Here’s where my fascination with the paranormal started, my Mum’s ghost story - and still the best one I’ve ever heard…
“My story begins in the little village of Loftus in Yorkshire where my father was born. Each summer my parents, brother and I spent a week with my grandmother in her little terraced house on our summer holiday. When I was 16 I was told I could take a friend as I was finding family holidays boring. My friend agreed to come with us, her name was Mary and as well as being friends we worked together. We were not able to stay at my grandmother’s house as it was too small for us all, so Mary and I had to stay with my aunt, uncle and cousin Keith in the centre of Loftus. They also lived in a row of terraced houses which were down a lane just off the village square.
One evening Mary and I decided to go to the cinema (in the village centre) so had an early tea and went to see a film. When the film was over we called in at the fish and chip shop on the corner and bought some supper. Walking back to my aunt and uncle’s house we decided to carry on past their house and walk further down the lane as we had not finished our food. We felt it would be rude to return back still eating and without buying them anything. The lane had stone walls on either side but further down the pavement changed to a dirt track. We were now walking past the last street lights and as we were going into the dark we decided to turn round and go back…
The first thing I was aware of as I started to turn round was the feeling I had walked into a cobweb that brushed my face. I was facing the stone wall on my right. I then saw what I thought was a woman riding a bike in the field over the wall. I realised that this woman appeared to be gliding into the centre of the field. She was dressed in a Victorian dress and had a bonnet with flowers round the rim and chiffon holding the bonnet on which ended in a floppy bow under her chin. She was also holding a parasol which was half open. It was like looking at an old film. You could see all the detail but everything was opaque. I don't
remember seeing her face.
It was all over in seconds but I realised the importance of what I had seen and was keen to validate the experience. I turned to Mary and asked her if she had seen the lady in the field and to my relief she had seen her as well. Just to make absolutely sure, we each described different details of her clothing and they matched, so there was no doubt in our minds that we both had seen the same thing!
When we returned, my aunt and uncle had gone to bed so we had to wait until the next morning before we could ask them about the history of the area. My aunt told us that just a little further down the lane was a large house that was not lived in any more. It had belonged to a wealthy wool merchant but the house was abandoned after a tragedy in the family.
The wool merchant and his wife only had one child, a daughter, who was prone to sleepwalking.
When the house was lived in, there was a lake in the grounds near to where we had seen the woman. The last task of the day for the house staff was to lock the doors once the family had retired to bed.
One night this was overlooked and the young woman walked in her sleep down the staircase through the hall, out of the front door into the grounds and walked into the lake which was in the field we had seen her in and she had drowned. So distraught was the family that they left the house and never returned.
There was no interaction or recognition of our presence from this woman, it was just like watching a film clip, but I feel privileged to have been at the right place at the right time to see her”
My Mum and I tried to find where it happened. We think it was left by the corner of the cinema, further down Cleveland St on the left. Maybe we'll have to go back there.
Submitted by Claire - Claire Witch Files