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Witness: Margaret
Location: North Shields, Tyne & Wear, UK
Date of Encounter: 1973

In 1973 I was 20 and just about to get married. At that time accommodation was hard to come by and after a lot of searching we saw a house advertised to rent in a convenient location for us. When we went to view it we were astonished. The rent was really low but the house was lovely, well furnished, and looked after. When the owner showed us round she mentioned that she lived in a caravan which seemed rather odd. Why would anyone live in a caravan when they owned a house like that? I moved in alone as we weren't to be married for another 6 weeks. Right from the start I had an uncomfortable feeling when alone there especially in the kitchen and bathroom. One night after my fiancé had gone home, I went upstairs to bed and went to sleep only to be awakened a short time after to the sound of someone running up the stairs. In my sleepy state I assumed it was my fiancé returning for some reason and turned over and went back to sleep. This occurred again the next night, but this time I woke up properly and I got out of bed to investigate. There was no-one there and no apparent reason for the footsteps. A few nights later I was sitting up in bed reading at about midnight when out of the corner of my eye I saw the top cover on the bed move about an inch down the bed. I dismissed this as being imagination and continued reading. A few moments later the whole cover slid down the bed as if it was being pulled by someone standing at the foot of the bed. It slid right off the bottom of the bed and lay in a heap on the floor at the bottom. I was terrified! I put my head under the blankets and stayed there until morning. The next week we were married and things seemed to settle a little. Within weeks, though, the footsteps on the stairs were back nearly every night and I got so that I didn't want to go home alone in the evening and would go to the local library until it was time for my husband to come home from work. One night he had gone to a meeting at church (we were both Sunday School teachers) and I was left alone at home. I was cooking some beetroot and went to check on how it was doing. For some reason the kitchen door had been rehung so that it opened the other way and the light switch was now behind the door and it was necessary to go into the room and around the door to use it. As soon as I entered the room, I was gripped by a great feeling of foreboding and I switched the light on quickly and ran out again. From the door I could see that the beetroot was burning, but nothing would make me go back in that kitchen. In fact I was so spooked that I went and sat on the front doorstep to wait for my husband to come home. The beetroot and the pan were burnt to a cinder. We gave up and moved in with his parents within a couple of days.
I talked to a woman who lived further down the street as we were leaving and she told me that her daughter and her husband had looked at moving into the house but thought it had a funny atmosphere and she also mentioned that nobody ever stayed there very long. As a matter of interest I was told that many years ago Stan Laurel had lived there for a while in his youth when his father was manager of the local theatre. 

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