Location: Sussex, England, UK
Date of Encounter: Summer 1983
It was 1982 and my parents had recently divorced and I would go to spend weekends with my father. He had recently bought a new house, one that could kindly be called a "fixer-upper." It was a fairly old home, built in the early 1900s and situated on the outskirts of a small Sussex town on about an acre of land. When we first toured the house the first thing that struck me was the kitchen. It looked like something out of a Charles Dickens novel. It was as small as a closet, had coarse stone floors, and ancient plumbing. I remember wondering why the family who lived there previously hadn't updated the ancient kitchen. I didn't know how people could live like that.
The rest of the house was fairly Spartan with ancient carpeting and color schemes. Over time, my father would have the house remodeled starting with the kitchen and finishing with a huge addition to the upstairs.
That first day in the house I was given the task of painting the room I would be staying in when I visited. From the front door there was a stairway straight ahead that led up to the master bedroom. To the left, about 6 feet away, was the family room which had a door to it. And to the right was a long hallway which led to 3 bedrooms and a bathroom at the end of the hall.
My bedroom was the second-to-last down the hallway. I picked out blue paint to paint my room, and got started immediately.
That first day there I had a very odd feeling in the house — a feeling I had never experienced before. There was an extremely heavy emotional feeling in that room, and I had a strong sensation of being watched. I was painting during a bright summer day but there was a darkness in that room that seemed to block out all the light. Its hard to explain… if pressed, I would say it was an entity, but it seemed to be all around in that room like it was part of the house. This presence was especially prevalent down that long hallway and in the bedrooms, but not so much in the rest of the house.
I didn't look forward to that first night of sleep in my room, I kept the light on and read until extremely late, making as much noise as I possibly could while doing so trying to keep my spirits up. Over the next year this would become my weekend ritual and I would fall asleep with the light on every night. I managed to convince myself that the noises I heard in that hallway were just creaky floorboards and noisy pipes. When I heard the stairs creaking at 3 AM I tried to convince myself it was my father despite knowing he wasn't up. Every morning I woke up in that house safe and sound I felt a great sense of relief, the same type of feeling when you almost get in a bad car wreck but avoid it.
During this time my mother got remarried to an American who was working in the UK and the new family (my mother and brother) moved to the US. We spent a full year in the US before it was scheduled that we would fly back to see my father in the UK. I was excited to see my father, but didn't look forward to staying in that house as the past year in the US had been devoid of all phenomena and had been peaceful.
My brother and I arrived back in England after a 10-hour plane trip and were tired and jetlagged beyond belief. I decided to stay up as late as possible so I would sleep through the night. My brother was overcome with tiredness and went straight to sleep. I was sitting on the sofa in the family room when there was a loud commotion in the hallway. I couldn't see what was happening, but I could hear my brother and he was extremely distressed. My father hurried from the family room out to his room and I heard my father comforting him and trying to talk him back to bed. I felt a real sense that something was wrong, and when my father came back, I asked him what happened. He said my brother was hallucinating and had said, "Don't hit me in my soft back." I didn't know what to think, but I had a really bad feeling that something was harassing him. I felt that the same things that were bothering me about the house were distressing him.
Several days passed and my brother went off to stay with my grandparents and I was alone on the ground floor of the house. Up to this point, I had experienced a general sense of unease and noises that could be written off as the creaks of an old house. Soon this would all change and I would experience concrete phenomena.
This particular night I followed my usual routine; I read until late at night leaving the light on. I woke up that night in a wave of panic. There was an unearthly wind blowing through the open window on the other side of my bedroom — the curtains were flapping wildly in this gale force wind. It took me a brief moment to take stock of the situation and figure out I wasn't still in a dream. The window had been firmly closed and somehow now was wide out with the strongest wind I had ever experienced in my entire life blowing through it. I hurriedly reached over to switch on my bedside lamp. I switched it back and forth, but it would not turn on. Panic swept over me at the prospect of going to the window, but I realized I had no choice but to go to the window in the dark and shut it. I got up and approached the window, as I got close to it, I had to use the entire force of my body to take one step at a time just to be able to move against the wind. Eventually, I made it to the window and with great effort pushing against this unnatural force, managed to shut it.
There are several things that trouble me about this experience to this day. First the windows in that house were old, heavy metal frame windows that if closed are literally impossible to open from anywhere but the inside. Obviously already being scared in the house there is absolutely no way I would leave the windows open at night. Secondly, the house I was in was surrounded by trees and was in a forest. To hamper my movement as these winds did they must have been 60+ m.p.h. in my room! It seems totally impossible, but it did happen.
Strangely, after the initial panic passed, I felt a strong sense of relief like this was the last angry gasp of what was hanging around in that room. It didn't feel peaceful but the malevolence that was always lingering felt like it had subsided.
After that stay in the house I went back several times to stay. At that point, my father had made an addition to the upstairs part of the house. There were several new bedrooms built up there and I stayed in one of those every time I went. Those new rooms felt totally peaceful and I was glad to be staying there instead of the downstairs rooms.
Several years after my father sold the house and moved to a large country estate where I would later have more paranormal experiences, but that's another story.