Sunday, 13 January 2013

Smallholding Ghosts?

Since we moved here from Blighty nearly 12 years a go.  We (me and missus)  have had a few ghostly experiences.  So I thought I would share a few with you and then ask you to tell me about your ghostly experiences.  Well it's a bit better than me saying it's raining and we have no infrastructure (or a pub) near us, isn't it?

The missus told me about seeing a ghost once when she was baby sitting, many moons a go.  I nodded my head and thought:

"You must have been at the wine gums again."

My late grandmother used to tell my mother about the footsteps that she used to hear at night.  One night we heard them; hob nailed boots clomping down the path to where we built our dwelling.  My grandmother said it was my great grandfather's ghost, checking the farm animals in the old buildings that used to be there.  She recognised the familiar clomp and walk of her late father in law.

Some times I am working (some times) in the vegetable garden and I get a whiff of pipe tobacco smoke.  I remember the smell from my grandfather's pipe.  We some times hear the creak of farm gates that we know are not there.

About two years ago.  One July night, I was sat drinking a pint of stout and I looked out of the window and a shadowy elderly lady dressed in white with a white veil and pointed nose was looking right back at me.  I had just witnessed my first proper GHOST!  My face went white like a sheet or even a ghost, and I shouted to Jean and pointed at the window:


The ghost moved away quickly from us.

I told Jean that I had seen a ghost.

"Now do you believe me?"

Says she.

"I have seen them a few times when I'm washing up."

Don't wash up folks, you might see a ghost.

I relayed the story to my mother.  She told me:

"Its only your relatives coming to see if you are OK."

Anybody ever seen a ghost.


  1. I am a true believer, my grandad used to sit behind me when I drove and always pointed out dangers. Also I had a local farmer who used to visit when alive and still does now he has crossed over, I always smell cigarette smoke and red wine and I know he's about. As a non smoker the smell could only be coming from him in the house. Had a few other encounters too many too mention. It's always nice to hear other people's encounters.

  2. Thanks Ronnie for sharing your encounters with us. I have also had other ghostly encounter when I have been in buildings and picked up on atmospheres and had a general feeling of foreboding. I am a great believer in psychometry and believe objects belonging to deceased people can give off feelings.

    Once went to a house her in Ireland to cut an hedge down for somebody. I said:

    "You have a great view of the bay now and the old oil terminal."

    He told me he his father had been killed when the oil tanker had blown up in the late seventies. A diver had given him a soup ladle from the ship he found during the salvage operation. I held the giant ladle in my hand and I felt really cold and sad. It was really strange.

    Thanks for sharing your encounters, Ronnie.

  3. I have not seen a ghost..but have seen the dogs react to something when out for a walk.....all three stiffened and looked "up" at something in a garden by our church....
    Very weird.....I found this post chilling........oh errrrr.....

  4. Don't think I've seen a ghost as such, but often in an empty building I've experienced a strange cold feeling and felt the hairs on the back of my neck sticking up. A bit un-nerving.
    Sometimes think I've seen something, usually movement, in the corner of my eye, but when I looked carefully, nothing there.
    Also I've sometimes caught a whiff of cannabis smoke in a place where there's nobody been smoking.

    Once when visiting a friend I saw a man passing his window, in a donkey jacket, but nobody came to the door. When I mentioned it, he said "Oh, you've seen Bob". He says they often see him, walks up the drive and into the back garden then disappears, never frightening or threatneing, just a prescence they've come to accept. It's a modern bungalow he built himself about 30 years ago, so not an ancient building hiding its secrets. He says it's near where there used to be a coal mine, so he guesses it's a miner going home, perhaps there was a path there in times gone by.

    Keeps cold, had a snow shower earlier, but it didn't lay.
    Raggy cat been out and back in to milk and biccies, curled up in front of fire.

  5. Hi John, I have read it's very common for domestic pets to react to ghosts. There is definitely a visible and invisible world. I some times find it hard to believe in God, but I know there are ghosts. Perhaps they are residual energy or like photographic negatives?


  6. Hi Cumbrian. I know exactly what you mean about that adrenalin, cold and profoundly sad feeling that you pick up in buildings. We often see people in the corner of our eye and then they disappear. My family have lived on our smallholding for at least 180 years that we know of. There have been births, deaths and many sad and happy occasions. These events seem to stay in the buildings fabric.

    Sounds like you have seen 'Bob' the ghost. I some times see young children running passed the window. Then I go outside and they have gone.

    It's incredible how many people have seen a ghost or know somebody who swears that they have. My mother used to say she once saw Jesus when she was in labour with my brother. I dunno. But there is definitely something.

    Thanks Cumbrian.

  7. Nope, never seen one, though I did sleep alone once in what was known as the most haunted room of a haunted pub.

    When I say sleep, I didn’t get that much I can tell you after being told that, and the next morning opened the curtains to a grave headstone directly outside my window. The pub was that close to the graveyard that the occupant's feet must have been under my room !

    It was like a scene from Scrooge !!! Never went back.

  8. Hi Tom. Gosh I can just picture the scene. It does sound like a scene from Scrooge. The Alistair Sim one was brilliant. Like all the English (British) films used to be. Have you seen Arthur Askey in the film'Ghost Train'? I love old black and white films. Basil Rathbone is my all time hero in Sherlock Holmes.


  9. No hauntings last night, despite a couple of glasses of red and a King Edward.
    The riverside on my walk this morning deserted and looked strangely sad and neglected, there used to be a brickworks and railway into it, all long gone, but maybe a few long-gone workers still visit to keep an eye on it, it's the sort of place that I could imagine having a compliment of ghosts.

    Dull and damp, not actually raining but sky looks dark and heavy, don't think it's cold enough for snow, so maybe more rain.
    Raggy cat continues its hedonistic lifestyle, in early through front door this morning, straight to my computer chair, it's been turfed off to sleep in front of fire.

  10. Hi Cumbrian,

    I woke up in the night wondering if there were any ghosts about. Thankfully nobody visited us. The riverside walk sounds great.

    Straw man (sounds like a Wizard of OZ character)delivered ten big round bales of straw today. We talked about the snow forecast in the UK and whether we would get it, also talked about rats and cats. He told me that when a cat delivers or leaves you a present on your doormat. It thinks it's bring 'you' something to eat. Never thought of it like that. So Raggy cat is quite a generous creature.

    Have you read 'The Magic Cottage': James Herbert. It's about a couple purchasing (freshly baked bread, Aga, rose tinted glasses), a rural idyll, dwelling in the forest and all sorts of weird and paranormal and equine activity take place. It left me quite paranoid after reading it, when wife went to town for the 'messages'.

    I have heard tales of a local grave yard where blue lights come on at night on top of the graves. Sounds like Willow the Wisp to me? We also have the ghost of a headless horse and carriage driver and a banshee that chases people when they pass the gates of the graveyard. There's never a dull moment here in West Cork!

    Good old Raggy cat.

  11. Do you like the (Swedish) band called Ghost, Dave?

  12. Yes, my riverside walk, it's one we used to do together when my wife could walk OK, sadly it's not wheelchair friendly. They've finally replaced the bridge that was washed away in the big floods 3 years gone November when 4 road bridges and 2 foot bridges were lost, it was the last to be replaced, a 6' wide pedestrian bridge, probably used to serve the brickworks in years gone by.

    Not read The Magic Cottage, but I've put it on my "to do" list; I'm reading "Muck but no money", a book about an old Cumbrian farmer, set in the 40s / 50s near what's now Sellafield, coming to terms with new ways and mechanisation.

    Snow's kept away, not freezing, keeps damp.
    Raggy cat been out but soon wanted back in, now in its usual fireside position.

  13. I don't know anything about them Pat. I have read that their influences are Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult. So they must be good.

    Watched a programme on BBC 3 or 4 last night, about the Mormons and Marriage.. They have some gorgeous women, don't they? There was this Britney Spears look a like Mormon young woman, short skirt and drop dead looks, who said she wanted to get married and have lots of babies and spend eternity with her partner. I really admire people who 'believe' in something. We live in such a secular age in which it's trendy not to believe in anything. Fascinating stuff!

  14. Hi Cumbrian, glad to hear you enjoy your riverside walk. Why don't you start a campaign to make it wheelchair friendly?

    I have said it before all town planners should be made to walk around the towns with a supermarket shopping trolley (mind of it's own)wheelchair, pram or bicycle. Just to see how difficult it is for people to get about.

    I was amazed at how much rubbish and potholes are on the country roads when I went for my bike ride the other day. Not forgetting sunken storm drains full of leaves. If you hit one, you would sink a foot.

    The Magic Cottage is fiction. But it's excellent. James Herbert is a genius and excellent writer.

    "Muck but no Money" sounds like my kind of book. Will look it up today and see if there is a Kindle version. I got one of those tablets recently and you can download books in seconds, that's if they have the Kindle version.

    Have you read the Hannah Hauxwell books, Cumbrian?

    Raggy cat isn't daft is he?

  15. Yes, be nice to have our walk made wheelchair-friendly, but I very much doubt I could convince the powers-that-be of this, money's as tight here as everywhere else.
    Mrs wheelchair is attendant-assisted, means she can't push herself, and the wheels are just small ones, they're harder to push over any sort of un-even ground. Very steep learnig curve when you need a wheelchair, biggest thing you find out is where you can't go.
    The Building Regulations have required accessible buildings for a good few years now, but most buildings in town centres were built without the benefit of the regs, and would be impossible to adapt. Very few pubs are wheelchair-friendly, something you don't really notice until you need to.

    Yes, I've read Hannah Hauxwells's biography, no doubt there's other books written about her, an amazing woman, born 1926, I beleive she's still living in a village cottage near her farm.

    I'll send you "Muck But No Money" when I finish it, I thought you might like to read it.

    Frosty this morning.
    Ragy cat in early, front door, asleep in front of fire.

  16. Hi Cumbrian, Yes wheelchair users and people with prams are often treated like second class (third?) citizens. I remember when the kids were small and you couldn't find any where to change them (Supermarkets like Tesco are brilliant and provide free nappies)or you couldn't get the pram around a shop with the clothes racks. They recently opened a 'new' motorway from Cork to Dublin and built no service station. Talk about:

    "Tell the driver I want a wee, wee!"

    Yes I watched a 'catch up programme' about Hannah and her new house. Thanks Cumbrian! I would love to read "Muck But No Money". I'll send you some of my smallholding type books that I have done with. That's why I am starting to use Kindle because the house is full of books, many half read or not at all. Why do we keep them?

    Fine here, but rain forecast for this afternoon.


  17. When we first arrived here and were doing up the cottage, I frequently felt that there was someone 'here', and would chat away to him as I worked. Over time the sense of whoever it was being around, faded and with the arrival of the baby seems to have vanished completely. I like to think that they approved of us bringing the house back to life.

  18. I know exactly what you mean Steve. You 'pick up' on atmospheres left in the buildings fabric, good times, sad times..? Even that someone is here. I have never understand how buildings can change your mood. It does sound they approve of the new life in around the farm.



Some Pictures Around Shaftesbury and Other Hardy Country.

Gold Hill in Shaftesbury.  Remember the Hovis advert?  I remembered watching the Grumble-weeds in Scarborough many moons ago doing Joe Gl...