. I could still hear voices, but I was so fearful of being found, that I didn’t pay much attention as to what was being said. I was fearful of opening my eyes; fearful of still being at the Hodgson’s. I remained still and silent, as footsteps and voices seem to pass close by. After a while, the surrounding noises became rather feint. I could hear talk, coming from what I assumed to be the kitchen. This was decision time! I decided then, to walk to the landing at the foot of the stairs, to hear what was being said, upstairs. At once, I came up against an obstacle. What was this? Running my hands around the outer edges, I determined it to be a chair of some kind. At that, I took hold of the sides; gently lifted it, and walked it a few feet out of my way. “Look!” I heard suddenly. It sounded like Johnny! I almost collapsed in surprise! In fact, I think I did so! When I next opened my eyes, a wan light; not from the street-lamp; but the pale gloom of the morning daylight met my gaze. That, and the softly purring face of ‘minstrel,’ who was scrutinising me closely. Slowly peeling my bare back from the floorboards, I got myself up, walked into the kitchen and splashed water from the cold tap onto my face. Looking out of the kitchen window, I tried to clear the fog from my mind; as to the nights proceedings. I began a replay of events. A sudden realisation hit me. ‘I was sure I had let minstrel out for the night, hadn’t I?’ Checking the back door, I found it still to be closed. ‘Must have been mistaken?’ Then, a thought. ‘If she was indoors; had she gone with me, to 284?’ Looking at her closely, I couldn’t tell. She just licked her mouth and regarded me with her large green eyes. Inscrutable. I wasn’t going to get anything, out of her!
I guess, it must have been a Thursday; for, that was organ-practice day at Waltham Abbey. I often would walk there on such days; just to hear the sounds reverberate around and between the deeply carved pillars, inside the Abbey. The fact that he was a very talented organist made the experience something to savour. It was a fair old walk to get there. I would leave home and set off along Enfield Highway, continuing along the Hertford Road, until reaching Waltham Cross. Then it was turn right; and straight on for the Abbey. Pretty straightforward, but tiring. Roughly six miles, from door to door. And then, I had to get back. Being short of cash, any monies saved on the bus fare, would be spent in an inn near the abbey. A much needed refreshener, or two, of ale; would be the norm.
I only mention this because; I can’t think of any other reason I would have been approaching Green Street from the direction of the ‘Cross’ at that time of the day. It must have been around half past four, as I turned the corner into Green St. Looking across the road, towards ‘Peters’ (the fish and chip shop) and, lo and behold!…. Janet and Margaret!
They were seperated from each other by a couple of yards, and as I approached I could see they were busily engaged in consuming a bag of chips, each. They were inattentive to anything else that was going on around, for they failed to notice me until I was nearly upon them. “Hello!” I greeted. “Oh, hello,” replied one, and then the other. Then, they were back to it; totally absorbed in what they were about. “Ahem!…” I uttered. “Yes…what?” responded Margaret, looking up, briefly, from her meal. She held the paper bag up close to her chest and it was interesting to watch her, as she scooped the chips up with her fingers, in a mechanical fashion. Bag to mouth.. bag to mouth. It was almost hypnotic.
“Nice are they?” I ventured. “They’re alright?” she replied, somewhat unenthusiastically. “Oh, I thought you were enjoying them?” I remarked. She looked up at me and I took the opportunity to lean forward, to see inside the paper bag. She immediately took half a step backwards, clutching the bag up higher and closer to her. Another mouthful of chips later, she said; “Do you want some chips then?” “Er,..I wouldn’t mind,” I answered, “just one will do.”
“Well,… the shops open!” she responded, nodding towards it. I was a bit taken aback. “I only wanted one!” I whined. “Well,..you can buy some!” she replied, mercilessly. “Actually, I cant,” I said. “I’m skint!” This was true. I’d spent my last few pennies upon a box of matches.
“Would you like a chip?” Janet then asked me. I was now quite cautious. “Are you offering me one, then?” She tilted her bag forward and showed the contents. I took a step towards her and looked inside. At the bottom of the bag, a measly selection of small chip fragments, greeted me. “Is that all there is?” I remarked. “Well,.. do you want one…or not?” she continued. I looked again, inside the bag. Suddenly, I felt extremely mean. Rather small, in fact. There was compassion in her offering. The fragments of chips had arranged themselves; into a heart-shape.
I didn’t want to disturb them. Looking Janet in the eyes, I said; “Thank you for the offer Janet. That’s very kind of you. Its OK. You can have them.”
I realised; at that moment, that life was a mysterious: yet open, book.
“Well, I’m ready; shall we get home?” said Margaret to Janet; screwing up her paper bag into a ball. “Nearly,” replied Janet, picking out the remaining scraps of chips from her own bag. “Won’t this ruin your Tea?” I expressed to both. “No?” responded Janet, as though I’d asked a daft question. Margaret shook her head at me. “Its only a bag of chips!” she explained. The three of us then set off along Green Street. Nearing my turning, I asked Janet the question that had been bothering me for a while. “When am I going to get my psychic name, then?” Margaret answered, for Janet; “You haven’t paid yet!” I caught my breath. “What?…I thought I was getting it for free?” I moaned. “That was then!” explained Margaret. “Now you have to pay!” I was perplexed. “Janet,.. is this right?” “Well…?” Janet began, rather timidly. “She’s had to do a lot of work on this!” Margaret interjected, purposefully. “She’s had to do extra work,…just because you didn’t like ‘Fred.” “Is that right?” I asked of Janet. “Well,.. I have had to do some extra work?” she answered, sheepishly. “But I haven’t got any money!” I exclaimed. “Well…., you’ll just have to wait, then!” said Margaret. As they both walked off towards home, I put a hand into my jacket pocket, to retrieve my house keys. An unexpected discovery awaited me. I retrieved my hand, holding a ten-pence piece. I juggled my thoughts around, as to what to do. That was nearly the return bus-fare to Enfield Town? The girls had gone some distance, before I made up my mind. “Hey!” I called out. The girls stopped walking and looked back. I held up the coin. “What is it?” Margaret called back. “Money!” I shouted. Margaret looked at Janet; then back at me and called out, “How much?” “Ten Pence!” I replied. The girls then held a short discussion, before Janet began nodding her head at her sister. Margaret then half walked – half ran – towards me. She looked pleased as I placed the coin in her open palm. I smiled. “Have you got anything else on you?” she chanced. I had obviously smiled, too soon! I patted my pockets before retrieving my pack of ‘Passing Clouds.’ She took interest in those, causing me to say, disapprovingly; “You’re not smoking…are you?” “No,..we don’t smoke!” she protested. Then; “Anything else?” I searched my pockets and retrieved my newly purchased box of ‘Swan Vesta’ matches. Margarets eyes lit-up, upon seeing those. “They’ll do!” she said, smilingly. “But I’ve only just bought them?” I complained. “You want your psychic name, don’t you?” she persisted. I felt; as in a bind. “What are you going to do with them, then?” I asked, searching for an excuse not to hand them over. “Janet sets light to them!” she explained. “Well….so can anyone!” I said, “You’re not starting fires, are you?” “No, you don’t understand?” she observed. “She gets them to light…on their own!” I thought for a bit. “What,…a trick, you mean?” “No,…no trick. She sets light to them,…just by looking at them!” This was totally unexpected. I was suddenly overcome with a desire to know more. I admit to being a bit stunned as I passed the matches over. Margarets smile was obvious amusement at my puzzlement. “I’ve got to see this!” I said, out loud, but to myself. Margaret was already on her way back to Janet. Upon reaching her, Margaret appeared to hand over the matches to Janet, before they both resumed walking home.
“Hang on!” I called out. “What?” Janet called back.
“I want to see you set light to those matches!”
“Well,…..maybe,…one day…you will?” she replied.
I was left standing, perplexed. Had I just been had over? Or; was I going to witness something incredible, at some time soon? As I pondered the improbable, Janet suddenly called out, “S—-t Cer—n!” A passing lorry obscured her words. “What was that?” I called back. “Secret…..what?” “No, not secret….STUART!” she called, louder. “STUART CERTAIN!”
“Stuart Certain?” I called back. “YES” called Margaret. “Shes given you your psychic name!”
As I watched them walk off along the road, I was overcome with a sensation of pure glee. Not only had I now been given my psychic name; I had the propect of witnessing a miracle, in the near future! The only problem was: I now had no matches. Nor any money to buy any.
‘Still,’ I reasoned. ‘It was worth it!’
Returning home, I went straight upstairs to my room and lay upon my bed.
My walk had left me needing rest; yet I think it was more to spend time in quiet contemplation. I had plenty to think about: Stuart Certain? The strange powers of Janet? Margaret’s dominance over my willpower? It was a lot to take on board, with a tired mind and body. Pleasant, puzzling and intriguing. Try as I might, to prevent myself from nodding off; it wasn’t long before I fell into a deep and pleasant sleep.
The realisation at my error didn’t come to me quickly. More, it was a kind of creeping sickness that built up over the following days. What had I been thinking of? How could I have been so foolish? The more I thought about it; the worse it became. The word; FATAL, came to mind, and hung about me like a dark shroud. It got so bad, that I found it necessary to go to my special place; the roof-space above the nave of St James church. Once there, I contemplated my foolishness, and finding no way out of my dilemma, shifted my position from one of sitting cross-legged; to kneeling. Then, I clasped my hands together and prayed. I prayed for guidance. I prayed for forgiveness. I swore that I would never be so foolish again; if only He could forgive me and ease my suffering. Leaving the loft, I felt a little better, but not much. As the days passed, I was sure that my prayers had been answered. In fact, I convinced myself. And then, one afternoon, about a week later, the sound of a fire-engine; bells ringing; going full pelt down Green Street, had me shaking with apprehension. “Oh my God!”
Jumping up from the settee, I quickly grabbed my jacket and set off as fast as I could run, to 284. This was my fault, I knew. I would have to help rescue them! Visions of Janet and Margaret; wearing breathing apparatus and being stretchered into waiting ambulances, came rapidly to mind and gave substance to my fear. Rounding the bend in the road, I scanned the sky ahead. No sign of smoke! That was some relief. Getting nearer, I could see no flames. No sign of anything, in fact. No ambulances; no Fire Brigade. What a relief! I came to a stop about twenty yards from the house, The fire-engine had obviously gone on ahead; to Brimsdown industrial estate. I took a long look at the house, from across the road. Satisfied that all seemed to be in order, I slowly made my way back home. Passing by Durants park; I took a seat upon the bench and contemplated matters. Then I understood. God had indeed answered my prayer. In His wisdom; I just needed this lesson as to my stupidness. It signalled the end to my fears. Never would I give matches to the girls, again. Arriving back home, I picked up the scattered books and rebuilt the settee. Then, I sat upon it and settled down to watch: Randall and Hopkirk (deceased.)
Just in case anyone was wondering where I’ve got to; I’ve been engaged in an unwarranted psychic wrestling-match. I’m happy to say that I’ve come through unscathed; although somewhat tired. Hence, the delay.
Should be back in the swing this weekend, or next week at the latest. I just need to lay down for a bit, to recuperate. SC
Glad you ok Simon!
Let me describe our house, for it is easy enough. Anyone who is familiar with the legend of 284 will recognise it, for; it was identical to that. Except its location, of course. A simple yet livable three-bedroom council abode. If one
could have lifted its spectral dimensions and set it down upon 284, then; it would have fitted, exactly; for both were similarly semi-detatched. It suited , at that time, my family. That is; Mother, me, and my three younger sisters. We had lived there for nigh on four years before the events in Green Street began to unfold.
I remember the day that we moved there. The empty soul of its appearance. My amazement at the gas-mantels that still protruded from the walls, for lighting. That gas still flowed from them, if one turned the connected taps. The cream coloured cast-iron fires, that we were told not to use; for they were dangerous to do so. ‘Town’-gas, you see; poisonous.
A toilet, a bathroom and a kitchen sink the only other fixtures. All rooms, bare to the floorboards. Dingy wallpaper. The smell of mustiness that spoke of long years isolated, from the want of an open window or door. I remember opening the back door, to let in the air; and being faced with a wall of brambles; seven foot tall and covering the whole of the rear garden.
It was great. The first house we had lived in.
Over time, and with the aid of a scythe, I made inroads into this seemingly impenetrable jungle. First, I cleared a path from the back-door to the path around the side of the house; which now gave us access, front and back. Then I cleared the brambles from the windows, and that afforded light to illuminate the kitchen area. Things remained like that for a while, until I decided (at Mother’s insistence) to have a go at the remainder of the garden.
I felt as if I were some intrepid explorer, as I hacked my way through. It was a feeling that was amplified by my sudden realisation that there was something hidden within! Dimly, at first, and then with more clarity, the outline of a dark shape revealed itself. Some more frenzied hacking at the brambles, and the hitherto unknown door of a shed revealed itself! I doubt that a famous explorer, coming upon an ancient temple hidden in the jungle, could have felt more excited! What lay within? I hastily scythed an aperture, large enough to accomodate the opening of the door and took stock. There was no handle upon the door. Nor was there a padlock. I then took hold of the door via a gap at one edge, and pulled.
As the door came open, it took a while for my eyes to become accustomed to the darkness of the inside of the shed. Once they did so, I could see that it didn’t extend very far back; maybe five feet. It was about four foot wide and, no windows could be seen. The rear wall, directly opposite the door, had a solid looking bench-top protruding from it. Stepping inside, I could stand upright quite comfortably, with about six inches of headroom. It seemed to be solid enough and appeared to have been built using quite thick and seasoned dark wood; which no doubt added to its durability, for; although a few brambles poked through here and there; the inside was dry. As I recall, an old screwdriver which lay upon the bench was the only item within.
When Mother arrived home, I told her of my discovery and, (rather cheekily) lay claim to the shed, as belonging to me. Mother, thankfully, agreed to my wish. So there it was; we had a house and, I had a shed that I could call my own! It was wonderful!
When speaking to Janet and Margaret one day in our kitchen (Mother was out) I offered to show them both, the shed. Opening the back door to the house and going into the garden, I pointed at it and told them they were free to look around inside.
You can imagine my surprise then, when Janet said that they already knew of it! How could they possibly have known? “It wasn’t always covered with brambles,” Janet explained. “Have you noticed anything strange happening in there?” she further remarked.
“What do you mean?” I enquired of her.
Further questioning of them revealed that they used to store their Ouija-board in there!
There must have been something in my expression, that caused Janet and Margaret to simultaneously ask of me; “What?” And, I suppose that my studied observance of them mirrored my new found regard for them both.
A short silence followed, as I gathered my thoughts.
“And for how long, exactly, have you two been using the Ouija-board?” I managed, at last.
“For a while,” Margaret answered, nonchalantly. “Yes, we’ve had the board for a few years,” Janet agreed.
“Years?” I exclaimed, in a sort of shocked realisation.
“Yes,” Margaret nodded and spoke; “why?…whats wrong?”
“Err,…well nothing,…I suppose?” I answered; still trying to get to grips with this unexpected revelation. I did a quick mental calulation. By my reckoning, this meant that they were aged 8 and 9, respectively, the last time that they had been in the shed. I enquired further.
I asked them why it was, that they kept the board in the shed? Had they used the board whilst in the shed? Why had Janet asked me if I’d noticed anything unusual, about the shed?
Sometimes, getting answers from the girls was more difficult than pulling teeth. However, they were both in a talkative mood, and; I insisted upon answers.
They told me that ‘Peggy,’ (their mother) didn’t like the board in the house, and had threatened to take it from them. It was only the fact that the board had been given to them as a present, (from a neighbour, I believe) that she hadn’t done so.
Given their respective ages; I had sympathy with Peggy’s point of view.
They were quite tentative in answering my next question, but I managed to eztract from them that they had, indeed, used the board whilst in the shed and, apparently, on more than one occasion! “How had they managed to see in there,” I asked. “Had they kept the door of the shed open?”….”Had they used a torch?”
“No,” they explained. They had used a candle.
This was getting more worrying, the more I found out!
“Crikey!” I exclaimed (or something to that effect). “That’s a dangerous thing to do, in a shed!”
“We’re not stupid, you know!” Janet replied, indignantly.
“No….no,.. of course not.” I apologised. “We are very careful, you know?” Margaret emphasised.
“Yes, of course!” I agreed. I then went into the shed and run my hand over the bench-top. To the right-hand side, I could feel a slight difference upon the surface. I then used a thumbnail to scrape at the surface. Sure enough, a clear wax deposite showed. “What are you doing?” asked Janet, who had followed behind me. “I was just testing, to see if any wax had been spilt,” I explained. “Why?…don’t you believe us then?” said Margaret, from the shed doorway. I felt; suddenly on the defensive. “No,…no,..its not that?”… “I just wanted to see the exact spot that you must have used the board?” I uttered, unconvincingly. Margaret looked on, doubtfully. “You don’t believe us, do you?” she continued her attack. I had to think, and fast. She was right, of course. It was very hard to comprehend that the girls had been going about this for years. Yet, the proof of what they said, now presented itself tp me.
“I was interested, because of what Janet said,…about strange happenings in here?” I found, to my relief. “Tell me more?” I said, turning to Janet. She then related about how a strange tapping and scratching sound, began to come from the walls of the shed. “Maybe it was a bird, or a cat…or some other creature?” I offered. “No, we checked outside?” Janet said. “Yes, we took it in turns to stand outside, and it still went on,” said Margaret, now seemingly, and thankfully, placated by my response. Apparently, these strange sounds didn’t begin immediately, but only after they had used the Ouija-board a few times.
This conversation with the sisters, definitely left its mark upon me, for I then became quite wary of going in the shed. In fact, even in letting ‘minstrel’ out for the night, I would glance warily at it.
So much then, for the fearless poltergeist!
I think that I should say a bit more about ‘The Shed,’ if only to satisfy those whose interest in these events amounts to ‘exact’ detail.
I have already given the dimensions, yet left out certain details, which I now address.
First, the roof. Well, this was a flat top affair that sloped from front to back. It was constructed from the same dark wood that the walls were made of and, like them, very thick. I think that the wood may have been made up of, primarily; old railway-sleepers.
There was no floor to the shed; yet it wasn’t totally free standing, as the sides were set into the ground. Therefore, an area of compacted earth made up the standing area. The bench-top was of the same material, but of smoother quality. I think that it must have been planed, and then sand-papered. Above the bench-top, and suspended from and just below the roof, was a broad piece of hardboard which hung, horizontally, and no doubt was used to store small off-cuts of wood.
It was there, that the girls would conceal the Ouija-board. All in all, it was surprisingly dry, in there. The door to the shed was, by comparison, rather flimsy; being made of a much thinner quality of wood. Odd segments of wood, stuck to the inside of the door, gave evidence as to repair. If it wasn’t for those, then I think that the door would have fallen apart. The hinges were rusty and almost worn out, and I had to be careful that they didn’t break, when opening the door. And there you have it; a windowless bulwark against the elements.
I was really fond of it. That is; until matters took a strange twist of fate. I’ve already explained how the girls disquieted me over the matter of the odd, ghostly sounds that had begun to manifest in there. More was to come, as speaking to the girls a few days later, they asked me if they could resume keeping the Ouija-board in there! I was very surprised by this, knowing of their experience with the shed, yet; although they acknowledged the creepy aspects of such, it appears that circumstances where they now hid the board made it problematic for them to gain easy access to it. It was quite obvious to me that the girls had stronger nerves than I, when it came to these matters.
“Aren’t you worried?” I put to them. “No…its all right, we won’t use the board in there again. It’ll just be for storage?” explained Margaret. I needed to have a think, and the girls remained silent whilst I contemplated matters. In principle, I had no real objection to their wish. That is: as long as they promised not to use the Ouija-board in there again. In fact, I reasoned that; knowing that they were going in and out of there, would help to dispel any disquiet about the shed that I now harboured.
There was another consideration, of course: Mother. I would have to put it by her, before I could agree to anything. At last, I came to a decision and told the girls that, as long as they fulfilled my conditions, then it should be ok. I got them to promise that there would be no Ouija-board sessions in the shed. The shed was to be used for storing the board, and nothing else. No candles were to be brought into the shed. There was to be no hanging around in the shed, at least; not if I wasn’t there. And, I informed them that I would tell Mother of my plans, and the ultimate decision rested with her.
“Do you think she will mind?” Janet asked. “Well, I’m not sure?” I answered, “but I can’t see why not. It is my shed, after all?”
The day after the discussion about the shed and the storage of the Ouija-board, I went down with flu. In truth, I hadn’t been feeling too good lately, so this developement wasn’t entirely unexpected. However, what followed next, was….and totally.
I didn’t need Mother to confine me to bed, for I felt so unwell that it was a struggle to climb out of it. As the day progressed, so did my condition deteriorate. Late in the afternoon, Mother looked in on me to tell me that she was going to the shops with my sisters, and, “did I need anything?” “No,” I managed to croak. “You’re looking very pale,” she remarked, and said that she would pick up something for me from the chemist. I don’t remember her leaving, yet she must have done; for some time after, there was a knock at the front door and she didn’t answer it. I felt too ill myself to do anything, so just lay there. The next thing that I recall, were voices. They were coming from the garden. “Just leave it in there,” was followed by “Do you think we should?” “Yes, go on.” Even in my delirium, I recognised the sound of Janet and Margaret speaking. In my confused state, I’d forgotten about our discussion and wondered what they were up to? I needed to see. With laboured difficulty, I then rolled out of bed and from a kneeling position, looked out of the window. There followed a ‘gasp’ and then; “What?” “I saw a face!” “Where?” “Up there in the window!” I sat back upon my haunches. “Is it Stuart?” “No…I don’t think so…it didn’t look like him?” “How did it look?” “Like a ghost!” I leant forward and looked once more from the window. “Look!..there it is again!” “Come on, let’s go!” “What about…..?” “No, just leave it there!” Then, the sound of footsteps as they made their way round the side of the house. I hauled myself back onto my bed and tried to make sense of things. Then, more voices. It sounded like Mother! I clambered back out of bed and looked out of the window. Nothing! ‘Must be coming from round the side?’ I reasoned. Upon hands and knees, I made my way to the bedroom door and opened it. Leaning out of the doorway, I could hear more clearly; from the open window at the side of the house. “Well, you shouldn’t be coming around here!” from Mother, was followed by “But he said it would be ok?” from Margaret. “Did he!” exclaimed Mother. “Yes, he said he would tell you?” Margaret pleaded. “Well, he’s said nothing to me!” Mother continued. “Come on,..out!” A short silence was followed with, “Go on then,..off you go!” “Yes, we’re going?” was sounded, in exasperation. I could hear more muffled voices as they rounded the front of the house. Another silence, and then more words from a distance. I thought I heard swearing, but I couldn’t be sure? This was too much to take, with me in my condition. I made my way back to my bed and clambered back into it. The next thing I remember was the sound of Mother, stomping up the stairs. I quickly pulled the blanket over my head and feigned sleep. The sound of the bedroom door opening was, strangely, quieter that the studied silence that I could feel boring at me through the blanket. Mother didn’t say anything, but the rather sharp sound of my bedroom door being closed, forcibly, and followed by her stomping back down the stairs, conveyed everything. I don’t remember much after that, until the following morning. I think I must have fallen into a fevered sleep. When Mother looked in upon me and asked me if I was ok, she followed up with “I want to have a word with you!”
I groaned, defensively.
There was no escaping it. Fate had played it’s hand. I would have to tell Mother.
I hadn’t realised the determination of the girls in putting into practice our earlier discussion, regarding the storage of the Ouija-board. I had hoped to catch Mother in an easy-going mood; as I felt that I then had more chance of getting her agreement. Now, I would have to explain things from a position of contriteness. I lost no time in agreeing with Mother the fact that the girls shouldn’t have been in the garden without the prior knowledge of herself. That was very naughty of them, I concurred. They should have waited for my say-so; I emphasised. I would ‘tell them off’, when I next saw them.
The reason for them being there, I explained truthfully; although I played down the significance by pleading that it was only a harmless board-game; a toy. No harm could come from it?
Mothers reaction to that, unfortunately, was less than favourable. It signalled the start of a prolonged verbal attack upon my judgement. ‘What, on earth, was I thinking of?’ ‘Had I lost my mind?’ And; ‘What are you doing, getting involved with them, anyway?’ ‘I should be mixing with people of my own age?’ She ended by stating that ‘I had been giving her cause for concern for some while now; what with my playing with marbles and so-on?’
‘She was considering having a talk with a Doctor, about my behaviour!’
That comment, from her, naturally caused me quite a bit of consternation.
She then left me sitting at the kitchen table, looking down into a pot of hot, medicated, vapour-inhalent; as she went out into the garden and the shed. A minute later, and she was back. “There’s nothing in there?” she expressed, when she returned. I lifted the towel from my head. “Oh, I see!” I remarked. Although puzzled, I took the opportunity to play down the situation. “They haven’t put the board in there, yet?”….”They were just checking to see if anyone was at home, first.” I let her dwell upon that for a bit, and then observed that “the girls were not as bad as she thought that they were?”…. “I’m sure that I heard them knock at the front-door, first?” I pulled the towel back down, over my eye’s. “They’re good kid’s, really,” I went on. “I wouldn’t have agreed to their request, if I thought otherwise?”
I believe that my condescending tone of voice had some effect upon Mother, for she seemed to ease off in her manner. Still, she insisted that the girl’s were not to store anything in the shed. I readily agreed to tell them so, when I next spoke to them.
As soon as Mother next went out, I made a beeline for the shed. Opening the shed door, and after my eye’s became accustomed to the dark, it appeared at first, to be empty. However; upon reaching above, and pulling down upon the hardboard ‘compartment’, the edge of what was obviously the board, showed. It was wrapped within a piece of white sheet, or a pillowcase. Mother, obviously, had failed to look up within there? I let the board where it was and went back indoors, to contemplate. I decided not to tell Mother about my discovery, for fear that she may tell me to take it and return it to them, immediately. I had no intention of touching it myself , for it gave me the creeps. No, I would have to arrange a time and date with the girls when they could collect it, themselves. That would prove to be a long wait, as I wasn’t to see them for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I would keep watch upon the shed. Mother had similar thoughts herself; although from a different perspective. She’d obviously had a rethink , as she insisted that I leave the shed door open. That way , she could tell if anyone was in there ; from the kitchen window.
Looking from my bedroom window , at night , the shed took on a foreboding aspect. Especially with the door left open . It was as though the interior darkness was a portal to another dimension. At other times, I had the creepy feeling that it was observing me, as though the dark doorway was a big black eye! And, I sometimes got the distinct feeling that someone was hiding and watching, from within! Looking upon it more objectively, I considered it to be a Temple. And within that Temple lay hidden, the holy grail! And I, for the time being at least, was the sentinel!
My nightly watch upon the shed, had me considering matters to which I hadn’t thought of before. Firstly, I figured that if I ran a straight line from my bedroom window, and across the middle of the shed, then; taking into consideration the curve in Green Street; the line would continue onwards in a direct path to the Hodgson’s house at 284. A minor point, sure; but interesting nontheless, in the scheme of things. Secondly, it was interesting to note ‘minstrels’ attitude to the open shed; how she would avoid it. On several occasions, I noticed how she would approach the shed cautiously to within a few feet; stare at it for a while, and then retreat, giving it a wide berth as she went off upon her nightly prowl. That was perplexing, to me, and added to the sense of unease that I felt. Thirdly, and probably the strangest of all, was my contemplation of the dimensions of the shed. In truth, it had puzzled me somewhat before, owing to the fact that it appeared smaller inside than the outer dimensions would suggest. I had previously put this down to the thickness of the wood, and had really thought not much more about it. But now, with my heightened sense of awareness, it struck me as odd. I guessed that the darkness of the shed, combined with my poor eyesight, was the reason? Still, that thought gave me an idea to extend the shed at some time.
When at last I saw the girl’s again, they appeared ‘sheepish’ as I approached them. “What’s up?” I asked. “We thought you would be annoyed?” Janet responded. “What about?” I said, “the argument with Mother, you mean?” Janet nodded. Margaret looked apprehensive.
“Don’t worry about that!” I explained, “thats all forgotten about.” I went on to explain to them both, how Mother had come to see the incident as amusing. “What do you mean?” Margaret asked. I told them of how Mother had found it funny, the way that they had said, “Quick…she’s coming!” and then run off up the road! This was true, for Mother was not one to harbour ill-will. “Actually, she quite likes you both, really,” I said. “Well, she didn’t seem that way?” said Janet. “She was really annoyed!” “Yes, she gets like that sometimes?” I explained. “She doesn’t mean it though. It’s just her way?” I then related to them about how I had to leave the shed open now. I also explained how the shed was giving me the creeps!
“What do you mean, when you say ‘portal’?” asked Janet. “It’s like the opening to another dimension, its so dark in there!” I answered. “Also, it seems smaller on the inside than it should do from the outside! In fact, I’ve now given the shed a name. I call it the ‘TARDIS’!”
Janet found that amusing. “What?….like Dr Who, you mean?” “Yes,…although in this case, its smaller on the inside than it seems on the outside!” Both girl’s had a laugh at that.
I’d agreed with the girl’s that they would pick up the Ouija-board over the coming weekend; when Mother was away at Nan’s with my sisters. This arrangement had become necessary, since despite my placatory remarks to them about Mother, they were anxious about calling around when she was at home. I suggested that they should take the board and store it somewhere else if they were concerned.
So it was, that I settled down at home over the weekend to await their visit. No time was set for their arrival, as they weren’t sure when they could be free. Things had been fairly hectic at their place, what with the attentions of the ‘ghost-chasers’ (Grosse and Playfair) and various visitors. As the Saturday dragged on and the evening began to set in, it was obvious to me that they weren’t going to call at that time. I began to contemplate matters. ‘Would they call, tomorrow?’ ‘Wasn’t there enough going on at the moment, for them to even think of using the Ouija-board?’ ‘What, exactly, were they up to?’ As usual, my contemplations led me to unreasoned anxiety. ‘Would I ever see them, again?’
I had to snap out of this thought process, I realised, and so my thoughts turned to the shed. It occurred to me that tonight may well be the last time that the Ouija-board rested within the shed. Once it had gone, then any tangible link with the girls may evaporate, with it? There was nothing I could do about that, I realised. Then it was, that it occurred to me that this would be a chance,.. maybe a last chance?… to experiment with my astral-projection, in the presence of the Ouija-board! What extra powers might be unleashed? I wouldn’t need to touch the board, I reasoned; just to have it close by? Of course, that meant my having to attempt astral-projection from the shed! My anxiety regarding the shed tempered my desire somewhat, so I set about the process of convincing myself of my courage; ‘Who am I?’ ‘Stuart Certain, of course!’ ‘I am fearless!’ ‘I can travel upon an astral plane!’ ‘I can argue with ghosts!’ ‘I can dispel evil spirits!’ ‘Nothing can harm me!’ Each point, I dwelt upon and summoned my willpower to the fore. Looking out from the kitchen window, I could see the ominous presence of the shed, looking at me. Still, I felt bolstered by my self-persuasion. Looking at the sky, the dusky twilight meant that the night hadn’t yet set in. It was now or never, I determined; before matters got too dark and my courage might wane? With that, I went upstairs to my room to get some marbles; took a look from my bedroom window at the sky and the shed, and then made haste, back downstairs.
Opening the back door, I took a deep breath of the evening air and strode purposefully to the shed. I paused as I stood at the shed entrance and peered into the darkness within. This was the closest that I’d been to the shed for a while. Although my eyes couldn’t penetrate the darkness, my hearing was at its keenest as I listened for any sounds of scratching and tapping from within. ‘Nothing!’…the coast was clear for me to enter! Another deep breath, and I stepped inside. I slowly paced the few steps to the bench-top and placed the marbles there. Turning around, the open doorway gave me a view of the kitchen window. I’d left the light on, in the kitchen. That was somewhat distracting, although the presence of ‘minstrel’ sitting upon the windowsill and watching me, was more so. There was nothing for it, except to close the shed door! Having done so, I explored the inner walls with my hands as I made my way slowly back to where the marbles lay. I paused as I took in some deep and then shallow breaths; willing my inner desire to leave my body and travel to 284. The Ouija-board lay in its hiding-place, above my head. As the first sensation of trance-state materialised, I gently felt for and took hold of two marbles from the bench-top and began my ritual of a slow rhythmic tapping upon the inner shed walls. The sound that the marbles made against the wood was a new experience to me and was rather satisfying in its resonance. However; I was finding it difficult to project my mind outwards. I needed a spell, I realised. “Two and two make four”…”four and four make eight,”…”which goes between the two and four and”…”I am at the gate!” I repeated this mantra over and over, as I tapped out my rhythmic beat. And then, suddenly; almost without realising it…I was standing in the front room of the Hodgson’s!
I cannot say for sure if having the Ouija-board present, whilst in a state of trance, made much difference to my astral-projection. On balance, I would have to say no, it didn’t.
However; the use of a different surface, upon which I rapped out my shamanic beats, seemed to.
Certainly, the dull thud of the rhythmic beat, I found satisfying. My need to call upon a spell, to aid me, I put down to my anxiety. There was something else, though.
My poor eyesight was a hindrance to me, and normally accompanied me upon my astral travels. Mostly, my observations were heavily reliant upon the amount of light that existed at my destination. That is, if the Hodgson’s were at home with the lights on; then that would be of help to me. I’d already knocked over a chest of drawers in earlier meanderings, and remained careful about doing so again. However, on this occasion and despite the living-room light being on, everything seemed to have an added darkness attached. It was as though I’d brought something of the darkness of the shed, with me. I’d projected myself just inside the living-room door and felt for the light switch. It was in the ‘on’ position. I left that as it was and scanned the scene before me. A flickering, to my right, was evidence that the TV was on. Canned laughter accompanied the strobe-like effect from the TV. Looking across the room and at the settee, a small shadow occupied the seating area to the right. Then, voices emanating from the kitchen alerted me to the presence of the girls. I stood where I was and listened in. A draught of cool air swept over me as the back-door was closed. “Should we ask ‘Peggy’ and ‘Vic’ round, to look?” from Janet, was met with “No,…leave it for now. If it starts up again, then I’ll go round and knock them up,” from Peggy. “There’s nothing out there?” said Margaret. “I told you not to go out there?” Peggy admonished. Other than that, everything seemed rather ‘homely.’ The sound of clinking cups and spoons gave a reassuring notice of tea being poured and stirred. I decided then, that it was better not to stay. Feeling my anxiety leave me, I then willed myself back home.
I materialised within our kitchen. ‘Minstrel’ was still looking out through the kitchen window.
“Hello minstrel!” I called, gently. She turned quickly, and with a startled look upon her countenance. After staring at me for a few short seconds, she suddenly jumped from the sink-top and run out of the back door! I went into the bathroom to splash water upon my face. Looking into the bathroom mirror, I noticed how large my irises had become. They were huge! Like two black holes, into another world!
I was up and out fairly early the following morning. I’d phoned nan’s from the call-box at the top of Green Street and spoken to Mother. She said that they were staying for dinner and would probably be back at about 6pm. That was ok, as that meant plenty of time for the girls to call round. So, the rest of the morning I spent tidying my room and keeping a watch-out for ‘minstrel.’ Unusually, she hadn’t appeared at the back door yet, and that was a bit concerning as she was normally pretty regular about these matters. I decided to leave her food upon a plate, just outside the door.
As the morning drew on and she still didn’t appear, my concern increased. I began to regret ‘spooking’ her the previous evening. In the meanwhile, I divided my time in looking out for the girls between peering out of the front room window and my bedroom window. I hadn’t really expected the girls to call too early, but I couldn’t take the chance that I would miss them.
For their part, Janet and Margaret would often chat to each other whilst walking, and my hearing was at its keenest as I strived to pick up any sound of them approaching. By the time 2pm had come and gone, my anxiety increased to the extent that I decided to take a quick look along the ‘street’ to see if I could spot them walking. I took my binoculars. Rounding the bend in the road, I looked anxiously ahead of me. There appeared to be a couple of figures walking in the far distance, which at first I took to be them. I quickly raised my binoculars to my eyes, and; after adjusting the focus, was disappointed at seeing some people walking in the other direction. This was getting worrying, as I couldn’t have them calling too late; for their visit might clash with Mothers homecoming?
I returned home, made a cup of tea, and almost resigned myself to the thought that they might not call? But then, having just sat down at the kitchen table, a sudden elation gripped me as the sound of the girls talking, just outside the front-door, met my ears! I quickly got to my feet and made haste to open it. I had the door open, before they had chance to knock. “Hi!” I greeted, eagerly. “Come in…where have you been?…I’ve been waiting ages!” And then, “It’s ok, Mother’s not home.” They walked in and stood in the middle of the room. I shut the door and asked them to take a seat. They eyed the settee, warily. “It’s ok…as long as you sit down carefully“ I explained, and then took pains to make sure that the supporting stacks of books were set correctly. “Would they like a cup of tea?” I asked. “No thanks,” said Janet, “we’ve just had a drink.” “Really?” I responded, “whereabouts?” The girls regarded me with a quizzical look upon their faces. “Where did you go to, when you went out?” Margaret asked, suddenly; avoiding my question. “What do you mean?” I replied, perplexedly. “You went out,… a little while ago,” Margaret continued. Suddenly, I was struck with intrigue. My puzzlement obviously showed upon me; for both girls began to smile. “Well..it’s true,…I did pop out for a little while,… just to see if you were on your way.” I explained. The girls remained silent. “Now answer my question?” I gently put to them. “Where have you been?…I’ve been listening out for you. Come on!..you two are keeping something back?” Janet remarked that they had remained silent on the walk here, so as to catch me out! “We know of your psychic hearing!” she remarked. Both girls seemed to be in a playful mood. “What were you carrying, when you went out?” Janet then asked. The girls laughed when I told them of the binoculars. “I can’t trust my eyesight!” I explained. Something seemed odd to me. They had obviously had me under observation; but, from where? I then accused them of hiding and spying on me. They denied this. Then, a short pause was followed with, “Do you know, Rena?” from Margaret. “No?” I answered. “Who is she?…or ‘He,’ for that matter?” “She!” exclaimed Janet. “Well, alright then; She!…should I know of her?” I answered. “She knows you!” Margaret said pointedly, as Janet nodded her approval. This questioning from the girls was unusual in its intensity. There was something going on with them, I knew; but what? Who, exactly, was this ‘Rena.’ And more to the point; how did she know of me? It seemed to me as though the girls had the upper hand, and were prepared to keep me in the dark about matters for as long as they could keep it going. More ‘too-ing and fro-ing’ flowed between us, until such time as Janet asked; “Rena wants to know if you like the shed!”
This was too much! I had to have a cigarette break, in the garden!
Following me into the garden, the girls were quick to point out that the shed door was closed. “Yes,” I acknowledged, then told them that I had closed it temporarily, as Mother wasn’t home. Which reminded me. “What time do you make it?” I asked of Janet. “Nearly half three,” she replied, after holding her wrist and moving her arm around, so as to catch the light. “That’s alright then,” I remarked. “Mothers not back till six.” “We can’t stay long,” Janet explained. “Mum will get worried.” Margaret nodded her agreement. This was a bit disappointing to me, as I enjoyed their company and, of course, there were still unresolved questions to ask. I had to get the topic back onto the subject of this mysterious; ‘Rena.’ “Well, you’d better get the board now then,” I said. “Well,…we wanted to ask you about that?” said Margaret. “Can we keep the Ouija-board here for a while?” This was an unexpected development! “You still want to keep it in the ‘TARDIS’?” I uttered. “Yes,..well…there’s nowhere else, is there?” said Janet. “I don’t know?” I replied, “you say you can’t keep it at home….what about this Rena? Can’t she keep it for you?” The girls glanced at each other with a look that told of, ‘awkwardness.’ This was my chance to question them further, but I decided to play it ‘cagey.’ I changed the subject. Had they seen ‘minstrel,’ upon their walk? I asked. No,..they hadn’t. Walking over to the shed, I remarked that I was thinking of enlarging it. “How do you mean?” Janet asked. “Well, I can take the end wall down, and make it longer?” I explained. I then walked to the rear of the shed and pushed against it. “Yes,..there’s some play there…it shouldn’t be too difficult?” I remarked. “Of course, I’ve got to find some wood from somewhere first.” “And where are you going to find that?” asked Margaret. I knew of a renovation going on at ‘Chingford Mount’ cemetery, where it looked as though the wooden pews were being discarded, and told the girls that I may be able to use those. “Chingford Mount cemetery!…where’s that?” “It’s not too far,…I may be able to get the council to drop them off here?” I explained. I didn’t consider the fact that Chingford and Enfield came under different councils. At my insistence, Margaret then went into the shed, to check on the board. Everything was still in order as to where the girls had left it, she confirmed. She also said that she may have knocked something onto the floor? “A screwdriver?” I asked. “No,..I don’t think so?” she said. I told her not to worry; that I would check it out, later. I hadn’t yet agreed that it would be ok for them to keep using the shed as storage, although, in my mind, I was quite prepared for them to do so. I saw a chance to get the discussion back onto the subject of ‘Rena’ and asked the girls back inside the house, saying that I had to think about the matter of the Ouija-board. Once the girls were seated safely upon the settee, I sat in the armchair and began my questioning.
“You looked a bit uneasy when I asked you about keeping the board with Rena,” I began. “Is there a problem?”…”Wouldn’t her mum like the board at home, either?” “What do you mean?” responded Margaret. “Well, there’s got to be a reason?” I pursued. “No,..not that!” Margaret expressed, and asked me as to how old I thought Rena was. “Well,..she’s a friend of yours…I assume; the same age as, you?” “No,…she’s older than us,” Margaret continued. “Well, how old is she, then?” The girls looked at each other, quizzically. “It’s hard to say,..really?” said Janet. “She’s older than you!” said Margaret, suddenly; which had Janet nodding in agreement. “Older than me?” I uttered. “How old then?” The girls then had a short discussion before Janet condescended to Margaret’s viewpoint that Rena was aged about…’twenty-seven.’ “Although, she could be younger,…maybe ‘twenty-five’?” they qualified.
“Twenty-seven?…I see!” I said, although I didn’t really ‘see.’ This took me aback somewhat, as up until that time; I thought that they had been talking about a school-friend?
“So where does she live, then,..this Rena?”
“Just over there!” answered Janet, whilst turning and pointing, vaguely, towards the front windows. I arose from the armchair and walked over to the bay-window.
“What, just across there?” I said, pointing to the house opposite. “No,…not there!” said Janet, who then got up from the settee and joined me at the window. “Over there!” she said, pointing over and across, towards a house at the end of the road. Those houses backed onto the old part of the cemetery. Suddenly, matters became somewhat clearer to me.
“So,..you were at Rena’s house when you saw me, earlier?” “Yes!” they agreed. Not unreasonably, a whole host of questions now sprung to my mind. I’d seen the girls at the end of the road upon other occasions, and had assumed that they had gone there to pet a neighbour’s dog, – a very friendly red setter, who would sit in the front garden, and whom the girls seemed quite fond of. Thinking back, though, I did actually see them come out from Rena’s house once before. ‘Why was this ‘Rena’ so interested in me?’ – was a question I put to the girls. ‘Does she like me?’ “Yes,…she quite likes you!” came the response. This was interesting, as I had never spoken to Rena. In fact, I had trouble recalling what she looked like. I asked the girls. They told me that; ‘she was about the same height as Margaret, with longish brown hair; longer than Janet’s, at any rate, and liked jewellery.’ ‘She wore longish gold earrings and had several rings upon her fingers.’ ‘No, she wasn’t married and had no children.’ ‘No, she didn’t have a boyfriend.’ ‘Yes, she went to work, but they didn’t know where.’ I was naturally intrigued, and pursued the questioning. How had a single girl managed to obtain a three-bedroom house?
“She doesn’t live on her own;..her parents live there too!” answered Margaret. “Is she English?” I asked. “Yes, of course!” said Margaret. “Are you sure?” I asked, “only,…Rena doesn’t sound like an english name, to me?” “Well, her name is ‘Marina,’ but we call her ‘Rena’ for short.” said Janet. ‘Marina’ didn’t sound like an english name to me, either, and I told the girls. “Has she got an accent?” I asked. “No, she sounds like you and we do!” Then, the girls had another talk amongst themselves before Janet remarked that she thought that Rena’s parents had a bit of an accent. “Sounds like a Spanish, or maybe Portuguese name, to me?” I proposed.
Then, my questioning turned to the matter of the shed. How did Rena know of the shed? Had the girls told her of it? “Not really,” said Janet.
“Well,… how else could Rena have known about it then?”
“It used to belong to her!” exclaimed Janet, as Margaret signalled her agreement, with a nod of the head.
I was confused. “What do you mean? I asked, “how could it have belonged to her?”
‘Because,…she used to live in this house!” said Janet. I fell silent for a while and the girls found my lack of understanding amusing. Inwardly, I felt stupid at not considering this before. The girls were full of surprises, and I was either too dense or tired, to figure things out.
One thing that I did reason though, was that Rena had an interest in me that could be construed as something more than mere curiosity. The girls agreed with me, upon that!
“Can I see the binoculars?” Janet asked, out of the blue. “I’d like to have a go.”
“Yes,..of course,” I answered. “Any reason why?” “I haven’t looked through binoculars before…I mean, I know what they are, but,..I’d like to have a look?” “You’d better come upstairs then,” I said, “as they won’t be much good down here. You can look from the bedroom window.” I arose from the armchair and Janet joined me, at the foot of the stairs. “Come on then, Margaret,” I said, “you can look too?” “I’m not interested in binoculars?” she replied, in a disinterested voice. “Oh,..ok then…well, it’s up to you?” I responded. I then made my way upstairs to my room, and Janet followed behind. Entering my room, Janet remarked on how much it looked like the small bedroom that she had been used to. “Yes,” I said, “but you’re in the front bedroom now, aren’t you?” “How did you know that?” she expressed. “I think you told me, once?” I answered. “I don’t remember that!” she said, in a surprised voice. “Well, it must have been Margaret, then?” I offered. I retrieved the binoculars from a cardboard box upon the floor, and then extracted them from their leather case. Janet suddenly became interested in the walls of the room. “What are all these scratches?” she asked, looking at the scores of lines and spiral shapes that covered them. ‘Ah!…thats where I’ve been using the marbles,” I explained, “In my astral-projection!” Janet stayed silent but offered a broad smile. I detected a hint of doubt in her eyes.“It’s true!” I exclaimed, “I told you I was the poltergeist, and there’s the proof!” “So,…how do you use the marbles then?” she asked, after a pause. “I’ll show you!” I said. I placed the binoculars upon my bed and rummaged around in another cardboard box for the marbles. I retrieved a few marbles. “This is how I hold them,” I explained, and took grip of two marbles; one each, between the forefingers and thumb of each hand. “Whats going on?” said Margaret, who had decided to join us, upstairs. “He’s going to show us how he does his astral,…what is it?” Janet said. “Projection!” I said, “although I’m not going to actually do so, now. It takes some effort. I have to get into a state of trance, first. That takes time, and a lot of concentration.” I then asked the girls to make room, as I began tapping out raps upon the wall opposite my bed. “I sometimes think of some music whilst I’m doing this,” I explained, as it helps in my concentration.” “What sort of music?” asked Janet. “Classical music mainly, but pop songs also,..like this….;” I then began a rendering of the Jackson Five song: “a-b-c…1-2-3…dough-ray-me…a-b-c…that’s-how-easy, love-can-be, girl!” “You’re having a joke!” Margaret said. “No, I’m not!” I exclaimed. “That’s how I do it,…you can see the marks upon the walls!” “What about these round marks then?” Janet asked. “The spirals?….they’re the result of some experiment I was doing. I keep dropping the marbles, and break my concentration; so I tried spiral shapes. That way, I remain in contact with the wall.” I then went on to explain about how I’d found a nice pebble in the graveyard, and had been using that. “What,…this one?” Janet asked, looking at the pebble which was upon the windowsill. “Yes,” I said. “I broke it in half by dropping it out of the window,…and now I have a piece for each hand.” “It’s not broken though!” Janet said, looking down at it. “Yes it is,…pick it up and take a look!” I said. Janet picked up the pebble and could see that it came apart in two pieces. “I like that!” she said, which surprised me somewhat.
“Well then, I’ll have to see if I can find you one,” I said.
“I really like this one!’ Janet enthused. I said to her then, that she could have that one as soon as I’d found another from the graveyard. She replaced the pebble, somewhat reluctantly, back upon the windowsill. Suddenly, I became aware of a sense of meanness, within me. Janet looked disappointed. I really wanted to let her have the pebble right then, but I stood my ground. “When will you look for another one?” she asked.
“Tomorrow,” I said, “and that’s a promise!” She seemed consoled, by that.
I later wished that I had let her taken it, then.
Its OK…its me; Stuart/Simon Certain. I’ve been so beset with psychic attacks that it’s been difficult for me to concentrate. Now it appears that those agents of disenchantment have removed their gloves and are getting serious; for I have been unable to post comments using my preferred psychic name.
Hopefully, this will throw them off the scent for a while.
I am hopeful of continuing with my recollections soon; but it may have to be under this guise. Actually, the use of the name Carmilla Karnstein with this case is not so distant, as the Hammer horror film ‘Lust for a Vampire’ starred Suzanna Leigh in the role of ‘Janet Playfair.’ An odd connection, yes; but interesting nonetheless, as an example of how psychic matters can become entwined. Suzanna Leigh was a somewhat heart-throb of mine!
Just a short word here, regarding my angst with Guy Playfair:
I have decided, finally, to forgive him. Yes, that interfering meddler who came between me and Janet, has finally been forgiven. It’s taken 40 years. Forty, long years, for me to finally accept that it was fate that brought him into the equation. Forty, long years, to finally accept that it was never meant to be. It’s almost biblical.
God, are you pleased now? Are you to stop punishing me, now? Is my acceptance part of the cure?
So, of course, any curse that I have sworn; any spell that I have made, is now lifted. Playfair can get some sleep. Call me a big softie.
For me, I still have a tale to tell. I still have to resolve my actions and reasons as to why I behaved the way I did, during those epic years of 1977-78.
Poltergeist wept. It’s a sad tale, at heart. Love always is. SC
Well, I have detected the source of those psychic attacks against myself, and can point the finger at those within the SPR. Yes, those self-proposed experts upon all things paranormal; who run it as a cartel in which to ring-fence their profit making activities. Yes, it is they.
No doubt, their attacks upon myself have been led, first and foremost, by none other than Guy Playfair himself. How many freemasons lay hidden within their ranks? My guess is that the organisation is awash with them. All controlling. All pervading. All destroying. For that is what they seek to do, when they feel that their sinecure is threatened by what they view as a rogue element. They pervade and then seek to destroy. Like a virus, or a parasitic worm. Yet; I am not a rogue element. Nor am I a freemason. Which makes their attacks against me, all the more; insidious.
What are they afraid of, you may ask? Why should they direct their serpent like efforts against myself? Well, the reason is obvious; to me, at least: They run from the truth. They run from the recognition that they have sold their souls, to the Devil. They cannot accept that someone, without their ranks, has been able to achieve psychic insights, to which they feel; they alone have the mastery of. And, that, in itself, shows them that they have sold their soul; needlessly. So they writhe, and they plot in their attempt to destroy the mirror; which shows them the realisation at their error.
Should I care? Should I worry?
Well, I care, of course. Yet; my care is of the unselfish kind.
And, I do not worry. For, I know of truths. And, my belief in God, forever is my shield. SC
“I thought you’d come up here to look through the binoculars?” Margaret uttered, impatiently, and to us both, it seemed.
“We have!” I exclaimed, and reached for them, upon the bed. “But, I want to see him do his astral….projection!” Janet complained. “We haven’t got time for this?” Margaret asserted. “There’s no rush,…is there?” I said. “We’ve got to get back,…mum will get worried,” Margaret replied. “Well, it’s early yet,” I pointed out. “You haven’t got to be home until five?”
“That’s on weekdays!” Margaret explained. “We’ve got to be back by four, on Sundays.”
“I see!…well, what is the time?” I asked Janet. She held her arm towards the window, to receive better light. ‘It’s about ten past four,’ Janet said, looking at her watch. Margaret suddenly looked a bit anxious. “Sometimes, we can be out till half-past,” offered Janet. “Well,…there you are.” I said. “You can always say, that Rena kept you talking?” Janet half smiled. “We could?” Janet said, to Margaret. “Well, hurry up then!” Margaret conceded. I placed the binoculars back upon the bed. “What are you doing?” Margaret said, suddenly. “I’m going to try astral planing,” I explained. “That’s what Janet wants to see?” “NO!” said Margaret, forcibly. “She can look through the binoculars,..that’s all.” “It won’t take long?” I said. “I don’t think that I have time to do it properly,….I don’t think that I’ll disappear?” Margaret suddenly looked apprehensive. “NO!” she repeated. “If you do this,…then,…I’ll scream!” “What’s the matter?” I asked. “You might vanish!” she answered. Janet looked at her sister. “She gets nervous,” she explained. “I see,…well, it’s the binoculars, then,” I said, “we’ll leave the astral-planing for another time.”
I took the binoculars and passed them to Janet. “They’re heavy!” she observed. “Yes,” I said. “They’re old,..they can make them much lighter, now.” Janet lifted the binoculars to her eyes, and swung towards the windows. “Careful!” I said, “I don’t want a broken window!” She then took some time, as she manipulated them. “I can’t see much,” she said. “It’s all fuzzy?”
“You have to adjust the focus,” I explained, and then showed her how to do that, whilst holding them up. More adjustments later, and Janet exclaimed, “Oh…yes…I can see something. But I don’t know what it it?” I stood behind her to gain her line of sight. “You’re looking at the houses opposite,” I said. She lowered the binoculars and then raised them again. “That’s no good!” she complained. “Is that what you look at?” “No,” I said. “I’m taller, and can see over the rooftops.” “That’s what I want to do!” she stated. “Well,..stand upon the bed and put one foot on the windowsill. You might be able to see better?” I took the binoculars while she did this, adjusted the focus, and handed them back to her. A few seconds passed as she maneuvered the binoculars, up and down, and slowly swinging from left to right. “Oh yes!…I can see!” she suddenly exclaimed. “What can you see?” I asked. “Well,..rooftops!” she answered. “But I don’t know where they are?” “You are looking along Green Street,” I explained. “If you raise them higher, then you can see fields.” Janet did so, and confirmed that she could see fields in the distance. “Where are they?” she asked. “They’re the fields beyond Brimsdown. On the hill going up to Chingford Mount!” She lowered the binoculars. “That’s a long way!”
“Yes, I said, “I can see for miles, with those!”
“Can I see our house?” Janet asked. “No, not really,” I said. “You can see the rooftops close up, but it’s difficult to tell which house they belong to, as they are all ln a line.” “Come on then, Janet!” Margaret interjected. “Yes,” I agreed, “you can look again, another time.” “That was good!” Janet said, as we made our way downstairs. As we reached the bottom of the stairs, I heard voices from the street. “Hold on,” I said, “that sounds like Mother!” At that, both girls made haste into the living room and looked anxiously at me. Then, Margaret made a dash through the kitchen and out through the backdoor, into the garden. “Just stay round the side,” I called in a hushed voice to Janet. “Wait until I give you the all-clear!”
“You’re back early!” I said to Mother, as she came in through the front-door, with my sisters. “Yes,” she said, “I decided to get the earlier train.” I helped her into the kitchen with her bags. “Get the kettle on!” she said, “I need a cuppa!” I filled the kettle, and as she dealt with my sisters, I made my way, out the back and around the side of the house. Janet and Margaret were waiting, anxiously. “Go on then,” I said, quietly, and gesticulating with a wave of my hand. The girls took off, as though they were competing in a race.
“Where did you go, just then?” asked Mother, who was standing at the back doorway. “I thought that I saw minstrel go round the side?” I explained. “I haven’t seen her today. She hasn’t eaten her food!” I pointed at the plate upon the ground. “But, she’s just there!” said Mother, looking across the garden. I turned to look; and there sat minstrel, perched upon the top of the garden fence. “What a relief,” I exclaimed. “I was getting worried!” At that, minstrel jumped off the fence, and came running, towards us.
The following day I did as I said that I would, and searched for a pebble to replace the one that I had promised, to Janet. This needed to be of a certain size, so that it could be broken into two. The original was the size of a large hens-egg when fitted together; indeed, it was the size and shape that had me believing, originally, that it could be a fossilised dinosaur-egg! That was why I had broken it in two; I was hoping to find a dinosaur embryo, inside! I had done this with pebbles before, and had found amazing crystal formations within.
Disappointingly; despite my earnest endeavours, I was unable to find a similar one. They were mostly of the flat kind, and on the small side. I did, however, find several smaller stones of differing shapes and colours, which I found interesting. Some had small fossilised imprints upon them. I was hoping that Janet would be happy with those. If not, then she could still have the original one.
So it was then, almost a week later, that I ventured along Green Street with pebbles in hand; intending to call at 284. I had a readymade excuse for talking to Janet at her home, and was looking forward to seeing the girls again. There were twelve stones in all, and I juggled them back and forth, from hand to hand, as I approached the front door. However, and before I could knock upon the door, I became aware of voices emanating from the rear of the house. Janet could be heard, laughing, Then Margaret; then the voice of Maurice Grosse. They were in the garden; that was obvious. I knocked loudly upon the front door and waited. I thought that Billy, or maybe Peggy would answer. Yet, despite my repeated knocking, no-one came to answer. I then went to the side of the house and listened, once more.
I don’t know why it was, but I suddenly felt an overwhelming pang of jealousy within me. If I could hear the voice of Grosse, I reasoned, then that meant that Playfair was probably there, also.
My unanswered calling at the front door, suddenly became a sign of rejection. ‘Those bloody ghost-chasers!’ I thought. ‘They’re always here!’ And then, my emotions built until I fell victim to a moment of unbridled insanity. I took half of the stones and lobbed them, high and over the corner of the roof, and into the rear garden. Margaret was the first to speak.
“What was that?” she exclaimed. “Did anyone hear that?”
“What’s that, Margaret?” asked Grosse. “What did you hear?”
“I’m not sure?” she replied. “It sounded like stones…or something?”
There followed a few seconds of silence until Grosse said that he couldn’t hear anything.
Janet then said that “she thought that she had heard something too?” Another period of marked silence was met with; “Well, there’s nothing now?” from Grosse.
Then, the voice of Peggy; “It’s not those kids from the back, is it?” “Did you hear something as well, then?” asked Grosse. “No,” Peggy said, “but it could be them?”
After a while, the garden laughter started up again; prompting me to launch the remainder of the stones, grenade style, once more over the roof. Some hit the roof-tiles and the clattering of such brought a sudden change to proceedings. “There it is again!” cried Margaret. “Yes!” agreed Janet. “Right then,…everyone inside!” from Grosse, was followed with Peggy threatening to call the police! “Its those kids,..I know it is!”
I took my opportunity to leave, and walked fairly briskly, from the house and along the road. Not in a direct way to home, but in a circular direction; along Alma Road; cutting across the Eastern end of Durants Park, and onto the Hertford road.
To this day; I still have regrets about that. About my actions then, I mean. I don’t know how I would have felt if someone had actually been hit with a stone? Terrible, I imagine. What if one of the girls had looked upwards and been struck in the eye? I don’t think that I could ever forgive myself. It was just fortunate that nothing that bad, came of it.
In bed, that night, I held the split pebble and said a prayer of thanks. Janet, I decided, could have the pebble, come what may. I would return to using marbles as an aid to my astral projection.
Of course; I realised that I could never let on to Janet, that it was I who threw the stones.
The following day, I awoke with a determination that I had to get away from the area for a while. A childhood dream of mine had reoccurred, in which I was being chased by giant snooker balls. I needed a break, I realised. Over my mug of cornflakes, Mother had asked why it was that the shed door was closed. I claimed that the wind must have done it. In truth, I had left it closed as it had begun to have an hypnotic effect upon me. The dark, unblinking eye of the open shed, tended to transfix me as I stood at my bedroom window at night. I liked to look at the sky before I got into bed; not just to try and determine the likely weather prospects, but also to observe any noticeable difference between the sky directly overhead, and that further down the road; above 284. I would do this in the daytime as well. If the sky along the road looked darker than the sky above, then that would signal possible disquiet at the Hodgson household. Conversely, a lighter sky above 284, would mean the likelihood that all was well. A uniform darkness would signal, no change. A uniform brightness generally meant that the girls were not at home, nor; in the vicinity. It was a poor observation to make, as I reasoned that, upon sunny days I was less likely to see the girls. Which would sometimes occasion me to become of low mood.
So, at night, whilst trying to gauge the sky, my eyes would inevitably get drawn downwards and to the shed. A battle of wills would then take place, as I tried to extricate myself from its gaze. It was as though the shed wanted to consume me: beckoning to me, to come and stand within its darkness. A game of dare; if you like. I never took up that dare, at night. So, the shed won.
Yes, I definitely needed to get away somewhere, I realised; if only briefly. I needed to let my hair down.
So it was, a couple of phone calls later, I heard of a meet happening at a friends house. This was on the other, western side of Enfield; beyond Enfield town. I suppose it’s a fair observation to make, that most of us have unconscious boundaries in our minds as to what constitutes home territory. A sort of leyline that we cross over, and within which the familiarity of the surroundings can bring a feeling of ease. Having lived in both of these areas of Enfield, there were two such ley-lines of which I was aware. One I determined to be the Hertford road, which ran through Enfield highway and onwards to Waltham Cross and Cheshunt. The other was Silver Street, which ran from Enfield town to Forty Hall. The area in between, consisted mainly of a mixture of council and private housing; with nothing much of interest to me. I considered it to be a boring wasteland. That was the most tedious part of the hour-long walk that I would undertake, to reach my destination. A shortage of cash negated the easier option of a bus ride; it was of more importance to spend what money I had upon a couple of cheap wines. It wouldn’t do, to turn up without an offering of some kind. So it was then, that I arrived at my destination with bottles in hand. These meets tended to be open-ended in duration. That is; no fixed starting time, and finishing when everybody had had enough; enough of cheap alcohol, and whatever else was going down, at the time. Yet, these were not drunken occasions, as the focus of such events were a common appreciation of music, and the latest LP releases. It is true to say that, these occasions could leave one feeling ‘spaced’ despite not having taken of anything. The fumes, you see,..thick and pungent, could leave one light-headed after a few hours. Yet, despite my desire to switch off from events at Green Street, I found my mind wandering back there; to the girls; to the shed, Rena, the ouija board, and the previous days anxieties over the stone throwing incident. I couldn’t totally disguise my troubled thoughts; nor lose myself within the sounds coming from the music-system, despite the excellence of such. This was picked up by others, who enquired as to what was troubling me. That I was ‘not my usual self’ was remarked upon, more than once. Of course, I couldn’t tell them. So, I decided, at length, to call it an early night. Making an excuse of recently recovering from a severe bout of flu; I left the meet at half-eleven, determined to catch one of the last buses, back. I just had enough money to cover the bus-fare, and I couldn’t be faced with the walk home. I needed to think things through, and a quiet bus ride home would afford me that. So it was then, seated upstairs and at the front of the bus; I began my journey home. My desire was that, by the time I reached my destination, I would feel more positive about matters. I needed to tackle my anxiety head on, I realised. I couldn’t be having with my being outwitted and menaced by an empty shed! I needed to gain control. I needed to impose myself. When the bus unexpectedly finished its journey, at the bus station; (I had neglected to read its destination) although cursing my negligence, I wasn’t too bothered. I was left with a walk back along the Hertford road; yet had managed to engender and instil a sense of positivity within myself. I would show the shed what for! Upon getting back home, I would go straight to the shed and step inside it. After all, I was Stuart Certain. I was to be fearless!
The Hertford road, Enfield Highway and especially Green Street, would become very quiet at night. Especially after the pubs had finished ‘chucking-out’. The difference, between the constant stream of daytime traffic-noise and the tranquility of the night, was marked. Pleasant, in its way. So, my walk became one of good cheer as well as of determination. This was bolstered by my helping of a lone hedgehog, which had been wandering along the gutter, and veering between that and the middle of the road; into the safety of Durants Park. I watched as it made its way, through the railings and disappeared into the blackness of the surroundings. Satisfied that it was in no danger, I continued my walk and my eyes fell upon the spire of St James church. It had been an overcast night, so far; yet now the moonlight managed to break through and illuminate the spire and the roof of the church itself. Passing by the entrance to the pathway of the church, I glanced to my right and then stopped as I contemplated the darkness that shrouded the northern aspect of the church itself. As I had noticed on other occasions, this could look foreboding at night and, so it did then. Yet, so at ease with myself had I become, that I dared to contemplate venturing along the pathway and to the graveyard at the rear of the church. ‘It would be a good test for me, would it not?’ I reasoned. ‘An easy stroll and cigarette there would reaffirm my confidence?’ The iron gate was open. Finally, I decided; and with purpose, went through the gateway and then cut across, to the north side of the church. Looking alongside the pathway, there, it was very difficult to see anything owing to the dark, yet; upon looking up, I could observe the moonlight playing with the gently moving treetops. A light breeze had started up. I waited for a short while as I contemplated the serenity of the scene, and then cautiously began my walk along the pathway.
My caution was merited by the protrusion of two doorways and steps which were upon that side of the church and of which it was impossible to see. I ran my hand, as a guide, along the outer-wall of the church, and, having circumvented those obstacles, came upon the graveyard beyond.
I lit a cigarette and surveyed the open space before me. ‘This is where it had begun,’ I contemplated, ‘the girls,…the Ouija board,…the voice of ‘Bill.’ No, I had no desire at that time, to call upon he. Should ‘he’ chose to speak to me at this time, then that would be his choice. I was pre-empting nothing! I just wanted a cigarette and a reaffirmation of my self-confidence. I was pleased with myself. There was nothing to fear with the shed, I realised; even with the Ouija board inside. It was just the product of over-sensitivity on my part. Due, no doubt, to my astral-travel and the altered state of my mind. I finished my cigarette; deciding that the time was ready, to confront the shed. Yet, before I returned home, I would take a look at the south side of the church. ‘Why not?’ I reasoned. I rarely looked there. It was very overgrown and I was wary of injuring myself upon hidden, broken, grave boundaries. Yet, I was feeling good with myself and decided that I may as well take the opportunity. ‘It could bolster my confidence, even more?’
So it was then, that I walked slowly around the eastern side of the church, to look over the southern aspect. It was very dark here, also. The lower part of the church, lost in a darkness that the moonlight could not reach. Sudden lights, from the roadway, momentarily lit the upper parts of the church, as a bus; the bus I should have been on, made its final journey to Brimsdown. As I looked, I became aware of a localised mist, hanging about the lower darkness. This was not too surprising, as the graveyard could be a damp and gloomy place, at the best of times. Yet, I was somewhat surprised to observe this at the southern side, it being more open in character. As I studied this, the mist seemed to condense and shrink. It appeared to have a gentle swirl about it, as it contracted to an elongated and perpendicular shape, amid the gravestones. Then, a form started to take shape. I blinked, several times, in order to clear my eyes, yet still the mist swirled and now seemed to have an effervescence about it. Slowly, but surely, the outline of a human form took shape and became denser! At that moment, I was too intrigued and puzzled to feel fear. I blamed my poor eyesight. I needed to get closer, so as to ascertain and validate what it was that I was observing. Slowly, I move closer to the mist, and then stopped; suddenly, and with the realisation that I was looking at the form of a person! A women, I could see, and at first impression she appeared to be middle-aged. Yet, as I looked intently, her form took on a more youthful appearance. She looked as though she was In her twenties. She just stood there, unmoving; looking neither left or right, but straight ahead and south; towards the fence and bushes beyond which the larger and newer part of the cemetery was. I then began to doubt my own senses. Had she been there all the time? Had the mist been a coincidence? I decided to speak. “Hello”, I said, gently. There was no movement from her. I croached, lower. “Hello,” I repeated, somewhat louder. “Are you alright?” Still nothing! I edged closer and became aware of how pale she seemed. It was as though the colour had been drained from her. Her eyes, I could now see, were bereft of colour, also. A pale, vacant, stare was all they offered. I then became aware of an increasing coldness in the vicinity. With that coldness came a dread. A dread of unknowing, of what it was that stood ahead of me. She was a ghost! That, I reluctantly realised. All at once, all my previous efforts at building my confidence, came undone. If she had moved, then I don’t know what I would have done? As it was, I felt rooted to the spot, as much as she obviously was. Yet, it was that unmoving, unblinking stare that was the most disconcerting. I, with fearful determination, slowly edged myself backwards and away from her. I needed to get out of there! Bit by bit, I made my distance as I watched for any sign of movement from her.
It was with a sense of relief that I arrived back at the eastern end of the church. I went and stood in the open part of the cemetery, and thought about how I was to extricate myself from my surroundings. A walk back, along the way I had come, suddenly held a new fear. Not so much from the darkness, but; rather from the thought that she may reappear at the western end of the church. I had no more wish to come upon her. So, I made my way to the rear of the cemetery and hoisted myself with difficulty (it took me three attempts) up and over the pointed railings, and into the park. I nearly speared myself upon the spikes; yet got away from them with only a ripped jacket. I didn’t mind about that. I was just relieved at my escape. Now I could relax, somewhat, and decided to have another cigarette. Upon reflection, I couldn’t recall being so afraid. I mean, I had heard ghostly voices before (Bill, for instance, and others) and had seen and spoken with other spirits in the past (Thomas Tallis comes to mind) yet; for unsurpassed dread, never.
And yet, having said that, I decided that as I was in the park, to have another look over the scene, from a position of safety. So it was, that I walked in a southerly direction, further into the park; all the while looking across towards the railings and the graveyard, beyond. I couldn’t make anything out from that distance, so decided to approach the railings once more. I peered through railings, expecting her to have vanished. But, no! She was still there! Still, with her unmoving stance and vacant look! I quickly retreated and made my way home.
I gave the shed a miss, that night.
I’ve just recently held a mental stock-take of my memory cells, and reckon that I still have much to tell regarding the events surrounding the Enfield case. Yes, indeed. I believe that this could run for another year; until the full picture has emerged. So, apologies to those hoping for an early conclusion to matters. If anyone is finding my comments disjointed; regarding time-scales, then I can only ask those to be understanding. My memories are what they are, for I took no record at the time. Yet, I believe and hope that the clarity of my recollections, (although not perfect) make up for that.
So, I take this opportunity to wish all; a very Merry Christmas and good tidings for the new year. I shall return then; very early it is hoped. SC
Things weren’t going too well, at home. Mother had become increasingly frustrated at my inability to get my act together. I had no job. Not much in the way of prospects, either. Of course, this was problematic to me, also. Yet, despite seeing others of my age-group progressing along the road to adult fulfilment, I remained stuck within the constrictions of my mentality. I understood where mother was coming from, of course; and these were difficult times for her. So; it is not surprising, in that light, that tensions became strained.
She had complained about the scratches upon my bedroom walls; had wanted to know what had caused them, and how. I told her that I was thinking of painting a design and had used the pebble to mark it out. That didn’t go down too well, with her. Where was I to get the paint? She didn’t want the room to become an artists studio. This was our home, after all, and she wanted it to look like a home.
Yet, my attempts at astral-projection were not confined to my room. I once experimented whilst having a bath. One never knows until one tries, I suppose? Using both hands, I began with a slow slapping of the water surface; and slowly increased the tempo, building to a crescendo. On and on I went; working the water and myself into a frenzy. This was brought to a sudden stop, by the sound of a loud banging upon the bathroom door. ‘What, on earth, was I doing in there?’ Mother demanded to know. “Nothing!” I answered, “ I’m just experimenting with something?”
‘Well, stop it!…I don’t want the bathroom flooded!”
I really needed my own place, I realised. Matters became heated when I noticed that my pebble was missing from its place, upon the windowsill of my bedroom. After a frantic and fruitless search, I reasoned that Mother had removed it. I demanded to know what she had done with it. She said that she didn’t know where it was; denied removing it, and defended my younger sisters to whom I had also accused. I didn’t really suspect my sisters; yet the reasons were limited. It had to be either they, or she? Her total denials had me finally storming out of the house, in a fit of rage. Of course, her reason for removing the pebble was obvious to me. It was to prevent further damage to the walls. Yet, I hadn’t thought that she would go so far as to lie to me? I was both hurt and furious. Too angry, in fact, to visit my special place; the attic above the nave of the church. I would have to cool down, I realised, before going there. It was a place of quiet contemplation. So I walked, and I walked, until such time as I got as far as Edmonton; then turned about and walked back again. By the time I arrived back at Enfield Highway, I was sufficiently subdued and went into the church. Unfortunately, there was some activity within; so I came back out and continued home. As I neared my turning, upon the other side of the road, I could see Janet and Margaret making their way to the highway. I decided to wait and crossed the road to meet them. “Hi,” greeted the girls. “Thanks for the stone!” said Janet, with a smile.
All at once, my mind became a cauldron of possibilities. Was she being sarcastic? I doubted that; yet had to consider it as I hadn’t delivered the pebble as I had promised. Was she capable of sarcasm? I wasn’t sure? Maybe she was referring to the stone throwing incident a few days earlier? Had I been seen, walking away? “What’s up?” she asked. “Nothing!” I replied, “I’ve had an argument at home; that’s all.” “Now, what stone or stones are we talking about?” I pressed. “Don’t you know?” responded Janet. “I’m not sure?” I said, ‘I’ve been in a bit of a muddle recently?” “Well,…the pebble, of course!” Janet exclaimed. If she was being sarcastic, then it was the most forthright expression of such that I had ever seen! No, it couldn’t be that? “That’s OK,” I offered, tentatively. Had Mother given the pebble to her? This was very unlikely, yet now had to be considered. “Have you called at my home recently?” I asked, “Only, I’ve been out and about, somewhat.” “No!” the girls replied. They were looking at me, quizzically. “Remind me; when did I give you the pebble?” I asked. “You didn’t give it to us,” said Janet. “You left it for us….don’t you remember?” “And where did I leave it?” I pursued. The girls looked at one another, before Margaret answered; “On the windowsill, of course!” “What, in your bedroom you mean?” “He doesn’t know?” Margaret exclaimed to Janet. “No,..I do know!” I responded. “It’s just that I’ve been a bit confused about things lately. It’s all this astral-travelling I’ve been doing…it tires the mind?” Both girls smiled at that. On my part, I was very pleased that Janet had received the pebble, yet perplexed as to how. “You said ‘stones,’…earlier?” Janet suddenly enquired of me.
“Yes,..do you know about that?” she continued. I denied all knowledge, and then listened to a run-down of what had occurred at their place few days earlier. I agreed with them that; the children that lived over the back were responsible.
I had a lot to think about, suddenly. Firstly, I had to apologise to Mother. I was only too pleased to, and did so, profusely. That I hadn’t been seen walking away after throwing the stones, was another relief. All that remained, was the question of the pebble? I hadn’t put it on their windowsill, that I knew. Unless, of course, I had astral-planed in my sleep and delivered it? No, I was sure that hadn’t occurred, for I had not an iota of recall, regarding that. Had ‘Bill’ taken the pebble and delivered it, for me? That was highly unlikely, I reasoned. If so, then that would be the first time that he had behaved in this manner. It just wasn’t in his character.
It was that last thought that brought to me, what I suspected was the answer.
There was only one person who I knew who had behaved in this way, before. It had to be; young Billy! Yes, the youngest brother of the girls! He had sent me the golden egg!
Suddenly, it all made sense. The girls must have talked about the pebble in his presence, and he took it upon himself to act! Knowing how much he loved Janet; almost worshipped her, in fact; added certainty to my deliberations. I would have to be very careful in promising the girls anything, in future. That was for sure!
The trouble with thinking about things too much, is that one can reason oneself away from a likely answer, and become receptive to strange ideas. I should have left matters as they were, but I allowed doubts to creep into my reasoning. Going into the kitchen, I offered to make Mother a cup of tea. “By the way,” I asked, “did you by any chance give the pebble to a couple of girls, calling at the door?
“Don’t you dare start that again!” she shouted.
I have already hung my coat of blame
Upon the peg named God
No doubt He will want to search the pockets
Before He tries it on for size
For it is better to be careful
And who knows within what lies
Maybe curls of hair encased in lockets
Or the key that opens up the skies
A map of where the lock is
Some written lullabies
A matchbox that contains a spider
Thoughts of love now fossilised
I like to look at old photographs and study the shadows within. One can tell where the Sun is and it’s height in the sky. It is interesting to me, to realise that it is the same Sun that shines upon us now. The very same. It is this contemplation that makes me realise that, we are being watched. Yes, the same Sun, forever watching. Who can doubt it? The Sun is mind. And light. And heat. But most of all, mind. Observing us. I love the Sun. I can only hope that, it likes me, in return? SC
Chairman Mao has his ‘Little Red Book’
Matching Mole have their ‘Little Red Record’
Should I care as if I should
I am the wolf
I have ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’
……………….Stuart Certain (circa: 1977-78)
I’d spent much of the morning in Enfield Town, where I’d picked up a couple of LP’s from the record-department at the large department store.
I was pleased, for they were cheap; and I was interested in harpsichord music. Yet, I had nothing to play them on, for I didn’t own a record-player. So, I decided, on the spur of the moment, to jump on a train to London to visit my nan. She owned a gramophone-player.
She was happy to see me, and we listened to the records over tea and biscuits.
Yet, something about returning to the scene of my early upbringing brought about a sense of despair. Looking out from the balcony, over the grounds below and the block of flats opposite, I was struck by the seeming solitude of it all. No more the sounds of children playing. Gone, the days of the rag-and-bone man, who would pull his cart onto the space below and call out; “any old iron?” at the top of his voice. The knife sharpener, who ground away at the cutlery whilst making jokes with the queue of housewives; who covered their cutlery as much as they could, from prying eyes. The ‘old boy’ busker, who would turn up occasionally, to render his versions of vocal classics; to no one in particular. People used to throw coins towards him from the balconies. He was pleased and would thank those for their charity. The neighbours were pleased also; for having collected the coins, he would then depart to try his luck elsewhere. Yes, it was all a thing of the past. Gone, and seemingly, never to return. Gone also, were my friends. Some married. Some moved. Some removed. Just on the other side of the block of flats opposite, was the scene of my fatal trip and fall from the wall. Yes, looking over the scene below, brought it all back to me. Thinking of my fatality, and Gods’ reconstruction of me; I recall how withdrawn I then became. He had kept back a part of my brain; yet I never found out which part. However, I do believe that he put something in its place. A relative of mine remarked to me, at the time, that I was becoming secluded in my outlook. He noticed that I had stopped mixing so much, with my friends. “You are always out on the balcony?” he observed. “Why don’t you go and play. You never used to be like this?” I told him that I enjoyed looking out from the balcony. That I could see all over London from there, and I found that interesting. He was puzzled by that, as from his perspective, all that could be seen were the flats and the grounds below. Yet, I had developed an ability to see through buildings! The blocks of flats proved no problem to me; if I wanted to see beyond, then all I had to do was will it. And presto! The flats would vanish and leave me with an uninterrupted view of London!
He, of course, was sceptical. “What can you see then, now?”
“Well,…London of course!” I answered.
“There is nothing else? I can see London and they are building a tall tower. I can see the cranes operating.”
“Where are you looking?”
“Straight ahead,…through the flats.”
“There’s no building going on there!”
“Yes there is, I can see it, plainly!”
“Where else can you see? Can you see through those flats also?”
I turned to my right. “Nothing at the moment? I will have to concentrate.”
“I know what’s beyond those flats, so you can’t be kidding me!”
“I’m not trying to kid you!” I uttered, frustrated at his disbelief. After a few minutes of waiting, he left the balcony with a comment about my playing games with him! I continued to look westwards, to my right, and at the flats there. I then closed my eyes and opened them again, willing myself to see beyond the flats. Suddenly, it was as though a window had opened up! I could see, clear through the buildings! I went inside and said, excitedly; “I’ve done it again!”
“Done what, again?”
“Seen through the flats where you asked! Come and see for yourself! If I can see, then you can too!” He followed me back out onto the balcony. “Oh no..it’s gone again!” I remarked.
“I’ve had enough of this!” he said. “I’m going back in…don’t call me out there again!”
As soon as he’d sat down, inside, I willed myself to see beyond, once more. Instantly, my vision returned and I could see through the buildings as though they didn’t exist!
“I’m doing it again!” I called out. “Come and see.”
“No, I’m not going out there again!”
“But I’m not lying!…I can see, clearly,…quick,…before it goes again!”
“I’m going to be annoyed if you keep this up!” he said, stepping out onto the balcony. “Right then,…what can you see?”
“Nothing at the moment,…it’s gone again!” A sound of exasperation met my ears.
“Hang on,” I said. “I know how to do this…just give me a moment?”
“This better be good!” he remarked.
I closed my eyes; took a few short breaths and opened them again, willing myself to see.
At once, my vision returned. “There it is!” I exclaimed, “Look!”
“I’m looking,” he said, “I can’t see anything!”
“But you must do!” I pleaded. “If I can see, then you can also!”
“What is it that you see then?”
“There’s a big round dome. It’s green coloured!”
“Just houses and trees!”
“Your imagining it!” he said. “There’s no green dome over there!”
“Well, I don’t know how far away it is?” I offered; “It could be miles away?”
“There’s no green dome that I know of, in that direction!”
“But there is. I can see it clearly!” I raised my arm and pointed directly at it.
“It’s no good pointing!” he said, “I can’t see what you’re looking at!”
This was really quite frustrating for me, yet after he had gone back indoors; I reflected somewhat about matters. It dawned upon me that what I had, was a gift. Maybe, a gift from God? Something to help me out, in this different dimension that I now lived?
As I am having a short breather, I thought I’d let you know of a song that I am working on.
I’m hoping to get in touch with Thomas Tallis (Tallys) as regards the music.
This is an exclusive; just for those that read this blog. I hope you like it?
My name is Certain
I’m a G-H-O-S-T
Although I can be spoken to
I’m very hard to see
For I am Certain
I’m a G-H-O-S-T
I’m not of this dimension
I think you can agree
I travel on a vortex
And get back home for tea
For I am Certain
I’m a G-H-O-S-T
And if you hear me rapping
Don’t worry it’s just me
I’m a G-H-O-S-T
Well,…..maybe not? A psychic voice in my ear has told me that it reminds them of Monty Python’s ‘Lumberjack’ song?
I can’t be having that!
More seriously: it has been suggested that Thomas Tallis (Tallys) may have difficulty getting a tune out of it? I don’t know….I’m not sure? It could be ‘back to the drawing-board’ with that particular venture?
Anyway, just treat it as a short diversion. I will be posting again, soon; with more revelations regarding the events at Green Street.
I’d been having a quiet time to myself. A couple of visits to my special place; the loft above the nave of St James church, and a couple of ventures to the cemetery at Chingford Mount; plus, a visit to Waltham Abbey to listen to the organ practice there, had helped me to switch-off for a while. I needed the break. Even my astral-planing, I had put aside. I’d been thinking about matters; trying to get to grips with myself and life in general. I couldn’t carry on like this, I decided. I needed a job. After all; if a future with Janet was to be fulfilled, then I needed to get my act together at some time? I still had six or seven years, I reasoned; yet time was moving on and nothing appeared to be occurring with me, mentally. I seemed to be stuck in the timeless state of the now. Beyond Janet, I couldn’t envision anything of the future. Any realistic hopes I had to the future were continually being undermined by a mental elastic cord, which pulled me back to the present. I had to confront my own demons. My own inadequacies. And; I had to defeat them, before I could move on.
My thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the front-door. I was surprised to see Janet and Margaret standing there. Mother had just left to go into Enfield town. “Can we have a chat?” asked Margaret. “Yes…of course…come in! Mothers gone out and won’t be back for a while.”
“Yes, we know,” said Janet. “We’ve just seen her getting on a bus.”
Both girls looked quite smart in appearance. Yet, they had a troubled air about them. I commented about how nice they both looked and asked them to take a seat. After they had seated themselves, carefully, upon the settee; I asked them what the problem was.
“Can you do something?” asked Janet, somewhat cautiously.
“Do something? What do you mean?” I responded.
“Yes, we wanted to ask you something,” said Margaret.
“Well,…go on then.”
“You know,…you say you are the poltergeist,” continued Margaret. I nodded.
“Well,…could you do something? Nothing much is happening at the moment?”
“Well,…move a chair or something!” said Margaret.
“Yes,…or some more knocks on the walls!” enjoined Janet. “It’s really quiet at the moment!”
“Yes, well,…I’ve been having a break,” I explained. “I’ve decided to give it a rest, for a bit.”
Both girls looked a bit anxious. “I’ve been thinking of your mum,” I went on. “She must need a break from it all?” This was true, for I had been a little concerned about her. I couldn’t be doing with a replay of the time before, when she had walked up the road, calling out my name!
“She’s alright about it now,” said Janet. Margaret nodded in agreement.
“Ummm….well…I need a rest myself, sometimes,” I said. “It can be pretty tiring doing this, you know?”
“Yes, that’s what we wanted to ask you,” said Janet. “Is there anything that we can do,..to make it easier for you?”
This was unusual, and quite unexpected, and I began to suspect that they were relaying a message; most probably from either Grosse or Playfair. I’d had my suspicions about how much those two really new about matters – to what end, and how much, if anything, Peggy may have told them?
“What do you mean?” I responded.
“Well,..you know…something that makes it easier for you?”
“Well,..we don’t know?” said Janet. “You would know?” continued Margaret.
I sat back in the chair, and put the tips of my fingers together in front of my eyes, as I contemplated matters.
“Well,…there is something that you could do?” I said, at length. I looked at the girls and regarded them both, wonderingly. “Anything?” I asked.
A period of silence followed as the girls seemed to take on the implications of my question. They looked about the room as they thought. “Well,… it all depends what you mean, by anything?” Margaret spoke, at last.
“There is something that you could do, for me,” I asked.
“Will it make it easier?” asked Janet. I nodded. “Go on then!” said Margaret. “What is it?”
“You can take those posters down,…in your bedroom.”
The girls briefly glanced at each other, before Janet asked, “What posters?”
“Yes,..what posters?” repeated Margaret.
“You know,…the ones on the walls,” I said. “Bay City Rollers’…isn’t it?…Starsky and Hutch?”
“What!…and that will make it easier, will it?” exclaimed Janet. “Yes,” I said, and nodded.
“I wasn’t expecting you to say that!” Margaret said, in a surprised voice.
“What was you expecting, then?”
“Well,…I don’t know…just…not that?” she answered.
Janet looked decidedly downcast. “But, I like my posters!” she stated, purposefully.
“You can put them up on the other walls,” I explained, “but they’ve got to come down around your bed!”
“What about my posters?” asked Margaret.
“No, they can stay there.”
“I can’t see why that makes it easier?” said Janet. “No, nor can I?” agreed Margaret.
“Well, that’s what I want,” I said. “Can you do that?”
“What,..all of them?”
“Yes,..all of them.”
Janet thought for a while, before resigning herself with the words; “I suppose so?”
Of course, having posters on the walls made ‘not a jot’ of difference to my astral projections.
However, I was acutely aware of a sense of jealousy within myself. I suppose that I begrudged Janet casting her affections towards her ‘Idols’; false as they were. The girls had given me an opportunity to do something about it, and I had taken that opportunity. Naturally, I couldn’t relate to them my reasoning.
I was still perplexed about this inquiry from them. It felt to me as though the girls had been put under pressure from other people. I asked them if they had come to me of their own accord, or; had someone instructed them to?
They were not convincing in their response, yet admitted that some of the visitors to their home seemed to be of the opinion that the girls were faking it. It was getting the girls down. Putting them in a low mood. ‘Ray Alan,’ for instance, the famous ventriloquist; had called at their place with an air of disbelief about him. So had others.
“They think that we’re making it all up!” a downbeat Janet complained to me. That made me fill, somewhat, sad.
A couple of days had passed since my impromptu visit to my nans. I had left the records behind, for her to enjoy at her leisure. Anyway, there was no point in me bringing them home. I had nothing to play them on, and I thought it a good idea to leave them there; as we could listen again, the next time I visited. This was with her permission, of course.
So, I was puzzled by Mothers request for me to go and collect them? She’d been out to the shops, and had spoken to nan on the phone. “But, I’ve only just recently left them there?” I exclaimed. “Well, she wants you to go back and pick them up!” insisted Mother.
After a bit of thought, I came to the conclusion that this was an excuse for Nan to see me again.
She was probably lonely? I put this idea to Mother. She agreed with me that it was a bit odd, but nan had been insistent. Apparently, there was something wrong with the records. ‘They kept playing by themselves?’ Beyond that, it was as puzzling to Mother, as it was to myself.
Something, I decided, had been lost ‘in translation?’ I mean; how can records play by themselves? I suspected a fault with the radiogram.
Of course, I went straight to the phone-box at the top of Green Street and phoned Nan.
Yet, my call to her only confused matters further. Something about; ‘they keep on playing by themselves; despite being removed from the radiogram?’ This was an odd thing to contemplate; records that played by themselves? Yet, she was adamant. I would have to go and see for myself – she proposed. She would pay my travel costs, and I am to go and collect the records as soon as possible. She “can’t stand any more nights like this!”
Most perplexing? I told her not to worry, and that I would come over there, the next day.
“Don’t leave it too long,” she pleaded. “I’m afraid to touch them!”
Speaking with Mother, later, she and I ‘sort of’ came to the conclusion that there was a fault with the radiogram and it was probably switching itself on and replaying the record upon the turntable. She would need to leave it unplugged until I got there. As nan wasn’t getting much sleep over this matter, Mother made another phone-call to Nan, to tell her of our deliberations. Yet, upon returning from the call-box; Mother appeared more confused than ever.
Nan had agreed to unplug the radiogram, but couldn’t see how that would make any difference?
I wasn’t want to travelling out before lunch-time, but the following morning (and with Mother’s insistence) I made the effort. Instead of getting the bus to Enfield Town, and the train from there; I decided to start my journey from Brimsdown rail-station. This meant a short journey on the tube, upon reaching London. I didn’t mind that; anything to make the journey (and a somewhat unnecessary journey, as far as I was concerned) more interesting. Anyway, it gave me an opportunity to scan the area of Green Street to which an unusual event had taken place, and to which; I alone appeared to be the only witness? And, I’m not talking about the house at 284. (I shall tell of this at another time.) Janet and Margaret were at school, so I didn’t dither whilst passing their house, but walked with deliberation to the train station. The train was on time, and my journey went smoothly; which gave me high hopes of resolving the issue with the radiogram, quickly. I would have to examine the mechanism, I realised. ‘Shouldn’t be too difficult?’
Nan appeared a bit anxious as she opened the front door, and her smile seemed a bit strained. Seeing her like this was a bit unnerving, and made me glad that I had come over as soon as possible. I reassured her that I would soon put things right and went into the front room, to look at the radiogram. As nan made tea in the kitchen, I ran my eyes over the wooden cabinet and could see that it had been unplugged. I next lifted the lid of the player. There was no record upon the turntable. The radiogram had two cabinet doors within which records could be stored, vertically. Opening both doors, I could see records stashed therein, yet no sign of the records which I had left there? I took out a record, removed the dust-jacket and placed it upon the turntable. I plugged in the radiogram, made sure that it was set to the correct rpm, and switched it on.
As the strains of; ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by the Beatles, filled the room; nan appeared at the front room door with the teapot. “What are you doing?” nan asked as she placed the teapot upon the dining table. “Well, I’m testing it to see what the problem is?” I answered.
“But, I’ve tried to tell you,….it’s nothing to do with the player?” she responded.
I scratched my head with my fingers and asked her where the records were, that I had brought over? “I’ve put them in the other room,” she explained. As I opened the door to the other room, she implored me to leave the records in there; until I was ready to take them home.
I found the records upon a chair, with a stash of books piled upon them.
Over tea and biscuits, nan explained more of what had occurred. Apparently; she had gone to bed quite late at night, but after falling asleep was awoken by the sounds of a harpsichord. She was sure that she hadn’t left the record on the turntable, yet upon arising, was surprised to find the radiogram switched on, and the record playing! Doubting her own reasoning, she accepted that she may have forgotten the circumstances before getting into bed, that night. But, the second night left her in no doubt whatsoever. She had gone to bed at half-eleven at night, and had made sure that the records were stashed away and with the player switched off. Although, she accepted that she hadn’t actually unplugged it. At about 2am in the morning, she was awoken again, by the intrusive sounds of a harpsichord! This time, she was too afraid to get out of bed and investigate, but decided to wait until morning. She couldn’t sleep whilst the record was playing, yet the record suddenly stopped playing after about ten minutes. Still, she stayed in bed; fearful of the circumstances. Upon arising the following morning, she had cautiously opened the bedroom door to find the radiogram switched on, with the turntable still revolving.
Yet, the record and its separate dust-jacket were laying on the floor, nearby!
Of course, this had been extremely disturbing for her, I now realised. And it was the reason as to why she had placed both records in the other room, and had placed books upon them; to weigh them down!
I took my time whilst I thought over the implications of this. A couple of pots of tea and some more biscuits, before I came to a reason. I asked nan if there had been any repetition in the flat of spooky events, which those in the family were well aware; from years previously. No, nothing. Nothing, that is, until this latest incident.
There were several events to which I had to consider regarding this. Knocks upon the front door, which, when answered, revealed no-one there? This would happen intermittently. Another, more substantial event would be the mysterious sound of someone using a key at the front door to let themselves in, followed by footsteps along the passageway, and ending just outside the front-room door. All members of the family had experienced this. One night, as a child, I was watching television with the family in the front room. The sound of the front door being unlocked and opened, took everyone’s attention. I got up from the floor and went to the front-room door, which was closed, and peered through the keyhole. Although the light was out, in the hallway, I could see clearly due to light coming in through the glass in the front door. My eyes grew wider, as I endeavoured to see, as the sound of footsteps made their way straight to where I was. The footsteps stopped directly outside the living room door, at which point I stepped back from the door, expecting the door to open. “There’s nobody there!” I exclaimed. Other members of my family, told me to come away from the door and sit down. ‘Ignore it!’ I was told. They had obviously learnt how to deal with it. “But, the door-handel’s turning now!” I exclaimed, further. Everyone turned to look, and the door-handle twisted back and forth, slowly, as though someone was trying to open it! I was told to sit down, once more. But, after a minute, I got impatient. “Well, I’m going to open it,” I said. Before anyone could object, I had my hand upon the doorknob and opened the door. There was nothing there! I stood looking along the hallway; mothers admonishment wringing in my ears. “I told you to leave it!” The family had a way of dealing with these repetitive incidents. They would ignore them for ten minutes. Then it would subside and be over, until the next time it occurred. Which would occur about twice a week on active occasions. Once about every four months, on others. Being of tender age, these incidents would play upon my mind. I was prone to sleepwalking. A few times, I had to be taken back to bed from where I had been found; in the hallway; standing next to the light switch; switching it on and off. It didn’t worry me, of course; me being asleep. But it definitely put the jitters up the rest of my family! Incidentally; I would sometimes make phone-calls, in the night, to complete strangers, and engage them in conversation! Nan had to install a lock on the telephone!
Anyhow; as far as matters concerning these latest incidents were concerned; there was something else to which I had to take into account. The issue of ‘Bill.’ Had he followed me to my nans? Had he hitched a ride upon my coat-tails, and decided to amuse himself there?
I didn’t mention ‘Bill’ to my nan. There was no point in complicating matters, I realised.
This issue I had, with ‘Bill,’ was something to which I sought to expunge from my mind. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel that there was a connection, somehow, to my childhood experiences at Highgate Cemetery. I have mentioned this before, briefly, but think it is worth a more detailed retelling. Firstly, I should state that the name ‘Bill’ was not a name with which I was familiar, in the ghostly sense. As my memory serves; the ghost at Highgate introduced himself as ‘Joe.’ That, of itself, does not rule out the possibility that they were one and the same. My experience of these matters makes me mindful of the way these spirits can change personality; midstream, as it were. This can occur if one is able to talk to and question them. My knowledge of the astral plane (more precisely; the realm of equilibrium) and my own chats upon it, with Maurice Grosse, taught me as such. I too had felt the need, under questioning, to change tack. It is as though the questioning becomes threatening to one. A sort of irrational fear takes hold, and one becomes mindful of losing control of a situation. I assume that it is the same, for ghosts?
I had experienced already, the sensation of being a ghost myself, following my fatal fall from the wall onto the pavement. But, that was as a child, and was of too short a duration to gain the required knowledge. And, it was as a child that I used to visit Highgate Cemetery. Those visits of mine, came at a time when I had become withdrawn (owing to my fatal fall.) Therefore; I went alone. Anyone who has visited the cemetery at Highgate, will know of its overgrown, unkempt, appearance. The cemetery itself is divided into two parts. There is the part which contains the mausoleums, which used to be free entry for children accompanied by adults. I would gain entry there by claiming that I was attached to a visiting group. Worked every time. The other part is more like a traditional cemetery. Unkempt and gothic, this was free to enter for visitors. On one occasion, I had ventured there, and keeping to the path on the left (the edifice of Karl Marx’s grave on my right} continued along the pathway to the far end, where it turned. Then, I left the pathway, and went off to explore the denser parts, further on.
This was quite hazardous, as gravestones presented unseen obstacles amongst the overgrown vegetation. I picked my way through, carefully, and full of the sense of exploration. The further I pushed on, the darker it became. Trees and thickets grew densely here, and fought with the headstones for space. It was then that I experienced a sudden coldness. In fact, it got so cold that I decided to abandon my explore and make my way back to the pathway, and where the sun shone brightly and warmly. I remember standing upon the path, wondering about the chill I’d felt. I must have stayed there for five minutes or so, until I felt sufficiently warmed to resume my adventure.
Then, I walked the path until it began to turn back in the other direction. Over to my left, an area of unexplored cemetery caught my attention. I had a look about me and could see that there was no-one else in the cemetery. A couple that I had observed, earlier, had now appeared to have left. I was on my own. This added to my sense of exhilaration. I then decided to venture into this other, overgrown area. Leaving the path once more, and mindful of the chillness that I had felt earlier, I went with determination into the darkness. If it got too cold, then I would retreat again, I decided. I must have gone about a couple of yards into the unknown, when a voice, from out of nowhere, suddenly spoke! “What is it!” it said. I stayed silent, and turned every which way to find the source. My first thought was that someone else was in there. My eyesight was not the best, and the intense darkness after stepping out from the sunshine, made it difficult to observe much beyond a couple of yards. As I strained to see; “What is it!” sounded out again.
The voice sounded harsh. It was male, yet it’s age was difficult to determine. A man, for sure, and sounded as if about twenty paces away.
I got a little fearful. “I’m only exploring,” I said, into the surrounding darkness. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you?” I decided to leave my explore and make my way back to the path. “Where ‘yer going?” the voice spoke, as I made my way out of the denseness. I went slowly, in a nonchalant manner, mindful of upsetting the man. “I’m going out,” I said, “onto the path.”
“No!…don’t go!” the man spoke, “I want to talk to you.” “But I’m cold,” I said, “I want to get into the sunshine.”
“Can you feel the sun, then?”
“And how do you do that?”
“I just walk onto the pathway and into the sunlight!”
“I wish I could do that!”
I stopped in my tracks. “Well, you can do it?” I answered, perplexed at the man’s difficulty.
“No, I cannot feel the sunshine!” the voice responded.
“Are you hurt then?” I asked.
“What ‘yer mean?”
“Are you injured?…do you need help?”
“No… I’m not hurt.”
“No,…it’s worse than that!”
“I can get the caretaker?” I offered. “He can help you?”
“Yes, of course!” I said. “He can call for help?”
It suddenly went quiet. I could almost feel the voice, thinking.
“You don’t understand?” the voice started up again. It seemed resigned. I felt somewhat sorry for the man. “Anyway, I’ve got to go,” I said.
“Can you see me?” the voice asked. “No…it’s too dark,” I answered.
“I’ll come closer,” it said.
I waited, but could observe nothing. Nor was there any sound of movement amongst the undergrowth. “Right!…what about now!”
The voice suddenly appeared to be much closer! Still, I could not observe anything.
“No,…I cannot see you. Follow me into the light,” I offered, “I can see you there?”
“But, you’re looking straight at me!” said the voice.
I looked intently into the denseness of the overhanging trees and bushes, yet could see nothing!
“Come into the light?” I repeated.
“It won’t matter!” said the voice. “Make no difference!” I stayed silent. Strangely, my fear had left me. Instead, my fear was replaced with a new-found confidence. Despite everything, and my slow realisation that this was probably a ghost; it seemed to me as if I had the upper-hand. I began to feel sorry for the voice. Suddenly, it spoke again. “What’s your name?” it asked. I told him my name. Next, it asked my age. I was ten years of age, I told him.
“Ummm,…do you know how old I am?” I shook my head.
“Guess?” said the ghost.
I couldn’t guess. I began to look around at the gravestones, to find an age.
“You don’t seem afraid?” the voice observed. “I don’t feel afraid?” I responded.
“Do you like exploring?” it asked. I told him that I did.
“I’m an explorer!” it offered. “Where do you explore?” I asked. “All over!” it answered.
“All over here, you mean?”
“No, not here. All over the globe!”
“How do you do that?”
“I’m a sailor!” It said, with something of pride.
“Oh, I see!” I remarked. I became thoughtful.
“Well,….I used to,” it qualified. A question came into mind. “Can you tell me,..why is it not so cold here. It was very cold over the other place?”
A period of silence followed, and I waited for a response.
Suddenly, it spoke again: “Whereabouts?”
“Over there,” I said, pointing in the general direction from which I had come.
“You’ve got to go!” the ghost said. “But why?” I asked. ‘Don’t ask, just go!” it insisted.
“But, I don’t understand?” I said. I heard a sigh, and then the ghost spoke again.
“There’s someone else here!” the ghost explained. “Someone,…not very nice!”
As I thought things through, the ghost asked; had I seen anyone over there?
“No?” I replied.
“Now listen!” the ghost continued, with urgency in his voice. “Have you seen a very tall man,….wearing a cloak?”
“No,” I responded.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
Another period of silence followed, until the ghost suddenly said; “He’s here,…I know he is!”
“Whos here?” I asked.
“Look, you have to go now!” exclaimed the voice, with urgency.
“Alright, I’m going!” I responded. As I made my way from out of the bushes and into the sunshine, the ghost called out. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going home,” I replied.
“Good!” the ghost said. “Don’t go over there again”
It occurred to me that I knew little of the ghost. “What’s your name?” I called out.
“Joe,” the ghost called back. And then; “Quick!..he’s coming!….I can sense him!”
I did as the ghost (Joe) asked and made haste out of the cemetery. The anxiety in his voice had unsettled me, somewhat.
A couple of things here, to note: Firstly; the voice of the ghost, spoke with the same accent and in the same rough tone as ‘Bill.’ Secondly; he used virtually the same method of contact, that is; he announced himself from out of nowhere, and from behind bushes. He also made the same remark that ‘Bill’ had done, at St James church, Enfield, when he said; “But you’re looking straight at me!”
A coincidence? I’m not sure, even to this day. Of course the name he gave was different; but hey!…I know that they can change their name when it suits them to?
After leaving the cemetery, I made my way back home via Highgate Hill. There; my attention was caught by the large bright-green dome, of the Church of St Joseph. It was the same dome that I had observed with my remote observation, from my home; a few miles away. Of that, there is definitely no doubt whatsoever!
I arrived back in Enfield, carrying the two LP’s. Nan had offered me to stay, overnight, to experience the record-playing phenomena for myself, stating that; she felt safe regarding this, with me being there. But, I was keen to return home. Anyway, I couldn’t see how I was going to get to sleep myself, with this creepy phenomena on my mind. You could say that this was a missed opportunity by me? A chance to witness this ghostly activity, first hand? Yet, there was so much going on back at Green Street, that urgency over this matter didn’t seem pressing.
I’d declined the offer of a carrier bag to carry the records in; I said that it wasn’t necessary as I would be reading the record covers on the way home. Not only that; I wanted to have close contact with them. I hoped that by holding them, I may pick up some sort of psychic intuition from them? After all; if a ghost had held them, then there may be a chance that something of the essence of the ghost may remain with them? It would give me something to think about, on the journey home.
So immersed did I become in thought, that the train approached Enfield in no time at all. I’d arrived at Ponders End and made a snap decision to get off the train there, instead of Brimsdown. It meant a longer walk home, but I could take the footpath from Alma Road to Durants Park and avoid walking past 284 Green Street. I felt the need to switch off, mentally, from the events going on there. So it was then, deep in thought, that I took the pathway that led into the park.
I suppose that I’d walked about ten paces into the park itself when a voice, over to my right and behind, called out….“Stuart!” I turned to look and saw Margaret upon a swing in the play area. “Look!,” she said to Janet who was upon the swing next to her, “it’s Stuart Certain!”
There was a sudden flurry of activity, as other children who had been using the play area suddenly decided to leave, ‘en masse’ as it were. Janet and Margaret left the swings and walked over to me. They seemed pleased to see me, yet I was quite perplexed at the sudden departure of the others. Before the girls had a chance to say anything, I asked them why it was that the others had left so promptly? “I don’t know?” responded Janet, looking behind her. I looked at Margaret. She shrugged her shoulders and offered the explanation that they had probably left to get home for Tea? “What,…all of them?” I uttered. There must have been about eight or nine others who had been in the play area. “Have you told them of me?” I asked. “No, well…not really?” Janet said. I quickly put ‘two and two’ together. “Did you do as I suggested?” I asked, “regarding the bullying?” Janet confirmed that she had, although she admitted that she’d used the name ‘Stuart Certain’ instead of ‘Simon.’
On a previous occasion we had discussed the bullying that had gone on at school, and of how Johnny, the girls eldest brother, had gotten into fights because of it.
“Tell them; that if it happens again, that Simon Certain will come looking for them!” I had suggested to Janet. It had had the desired effect, it appeared.
“What have you got there?” Janet asked, changing the subject. “A couple of records,” I answered. “Well,..yes, I can see that!” she exclaimed, and then; “what records?” I showed them to her. “Harp..si..chord?” she observed, She grimaced, as she pronounced the word. “Yes,” I responded, “it’s a musical instrument,…a bit like a piano.” “What’s happened to your coat?” she then asked, changing the subject once more and looking at the tear in my jacket. “Yes, I was going to ask you that!” expressed Margaret. I looked down at the pocket of the jacket which now flopped, half open, owing to the diagonal rip which ran from the corner of the pocket and into the leather coat itself. “Yes,” I said, looking at it ruefully. “It happened as I was escaping from a ghost!”
Both girls looked rather bemused at that, before Janet broke into a smile and asked “When was that!” “Yes, where was that?” asked Margaret, obviously amused herself. “Well,…you can laugh!” I said, “but it was no laughing matter for me, I can tell you!”
The girls had had enough of the swings and decided to walk with me as I made my way across the park. They listened intently and patiently, as I related to them about the ghost that I had seen and of how I had hauled myself over the spiked fence at the rear of the church graveyard, and torn my jacket in the process.
“Rena says she saw a ghost over there, too!” Janet suddenly expressed. “Did she!” I exclaimed, “when was that?” “ A couple of weeks ago, I think?” offered Janet, looking at Margaret for confirmation. “I’m not sure when it was?” said Margaret. “And was it a female ghost, like the one I saw?” I asked. “No, I don’t think so?” answered Janet. “No, it was the ghost of a man,” Margaret clarified. “It was in the same area though,…the same part of the graveyard,..on the same side of the church!” “Was it!” I exclaimed, “at what time of day?”
“I’m not sure?” said Margaret, “it could have been at night?”
“What!…..and she goes over there at night, does she!”
“Sometimes,…I think?” replied Margaret.
“To do what?” I exclaimed.
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask her?” Margaret replied.
Suddenly, a thought occurred to me.
“Tell me again,..when did this happen?” I asked to both.
“I’m not really sure,” said Margaret. “I think it was a couple of weeks ago?”
“Yes,….it was a couple of weeks,” agreed Janet.
“Look,” I said, “see if you can find out more from Rena, about this ghost that she saw?”
“Why?” expressed Janet.
“Well, I’m interested,” I said. “I’d like to know more.”
“You can ask her?” said Janet.
“No, I think it’s best left to you,” I said, “she knows you both and trusts you. Better you ask.”
At that, the girls said their farewells before veering away on the direction to their home.
I was left with a lot to ponder. That night, laying upon my bed, I gave the matter of the records a miss, and occupied myself with the issue of ‘Rena’s’ ghost. It was interesting to me that Rena had seen a ghost; in the same part of the graveyard that I had seen a ghost. The fact that her ghost appeared to be male, was interesting. ‘Could it have been ‘Bill’?’ I wondered. I would need to know the age. And what was this, with Rena going over the graveyard at night? That was really perplexing to me. ‘What, on earth, was she doing? Was she on the lookout for ghosts? If so, then I thought it a rather hazardous thing to do at night, what with her being alone and all.’
Something very odd was going on with her, that was for sure. So strange was this development that I even contemplated, briefly, the idea that we had both been in the graveyard at the same time and had mistaken each other for ghosts! It couldn’t be,….could it?
That night, I had the strangest dream, and a very uncomfortable sleep. I kept waking to the non-existent sound of a harpsichord being played. When I did manage to sleep, Rena would appear and ask me what I thought of her earrings? I was glad when morning arrived. Over breakfast, I contemplated matters further. What exactly, I wondered, did this all mean?
……………………….Poltergeist captured on film !!!…………………………..
It was quite bright out, weather wise. It had stopped raining, and occasionally the sun would filter between the clouds and lift the spirits. Still, it remained cool, and I had felt the need to wear my fisherman’s pullover; a dark coloured, chunky affair which could keep one warm even in freezing conditions. Anyway; I had no jacket, since Mother had drawn attention to its tattered appearance. Apart from a few scuff-marks, here and there, the irreparable rip to the pocket had me finally agreeing with her about it’s dreadful appearance. It was a shame, because I really liked that jacket. It was with a heavy heart, that I had finally rolled it up and deposited it in the dustbin.
I had ventured along the road to Brimsdown, and to the newsagents there, in a vain attempt at purchasing my favoured ‘Passing Cloud’ cigarettes. I knew from experience that the shops along the highway didn’t stock them. I knew of a shop in Enfield Town that still stocked them, but I was short of cash for the bus-fare, and the walk to the town would have been heavy going, wearing my pullover. As it was, even the stroll along Green Street had me breaking out in a sweat. It had been a wasted effort, anyway, as the shop-owners there had never heard of them. So it was then, that I braced myself for the walk back home. At least I had another opportunity to see if the girls were around, I reasoned. On my first walk, I had kept a watch out for them, which included a short detour into Durants Park. I’d had no luck there, and wasn’t overly surprised to see Maurice Grosses’ ‘Hillman imp’ parked outside their home as I walked by.
‘Do these people ever give up?’ I asked myself. ‘They’ve been here for months! If it wasn’t for the presence of these ghost-chasers, then I could have called at 284 myself? As long as my excuse for doing so, was reasonable?’ Yet, I was wary of being seen by Maurice Grosse or Guy Playfair, or indeed; any of the paranormal investigators who visited. I reasoned that they might ask the girls as to who I was, and that might lead to the girls inadvertently giving my identity away. I wanted no part of the media circus that had been going on there. In fact, I viewed the ghost-chasers as interlopers; intruders, almost, upon my territorial claims to 284 and the paranormal activity going on there.
After all, I reasoned, was it not I, (‘Bill’ aside) who was responsible for much of it? Had I not begun the whole thing with my shamanic raps upon the walls? Was it not I, who had caused Janet to levitate? Had it been not I, that had knocked over the chest of drawers in the small back-bedroom? (accidentally, I might add.) Was it not my very own marbles, that dropped through my bedroom floor and flew around the front room of the Hodgsons house, causing everyone to take evasive action? Was it not I, who had fired a lego-brick with the aid of an elastic band, and hit Graham Morris on the head? The list was endless.
I doubted very much; that when it came down to it, that they would show much appreciation?
So it was then, and with these considerations upon my mind, that I began my walk back home.
I was cautious as I neared 284, from across the road. I didn’t want to make it obvious that I was perusing the property for a chance to catch sight of Janet or Margaret. I slowed as I got nearer, and lit one of my remaining cigarettes. As I did so, the front door of the house came open. At that point, I really thought that this was it. ‘I’d been seen, and identified by one of the girls looking out from behind the net curtains’ As Maurice Grosse emerged from the house, I was expecting him to come straight across to me, to confront me? He had a look of concern upon his face. However, halfway to the front gate, someone called out from within the house. Grosse turned back and went to the doorway, where he got into conversation with someone, within. I decided to stay where I was and listen in. The traffic was very light at that time, and I could hear quite clearly what was being said. I realised then, that Grosse was preoccupied with something other than me. “I can let you have this reel,” said someone unknown, “but that’s all.” “Well, it’s not my fault!” complained Grosse. “What happened then?” said another unidentifiable voice. “A van pulled out right in front of me,” explained Groose. “Couldn’t you have carried on?” asked someone. “No, it ruined the whole thing…I wanted a clear view!” said Grosse. “Well, you’d better get it right this time?” a voice from inside protested, “we don’t have much left,…and it’s expensive.” “Well, how much then?” responded Grosse, “for god’s sake!…I’ll pay for it myself!,..it can’t be that much?” “Where do you want to film from then?” enquired someone. “Just the length of Green Street, that’s all!” replied Grosse. “You can use this reel,” said someone, “but that’s it. Do you want me to fit it for you?” “No,” said Grosse, “I think I can manage that!” Grosse then went into the house and quickly emerged holding what looked like a small reel of film. He seemed to be muttering something to himself, as he got into his car and began fitting the reel to a cine-camera mounted upon the dashboard. After he did that, he got back out of the car and returned inside the house. “Look,…I’m sorry?” said Grosse, “I didn’t mean to get short with you.” “Don’t worry about it!” said someone. “No, it’s alright!” said someone else. “Do you want me to check it, for you?” “No, it’s alright. I’m sure it’s fitted correctly.?” answered Grosse. “I’ll be about ten minutes.” “Ok then,…. I’ll remove the film for you when you get back.” said someone.
So absorbed did I become in this conversation, that my cigarette burnt down, with me hardly having a draw upon it! “Damn!” I muttered. As Grosse made his way back to his car, I feigned lighting another cigarette by cupping my hands across my face. I then idled on, up the road. I heard Grosse start his car and drive off. I decided to wait before turning around to see where he was going. It was just as well that I did, as within a few seconds his car passed me by, on it’s way up Green Street. As I got near the park, I looked ahead to see if he was on his way back. I expected to see him parked upon the other side of the road, waiting for a break in the traffic. Yet, I could not see his car anywhere?
‘He must have gone up further, around the bend in the road?’ I reasoned.
I then contemplated matters.
‘Well, that was interesting, for sure!’ I thought. ‘I’d actually heard Maurice Grosse lose his temper with someone! Still, he did apologise after? Maybe, he was showing signs of strain, and frustration at not being able to solve this case? It looked to me as if he needed a break?’
I’d reached almost the end of the parklands, when another pronounced lull in the traffic occurred. I looked ahead of me, intently. Then, I saw a car come round the curve in the street, at moderate speed. As it progressed along the road, my self-awareness suddenly kicked in. I quickly walked the few steps to the park notice-board and turned my back to the car. Then, I tried to act nonchalantly by leaning upon the notice board. I waited as the sound of his car went by, and then watched as the car ambled onwards towards 284. ‘Well, he got his clear run this time!’ I thought. If only he realised that Stuart Certain was observing him, all the while? I felt quite pleased, as I had avoided being filmed myself, and had gained an insight into what actually occurs during these filming sessions. Of how personal frustrations and stress can boil over into heated debate? Yes, it was a real eye-opener!
Upon ‘YouTube’ a video can be found called simply; The Enfield Poltergeist. In it, Maurice Grosse returns to the house in Green Street, in order to interview Peggy and Margaret, some twenty years after the events. He begins by driving down the street, whilst filming a view from the dashboard of his car. That film, I believe, originates from some time in 1978; although, a commentary has been added to it. As he nears the open fields of Durants Park, a figure can be seen, with his back to the camera and leaning upon the notice-board to the park.
That figure is wearing what appears to be the same clothes as I had worn; a pair of flared and bleached Lee Cooper jeans, and a fisherman’s sweater. If that film does indeed date from 1978, then it is I, in person. Without question. If, on the other hand, the film dates from much later: then, taking all the circumstances into consideration, it must be an astral-projection of myself, from the past!
Goodbye, Guy. I hope that you find what you’re searching for. SC
……Carmilla Karnstein….FRED….Simon Certain….Stuart Certain……
………………………The ENFIELD POLTERGEIST……………………..
I have decided, after much thought, to continue with my recollections. True; due to the passing of Guy Playfair, I had earlier decided to bring proceedings to a halt. And, it is also true that his passing left me feeling unaccountably depressed. It is as though another link to my past has been severed. Yet, as time moves on, I ask myself the question: what would Guy have done, had the situation been reversed? That is; if it had been I that had shed this mortal coil, first? Would he have stopped selling his book? Would he have declined interviews, in which he promoted his one-sided view of the events at Green Street? After some consideration, I realised that the likely answer to this is: No, he wouldn’t. So, in that regard, I shouldn’t feel any sense of contrition over this? Of course, Guy is no longer able to refute or rebuff anything that I say. Yet, he had plenty of opportunity to do so, already, if he so wished?
There is, however, another reason for my continuing. It’s those psychic forces. They have no intention of letting me rest, until I have related all of my recollections regarding this case. That, despite their seeking (at the outset) to prevent me from doing so, and their continued interference in my mental approach to matters. No, it appears that once started; I have now to finish. I can sense that, there is no chance of my being able to give-up on proceedings now. They are determined that I have now to see this through, to the bitter end. What a fate I have! I have already told of my former experience as a ghost. Now, I can honestly say that I know what it feels like, to be like a ghost that carries the weight of chains about it. So, I am fated to carry those clunking chains until such time as I have told all. Or, almost all, anyway. Some matters, I may need to talk with the psychic-council about, as they may appear too dark for general consumption? I may need clearance? Anyway, I still have some way to go, before I can break those psychic chains which weigh me down. So, with that in mind, I shall continue soon. This coming week-end, probably? See you then.
We’d had our supper, which was just as well. I had also made a pot of tea and we, that is; my Mother, my sisters and I, settled down to watch the evening’s TV entertainment. Without warning, for there had been no notification of such, the TV went silent and blank. The lights went out also, and the sound from the fridge. After a few seconds of sitting in silent darkness, Mother was the first to speak. “Oh no!” she exclaimed, “it’s a power-cut!” Then, as an afterthought, “Maybe the fuse has blown?” I was tasked with checking the fuse’s. This was no easy matter, in the dark. It must have been November, for the evening had drawn in quite quickly. The fuse-box was in the living room, and entailed some shuffling around of the furniture to gain access. Fortunately, I had the forethought of opening the curtains, so as to let in some light from the streetlamps. However, it made no difference, for they were out, too. In fact, looking out through the bay-window, I could see that the whole street was in total darkness. “Not much point in checking the fuses,” I said, “I can’t see a light on anywhere, outside?”
I then decided to walk along Green Street, to ascertain the scale of the problem. The highway itself, and the shops there, had no lights showing either. Most of the shops had shut by that time anyway, and there appeared to be few people around. Walking back down the street, and rounding the curve in the road, I could see that the power-cut extended as far as the eye could see. The night was overcast and chilly. One or two small light sources showed up along the road, obviously the result of candle power. Other than that, the headlights from the cars provided the only illumination. Arriving back home, a glow emanated from the kitchen. Mother had turned on two of the burners on the stove. With the aid of this light, my sisters sat at the kitchen table and occupied themselves with colouring-books. We had no candles, or torch. Not much of anything, in fact. “I hope this doesn’t last long?” Mother said, referring to the blackout. Candles had remained expensive since the previous power-cuts in the early seventies, and the thought of having to purchase them was concerning. We congregated in the kitchen, and watching my sisters, I had a sudden brainwave. I asked Mother into the living room, and out of the earshot of my sisters.
“I’ve had an idea?” I began, in hushed tones. I then went on to explain my idea. Mother gave it some thought before agreeing that it was worth a try. First though, we had to wait until the girls bedtime. An hour later, and with the girls safely tucked-up in bed, I made a beeline for the kitchen table. Mother watched as I took one of their crayons, and held it over the flames from the stove. My idea wasn’t immediately successful; yet once the waxen paper of the crayon had caught alight, we were in business! The smokey beginnings of this makeshift candle soon developed into something of wonder. Holding the crayon upright, it began to burn with a light that was brighter than a candle! I then stuck the ‘candle’ into the earth of a small flowerpot upon the kitchen windowsill; then transferred the whole thing (at mother’s insistence) into the empty sink. There it sat, as we watched and wondered as to how long it would last. Fifteen minutes came and went. Then half an hour. At forty-five minutes, it was still going strong! Once an hour had passed, we decided that the experiment had been a success. I then lit some more crayons, and having put them similarly into flower-pots, put two in the living-room; one in the toilet, and one in the window upon the landing of the staircase. We were pleased, for at the current prices these crayons were cheaper to purchase than regular candles! Mother said that she would buy some more the next day. This had to be done anyway, so as to appease my sisters.
Of course, having light was one thing. The lack of TV or radio meant us having small talk for an hour, until Mother decided that she would have an early night. She had a bit of a headache anyway, she mentioned. I was needful for a cigarette, and said that I was going out for a walk.
As I collected my cigarettes and matches, I had a thought. ‘I wonder how they’re getting along at 284? Maybe they were in the same situation, with no candles?’ I took eight crayons with me, as I walked along Green Street. This was a good excuse for me to call at the girls home, I determined. It wasn’t too late; maybe 9.45pm, and there was a fair chance that I could speak with them? The street itself was darker than earlier, for although a few more candles were lit in the houses along there, the area had taken on its quieter aspect; owing to the drop in traffic. As I got near to the school, I looked ahead and across the road. One house along there seemed brightly lit. So bright in fact, that I thought that it had somehow avoided the power-cut?
The nearer I got, the more I realised that the lights were coming from 284! When I reached the house, I observed from across the road. Within, there appeared to be lights everywhere! Upstairs, the bedroom curtains had not been drawn and I could make out movement within. They had candles in there, I guessed. Could be that the girls were getting ready to go to bed? I crossed the road and stood looking over the small hedge and directly into the front room. I couldn’t believe it? The room resembled a fairy grotto. The candles within gave the room a beautiful glow. To my eyes, it looked magical! ‘Well, I guess they won’t be needing these then?’ I decided, and looking at the crayons in my hands. I was both pleased and yet disappointed. Pleased that they had lighting, yet disappointed that my reason to call had evaporated.
Strangely, there appeared to be no-one in the room. I made my way home, feeling rather dejected. Upon arriving home, the house was in total darkness. Mother had extinguished all the lights before going to bed. The house, downstairs, smelled as if it were a crayon factory!
‘Maybe, it was just as well that the Hodgson’s hadn’t needed my brilliant solution?’ I mused.
“I did it too!” exclaimed Janet. “Did it too….what do you mean?” I replied. “What you do!” Janet continued, excitedly. I had to think. “What,…had a cigarette, you mean?” “No,…not that!” Janet replied, somewhat despairingly. I looked at Margaret, for help. “She means, your astral thing you do,” Margaret clarified. “What!” I uttered, raising my eyebrows. I looked at Janet and then again at Margaret. She nodded confirmation towards me. I hadn’t expected this, and I was a bit taken aback. “Are you joking with me?” I then asked of Janet. “No, I’m not joking…it really happened!” she answered. “What,..and you floated, did you?” “Well,..not that.” explained Janet. “What then?” I pursued. “I went across the road!” she said.
“Across the road!”
“Where, across the road?”
“You know,…across the road,…on the pavement!”
“No, from the bedroom.”
“From the bedroom, to the pavement…across the road?”
I looked again at Margaret. Once again, she nodded confirmation.
“And,… did you do this, too?” I asked. “No,” replied Margaret.
“But,…you saw Janet do this, did you?”
“No,.I was downstairs. But, she really did it!”
“Ummm?” I responded.
“We don’t lie to each other!” exclaimed Margaret.
“No,…I wasn’t thinking that!” I replied. Had they told anyone else about this, I asked them.
They confirmed that they had told both Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair, but that they had appeared to show only limited interest.
“That’s because they needed some sort of proof?” I proposed.
Up until that time, I had assumed that I was the only one capable of astral-travel? For some reason, I felt somewhat threatened by this development. Further questioning revealed that Janet had suddenly found herself upon the pavement, whereupon she had a look roundabouts, for a couple of minutes; and had then returned to the bedroom. Apparently, she had managed this with willpower alone. My concern about this somewhat overpowered my puzzlement. Fortunately, she confirmed to me that she hadn’t noticed any pink, swirling clouds upon her travel. I warned Janet about attempting this again. The thought of Janet becoming lost upon the ‘realm of equilibrium,’ and falling into another dimension, was as horrific to me as the thought that she might disappear – never to be seen again! I was relieved when Janet agreed not to attempt this again; until such time as we could arrange this together. There were hidden dangers, I explained. And, because of my greater experience, it would safer if we did this together.
I declined the invitation to walk with them along Green Street, and towards their home. Mother was cooking stew and dumplings, I explained, and I wanted to get back early for that. So, we departed from the park bench, and went upon our different directions, home.
Later, and whilst tackling the dumplings upon my plate, I realised that this was the problem with everything. Without proof, no-one will ever believe you?
I believe that it was a Saturday, although it may well have been a Sunday. The latter would have been appropriate, for the sun, which had for so many days remained hidden by an overcast sky, finally forced its way through the cloud cover; with a vengeance. Yes, it was hot.
Mother, no doubt thinking of my health, had suggested that I should go out for a while. I was looking rather pale, she had remarked, and the sun and fresh-air would do me good? For my part, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. I’d already tested the temperature, by putting an arm outside the back-door and into the sunshine. Within a few seconds, my arm had begun to tingle with the heat. “I can’t go out in that!” I complained, “I’ll start frying!” “Don’t be silly!” she admonished, “it’ll do you some good?” “I’ve nothing to wear?” I argued, “my T-shirt’s in the wash?” “Go as you are?” she then suggested. “I’m not going out in a string-vest!” I exclaimed. “Well, you have shirts,…wear one of those!” she responded. “They’re all long sleeved?” I complained, again.
Mother cut to the quick. “Look, I want you out of the way!” she stated, “you’ve been indoors all week, and…your getting under my feet!”
There was no sense in arguing any further. Reluctantly, I went to my room; retrieved a clean shirt from a cardboard-box on the floor and put it on. It needed ironing. Mother, pleased at my sudden acceptance of the situation, offered to iron it for me. While she did that, I went into the bathroom for a wash. Having done that, and liberally applied roll-on deodorant to my armpits, I went back into the kitchen, took the shirt from the ironing-board and put it on. “I think I’m going to get too hot wearing this?” I offered, as a last complaint. “Roll the sleeves up!” Mother responded, rather sharply.
So it was, sleeves rolled above my elbows, that I set foot outside the house. ‘Where to go?’ I mused. I made a slow stroll, to the Highway, and stopped at the Hertford Road. ‘Left or right?’
I deemed to go left, and decided that a cigarette in the graveyard of the church should be my first place of call. I kept to the shade as much as I could, and entering upon the pathway to the church made my way to the trees upon the left. These ran, for most of the way, along the northern aspect of the church, and offered some respite from the heat. Even so, sweat had begun to drip from my forehead. The main church doors had been left wide-open, I noticed. ‘Maybe, a service was taking place, inside?’ Unusually, the two side-doors to the church were open as well, I could see. Passing by these doors, I could detect no sound from within. The doors must have been left open so as to ‘air’ the interior, I reasoned.
I gave not much thought to the voice of ‘Bill.’ He’d been quiet for a while now. With luck, maybe he had quietened down; for good? I had not much hope of seeing the girl’s either, in this weather, I reasoned. I had no idea what they were up to, or where they might be? Maybe, they had gone out, as a family unit to visit somewhere? Everything had a subdued, bank-holiday feel to it.
What did come to mind though, was this issue with Rena? I’d already given this matter some thought, and considered all the likely possibilities. I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that she had taken to visiting the graveyard at night? Yet, it remained a distinct possibility that it was she that I had seen in the graveyard, approaching midnight? From what the girl’s had said, the timelines fitted? The only satisfactory explanation that I could come up with, was the idea that Rena had astral-projected whilst asleep, and it was this that I had seen?
Yes, an astral-projection of Rena materialising within the graveyard! This made sense from all perspectives; her spectral appearance; her unmoving rigidity; the very night-hour of her appearance itself!
Of course, pleased as I was at solving the mystery, I was left with another strange consideration. Janet had already told of her own astral-travel. Now, there was Rena. Together with myself, that meant at least three of us were riding the astral-plane!
Good grief! How many were there along Green Street, doing this? Maybe, this was just the tip of the iceberg? This was something to which I would have to give more thought to, I realised.
I finished my cigarette and walked around the eastern end of the church, and to the southern aspect; to look once more upon the area where I had previously seen the ‘spectre’ of Rena.
I then made my way to the exact spot in which she had materialised. Something then suddenly occurred to me, but I had first to retreat and then return to the exact place, to be sure. After doing this, twice; I realised that if a straight line were to be drawn from where Rena had stood, and directly towards my shed, then the line would bisect the altar of the church at an angle of forty-five degrees! What this meant, I had no idea? I then decided to walk back along the northern side of the church, and to the open doors there. The first door opened to an anteroom, separating the main interior of the church from the pathway. The second doorway opened onto a space, within which, another door to the left opened to the main body of the church. To the right was the stairwell, which led to the top of the church, and to my special place; the attic above the nave. I decided to forgo both of these doorways and enter via the main doorway to the church.
Standing outside this doorway, I could see that the interior to the church looked cool, in contrast to the heat from outside. Most inviting! I stepped in.
To those patiently waiting for the next instalment of the recollections of the Enfield Poltergeist, I can but only offer my apologies.
I am, once again, being subjected to a psychic attack. This has occurred before, as you may recall. However, this attack looks to be the most serious yet. It began, (with circumstances I cannot relate) as soon as I took a psychic step into the church. The seriousness of the situation is evident to me; not only from my inability to make headway, but also from the extraneous way in which I have been affected. As before, I am being confined to the place upon which I entered. You may recall that the last time this occurred, was in the church graveyard. This time, it is within the church itself. There is no doubt in my mind that I have walked, once again, into a psychic trap. Who is responsible for laying that trap, is a question that can only be speculated about? My suspicions fall upon; the ecumenical council of England. Any enactment of a ‘secret’ and ‘special’ blessing of the church must have involved them, for clearance, at some point?
The consequences for myself, this time, could prove to be dire. I have already experienced a dimensional shift in my everyday circumstances.
I am fearful that a process of psychic exorcism may now take place; whilst I am trapped. To that effect, I am most nervous. It is, therefore, imperative that I find a way out of this situation, as quickly as I can. No doubt, those who cast the spell will have learned from their previous failure, and taken extra measures to keep me confined.
Therefore, I cannot promise an early return to my recollections. Except, to say that I will be trying my hardest to escape. Wish me luck, if you will?
I am anxious to tell you of the events that took place within the church.
Well,…I’ve escaped. That’s the best that can be said about it. Don’t bother to ask how I achieved this. Suffice to say that it has caused me an immense amount of soul searching. Sometimes, you know, it is difficult to establish the whys and wherefores of these psychic attacks against me.
Are they for my benefit? Or, as I often presume them to be, are they the product of a devious plan to thwart me? Of course, one doesn’t necessarily negate the other. Just because they are devious, does this mean that they are harmful? Are they projected from a seed of spite? Or, do they have an element of kindness at their root? It is so hard to tell, originating, as they do, from the ‘forces of enchantment.’ Indeed, am I just collateral damage? The thing is, it is difficult for me to accept the status quo. I’m not a cut and run sort of guy; even if the Court of Equilibrium has given an edict to the Psychic council to prevent me from continuing? After all, if I had paid heed to the previous attacks against myself, then I wouldn’t have got have far as I have, already?
So, I have decided to continue, come what may. Does it matter? Who knows? I shall have my chance to explain myself, at the final calling. My soul rests upon a knife edge.
I hope to continue this coming weekend. See you then.
Well, this is not going as expected. I thought that I had escaped the ‘vice-like’ grip of the psychic force-field which has been placed upon me. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case. What I have determined though, is that the spell seems to be confined to the church and to the activity that happened therein. So, I have decided that; instead of continuing from where I left off: I shall drop that issue for now and go on to other matters. Believe me; I am very disappointed in this development, for it has stopped me in my flow. A bit of restructuring has now to be done.
Still, this is preferable to bashing my head against the wall. I speak figuratively, of course, although it is true to state that this was a practice that I would sometimes partake of.
Especially during the period of, ‘the Haunting.’
Frustration, as to the continued presence of the ghost-chasers, was the cause.
So, as my mindset readjusts, I thought that it might be a good idea to tell you of what it is like, to be a ‘poltergeist.’
First off, let me state that; at no time during this case did I ever consider myself to be a poltergeist. Nor a ghost,…nor a demon. It was the ghost-chasers that ‘labelled’ me as such.
As far as I was concerned, I was just being me,….astral-planing.
When Janet and Margaret first broke the news to me that their home was haunted, I was interested, of course, but failed to make the connection between my activities and the events happening at their home. A few weeks had passed by since our talk in St James graveyard, and it wasn’t until the second week in September that I found out about this, from them. Apparently, it had been on the news. The newspapers had gotten hold of it. Strange as it may seem, this had all passed me by.
It wasn’t until the girls told me of the knocking upon the walls, and the flying marbles and Lego-bricks, that I put two and two together. Everything that they mentioned had an echo of what I had been doing myself. My tapping on the walls; throwing marbles around; propelling Lego-bricks with the aid of an elastic band; it all had a ring of familiarity to it. When, and after further questioning of the girls, they told me of the times and dates of these events; I was in no doubt. There was an exact parallel; in time, date, and activity, to that which I had been enacting at home. I didn’t tell the girls of this at first. I was too self-occupied with trying to understand the consequences of my actions.
I had asked Janet and Margaret, if they had gone to stay at the house of someone called Betty? “No, not ‘Betty,’ but ‘Peggy’;….Peggy-next-door,” they explained. “And, you left your front door open, didn’t you?” I asked. They thought back over the events, before confirming that the door had indeed been left open.
“How did you know that?” Janet asked. “I saw you leave your home,” I answered. “Where were you then?” they asked, and went on to say they hadn’t noticed anyone else outside, at the time.
I told them that I was standing on the other side of the road, and that they were too preoccupied to notice me. They didn’t quite believe that, and it wasn’t true, of course, but in these early exchanges I thought it better not to tell them that I was actually standing at the top of their stairs!
These conversations with the girls gave me much to think about. What these did do, was to confirm to me that what I had experienced was real. Until then, I had no idea if the events were real; or, just some sort of trance-induced hallucination? The implications then came quickly to mind. If the press were on to it, and the police had taken an interest, then it was surely better that I kept my activities to myself? That is; don’t tell anyone, anything. This included the girls, as I wasn’t sure as to how they would react. Would they think me mad? Or, would they tell others? Maybe,…both! I certainly didn’t want the police calling at my home. Nor the press. No, it was far more preferable that my dabbling in the astral realm remained a secret to myself.
Of course, I did tell the girls, at a later date, that it was I that was responsible for the ‘phenomena.’ “What,…are you a poltergeist, then?” Janet had asked when I told them. “What do you mean?” I responded. “Well, that’s what they say,” Janet clarified. “What who says?” I asked. “Mr Grosse and Mr Playfair” Janet replied. As I hadn’t considered this before; I needed some time to think things through. However, as I had decided that it was better that the girls both knew of my involvement, I went along with the idea. My decision to tell the girls came about after a weighing up of the pros and cons of the situation. The first thing to state here, is that I was concerned as to the welfare of them both. They had both appeared quite apprehensive about matters when relating them to me. Yes, they were quite scared, they admitted. The second consideration that came to mind is that the girls might (together with their family) be moved by the council to another area. Maybe, even out of the borough altogether! This is not what I wanted, nor intended. So, all in all, it seemed to be a good idea to tell them both. In telling them, I swore them to secrecy about matters. I wasn’t sure of what the outcome would be, if they related this to those investigating? To be honest, I wasn’t sure of a lot of things. Was what I was doing, a rare event? Or, were these matters of astral-projection, a well known and accepted phenomena? Would I be arrested? Would I be carried away by men in white coats?
One should bear in mind that these matters were as new to me, at the time, as was the activity at the Hodgsons home. Therefore, it was important that I remained in control of things, as much as possible. Janet and Margaret agreed not to tell anyone else. It would be our ‘secret.’ It is fair to say that both girls were not, at first, convinced by my revelations. As time went on though, they both came to accept that it was indeed me, that was responsible. Their acceptance of such was not as a result of my affirmations alone. I give an example:
I have already told of how I had smashed the breakfast bowl, by picking it up and throwing it across the kitchen, and against the wall where the cooker stood. I had not told the girls of this. When it was that, one day, the girls (knowing that Mother was out) called to talk with me, I offered to make them both a cup of tea. Both girls declined the offer, but Janet said that she would like some water. Whilst Margaret waited in the front room, (she was looking out through the bay window, to see if Rena had seen them entering) Janet followed me into the kitchen.
Upon entering the kitchen, Janet suddenly let out a gasp of surprise and called Margaret to “come quickly and see!” She was looking at the kitchen floor, and her eyes were wide with amazement as she looked.
Upon the floor, I had laid out a row of mugs, together with some small plant pots from the kitchen windowsill. My reasons for doing so were as follows; I had become concerned that since I had smashed the bowl, ‘minstrel’ had not been drinking enough water. I had taken to leaving water for her, in a mug, in the place where the bowl previously sat. As this didn’t seem to interest her, I had (over a few days) gradually increased the amount of water-filled mugs, and placed them upon the floor in front of the sink-unit. As she still appeared to show no interest, I then took the flower-pots and interspersed them between the mugs; like a sort of miniature garden effect.This, to my delight, had the desired effect; as I could tell from the odd drop of spilled water and a half-empty mug.
When Margaret appeared at the kitchen doorway, her eyes widened as had Janet’s. I believe that her jaw dropped open. After a few seconds of stunned silence, Margaret then demanded to know to whom I had spoken? I had absolutely no idea as to what she was talking about. The girls then excitedly related to me of how the same thing had happened at their home! Not just something similar, but of how the exact same sequence of mugs and flower-pots had been laid out upon their kitchen floor! Apparently, they had been found one morning, and had immediately been attributed to some bizarre behaviour on the part of the poltergeist!
Of course, they then demanded to know more, and I told them of my reasoning. This, in turn, led to my telling of how I had, in a fit of despondency, smashed the bowl. Janet wore a mixture of shock and surprise as I told of the matter. According to her, she had been standing in the kitchen and had just filled her cereal bowl, when it suddenly flew off the side and smashed upon the floor, in front of the cooker! There was only a slight difference here, to what I had done; as in my case, the bowl had broken against the wall, and not the floor. Of course, my bowl had been empty at the time. Maybe, it was this reason as to why her bowl fell short?
It was these incident’s; the ‘garden’ array and the telling of the broken bowl, that convinced the girls, more than anything, that I was responsible for the activity at their home. That I, indeed, was the poltergeist! Or, poker-dice, as Janet would sometimes amusingly say.
I think that it is maybe time for a bit of retrospection about matters. Up till now, I have ploughed on with the telling of my recollections, but I don’t think that a spot of analysis at this point would do any harm?
At least, not to my tale. As far as that goes, I still have much to tell. Yet: my observational scrutiny may cause personal problems for me, upon both sides of the dimensional divide?
Still, as I seem to be the only person on the planet to be relating the truth of these matters, I think it beholding of me to give an informative outline for consideration. So, I say damn to those interdimensional ‘Forces of Enchantment.’ If I don’t bring up certain matters, then who will?
Lets begin with an observation that seems to have escaped most others. Those familiar with the case will have seen the photographs taken by Graham Morris. It is interesting, do you not think, that most of those which have been reproduced are only in black and white? Yet, colour was available to him. Indeed, the ‘levitation’ stills are mostly in colour. Now, personally, I think it rather strange that a photographic reporter for The Daily Mirror should attend a case, at first instance, with only black and white film loaded in his camera?
However, I do believe that the public are being led astray over this matter. I believe that the photos that were taken, on that first night that he attended, were indeed in colour. In fact, I know this, because I have seen one myself! So, why not reproduce them as such. Is it because black and white gives a more dramatic edge to the photo’s? Or, is there some other reason?
Could it be, that the colour reproductions show something rather unusual?
If I were to tell you that the well-known photograph, (taken by Graham) of the children standing in the front room of their home, actually shows a flying Lego-brick; what would be your conclusion? Yet, I can tell you that is exactly what is seen in the colour image! Mysteriously; that image disappears when reproduced in black and white! And all the while, Graham Morris, although confirming that these things really did occur, never mentions this matter!
One has to ask, has someone – some organisation – leant on him? Is the reason that; black and white photographs are only used because any ‘doctoring’ of the original colour images, would show up, under scrutiny?
It is one thing to state that something unusual, definitely occurred. It is quite another, to actually produce the evidence. And there he was, merrily snapping away, as these Lego-bricks zoomed across the room, from different directions. Yet he never admits to capturing anything on film!
Very strange,….very strange, indeed!
There is something more about that image that deserves scrutiny. For this, there is no requirement to view the colour original.
One would think, in studying the picture, that the walls of the room were whitewashed? That, however, is not the case; for a rather heavily patterned wallpaper lined the walls of the living-room. What that proves, is how bleached these black and white images are. Another thing to notice, are the curtains in the room. To see these properly, one needs to view the largest reproduction of the photograph possible.
I draw your attention to the shadow upon the curtain, which is to the right-hand side of where the eldest boy, (Johnny) is standing. You will notice that the shadow begins about a third of the way up the curtain, and extends upwards and outwards. Again, this is rather indistinct, compared to the colour original. However, even in this, you may be able to see the shape of that shadow.
At first glance, it seems to be nothing more than a stain upon the curtain. However, other, and clearer images of the curtains, show no sign of staining. No, it is definitely a shadow. A shadow of something; disembodied! This is a puzzle in itself, as there is nothing between the camera and the children that could produce such a shadow. Graham had a clear shot of things. So, what is it then? From where does the shadow originate? Closer scrutiny reveals a rather fuzzy image, with an extension to the shadow by way of an elongation protruding from one side. Again, this is much more obvious in the colour photo.
For those that can only obtain the black and white image, I can tell you that the Lego-brick is actually seen close to the wall, and above the heads of the children; between the top of the picture that hangs upon the wall, and the ceiling. You will notice that the children are oblivious to its presence. What does this all mean? Well, firstly, it proves that the children had no part in propelling these things. That, in itself, will disappoint the skeptics. Secondly, the position of the shadow gives a clue as to where that Lego-brick actually came from!
In fact, that shadow is actually a part-materialisation of myself! The top half of me, to be precise!
The shape of the shadow gives a clue; as to how the Lego-brick was propelled. The elongation to one side being my arm, as I fired the toy brick using an elastic band;…well, several elastic bands actually, joined together. The finger and thumb of my left hand, provided the Y-shape to this improvised catapult. Of course, that part cannot be seen.
Before I continue, I should state that there was never any intention, by me, to hit any of the children. That is why I aimed high. Others, however, I was not so careful about. Excepting Peggy, of course. In that regard, I had to make sure that none of the family were in a direct line of fire. One should bear in mind, that my view of proceedings was not a clear one, with those present only appearing as shadow forms to me. So, I was careful. However; in one instance, as I moved around the room, I nearly made an error when I mistook Peggy for a stranger! She was standing near the doorway to the kitchen, when I took aim. As I raised my arms and prepared to fire, I suddenly had a clearer image of her. The strange thing here, is that she appeared to see me at the same time! At one instant, she ducked, and I unleashed the projectile which flew over her head; through the open doorway, through the kitchen, through the second doorway and along the short passageway; and ended with a loud ‘thwack’ against the bathroom door!
As far as I recall, that marked an end to proceedings for the night, as I was rather unnerved by that. It had been a near thing. Much too close, for comfort!
As I am still waiting for certain psychic matters to resolve themselves, I shall continue with my analysis of events, so far.
A question that may have occurred to most, is; ‘Why, and if – as I say, I had the interests of the family at heart, should I have put them in immediate danger of flying marbles and Lego-bricks?’
Well, firstly; I should state that I had no idea, at the time, of this danger of the marbles. I certainly never projected any, with the makeshift catapult. In fact, I had no idea of what was happening with them. All I can say, is that they often fell from my hands when tapping out a rhythm on my bedroom walls, only to disappear. This did not happen all the time, but occasionally. Despite landing on the bare floorboards of my bedroom floor, they made no sound, but seemed to pass straight through the floor, like a ‘hot knife through butter.’ What happened to them after that, is anyone’s guess? All I know, is that some of them, at least, ended up at the home of the Hodgson’s. On later occasions, they sometimes landed in our downstairs kitchen, at force and with a loud noise as they hit the table. At least one marble broke upon the concrete floor of the kitchen; which gives some idea as to the speed that they must have travelled?
The only explanation that I can offer, is that they must have been caught up within an extremely torrid vortex, which projected them, at speed, to various locations. That may account for why they were reported, by others, to be; ‘hot to the touch?’
It is true to say, though, that I did sometimes throw them around at our living room walls. These never bounced, but would hit and fall directly to the floor. Which brings me to the question as to why the investigators insisted, continually, that marbles should bounce? As I have stated before; ‘Marbles Don’t Bounce!’ The only thing that would make a marble bounce, is the surface that it landed upon. A springy, underlaid carpet, could produce this, I suppose? Yet, the Hodgson’s never had flooring of such quality. The puzzlement that both Grosse and Playfair showed over this matter, is rather perplexing, to say the least!
Anyway; I never threw nor projected any marbles, at anyone.
The issue of the Leg-bricks is a rather more complex matter. The answer to this, is related to the way that one is affected, whilst within an astral-trance. From what I can recall of that night, I remember a feeling of outrageous indignation at the presence of so many strangers. It interfered with my objective of interaction with the family. I remember running upstairs to my bedroom, gathering some loose elastic bands from a cardboard box, and then hastily joining them together to make a catapult. I then searched around for something to use as a projectile. In desperation, I quickly tore up some scraps of paper, and then rolled them into pellets. These I fired off, in all directions, around our living room. Every time I could see a shadow form, of what I believed was a stranger, I fired! As I did this, the sound of voices from 284, gave a clue as to what was occuring there. Yet, as far as I am aware, none of these paper pellets made it to 284. What had actually occurred, was the transformation of vital metabolic kinetic energy, from the pellets to the Lego-bricks! Those toy bricks then became activated, and zoomed around the room! I heard voices, telling of these matters as they occurred. There was some state of alarm, in them. At some point, I saw a Lego-brick myself, upon the floor, picked it up and then used that as a projectile. Then again, and then yet again! I became aware that someone had been hit, but still I carried on with my bombardment!
Now, this will make no sense to anyone reading this straight off. They will wonder; where was I then? Was I at the home of the Hodgson’s, or; was I at my own home whilst this occurred?
The truth is, I was sometimes at the Hodgson’s, sometimes at my own home. Yet, mainly at both places at once! My astral-projection was flitting backwards and forwards between the two places, as if it were an oscillating spring!
However, the strangest part to all these events, is not the activities that occured that night; but the subsequent developments, later.
Speaking to Mother, when she had returned home a few days later, I said to her that I didn’t realise that my sisters had Lego to play with? I showed her two Lego-bricks that I had picked up from the floor. She confirmed that they had no Lego amongst their toys, and was perplexed as to how they could have got there. She then postulated that, my sisters may have brought them home with them, from school? However, my sisters denied this, saying that they didn’t have Lego at school! Further enquiries by Mother, at the school, confirmed this.
Which leaves a puzzle as to where they originated? The only thing that I can suggest, is that they took a reverse trip, that night, along an open vortex; from the home of the Hodgson’s, to our household!
With nothing much doing, I’d decided to take a stroll along Green Street and to the park. It was mild out, and I felt the need to stretch my legs. Arriving at the park, I took a seat upon a bench and decided to have a cigarette there. I would often stop at this bench when heading in this direction, for it afforded me the opportunity to keep a watch out for the girls. The bench faced the road and I could easily look up and down the roadway. Not only that, a nice breeze would often sweep across the wide open space of the park, and take away with it the traffic fumes.
I couldn’t have been sitting there for more than a minute when, looking to my left, I caught sight of Janet and Margaret. They were on the other side of the street and heading in my direction. They were on their way home from somewhere, I deduced. I thought of calling out to them, but had no need to, as Janet caught sight of me and both girls crossed the road and made their way to where I was sitting. “What are you doing?” Janet asked, as I went about constructing a cigarette. “I’m just making myself a smoke,” I explained. “That’s a funny sort of cigarette?” she observed. “How d’you mean?” I replied. “Well, you’ve got all those papers stuck together!” she said. “Yes,” I agreed. A short silence followed, before Janet asked; “Now what are you doing?” “I told you,…I’m making myself a smoke,” I repeated, spreading the tobacco evenly upon the cigarette papers. “I know what he’s doing!” Margaret suddenly interjected. I looked at her and could see that she wore something of a look of mild contempt.
I decided to ignore that, and continued with what I was doing. Things remained quiet, until Janet asked, “And what’s that you’re doing now?” “It’s tobacco!” I said. “That’s a funny sort of tobacco!” she then stated. “Yes,” I responded. “Drugs!” Margaret exclaimed. I ignored Margaret’s comment and continued to crumble the resin along the open cigarette. “Drugs?” Janet remarked, inquisitively, and to no-one in particular. “Do you know about drugs?” I asked. Janet shook her head. “Not really,” she answered, “but I’ve heard of them.”
I looked at Margaret. “Yes, I know about them!” she stated. “Oh,…and where from?” I asked her.
“They talk of them, at school.” she explained. “What, and some of the kids smoke drugs, do they?” I asked. “No, not that,..but they sometimes talk of them,” she answered.
“Do you know what this is?” I then asked, whilst holding up the lump of resin and presenting it to them both. They remained silent. “Cannabis!” I exclaimed. “And why do you smoke that?” Janet asked. “Well,..for all sorts of reasons,” I answered. “Mainly, because it makes me feel at ease.”
“Here,” I said, presenting the lump of resin to Janet., “have a smell.” Janet cautiously took hold of the resin and held it to her nose. “What do you think?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she replied, “it smells sort of…funny?” “Yes,” I agreed, “and it can make you laugh!” I then offered it to Margaret, but she declined. “Look, Margaret,” I said, “I think it’s better that you know about these things. Go on,…it won’t hurt you!” Margaret took the resin and quickly smelled it before hastily returning it to me. “Now you know what it smells like.” I said.
I changed the subject. “Tell me,..what’s happening,…what have you been up to? How is it at home?” “It’s ok,” Janet replied. “Yes,” agreed Margaret, nodding. “You look a bit anxious?” I observed, “what’s on your mind” “We’ve got the TV people coming soon.” Janet explained.
“Why,..is your TV playing up then?”
“No, not that!” Janet said. “We’ve got the TV people coming, from the BBC!”
“Yes, they want to interview us.” clarified Margaret.
“I see!…and how do you feel about that?” I asked. “I’m not sure?” replied Margaret.
“Are you nervous?” I asked of them both. “Well, yes…a bit.” Janet replied. Margaret agreed with Janet. “When is this happening, then,” I asked. “We’re not sure,” said Janet, “It may be next week, sometime…they haven’t told us when.” “They’re still arranging it,” explained Margaret. “It’ll be sometime soon, though!”
I thought for a while. “Look,…would you like a joint? I offered.
“What do you mean?” Janet answered.
“You know…like what I’ve just made?”
“No!” Margaret said, forcefully.
“Not for now,” I said, “for later,…when the BBC come round?” Margaret shook her head.
“And what would that do?” asked Janet.
“Well, it’d make you feel better. Make you less nervous…more at ease.”
“I don’t know?” Janet considered.
“Look, I’ll make one for you now, to share later.”
I then set about creating another joint. “I won’t put much of this in,” I explained, “just enough to make you feel better.”
“And what will it do?” Janet asked.
“Not much,” I said, “but it will make you feel happier. It might make you laugh?”
“There’s only one thing?” I explained, “make sure that you smoke it at least a couple of hours before the BBC arrive. That way, you’ll be nice and relaxed.”
“Oh, and one other thing,” I went on, “don’t smoke it at home! It’s very pungent. You need to take it into the park with you. And, make sure no-one sees what you’re doing!”
“Now, who wants to keep it?” I asked, having finished rolling the joint. Margaret shook her head.
I offered it to Janet. As she took the spliff, I reminded her to keep it well hidden, and I repeated to her about allowing two hours before the TV people turned up. “And, when you breathe in, you must hold it down for a few seconds, before letting it out!”
“Why’s that?” Janet asked. “Well, unless you do that, it won’t have any effect.” I explained.
Janet looked rather pleased with herself as she walked off towards home. Margaret looked rather circumspect about matters. As for myself, I took it as doing a good deed. Not only that, the girls needed to get streetwise, I reasoned. I didn’t think of it as being anything serious. It was better that they learned about these matters from me. They would find out about these things soon enough anyway. And, I would at least warn and discourage them from the danger of taking anything stronger.
A couple of weeks later, and after the BBC interview had taken place, Janet confirmed that she had followed my instructions. I guess that’s why she appeared somewhat at ease and in good humour, during the interview?
There is something else about that interview that needs to be told, and I will tell of this at a later date.
Following on from my last posting, I think it important that I should explain something. The spliff that I gave to Janet was the only time that I offered the girls anything by the way of drugs.
I don’t want anyone to think that I was a pusher of these substances. Not at all.
Nor was I a particularly heavy user of such, myself. For one, I could rarely afford them.
So, they played little part in my experiments with astral-projection. And, to have done so, would have been counterproductive to my spluttering attempts to get to grips with myself. There was a big world out there. And, I had still to come to terms with it.
Anyway, there was enough strange stuff going on at the time that I had to contend with, without confusing matters further.
And, anyhow; one can’t bury one’s head in the sand forever,….can they?
Care for a game of marbles
asked the poltergeist of the wall
I shall tap upon your surface
before i step on through
A loving beat of threes and twos
or maybe four shall suit
Yes please said the wall
please do please do
The time is right the time is ripe
Start with four then three then two
and i shall embrace you
Where you should care to be
the rhythm takes me shakes me
hearing true love call yet falling
a heartbeat away lets go.
The loyalty and respect that Janet and Margaret had for Guy Playfair and Maurice Grosse was something to which I was continually grappling with. Of course, I understood the dynamics of the situation at the girls home, and of how the two paranormal-investigators had brought with them an aura of calmness and security into the household. It would have been churlish of me to deny that aspect of things. Yet, I was caught between the different mindsets and considerations as to my own desires and wants. My self-awareness that it was my own antics that had led to this situation, did nothing to dispel my angst. The irony of such, was not much more than a moot point, as far as I was concerned. I was always in hope that the investigation would be wound down and closed; and that I could then pursue my astral-travels to 284 without further hindrance. As a consequence, my self-denying vanity was always on the look-out for a reason to denigrate the two investigators.
When speaking with the girls, I once referred to Maurice Grosse as: ‘Mother Goose.’ A studied stare from Janet soon had me wishing that I hadn’t.
On another occasion, and whilst standing outside the girls home, I had made note of the thinning pates of Grosse and Playfair (they were sitting with their backs to the front bay-window.) The net curtains had been removed (presumably for washing) and I managed to obtain the attention of Janet and Margaret within. Careful that the investigators might suddenly turn around and see me, I kept darting back and forth whilst pointing to the investigators and then making circling motions with a forefinger over my head. A sudden voiceless and puzzled “what?” from Janet had Grosse and Playfair turning to see outside. Fortunately, their response was too slow, and I was able to dart back from view before they could see me. However, both Janet and Margaret left me in no doubt about matters when I next spoke to them and I explained what it was that I was referring to. I was castigated by both for attempting to make fun of the investigators.
This was troublesome for me, as I realised that I had to tread upon eggshells when discussing matters with the girls. Still, that did not prevent me from taking of an advantage when presented.
I was walking along Green Street one day and, nearing the highway, I saw Maurice pull over in his bright-red Jag and park half-on, half-off the pavement. It was rare to see such a beaut’ of a car around those parts and I stopped to look. He emerged from the car, quickly glanced at me, and then made his way towards the shops. A neighbour, who I was on nodding acquaintance with, was tending her front-garden and asked me what I was doing. She couldn’t see the car from where she stood. I walked over to her and had a brief discussion with her. At that moment, Maurice suddenly reappeared, closed the open hood of the car and made a conscious decision to lock it. He couldn’t see the neighbour from his viewpoint, and it must have seemed to him as though I was eyeing the car for nefarious purposes.
Some ten minutes later, he returned carrying what looked like several bags of fish and chips from ‘Peters,’ got back in his car and drove off; obviously on his way to 284.
His actions gave me an idea. When I next spoke to Janet and Margaret, I asked them what they would think if I turned up at their house in Maurice’s car and told them that Mr Grosse had been delayed and, he had lent me the car to take them for a ride? Not far, I explained; just over to Chingford Mount and back. Would they go? Both girls showed puzzled amusement in the idea and asked me if I knew Mr Grosse personally. I was non-committal in my response and left the idea with them. Something must have been said; for that was the last time I saw that car. Thereafter, he visited in his Hillman imp.
………………………..WARNING!…….CONTAINS BAD LANGUAGE!……………………………………
My bus-rides to Chingford Mount and the cemetary there, provided much needed breaks for me; away from my tribulations with the employment advisor, my focus upon Janet, and my Astral Projections. The bus-fare there was quite cheap, and I was often able to dodge paying, anyway. I think that the bus-conductor didn’t much care for collecting fares whilst the bus was going up-hill? So, I would sit upstairs and at the front, just to make it awkward for him.
This was ok, as long as I got the bus from Brimsdown. On other occasions I would get on at the top of Green Street. This would cost slightly more, and needed paying, but as this afforded me the opportunity to scan the area around 284, in the chance of catching sight of the girls, I sometimes deemed it worthwhile. A few days earlier, in the afternoon, I had taken this same route and had spotted Janet putting some articles in a car parked outside their home. That had brought on a bit of a panic attack, as I was always worried that the Hodgson’s might move away at some time.
Fortunately, my reasoning managed to wrestle control over my paranoia. I was sure that the girls would have mentioned this to me if that had been the case? Still, my anxiety was troubling me, and the need to switch off from events was the motivating factor in my making a return trip to the cemetery so soon after my last. As it happens, I had ventured out quite late in the afternoon, early evening in fact, and within a couple of hours the light had begun to fade at the cemetery. I then spent a couple of hours at a public house, mulling over matters.
I reasoned that, if the Hodgsons were indoors then the lights at their home would now be on. Three pints later, I left the pub and made my way to the bus-stop for the return journey. Boarding the bus, as usual I made my way upstairs. Unusually, for that hour, there were more people aboard than normal. My favoured front seats were taken up by a group of youths being rather loud. Not wishing to sit close to them, I slotted myself in a seat halfway along the aisle.
I had actually taken the chance of boarding the bus with not enough money left for the fare, so this development caused me to worry, somewhat. One stop further on, and the voice of an inspector calling; “Tickets please!” had me in a light sweat. On the journey back down the hill, the inspector came upstairs and asked those behind me for their tickets. I braced myself for the inevitable. Suddenly though, and much to my relief, the antics of those at the front of the bus had the inspector calling to them to quieten down before making his way towards them. I took the opportunity to get up from my seat and go downstairs, where I stood and waited for the stop at Brimsdown railway station. I was off the bus before it had come to a full stop and set off in a brisk walk towards Green Street. As the bus passed me by, I glanced up and could see and hear the inspector in a heated argument with the youths. I wore a wry smile as I rounded the bend in the road and made my way towards 284.
Looking ahead of me, I could see some movement near the girls home. I thought that it might be the neighbour, Vic Nottingham, and the girls uncle, John Burcombe, keeping watch. They sometimes did this at night. I had spoken to them on one occasion, whilst they kept this vigil. On other occasions, the police would sometimes sit nearby in a panda car. There was no police car this time though. In fact, there appeared to be three people standing outside. Suddenly, one of the three began shouting towards the house. “You fucking weirdo’s!” “Yeah,..come out here…let’s see you!” another joined in. “Oi!…can you hear us…fucking weird cunt’s!”
I immediately braced myself. They sounded drunk, and I thought for a moment that one of them was going to throw something at the windows. I continued walking steadfastly towards them. All I could picture in my mind, was the thought of the Hodgson’s, cowering inside in fear. Then, one of the three caught sight of me making my way towards them. “Hang on…there’s someone coming.” said one loudly.
I now had clear sight of them, and realised that it was the same three youths who had been on the bus! They must have been chucked off by the inspector, I surmised.
They then turned to face me and one said, “Shall we ‘av’ ‘im.” “Yeah!” sounded another. I continued purposefully on my way; fully prepared to confront them.
“He’s not backing down?” remarked one, as I got nearer. “Go up further on,” said one, “we’ll get him there.” They then began to walk away from the house and make their way further along Green Street. As I passed 284, I could see that there were no lights showing within.
The three youths, who’s ages I put between 18 – 20, had now split themselves into two factions. One remained upon the same side of the road as me, while the other two crossed the road. They made space between them as I drew nearer, and I felt sure they were going to surround me as I came by. I didn’t really care. The thought of these cowards throwing insults and threats at Janet bolstered my resolve.
“No, not here?” called the one to the others. “We’ll go up by the park. We can have him there!”
They then moved on around the bend in the road. As I rounded the bend, I expected to see them at the start of the parkland. However, they had gone as far as the further end. There they waited as I approached. Still, they kept their formation. This time, they made no calls nor insults, but remained silent. ‘This was it then!’ I thought to myself. As I got to within ten yards of them, I took advantage in the lack of traffic and veered off into the middle of the road. Then, I stopped and stooped forwards; placing my hands upon the road surface. “What’s he doing?” said one to the others. Next, I raised my legs and brought them fully upright into a handstand. Then I began to walk towards them, in this position. “What the fuck!” someone said. As they waited, I took advantage at their confusion, mounted the pavement and made my way into the park and the dark. Now, I had the advantage as they couldn’t see me. I then recovered my position and remained crouched in the darkness. “Where is he?” remarked one, as they gathered their sense’s. “I don’t know?…I can’t see him?” answered another.
“Come on then!” I called out, “I’m waiting!”
“Shall we go in there?”
“I don’t know…I’m not sure?”
“He’s a fucking nutter!”
“Well, come in here and I’ll show you how much of a nutter I can be!” I called back. I then took advantage of the darkness and changed my position.
“Hey, man…you’re fucking mad!”
“Come and find out how mad I am!” I called out. My closer proximity to them, seemed to unnerve them somewhat.
“Shall we leave it?” remarked one.
“Yeah,…I can’t see him!”
Two of them then set off up the road. One remained and stood looking in an attempt to locate me. I moved closer and to the side. “It’s just you and me now.” I said. He seemed to realise that I had moved to a position where I could cut him off from his friends. He then began to back away. Two quick glances by him in the direction they had gone, and he suddenly took off running towards them. “Where’re you going!” I called out. “Come back, don’t be scared,…I won’t hurt you….much!”
I never set eyes on them again, and I assumed they were from the estate on the other side of the Hertford Road? Still, this showed how much much the publicity had affected the locals, I reasoned. Of how it could make the Hodgsons targets. I put it down to jealousy.
After that incident, I took to taking nightly strolls along the road.
A week later, I found out that the Hodgson’s had been on holiday in Margate.
I’ve been made aware that it was Clacton, not Margate that the Hodgson’s had holidayed. Indeed so, and this just shows why I must get my recollections down, before atrophy takes its toll. Sorry about that.
I protest. And why not? I, Stuart certain, bona fide poltergeist, can only contain oneself for so long. After all, it is Christmas. Soon; the new year. ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and all that.
Surely, bygones are just that? Bygones. And what do’st I protest about, you may wonder?
Well, many things. Injustices, mainly. And mainly concerning myself.
I speak of my exclusion from blog-sites. Those of the paranormal kind. The list is as follows:
Hayley is a Ghost Geek.
Michael Prescott’s blog.(twice)
Bruce Siegel’s blog.
The Enfield Poltergeist (Facebook)
There may be another, but I can’t recall at the moment? As far as I can make out, the aforementioned have decided to exclude me on a permanent basis. And why, you may ask?
For what reason have these diverse entities decided to exclude me?
I wish I knew. What is it i’ve said, that is so bad, so outlandish, that they pull the plug and consign me to the wilderness?
And this is the thing; you would think, would you not; that these paranormal ‘investigative’ forums should be happy at having such an informed opinion from a contributor?
I mean, how many can say that they are in direct conversation with an actual poltergeist?
Really, actually, they should consider themselves fortunate. Yet, they don’t. Instead, they think up some contrived reason to exclude me. I’ve been accused by those on Michael Prescott’s blog, of destroying Robert McLuhan’s SPR blogsite: Paranormalia. I’ve been accused of being a troll.
I’ve been accused of being various and nefarious other characters, with an intent to disrupt.
Yet, none of those accusations against me is true. Not one.
I mean; how can a site which dedicates itself, entirely, to the Enfield Poltergeist (Facebook) exclude the very entity that it devotes itself to? It just doesn’t make sense, does it?
I’ve been accused, by some, of having an attitude problem. Well, what do they expect from a poltergeist? Of course I have an attitude problem! I mean, I wouldn’t have been a poltergeist, would I, without such an attitude. So, I protest.
Maybe this isn’t the correct place to voice my angst, but hey! As they steadfastly refuse even to respond to an e-mail, then; in the chance that someone from one of those aforementioned, so-called, ‘investigative’ sites chances upon this, then at least they may have cause to pause and think about what they have done? However, I don’t hold out much hope in that regard. They would never know the truth, even if it materialised upon a silver platter before them.
Anyway, ultimately, it’s their loss. I wouldn’t go back to those sites even if they paid me. Most of them are rubbish, anyway.
Green Street, Enfield. It runs from the Hertford road (Enfield highway) and apart from a couple of bends at either end, straight on and inexorably towards Brimsdown and the industrial estate on the other side of the railway station. Salubrious it is not. Durants Park offers some respite from the monotony. Apart from that, it doesn’t have much going for it. The name – Brimsdown – is rather apt, for it reminds one of Brimstone; as in ‘Fire and Brimstone.’ So, you could say that the industrial estate represented a vision of hell, itself. Or so it seemed to me, at the time.
Unfortunately, despite my wishes otherwise, and due to the earnest endeavours of the employment advisor; I found myself employment there. He had pleasure in informing me that the rolling-mills were taking on people, ‘no experience necessary,’ and I had found myself obliged to apply. So it was, that I found myself in a sort of unbelieving daze amid the deafening noise of the rubbermill. Two weeks of that, and I was being asked to come in on Saturday, for some overtime. Being short of cash, the offer of time-and-a-half pay for a morning’s work, took the edge off it somewhat.
I had finished the morning overtime, and was walking back home, when the voices of Janet and Margaret brought me to a halt. They had seen me walk by, from their bedroom window, and were going to the highway themselves and thought to walk with me. They asked where I had been to, that morning. I told them that I had just finished work and I was on my way home.
“I didn’t know you went to work?” remarked Janet. “No!” I replied…nor did I?”
It was 2am in the morning; or still night-time, for some. I couldn’t sleep. I got out of bed and looked over the scene from my bedroom window. The shed looked as ominous as ever. The night-sky was fairly clear and I could actually make out some stars between the passing clouds. I thought that I saw ‘minstrel’ climbing over the garden fence, going about her nightly prowl. I couldn’t be sure? The darkness of the garden, combined with her sleek black coat, made it difficult to tell. Something shadow-like was creeping about, though.
‘What to do?’ Mother was away at nan’s with my sisters, so I had the house to myself. ‘Maybe, I should go for a stroll along Green Street and capture the quiet night-ambience?’ I spent a minute dwelling upon that, before my eyes fell upon the cardboard box that held the marbles.
I decided then, that I should try an attempt at astral-planing. It had been a while since I had achieved this. My astral-projections had, for the most part, been of the instant kind – one moment I was at home; the next, standing somewhere within the house numbered 284. It should be pleasant, I reasoned, on a night like this to actually experience again the sensation of flying over the rooftops? I looked once more from the bedroom window, and a sudden hoot from an owl seemed to beckon me outside. ‘Yes, the omens looked favourable,’ I contemplated.
I then got myself dressed, before laying down and making myself comfortable upon my bed.
Then began the process of trance induction. Ten deep and slow breath’s, followed by ten shallower breath’s ten deep and then ten shallow, ten deep…suddenly, I was afloat! This was the easiest that I’d achieved this state. I hadn’t even needed to rise from bed, in order to rap the walls with the marbles! Immediately, and upon realisation at my astral state, I willed myself outside of my bedroom window. At once, I placed my hands upon the outside walls of the house and pulled myself up, and onto the roof. It was almost effortless! The first thing I did then, was to look above and at the expanse of sky. This actually, was quite unnerving to do. One becomes aware of a sense of how infinitely small one is, against the backdrop of the cosmos. This feeling is heightened by the evident lack of gravity, holding one down. The sensation that one could float onwards and upwards, beyond the clouds and towards the stars, is actually unsettling. I kept my hands firmly placed upon the roof-tiles as I looked upwards. It was good not to dwell upon this, I realised, lest I should suddenly lose my nerve and will myself back to my bedroom.
Another hoot from an owl, (probably the same one) had me looking round about myself. It could be from the graveyard, I guessed, although it seemed further off than that. Maybe, from the trees in Durants park? The silence of the night had a way of amplifying sounds, I noticed. There was no sound of people, or even a lone car passing nearby. The night was mine, so it seemed!
I thought no more about it, but pushed myself away from the rooftop with my feet. My arms, I stretched out before me, before pulling them back as though wings. A swimmer, diving into the liquid tranquility of the night! With this initial thrust, I had no more to do except guide myself in the direction I wanted to go to. This I did with a combination of willpower, and twisting of my body, so as to keep my head pointing the way to my desired destination. Again, this took little effort. I’d decided to head towards the park and a meeting with the owl.
However, as I neared the park and within sight of the line of trees there, my desire to get close to the owl was curtailed by the sudden sound of a flapping of wings, as the owl took off from its perch, high up upon the branches. I caught sight of it as it made its way, crossing Green Street and beyond. I think that it must have seen me coming, and taken fright? No doubt, it would have seemed to the owl, as if some gigantic hawk had encroached upon its territory. “Come back!” I called, voiceless, after it. Arriving at the trees, I took hold of a topmost branch and surveyed the scene about me. Apart from the streetlamps, a few house-lights remained on. The tower-block, rising further away across the park, seemed, surprisingly, to be in total darkness.
The night-air was fresh, and I felt exhilarated. ‘Where to now?’ In truth, I hadn’t planned on making a visit to the Hodgson’s, yet the closeness thereof provided to me an obvious choice of destination. I hadn’t visited them at such a late hour before, and it occurred to me that this might be a good time to catch them all, asleep? I would need to be very quiet, I considered, if this were the case? There could be no pushing through the outside walls of the house, like before, as this had led to problems with my walking into things? I then launched myself from the tree-tops and experimented by swooping low, before arching my back and soaring upwards. Once above the rooftops, I then made my way to the home of the Hodgsons.
This time, I didn’t trouble myself with landing upon the roof, but brought myself to a stop by placing my hands against the brickwork between the two windows of the front bedroom.
There, I waited for a few moments as I listened for any sounds round about myself. The street seemed as quiet as could be. ‘Well, this is it then,’ I thought, before closing my eyes and willing myself to transport silently and invisibly to stand just inside the doorway to the bedroom.
When I next opened my eyes, I was standing where I had desired to be, yet facing the door.
I then turned slowly about and took in the surroundings. It took a little while for me to ascertain matters, but I was helped in this by the soft glow from the streetlamps that permeated through the bedroom curtains. The soft sound of breathing emanated throughout the room.
To my left, I could make out the dark shape of what appeared to be a bed.
There was someone in the bed, but it was difficult to say who? I took a step closer and then stopped as I realised it to be the girls mum; Peggy. I stood stock still and watched for any sign of movement. Relieved that she appeared to be sleeping, I looked to my right and could see what appeared to be two other beds, with a space in between them. I then made my way carefully along this space, all the while being mindful of any unseen obstructions. Leaning over the bed to my right, I could make out the head of Margaret. She lay upon her left-hand side, and looked quite sweet in her slumber. I knew that Billy shared a bed with Margaret, and sure enough, I could make out another shape nearer the wall. The most that I could make out of him though, was the hair of his head. The rest of him appeared to be cocooned within the bedcovers. I then turned my attention to my left. There lay Janet. As I approached, she murmured lightly and shifted her position from facing the window, to laying upon her back. I was cautious as I closed upon her. Suddenly, her right arm protruded from beneath the covers and waved about before resting across her body. I gave it a few seconds before leaning over to gaze upon her. Although it was difficult to be sure, I thought that I saw movement upon her face. She appeared to be dreaming. ‘I wonder what of?’ I studied her for a while before wishing her sweet dreams, and then stood and surveyed the scene about me. ‘Well, everything seems to be fine here?’ I decided. ‘There’s no point in my hanging about any longer?’ With that, I closed my eyes and willed myself back home, and to my bedroom.
That should have been the end of events for the night. However, as I arrived back in my room, a sudden sensation of unease filled my being. Something seemed to be occurring with the wall against my bed. As I watched, my unease turned to shock; as at first the arms, and then the rest of Janet appeared to be entering the room! “Wha…what are you doing here?” I managed to splutter.
Janet appeared totally relaxed about matters and answered, matter of factly; “I’ve come to see your room.”
I had to pinch my arm, to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. “But, you shouldn’t be here!” I exclaimed.
“Why not?” she answered.
“Because…..it’s not right!”
“But,…you come to my room?”
I struggled to take hold of my thoughts.
“How is it?”
“Look,…you’re too young to be coming to my room at night!”
“Because,…..you just are!”
“I’ve only come to look!” Janet said, and then stepped down from my bed and onto the floor.
In shock, I sat upon my bed and tried to make sense of what was occurring. As I stared in disbelief, Janet began to look around at the room. I quickly raised my legs from the floor and onto my bed. Then, she appeared to take notice of the cardboard boxes upon the floor.
“Can I look in there?” she asked, looking down at a box that held some books.
I nodded in response and shifted my position so as to have my back against my pillows.
Janet reached down and picked up a book. She then began flicking through the pages. Next, she held the book open and remained quiet as she appeared to be reading. I said nothing, but gradually my unease began to fade. She then turned the book over to look again at the cover, before resuming her perusal of it As I regarded her, I noticed how translucent she appeared to be. “What?” she asked of me, suddenly. “Nothing?” I responded, “I was just noticing how ghostlike you appear to be?”
She then cast her eyes down, at her nightdress, before turning to me and saying; “So, do you.”
I raised my left arm and stared at my open hand, turning it one way then another, and could see that indeed, I too appeared to be translucent!
Janet then resumed her silent reading of the book, before suddenly breaking into laughter.
“What?” I asked.
“Dirty dick’s!” Janet remarked and laughed once more.
“Yes, it’s a pub!” I explained. “Yes, I can see that.” she responded. The book she held was a book of British pub signs and their meaning. “Where did you get this book from?” she asked.
I explained to her that I had it as a free offer; for joining a book club.
“Can I take it home?” she asked. I was surprised at her request, but acquiesced.
“I’m surprised that you would find a book like that interesting,” I said.
“I just want to show Margaret.” she explained.
She then read a bit more, before changing her mind.
“No, it’s alright, I don’t think I will.”
“Well, you can always call round in the day if you want to borrow it?”
“Yes,” she answered and nodded. “I’m feeling tired,” she suddenly remarked. “I’m going back home.” She then stepped up onto the bed and pushed her arms through the wall. “Hang about!” I said, “it’s not safe, you going back on your own”
“But I got here alright?”
“Yes,” I said, “I need to speak with you about that, sometime.” I was concerned with this issue of the pink swirling clouds. “Wait a sec,” I said. Then, I stood up upon the bed and took a grip of her nightdress.
“Go on then,” I ushered.
With that, Janet immersed herself into and through the wall, where I followed behind. Suddenly, everything turned jet black! There were no swirling pink clouds that I could see. Nothing, in fact. I couldn’t tell if I was holding on to Janet, or not! Quickly, and in a state of alarm, I willed myself once again to the main bedroom at 284. After blinking my eyes rapidly, in order to clear them, I could see that I was standing once more in the space between the beds. Looking anxiously across, at Janet’s bed, I could see that she was in it! Her position had changed, but at least she was back, safe and sound. What a relief! “Goodnight, Janet,” I whispered, and willed myself back home.
Upon arriving back in my bedroom, I noticed that Janet had left the book on top of my bed. I then looked at my hands and could see that they had become solid, once more. I realised that my trance state and astral-travel was over for the night. ‘And just as well!’ I thought. I had a lot to think about, I realised. I then opened the bedroom window and took in some deep, cool breaths of the night-air. Looking down at the shed, I thought I saw a black shadow, the size of a very large dog, slink behind it. “Christ!…that’s creepy!” I thought, and quickly closed the window.
The following day, I spent the morning lolling around cogitating about matters. I’d fed minstrel, and had been to the shop to buy tobacco. Other than that, not much else apart from having a wash and brewing tea. It was threatening to rain and I didn’t much fancy the idea of a trip into Enfield town. I’d been on the lookout for a new jacket and ‘Burtons,’ in the town, had a sale on. I’d switched from cigarettes to rolling tobacco in an effort to save the money for such. That would have to wait, I decided, as I didn’t much fancy getting drenched. Anyway, I had much to think about.
‘Had Janet really materialised in my room?’
‘Had I dreamt the whole thing?’
I had to consider these issues, even though it had all seemed so real to me at the time. The fact that I awoke to find the book that Janet had been reading, still upon my bed, gave credence to my belief that it had all happened. Of course, that I’d been in a state of trance myself at the time, clouded the picture somewhat.
This issue of suddenly finding myself in pitch-back surroundings, was problematic to me as I hadn’t experienced suchlike before. Yet, that led me to an insight about the psychic dimension that I hadn’t considered before.
Several cups of tea and a few smokes later, I settled upon the theory that; as Janet had led the way and I had followed whilst holding on, then her astral projection had taken pre-eminence. I had been experiencing what she herself had experienced. Which meant, to me at least, that she must have astral-planed whilst keeping her eyes shut. Yes, of course; it was obvious, now that I thought about it!
The implications of this are far reaching, and after much consideration I came to the conclusion (unproven) that age and physical strength, gender, education and general mental capacity (which may be evident upon the dimension that we live upon) mean little within the astral realm.
Those of lesser or not yet fully developed abilities within our dimension, may turn out to have greater strengths within the astral realm. This synopsis of mine chimed with that which I felt naturally. That is; I was ever aware that Janet seemed to have greater powers than I. To say that I was afraid of her, would be overdoing it somewhat. However, that consideration created a tension, which was always to the fore when we spoke with one another.
And yet, I was sure that last night’s visitation from Janet had been made whilst she was still asleep. Her psychic awareness had given notice of my presence to her, in the bedroom at 284, and her astral-self had followed hot on the heels of my return to my room. She may well have greater abilities than I, in the psychic realm, but I considered the fact that she had been asleep,and determined that she would have little memory of her visit. Indeed, any recollection would seem as a dream to her, and would soon fade from her mind, as dreams naturally do.
Y’know,..casting my mind back, on one level I still have difficulty with the mindset of both Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair and the matter of the flying marbles. Sure, there were plenty of witnesses to this phenomena; and everyone seems to agree that when landing, the marbles would come to a sudden halt. Hardly moving, Not bouncing. But, surely, even if the investigators were somehow deceived by the roundness of the marbles and subconsciously attributed them to have bouncing-ball like qualities; a very basic and perfunctory trial should have shown them the error of their assumption?
Of course, both investigators were intelligent and had different qualities. To my mind, both had genuine belief in their theory. So, in that case, one has to look at alternative explanations as to their mindset. And this is where an insight into the psychic and astral realm can pay dividends.
I allude to the ability of our dimension to prevent one from recognising the presence of another dimension. It is as if another mind, more powerful and maybe omnipotent, has drawn a veil over one’s eyes. One may witness paranormal events occuring, but to capture and frame these events in a way that leaves no room for other explanations, is nigh on impossible. To this end, even the most intelligent observer can be made to look foolish, when trying to present evidence of their experience. This power, or powers, which I describe as the ‘Forces of Enchantment’ [FoE] (thanks and regards to Leo Ruickbie of the SPR) play a vital role in the stability of our own dimension. If it were not for these forces, then our dimension would become hellish and unlivable. Ghosts would be seen everywhere. Strange phenomena would continuously be seen to occur. A complete breakdown in civilisation would occur. This is the importance with which these forces should be considered. And, these forces take no prisoners when it comes to protecting and healing our realm from intrusions by another dimension.
I have never read Playfairs book; ‘This House is Haunted,’ although I have seen extracts. There is something macabre and otherworldly in the spectacle of Playfair, upon his hands and knees, attempting by decreasing heights, to get marbles to bounce.
Bullying, at school, can be such a destructive experience for those who are upon the receiving end. Fortunately, I was not subject to this myself when of school-age. That’s not to say that I had entirely no experience of it. I had a way of nipping it in the bud when attempted upon myself. A straight right-handed punch to the forehead of the main protagonist, and without warning, was my preferred method of dealing with this. It was a method that worked, for me.
However, not everyone can dare to act with such an abandon of self-regard as to the consequences, I realise. And, of course, mine was a masculine act, which would result in a sort of begrudging admiration from onlookers. For those of a more sensitive nature, (girls, in particular) mine was not a course of action that would present itself readily to mind. And, with every inaction, bullying can become more pernicious.
So it was, with this in mind, that I took up position upon the bench near the entrance to Durants Park. In discussing bullying with Janet and Margaret, I’d already and inadvertently occasioned Janet to tears. It had gotten so bad, that they had recourse, sometimes, to take a diversion on the way home from school. Yet, this was despite them living within a short distance from the school entrance. The problem, mainly, occurred after outdoor sports sessions. The sports grounds were situated at the rear of the school, and adjoined onto the fields of the park. Groups of children, mainly girls, would stand and present a visible barrier to Janet on her way home. She and Margaret were minded to avoid them by taking a circuitous route home; sometimes making their way along the Hertford road, and back along Green Street.
So, my position upon the bench was a strategic one. I could easily look across the park, and keep a watch out for any signs of trouble. Yet, I had not told Janet, or Margaret, of my presence. I wasn’t sure if they would appreciate any intervention, from myself?
The afternoon had been a warm and pleasant one, and I began my vigil with good cheer. Three cigarettes later, and with no sign of any activity within the vicinity, I reasoned that the girls must have gone back home, via the front entrance to the school. I looked both ways, along Green Street, and cast my eyes one final time across the park; and then caught sight of a couple of figures walking across the fields. Although my eyesight was poor, the relevant height of the two figures brought to mind the presence of Janet and Margaret. I immediately manoeuvred myself into a prone position and peered out through the slats at the back of the bench, which faced the road.
Suddenly, and much to my surprise, the taller figure pointed in my direction and the voice of Margaret sounded out; “Stuart Certain!”
“Where?” Janet asked.
“Over there,…on the bench!”
How she had managed to spot me, I had no idea, although I suspected that I had not been quick enough in hiding myself below the top of the bench? I was, of course, very pleased to see them; but acted nonchalantly as they made their way directly to where I lay. I got up lazily from my position and into a sideways sitting position as they approached. Resting my chin upon my arm, which I draped along the top of the bench, I raised my free arm and waved a greeting to them as they approached.
“What are you doing here?” asked Janet, who seemed somewhat surprised to see me.
“It’s a nice day,” I explained, “I thought I’d come along here and have a cigarette.”
“Why don’t you sit in the park?” asked Margaret.
“I like the bench,” I responded, “and the ground looks quite damp.”
“It’s not damp!” expressed Janet. “We’ve just had sports, and it’s very dry.”
“Have you?” I remarked. “Where’s your PE kit?”
“What do you mean?” said Janet.
“Well,…you normally have to wear PE kit during sports. You’re not carrying any?”
“No,..it wasn’t sports, like that!” exclaimed Janet.
“Just..games,” explained Margaret.
“No,..not that active!”
“Shall we show him?” Janet then asked of Margaret. Margaret, after some thought, then nodded approval towards Janet. They then stood in silence, as they mulled over what they would perform. After a minute of this, I interjected with; “Well, come on then…what are you going to show me?”
“Hold on…we’re thinking?” said Janet. Another minute of silence took place as they contemplated matters. Janet had a finger hooked in her mouth, like a question mark.
“Look!” I said at last, “I’ll mention something and you can show me?”
“Like what?” responded Margaret.
“Can you do handstands?” I asked of them.
“Yes, we can do handstands!” answered Janet.
“Well, show me how you do handstands then!”
“No!” Margaret suddenly exclaimed.
“Why not?” I asked. They then had a whispered conversation between themselves, before Margaret said to Janet; “You tell him?”
Janet then turned to me and said, sheepishly; “You’ll see our knickers!”
“Oh!..,” I exclaimed. They then resumed their silent thought process.
“What about cartwheels then?” I asked. “Can you do cartwheels?”
“No!” expressed Margaret, forcefully.
“And why not?” I asked.
“That’s even worse!” she exclaimed.
“Is it?” I observed. Both girls nodded at me.
“Well,..I don’t know?” I said, “you said you were going to do something,…and I’m still waiting!”
“Oh!…I know what we can do!” Janet suddenly exclaimed, and then turned towards Margaret, whereupon they had a whispered discussion between themselves.
“Right then,…we’re going to show you something!” said Janet to me. They then set off, walking back in the direction from which they had come. After twenty yards, I called out; “Hang about,…where are you going?” “We’re going to do something!” said Margaret.
“If you go too far, then I won’t be able to see properly,” I complained.
“Just wait!” Janet called back. “You’ll see!”
They must have walked another thirty yards, before coming to a stop. Then, turning to face me, Margaret lent forward and made a back for Janet. Janet then ran forwards and performed a perfectly executed leapfrog over her sister. As soon as Janet landed, Margaret then moved her position forwards, whereupon Janet repeated her leap. They did this repeatedly, until they were almost upon me! Suddenly, for me, everything went rather strange? Upon Janet’s final leap, she jumped so high that I was taken with something in the sky. As her outstretched arms dropped from view, everything appeared as if in slow motion. Halfway across the park, the sky above formed a circle of darkness. Within that darkness, stars could be seen; thousands of them! It was as if a hole had been punched through the atmosphere, and I could observe the very fabric of space!
“What d’you think then?” said Janet. I remained looking upwards.
“He’s not watching!” remarked Margaret, sounding somewhat peeved.
“No,..I have been watching!” I expressed.
“Well, what are you looking at then?” said Janet.
“That hole in the clouds!” I said, turning to face her.
“What hole in the clouds?” she asked. “There’s no clouds!” said Margaret.
I looked upwards once more, and could see that the sky was completely blue, with not a cloud in sight!. “How strange?” I remarked.
“What did you see then?” asked Janet, looking upwards, herself. I explained to them, of how a hole in the sky had opened to reveal space and stars beyond. “Oh..yeah!” remarked Margaret, doubtfully.
“No,..it’s true!,” I protested. “And, there’s something else that’s odd?”
“What’s..that?” asked Janet.
“I want to know how you two suddenly appeared in the park. One moment you were nowhere to be seen,..the next, you were both walking towards me?”
“We came from the school!” said Janet. “But you couldn’t have done?” I replied. “I would have seen you earlier!”
“Well…where do you think we came from then?” asked Janet, expressing puzzlement.
“I dont know?” I said. “I’m beginning to think that you both dropped through that hole that was in the sky!” “What,..and we just fell down here?” expressed Janet, obviously amused at the suggestion. “Well, not fell,… more like,…floated down,…like Angels!” I explained.
Both Janet and Margaret were simultaneously amused, and yet bemused at my suggestion.
“He thinks we’re Angels!” remarked Janet, laughing to Margaret.
“I can tell you something else!” I said. “You two are going to be stars!”
“We’re not that good!” expressed Janet, doubtfully, and referring to their gymnastic abilities.
“No,.. not that!” I exclaimed. “Well,..what then?” she asked.
“I don’t know,… I’m not sure?” I replied, “but, I’ve seen it in the sky. Trust me,..you two are destined to become stars!”
In the course of my telling of events, surrounding and directly connected to the activity at the home of the Hodgsons, I believe that I have hinted at other events to which I experienced and which may, or may not, have any bearing upon the matter? These include; Ghostly footsteps in the Chapel of Rest at Chingford Mount cemetery; An altercation with the ghost of Thomas Tallis, at Waltham Abbey; Attacked by Ball-Lightning, and of course; the strange matter of the self-playing Harpsichord music at the home of my Grandmother. Whilst two of those incidents occurred prior to the accepted onset of paranormal activity in Green Street, the focus of my comments, so far, are upon the incidents of the paranormal activity occurring at the home of the Hodgsons. However, another strange incident to which I was subject at that time, may have some bearing upon matters, I believe. However, it will be for others to judge the validity of what I say.
These occurrences of high strangeness are never better exemplified than by a telling of an incident to which I, apparently, was the only witness. This happened upon one of my trips to Chingford Mount. I’d boarded the bus at the top of Green Street and settled into my usual upstairs seat at the front. I estimate the time to be approximately 1.30pm. The weather at the time was mild, with plenty of sunny spells, and I’d decided to take the journey early so as to return before the forecast rain, which was due later. Looking out, I could see that only a few people were about. This was quite usual, as the street itself was never busy with pedestrians.
The bus had passed by ‘284’, and all seemed quiet there. The girls were at school, I knew. However, as the bus journeyed onwards, I became aware of the strange sight of two pedestrians dressed in the most unusual attire. They were on the same side of the road as the house itself, and headed in that direction. Separated from each other by a distance of ten yards or more, they appeared agitated as they kept looking about themselves. It was as if they didn’t know their surroundings, and were trying to assimilate knowledge of the area. That activity, in itself, was enough to draw attention to themselves; yet it was their attire that was most eye-catching. They were both clad, head to foot, in silver-metallic looking outfits. Silver trousers, silver coats,…silver shoes! Their heads were covered in what looked like beekeepers hats, which hid their faces. Those too, appeared to be of the same silver-metallic quality; similarly, the gloves that they wore. As the bus passed them by, I stood up and looked back along the aisle of the bus and through the rear window, to get a better look at them. One of these figures, then started to cross over to the opposite side of the road; and was then lost from sight as the bus took the bend in the road. Glancing at the few other passengers, I expected to see similar interest amongst them; yet was taken with how little interest they appeared to show. At least two were looking out though the side windows, yet seemed totally relaxed about matters. It was as if they hadn’t noticed them?
I sat back down, yet had not much time to reflect upon the matter, when I noticed two more of these metallic clad people! One was upon the right-hand side of the pavement and near to the entrance of Brimsdown railway station; the other, again about ten yards behind, was crossing over the railway lines. They too, were similarly agitated, and were headed in the same direction as the two previously. Again, I paid close scrutiny of them; yet the first thought that came to mind, was not of how unusual they looked, but of how hot they must be, wearing such outfits, and complete with gloves! In fact, I turned behind me and remarked the same to the middle-aged woman sitting two seats back, looking out. Yet, she had no knowledge of what I was talking about? She hadn’t noticed them, she stated! The barriers to the crossing were raised, yet a train had been through recently, as evidenced by the people exiting the station. And yet, not one paid any attention whatsoever to these strange figures! One of these ‘metal-men’ then crossed the path of a woman pushing a pram, yet she too seemed oblivious!
Sitting back in my seat, my puzzlement as to events led me to doubt my own eyesight? What the heck was happening, I thought? How come that I’m the only one to notice these strange figures? Yet, the strangeness of the situation didn’t stop there. For; as the bus, having crossed over the railway lines, then drove into the industrial estate and pulled into a stop; yet more of these strange metal-men could be seen. I counted four! Again, they were in twos and were separated by a few yards. The first two went into a building to the right. The next two emerged from the vicinity of one of the cooling towers, on the left! I then turned, and went to say something to the woman sitting behind, but she had left her seat and was exiting the bus.
As the bus left the estate and continued on its way to Chingford mount, I tried to reason things out. ‘Maybe, the other travellers and pedestrians were privy to something to which I was not?’
That appeared to be the only scenario that made any sense; improbable though it was? ‘Maybe, they’d seen these figures before, knew what they were about, and that was the reason that they didn’t find them interesting to look at?’ Still, I considered the possibility that information about these events might be mentioned upon the TV news that evening? As it was, because of that, I spent less time at the Mount cemetery than usual, and decided to get an earlier bus back. I was hopeful of getting another sighting of these strange ‘beings.’ However, the return journey proved uneventful, and I saw no further sight of them. I wished then, that I had curtailed my trip to Chingford Mount whilst the bus was stopped at Brimsdown; for I could then have followed them and seen what they were up to? When I arrived home, I told Mother of my experience, and we both watched the news broadcasts for any mention of the events. All to no avail. I even mentioned my experience to Janet and Margaret when I next spoke with them. “Well…how could we have seen them?” remarked Janet,…”we were at school?” “Yes, I know that,” I explained, “I was just wondering if you’d seen them at any other time?” ‘No,’ they both stated, they had ‘seen nothing like what I had observed.’ They said that they would ask their mum, if she had noticed anything; although Margaret seemed to think that I was somehow, “mucking about….having a joke.”
Yet, I was totally serious about matters! They were later to confirm to me that, like everyone else, Peggy also had no knowledge of what I told.
So what was it then, that I had seen? Why was it that I, and I alone, was the only one to notice these strange metal-men? That answer to that puzzle was not forthcoming to me in the immediate future, and yet; as the days and weeks passed I began to formulate an idea, which, if true, may shed a completely different light upon why the environs of Green Street were subject to an ongoing period of high strangeness, during 1977 to 1979.
It is not easy for me to speak of matters of a speculative kind; being minded, as I am, to tell you only the truth. Hence, my delay in continuing. Still, I do so with the following advisory: please bear in mind that I have no proof regarding the circumstances surrounding the mysterious metal-men; except to say that my experience of them was very real. Therefore, my conclusions can only be described as theoretical, and based upon the limited research that I was able to do, at that time.
What I can tell you, is that I devoted some time over the matter. It was obvious to me, that the only reason that no-one else could see these strange figures, was because they had the quality of invisibility! That I could see them, was equally puzzling to me; but I had to put that issue to one side. Several points came to mind; (a) they appeared to have human form; (b) they were clad completely in metallic clothing; (c) they were all headed in the same direction. Which brought me to considering from whence they came? The industrial estate at Brimsdown appeared to be the likely source, as I had seen them there.
And then something came to mind, which I thought that I’d forgotten about. Roughly eighteen months before the onset of high strangeness in Green Street, I was disposing of a headless pigeon (courtesy of minstrel) into the dustbin. I’d wrapped the unfortunate bird with the front page from the Enfield Gazette, which in those days was in a broadsheet format. As I lay the package at the bottom of the bin, my eyes were drawn to a bloodstain which had soaked through the paper. Within the bloodstain, a paragraph caught my attention. I then removed the package from the bin, and read it. It was a formal notification that the MoD had purchased some land within the industrial estate. That’s all it said. Nothing more than that. This was odd in itself, as notices of this kind were normally confined to the inside pages. However, that this was on the front page; and that the MoD should be involved, made the announcement more interesting than normal, and I remembered it.
About six months after that, another notice appeared in the Gazette. It said that the MoD (on behalf of the Royal Small-Arms Factory) had obtained planning permission to convert a cooling-tower and a building within the industrial state; for other use. It didn’t elucidate more than that.
Intrigued, I then invited an acquaintance of mine to go for a drink. He had a relative that worked at the small-arms factory at Waltham Abbey, and it was my intention to seek further information from him. We met up in ‘The George’ in Enfield Town, where we imbibed several pints each, before I casually brought up my interest. However, despite my success in getting him to down a lot of alcohol, he remained very ‘cagey’ about matters. Firstly, he denied any knowledge of any plans that the small-arms factory had for the proposed site. Next, and with further liquid encouragement from myself, he stated that ‘he thought he might have heard something about it, but didn’t know what it was about?’ I couldn’t really go much further with my questioning than that. He got a little edgy about matters, and I was mindful of the probability of his falling within the remit of the ‘Official Secrets Act.’ Not only that; it became obvious to me that he was able, and quite willing, to ‘drink me under the table.’ So, I eased off; but stated that it wasn’t important as I could find out from the planning department anyway? “Can you?” he remarked, in response. “Yes, it’s in the public domain anyway,” I replied. He thought about that for a bit, and when the session came to an end I left with the promise that he would enquire of his relative as to what was occuring. (End of Part One.)
One would think that; having taken the steps needed to secure my psychic connection to Janet, that I should have been at ease with the situation? However, that was never really the case. At the back of my mind, an iota of insecurity constantly juggled around; like a loose marble. There were several reasons for that. The ongoing, and seemingly endless presence of investigators at her home, being the main one. That was something to which I hadn’t accounted for, at the start. But, there were other reasons also. Her very age was a matter of concern for me. There was a long time to pass before I could secure my objective of marriage to her. Yes, I had psychically married Janet; but that was no guarantee that her own psychic preference may be influenced by someone else? I suppose that you could say that I was afraid of losing her? Yes, I think that describes the situation fairly accurately. And, I guess that’s why I suddenly hit upon the idea of obtaining a keepsake from her? Something of which I could keep close to me, as a means of reassurance?
“Janet,…would you mind if I took a lock of your hair?” I asked, as soon as the thought came to me. “What d’you mean?” she replied, puzzled by my request. “Yes, what do you mean by that?” asked Margaret, equally puzzled. We were walking, the three of us, along Green Street and towards their home. “Well,…you know,..just a few strands,..not much.” I explained. “And what d’you want it for?” Janet asked. “A keepsake,” I said, “something to remember you by.” A few seconds of silence followed, as Janet sought to get to grips with my unexpected request. “But, you see us all the time!” she remarked, at length…..“you don’t need to remember us?”
“But, I may not always be around?” I explained, “and it would be nice to have a memento.”
“A memento,…what’s that?” Janet asked. I explained that carrying a memento was a common thing that people often did, in the past. “I’ve not heard of that?” she remarked. “No,..nor have I?” said Margaret, doubtfully.
“And what are you going to do with it?” asked Janet.
“Well, I will put it somewhere safe, like a matchbox,…or, a locket,..and I can carry it with me.”
“A locket?” Janet remarked, quizzically. “Yes,” I answered, and explained to her that it was a small case, made of gold, that people carried mementos in; such as a photograph, or a lock of hair. “And you’re going to do that?” she asked. “Yes!”, I answered, emphatically. Janet thought for a while, and then asked me from where I wanted to take the hair. “Well, stop walking for a bit,…and I’ll have a look.” I said. We came to a halt, whereupon I began to part her hair at the back of her head. “Uhmmm,…I won’t take much,” I said reassuringly, “these hairs just above your neckline will do fine,…and nobody will notice!” “Don’t let him, Janet!” Margaret suddenly enjoined, loudly. “But why not?” I asked, looking across to Margaret. “It won’t do any harm?” I continued parting Janet’s hair, and said to Margaret; “I might want some of yours too!” “You’re not touching my hair!” exclaimed Margaret, defensively. Margaret’s hair, at this time, had been dyed blonde from the mid-section to the tips. It was a fashion of the time and, apparently, Guy Playfair had payed for it to be done. “But why not?” I repeated. “I don’t know what you’ll do with it!” she observed, forcefully. “Well, what do you think I would do with it?” I asked. “I don’t know,…with you!” she answered. “Don’t you trust me then?” I asked. “Well,..yes, but not with my hair!” she replied. At this point, Janet said, “Well come on then,..get on with it!” “Oh, I’m not taking it now,” I said. “Why not?” asked Janet. “It would mean me having to pull it out,…and that might be painful. I don’t want to hurt you?” I explained.
“Well, how are you going to take it, then?”
“I’ll cut it out!” I said.
“You’ve not got a knife on you?” Margaret suddenly exclaimed, anxiously.
“No, I’ll use scissors,…probably the next time you call at my house?” I explained.
I’m back! Well,…not quite. I will be though, shortly. Apologies for the delay. My out of date computer had so many issues that I was finding it almost impossible to get through to this site, let alone post anything. But now I’ve obtained a much newer model, and things seem to be going much better. So, I will continue with my recollections soon. If not this week-end; then next week sometime. Till then…….
Well, here I am again! Yes. I’m back. That’s almost as much of a surprise to myself, as it is to others no doubt? However, I’d always intended to return. How could I not? There is still so much left to be told. In fact, it may be a struggle for me to complete by Christmas,…2084?
I jest, of course. As long as I pick up my speed once more, then I may get my story out by December, this year? Anyhow, the reasons for my absence are varied, and are not worth delving into at present. Suffice to say that, my absence has made me ring-rusty, so to speak. So bear with me, if my future postings start out a bit tardy.
In fact, instead of continuing immediately with my telling of the facts concerning the Enfield ‘haunting,’ I have decided to relate the tale of another strange incident, and to which I have alluded before. That should ease me into things.
I refer to my meeting and altercation with Thomas Tallis, and the immediate aftermath that followed.
There’s no doubt that the month of August 1977 was a strange one in the paranormal calendar.
For myself, the strangeness began upon the 4th of that month;-
The month had started out, as I recall, quite mild. I was looking forward to my usual sojourn to Waltham Abbey, and to listen to the organ music there. It was practice day for the organist. These practice sessions were free to listen to, and the organist was very talented, so it made for a pleasurable experience. They were normally held upon Friday afternoons. However, the previous one had had to be cancelled – due to illness – the note pinned to the main doors of the Abbey had informed me. So it was, adhering to the amended instructions upon the notice, that I returned upon the following Thursday – the 4th.
Usually, I would walk the few miles to the Abbey, which saved money and afforded me the opportunity to partake of a few beers in one of the alehouses there. And there were several to choose from. However, I was feeling particularly flush on this occasion, owing to the fact that I’d found a completely crisp £10 note, laying on the footpath which ran through the woods at Trent Park, a few days earlier! So, I decided to treat myself and take the bus to Waltham Cross, and amble the rest of the journey to the Abbey from there.
The walk to the Abbey itself was uneventful, excepting for the sudden change in the weather. Some grey clouds had started to accumulate, and as I stopped and paused at a bridge to view the river, some light flecks of rain had begun to fall. I wasn’t concerned, as I had on my leather jacket, and so finished my cigarette to which I had just rolled. Resuming upon my walk, I noticed a distinct drop in temperature. By the time I’d reached the town, it had turned decidedly chilly. I then made my way to the Abbey itself, to check that the itinerary hadn’t changed. Realising that I had time on my hands, owing to the bus journey, I then walked to the market-place to look at the items on display at an antique-shop there. As I perused, through the shop window, a selection of Toby Jugs therein, the rain started to come down a bit steadier, and heavier. Suddenly feeling rather chilly, and with my hair (I wore no hat) becoming lank with the wetness, I thought of having a quick drink somewhere. I decided otherwise though. This time, I didn’t want to enter the Abbey with the smell of alcohol about me. I could sometimes be quite self-conscious about these matters. I thought then, that the best thing to do, was for me to wait in the Abbey itself. The clock in the market-place showed that I still had a good half-hour to wait, as the session was due to begin at 2pm. I have to say that the town was very quiet in itself, with not many people about. Traffic flow also, had diminished to practically nothing.
So it was, in an atmosphere of damp stillness, that I made my way back towards the Abbey.
Amendment to my post above:- Whilst I have endeavoured to be as accurate in my retelling of this incident, as reasonably possible; it is still likely that slight variations may occur as to certain details. This is despite my excellent memory of the incident. In checking over my comments, I have noticed a discrepancy in relation to the church notice, regarding the organ recital. Its not too important concerning this incident, but I am endeavouring to be as accurate as possible, due to the fact that this incident may well become a subject for investigation in the near future. I can say now, and with almost complete conviction, that the notice was not pinned to the main doors of the Abbey, but rather to the door which is placed around the corner of the tower, and to the right-hand side of the main doors as one looks at them. This is the door that the organist would enter and leave by, I now recall. I’ve revisited my memories once more, but can find no other discrepancy’s. This could occur again as I continue with my recollections, but be assured that I shall remain alert and inform those reading this of any further errors.
Alas!…no sooner had I posted my amendment, then I now realise that I’m not 100% sure that the notice was pinned to the door itself, at all? It may well have been behind glass upon a notice-board next to the door? I cannot actually adequately recall, exactly that detail. This may seem a trivial matter to some, but to me it signals the start of an attack from those forces of enchantment (FoE) to which I have mentioned elsewhere. Woe is me!
However, if those forces are now gathering to mess with, and disrupt my memories; then at least this proves that what I am to tell you, was indeed a genuine paranormal incident. In fact, it could hardly be anything else.
Raising the collars of my jacket, and then thrusting my hands deeply into my pockets, I made haste diagonally across the market square; towards the ‘Welsh Harp,’ and beneath the coaching arch, which led directly onto a footpath running through the Abbey grounds.
As I passed through the opening, the sun suddenly broke through and presented a warm aspect to the pathway. The rain then stopped, and as I took the pathway upon the left, the chill seemed to leave the air. I was cheered by that, and slowed my pace towards the Abbey. The pathway itself, which ran along the Southern aspect of the Abbey, had a gentle slope leading downwards before levelling out and continuing towards the Western end. It was at that point; where the slope began to level off, that things suddenly got very strange. Extraordinarily strange, in fact.
Due to irreconcilable differences, between myself and CJ Romer and friends; this article is now closed for the foreseeable future.
Yes indeed, it seems that I’ve been staring at empty pages for a while now. 360 days, to be exact. Well, that could all change soon, as I’m seriously contemplating a return to the past. Yes; more of the Enfield Poltergeist.
And to be truthful, as no-one else is shifting on the matter, then I guess that I shall have to put differences to one side. Anyhow, there is still so much to tell regarding this case – still many threads to pick up on, and finish.
But where to start? Should I continue with where I left off? Or should I resume at another point in time? The thing is, its probably better to take these memories as they occur, and confuse those agents of disenchantment who seek to wreak havoc with my recollections. So, I shall likely return next week sometime, but with not a clue as to which point in this long-running saga I’ll resume? Still, it has to be done. Next week it is then. See you then.