TRUE GHOST STORIES - The Haunted Closet in the Attic
Spirits in the closet ...
* As told by Donna
My Mum and Dad were always on the look-out for bargains and spent many a weekend scouring garage sales and op-shops looking for just the right piece at just the right price, dragging me (then 13) and my little brother Jordan (then 11) along with them.
Spotting a large, black closet standing at the back of a lean-to at a garage sale, my mother beckoned us all to follow. She opened the doors and draws of the old wooden closet, extolling its many virtues and planning where it could go in our home. “How about up in the attic?” she said more as a statement than a question. “Then guests will have somewhere to store their belongings when they stay over,” she continued. The deal was done and the old wooden closet was lugged home and placed upstairs in the attic, just as Mum had declared.
“You can put your books and toys in the bottom drawers if you like ...” Mum suggested as she gave the closet a quick clean-out and dust. “You and Jordan play up here a lot, so you’ll have these drawers to put your stuff in now.”
But Jordan I stopped playing up in the attic. I didn’t like the big, old wooden closet. I didn’t know why, but I just didn’t like it.
That night I was lying in bed about to drift off to sleep when something suddenly jolted me fully awake. To my shock and disbelief, a young girl was floating above me, gliding around in circles and singing softly. Her indistinct words seemed to repeat over and over as I lay there frozen on the spot as though paralysed, watching the girl go round and round above my head.
All of a sudden she was gone, as if she’d never been there. I began to wonder if I had just dreamt it ... and after convincing myself that that’s what happened, I fell into a restless sleep.
The following morning over breakfast, Mum complained about having had a dreadful sleep and told us that she’d been having weird dreams and had tossed and turned for most of the night.
My Dad Robert seemed weary and not so bright that morning, and I knew that I was certainly tired after my episode with the floating girl. Even Jordan came downstairs with bags under his little eyes, and he too complained of scary dreams in the night.
From then onwards I would often hear footsteps walking around at night after everyone had gone to bed. I’d lie there awake listening out for them night after night, and they’d always start their nightly walk as though on schedule. I’d hear the creaking of floorboards above.
One night I heard the footsteps coming down the hallway towards my bedroom. The footsteps stopped at my doorway, then the beaded curtain hanging there rattled as though someone had passed through it, the beads clanking against one another. Then the footsteps resumed and walked right up to my bed. I pulled up the covers over my head, terrified.
Another time I found small wet footprints next to my bed, as if a small child about my age had just taken a shower and stood there dripping water all over the floor.
Sometimes I’d see lights flashing under my door as though the light switches were being turned on and off quickly. I just tried to ignore it and sleep through it, pretending like it wasn’t really happening.
I eventually plucked up the courage and told Mum about everything that had happened. I told her that I thought we had ghosts, and that it had all started the night that big, black wooden closet moved into our attic.
Far from not believing me, Mum said it was something she’d been considering herself as she’d been hearing strange footsteps and creaking floorboards at night as well.
Mum decided she was no longer so keen on the black closet in the attic.
That evening we broached the topic to Dad.
But Dad wouldn’t hear of it. He scoffed at the notion of ghosts in a closet and dismissed my claims of hearing footsteps at night. He told us that we just had over-active imaginations ... although he did have to admit that he’d been experiencing lots of strange dreams lately for some reason. But he insisted that the closet was staying.
“Robert, please be reasonable ... we can sell it and get our money back,” Mum proposed, but still Dad wouldn’t hear of it.
The topic was dropped the moment Jordan walked into the room for fear of frightening him. “Are you talking about the ghosts in the closet upstairs in the attic?” he asked innocently.
The following day, a Saturday, Mum and Dad spent the afternoon pottering around the house rather than going out to see what they could see at the local garage sales, as they would usually do on such a day. It seemed the gloss had been taken off their former hobby since the arrival of the creepy, haunted closet.
Dad’s sister, my Aunt Judy, was coming to stay for a 3-day-weekend and was due early the following evening. Mum reluctantly made up the spare bed in the attic in anticipation of her visit. Mum didn’t like spending time in the attic anymore, and the closet freaked her out to no end, so she made up the bed, readied the room and got out of there as quickly as she could.
That night the whole family was kept awake by what sounded like repetitive knocking or a ticking sound coming from the attic above. I could hear our dog Morky whimpering in his bed in the laundry. But no one, not even Dad, was brave enough to go up there to check it out and I hoped that this would change his mind about keeping the old closet.
Aunt Judy arrived the following day and no one was game to tell her about the odd happenings and the creepy closet. Going to bed that night I wondered (with dread) what the ghosts in the closet would get up to, particularly with Aunt Judy staying in that tiny room.
But all was silent that night. No footsteps, no creaky floorboards, no freaky dreams. Nothing. The following night - no action from the ghosts, and none again the following night either. The ghosts had gone it seemed ...
Or so we thought.
The following day Aunt Judy and Mum sat talking over coffee in the family room. Aunt Judy was due to leave that evening so was making the most of her remaining time chatting and going over some family photos with Mum. Dad had gone off for his golf game and Jordan was out with his mates for the day, so I hovered between Mum and Aunt Judy in the family room and the kitchen where I’d aimlessly stare into the fridge.
All of a sudden running feet could be heard overhead. It sounded like the light footfall of a child. I looked at Mum and she was looking up at the ceiling, then turned and looked at me ... a look of dread on her face.
“Who was that!?” asked Aunt Judy in surprise.
Mum and I looked from one to the other, but remained speechless. Aunt Judy noticed our silent exchange. “What’s going on?” she asked. She looked from me to Mum and back again, then re-asked her question. I began telling her about the creepy, haunted closet and Mum interjected with her own experiences and thoughts. “And you made me sleep in that room!?” Aunt Judy screeched.
Just then the sound of running footsteps above rang out again, although this time the footfall was much heavier, like those of an adult. A moment later the running became stomping, and all three of us huddled together on the couch in fear. The stomping continued until Mum started ushering us towards the front door, urging us to get outside and away from the house.
Three foot away from the door, the stomping abruptly stopped and loud knocking started on the door in front of us. We slid to a halt and huddled again, feeling trapped all round. Mum took a deep breath and opened the front door. No one was there. The door seemed to rip out of Mum’s hand and slammed shut right in front of us. The loud knocking started up again, and we stood rooted to the spot, terrified.
Then all fell silent just as quickly as it had started.
“What the hell is going on here?!” Aunt Judy blurted out breathlessly. Neither of us had an answer for her.
The doorbell suddenly rang and all three of us spontaneously jumped and screamed in surprise and shock. Again Mum took a deep breath and opened the front door.
Much to Mum’s relief, this time there was actually someone standing there - our neighbour Joy Burrell. She’d moved in next door not long after we’d moved to the area, so we’d known Joy since I was a baby. She had been widowed many years earlier, and was known as the town’s one and only psychic and ‘white witch’. Joy stood on the doorstep with a smile and an expectant look on her face.
Mum gathered herself together and invited Joy into the house, offering her a cup of coffee on the way into the family room. Aunt Judy and I followed. The atmosphere in the room was tense and static, and the three of us were jumpy and nervous while Joy sat serenely on the couch with a soft smile on her face.
“I know what’s been going on ...” she began.
“What do you mean?” asked Mum.
“The footsteps at night, the lights flickering on and off ... the old black closet perched up in your attic. That’s where they’re coming from you know,” Joy stated.
Mum, Aunt Judy and I looked at one another then back at Joy. “How do we make them stop?” Mum asked, a note of desperation in her voice.
“Get rid of the closet. Get it out of the house this instant.” Joy replied.
“Should I sell it ... put it on the market? It’s a beautiful old closet someone may love to have it ...”
‘No. Definitely not!” retorted Joy. “You’d be giving them what you’ve been experiencing ... the spirits would just move along with the closet, haunting the next home and the next. Just get it out of your house. And burn it.” Joy advised.
I could see Mum considering her options as my Dad Robert had said that the closet was to stay. Aunt Judy took the lead and grabbed me by the hand on her way charging up the stairs to the attic. Mum followed close behind, relieved that the decision had been made for her.
The three of us lugged the old wooden closet out the door and down the stairs. It wasn’t easy and we often stopped to catch our breath or adjust our hand-hold on the closet to transport it slowly through the house.
Between the three of us we managed to finally half carry and half drag the creepy closet out to the backyard, away from the house and our old swing set. We stood around the closet in triumph, them Mum stomped off as though on a mission, and came back from the garden shed with a small can of petrol. She quickly dowsed the closet, inside and out and without hesitation, lit match after match finally setting fire to the offending closet.
By the time Jordan rolled in and Dad came home from golf, the closet was a smouldering mound of ash in the backyard. Aunt Judy met Dad at the door on her way out, her visit over till next time. She gave him a quick hug and kiss and flippantly told him that the ‘ghosts were now gone’. He recoiled a bit in surprise as Aunt Judy closed the door behind her.
He didn’t ask about the closet. In fact, it wasn’t mentioned by any of us. We all acted as though it, and the havoc it had unleashed, hadn’t ever existed and just got on with our evening as usual.
That night I lay in bed hoping that nothing would happen ... no creaky floorboards, no freaky footsteps, no flying girls in my bedroom. I must have finally drifted off to sleep, and didn’t wake again until my alarm went off at 7 the following morning. I’d slept the whole night without disturbance!
Over breakfast we all made comment that we’d had the best night’s sleep in weeks - no nightmares or flashing lights, no footsteps or knocking or any strange sounds in the night ... nothing. And we haven’t had any since.
* As told by Donna
TRUE STORIES - Ghosts, Angels and Spirits
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