The Night Death Came Calling

The Hooded Figure Stood in The Doorway

3rd January, 1986

I had just moved back home to my parent’s house, which was a three-bedroom, one-bathroom number, which meant for the seven of us living there, we kids were crammed in. And when I say crammed, I was sleeping on the couch. At the time of my return, I had gotten a job at the same pub my parents used to manage down by the seaside of our town, and I was working multiple shifts.

Having completed the shift that night and home by ten thirty, I walked into the house to find my dad watching the telly and having a coffee. We did the usual small talk, and he carried on watching his show. Next, I went and got myself a coffee in the kitchen and read the morning’s newspaper. When finished, I had a shower and got into my pj’s and got ready to sleep.

By about ten past eleven, my dad got up and said he was off to bed. We said our goodnights, and I proceeded to get my sheets and pillow ready for the couch. I walked over to the front door to turn off the light, walked back to the couch, and got comfortable.
Now our lounge room was tiny, had two sets of windows covered with a bunch of my mothers 1970’s burnt orange, netted curtains. The streetlight across the road shone through those curtains, giving the room a look of a moonlit night. So I would sleep the opposite way towards the wall and hallway opening into the lounge.

Just a rough set out of home on the night. Other furnishings were in the house but I never put them in.

When laying that way, to my right is the tv and on top of that was the video player that had a lovely bright green timer display on it. The time when I was settled was 11:15pm. It was a warm night being January in Australia, so a sheet would do, and I pulled it up so no mosquitoes would bite me. Then, finally, I started to fall asleep.

I woke with a start feeling that something was wrong in the house. Dread. I got up on my elbow and looked around the room, looking to see what was wrong because my heart was pounding. The room, as I said, was lit up by the streetlight but that night, it took on an eerie shadow that was a little darker. I quickly scanned the room to see if everything was ok, but everything looked normal. The video player beamed at me 11:25pm.

As I laid back down, closing my eyes, a warning bell was going off in my head, and it had to do with the room. I kept going over it and everything seemed in its place. And then for some reason the word Mirror popped in my head. My mother had bought this large round mirror from her expedition to an antique store and placed it right in the middle of the hallway. It reflected light into that area from the lounge, and us girls used it for putting on makeup and doing hair, which I had looked into when I came home from work that night.

I had not seen it a minute ago.

Opening my eyes, I was frozen with the most terrifying terror of the form standing before me. I wanted to and tried screaming, but it was like I was being gripped around my throat. Finally, all that came out of my mouth was a gargled whimper.

It was a hooded figure, well over 6 ft tall and slouched in the hallway doorway, its form hitting the top of the frame. I saw no face but only darkness where one would be. I couldn’t stop looking at it, and yet I wanted to look away. I could see the folds of brown material that made up the cowl, the realness to it, only a couple feet away from me. It was like we were locked in a staring contest for ages until it lifted its right hand at me, and that, my friends, is where I lost it.

I broke free of the stranglehold of fear and screamed bloody murder to the house, and my mother yelled out from her bedroom.
“What’s wrong?”
“IT’S come to get me!” I screamed
“Close your eyes and say your prayers.”
My father pipes up with one of his tsk sounds of the annoyance of being woken up.
I closed my eyes, and I said I believe in Jesus Christ over and over and then did a round of the Rosary for extra protection.

I opened my eyes finally and saw the mirror. Jumping up, I ran and turned the light on and left it on. It was on the clock now 11:32pm. I sat on the couch trembling and my heart pounding still. WTF did I just see? Was that death? Did death just come to our home and just point at me? WTF! This was so freaking scary, I could hardly close my eyes when I finally tried to sleep. I was waking up every now and then to see if it was still there waiting for me.


The following day I woke to my father’s grumbles of leaving the bloody light on and how much electricity costs. Walking through the hallway was a bit of yucky feeling, as the fear was still in the pit of my stomach. At breakfast, I needed to talk about what I had seen and do you know what? Everyone laughed and made a joke of me. I told them this was not a dream, but no one listened.

For days and days, I wondered why that thing came to our home. Was it me that was being told I was going to die? I would lay until the late hours contemplating it all, frighten. I had no one to talk to about this and it played on me for so long, making me unable to sleep for a long time afterward without sleeping with a light on.


“Because I could not stop for Death – 

He kindly stopped for me – 

The Carriage held but just Ourselves – 

And Immortality.”

Emily Dickinson

And then Death did come knocking again to collect … two weeks later on the 17th January 1986.

My sixteen-year-old brother drowned after an accident off a bridge, with friends, fishing. My mother’s heart and mental state also died that day and went with my brother.
“It should have been you!” she would scream at me after drinking herself into her oblivion.
“I was ready for you to die! Not my Boy!”

She has never regretted saying those words to me, and though she no longer drinks, she has wasted so much of her life on grief, hostility and agony, with no one else’s feelings ever taken into account that we too lost someone we loved.

Death can make the living as lifeless and as cold as those we bury. Death hit our home and took so much in our minds, in our lives, but for some of us, it didn’t erase our lives, but gave us more understanding of living it.

Yes, Death came to our door and came calling.

Dave Grohl – Storytelling Review

It was that famous joke: What’s the last thing the drummer said before he got kicked out of the band? ‘Hey, I wrote a song.’

Dave Grohl

Since I drive a lot, I have taken to listening to stories in the car. I have just finished listening to…

“Dave Grohl The Storyteller – Tales of Life & Music”.

From start to end, it was Dave & I. His voice was warm, fun, and he spoke like an old mate; no hangups, never spoke like he was more than anyone else.

His narrative on the beginnings of his music history, the people in and out of his life, who he meets on those odysseys, doesn’t set you standing on the sidelines looking in; No, it has you standing there next to him, experiencing the emotions and spirit of what he remembers.

In the book, there were a few times I let a few tears roll when he spoke of personal loss and pain or I felt the anxiety at times he was second guessing himself or felt lost. I laughed when he did the goofy voices and loved the Nurse story when his baby was born and the hilarious one about his mum’s shoe. It had me smiling at times when he would met musicians he worshipped from afar and just how things fell into place for him.

His energy is 🔌 in…always creating, but he is that kind of guy. Never one to sit still for too long, having to keep busy. It shows throughout the book.

Enjoyable to the very end.

Thank You Mr Grohl for the exceptional storytelling.

NOTE:

Personally, it bought back heaps of memories of the music scene during the ’80s and ’90s in Australia. For me, it was doing similar things as kids, climbing trees, listening to a transistor for the latest song on a university radio station, to growing up and trying to find where you fit in. The sounds we craved for under our militant state at the time. I suppose it goes for anywhere in the world that if you are different, you are a target.

And I have to say, at one part, when Dave was speaking of his getting Josh Homme and John Paul Jones together and start a band, I started laughing because I had not heard about Them Crooked Vultures in a donkey’s age. I even had forgotten that THEY were Them Crooked Vultures (age catching up on me), and back in 2009 or 10, I thought it was one of the most excellent collaborations put together. When I listened to that album, I heard bits of Rory Gallagher and can listen to a bit of Led Z too… it’s hard to explain, but it is an album to play at a bar, few drinks, playing pool, good company, a few more drinks and then it’s that time of the night when…

😱My Ghost Adventures

Glenshelane Woods, Co. Waterford

Road to Mount Melleray Abbey, Glenshelane Woods, Waterford.

I do genealogy, and I have lots of convicts in the family tree. So when I am back in Ireland, I do a bit of snooping. On this particular day, we had been in Waterford, and I found a land title to a relative, and so we went for a drive to see if we could find it.

The land was near Mount Melleray Abbey in Co. Waterford, and so I took the road from Dungarvan to make the most of it as such a pretty drive to Cappoquin. As I was driving, Hubby was dozing in the front seat as he had made a night of it at the hotel and was feeling it that morning.

I saw it when I got to a part of the road where the trees are starting to cover the road a bit with a canopy. A black form that was misty or shadowy, tall, could almost be like the top half of a person standing about 80 metres ahead on my left, just beyond the trees. Lord knows how I saw the thing, but I did. I kept my eye on it, standing there. As soon as I was really closer to it, the thing flew in front of the car. I slammed on the breaks, and it disappeared to my right up through the trees.

Hubby woke swearing his head off, screaming at me as to what was I doing? How lucky no one behind us and bla-bla-bla. I told him what had just happened, and he said I couldn’t stop in the road like that. I calmly said, with gritted teeth, that I was bloody frightened. I continued with the drive, but I couldn’t get that thing out of my mind about what I saw in the mid-morning of the day.

As I took off, I kept looking back in my rearview mirror to see if it would appear; however, it never. On the way back from searching land, I kept an eagle eye out for the thing. But again, it never showed up. What was it? Whatever it was, it was scary looking and had a menacing feel to it.

Roundwood House, Co Laois

Roundwood House

Friends of ours from Spain came over for a holiday to Ireland and we had the best time. Hubby and I took them to some pretty special places and this was one. We were on way back to Dublin after hitting Kerry and this was special bed and breakfast. Included in the deal was an 11 course meal. Anyway, Hubby and I were given a large room with single beds and we gave the queen to our friends on the top floor. The hosts were fantastic and showed us around and then proceeded to start their dinner as they had a full house for the dinner.

So before dinner, we took a little rest and when it was near time to come down for dinner, Hubby, who is not known for directions or for remembering, said he would go upstairs and see how they were getting on. Hubby actually went up one flight of stairs and knocked on a door and entered before anyone could say “come in” and surprised a couple staying in the house having sex. He exited quickly. Up another flight of stairs and he found our friends.

When he returned to me, he told of what happened and I was so embarrassed for the couple and said to hubby what will you do at dinner? The look on his face at the thought of sitting with a couple who he busted having sex horrified him.

But turned out we had a dinner table to ourselves and the other guests sat behind us with another table of patrons. The only thing was Hubby had to swap seats with our Spanish friend so he never faced the guy, who kept staring at him. That dinner was delicious, hilarious and long. Thank god for the wine. We never finished until 11pm and even our friends were full and tired. We finished and headed for bed.

Our room was quite hot and so I opened one of the sash windows to let a breeze in. Looking outside, it was so dark. The house was quiet and everyone must have gone straight to bed.

Hubby had jumped straight into his bed (first in bed doesn’t have to turn the lights out) and was oohing and aahhing about how lovely and comfortable the bed was. He was asleep within minutes. Turning the lights off, I found the room was exceptionally dark as well.

As I was just dozing off, I opened my eyes when I heard some crunching sound (like a vehicle coming up a driveway but no engine sound) on the gravel outside the window coming up to the house. As I laid there, I listened and then heard horses making that snorting sound and stamping and moving around on the gravel. I laid for a moment, then heard like maybe two people walking on gravel, horses again snorting and so, being the nosey parker I am (Nancy Drew and The Three Investigators had a lot to do with that), I slipped out of bed quietly and felt may way to the open window and saw….nothing. It was dark as dark and quiet as can be.

The next morning I was going to ask the Lady of the house about it, but she looked so busy and tired that I just let it be. I thought it was a ghost carriage in the end, coming up the driveway and dropping off its passenger or passenger off at the big house. I don’t know if the owners ever hear things like that but I do hope to go there again.

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

My Hubby and I took the tour as our first outing together when we met. We had our Scouser friend come with us, and during the tour, two things happened. When we were listening to the guide in the room where she was talking about the children and then onto the 1916 uprising and showed the walkway to the hanging room, I turned around when I thought I saw something flick past on the wall. I got my little Sony camera out and took a shot in the corner, and got…nothing.

Our friend whispered what was I doing and I said I felt like there are little child around. Now our friend is a jolly large Scouser, and he said to me that he wouldn’t have a clue as to what it is, but he felt like someone was running around him while we were standing there.

As we are looking around, Hubby, who is about three or four metres away from us, turns on me and hisses “Stop doing that”. I walked up to him and whispered do what? “Stop pulling my jeans”

Our Scouser mate and I told him I was no where near him and was not doing that. He looked at me then onto our friend and just said pissed off to stop. As the tour went on, we said to him out of ears reach of other people that both of us were not near him and that we were in the corner talking. He didn’t believe us.

“Well it wasn’t us mate” our friend said and we moved on with the tour.

Main Room

Second was in the Main Room where the major cells are. If you look at the stairwell going down into other cells, I was drawn to it to take a photo at the top of the stairs. Scouser mate stood with me while Hubby wander down the other rooms.

“Blending heck” he kept saying and I said what and he told me what he saw.

My little Sony camera started to smoke. Little whispery strands of smoke and it was my friend who noticed it. And it only happened when I tried to take photos down those steps. I walked over to a cell, took a photo, no smoke. Go to the top of the stairs and smoke. It freaked our friend out who then told Hubby, who said he didn’t want to know. My camera still works today and never has it done the little smoke thing again.