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.

😱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.

👻My Ghost Adventures

Ballyvoneen House, Cloncurry, Kildare, Ireland

Ballvoneen House, a house of many a restless night.

Ballyvonneen House – Our home for six months. I have just found out that the original house was built in the mid 18th century by Lord Cloncurry, burnt down in the 1798 Rebellion, then rebuilt. I loved this house and even offered to buy it off the owner at the time. It had an old scrumpy orchid, stone buildings out the back and lovely yards. But it was not meant to be.

It was Hubby and I, and my 13-year-old at the time, that lived here. Most of the time, it was a lovely home, but other times we, family and friends experienced things that were a little creepy and did make you feel uncomfortable. Some of the hauntings here were residual, and another particular one that had intelligence to its haunting.

During the whole time we lived here, my son never slept with the lights out, EVER. He told me he saw a man walk into his room at night and stare at him. He got used to it after a bit, but it still makes him shiver when he reminisces on staying there. He never told me when living there, mind you.

Any how, first up Hubby has an experience. While staying up late to watch DVD’s (we had no tv connected), he was sitting on couch enjoying a few beers and his movie when he sees a woman in an early turn-of-the-century dress (20th) walk past the lounge room door, heading towards the front entrance. He said later to me that never had he run so fast up a flight of stairs. Onto of that, he told me he laid in bed for ages, desperate to go pee, but held onto it until the sun came up. Nothing was going to make him go to the loo in those early hours.

For myself, I am an early riser and would go downstairs, make coffee, check emails and messages back in Australia. It was on one of these mornings, just as the sun was rising that I saw, as I washed up a cup, a woman walking past the window. I watched her cross the yard and into the doorway to one of the stone buildings. She was not tall, a little stocky and her hair was pinned up. She wore an apron over her dark dress. I waited for what seemed ages to see if she would walk out, but she never. When the sun came up a little more, I got the courage to walk out there and take a look and found nothing.

Friends of ours came to stay the weekend with us, with their little boy. I placed them in the room next to ours for a weekend of good food, good drinks and fun conversations. All went well the first night, and everyone went to bed around eleven.
In the morning, our male friend came bounding down to us in the kitchen excited. He tells us that a blue light hovered over them in the room for ages, scaring his Peruvian wife so bad, she told him she would not sleep another night here. And sadly, they didn’t, as she was so scared that either myself or her husband had to walk into rooms with her as not to be alone.

It was in that same room I put my daughters into when Hubby and I were getting hitched. My middle daughter got ill from Australia to Dublin and was on a spare mattress on the floor, while her two other sisters took the bed. The same blue light came hovering into the room. As it happened, my youngest daughter woke up and watched the light move around the room. She told me that it formed into a human shape and placed a blanket over my sick daughter – Over her head like she was dead. She was so scared said she closed her eyes so tight and didn’t want to see any more.

In the bathroom, while going for a quick pitstop, something growled in my left ear. It near had me doing a number two, and I got out of there quick smart. And in all the time we were there, never could we get warm in the place. It was constantly cold, and I am not talking a little chilly being a big house. I am speaking of some nights you could see your breath and this being summer. We used so much oil in that six months, it cost us a fortune. But you know what? I loved the place and even offered to buy it, but the owner said no, even though he sold it years later.

But the thing that got me the most was this; Our Scouser friend came to stay with us, and he and Hubby were drinking and playing a game on the telly. It was a Marfia game, and they were right into it. Those games don’t do a thing for me, so I went to bed around nine after cleaning up after dinner and having my coffee. It was about two in the morning when I woke and saw Hubby was not in bed and could hear them talking downstairs, still playing that game. I got out of bed, went to the top of the half landing and yelled out to them its time to go to bed as we were going away that day. They agreed, and they stumbled up into their rooms. All is quiet, and we fall asleep again.

At around 4 am, my sleep was interrupted once again in the form of people screaming, gunfire, explosion so loud – it was unbelievable. I reached over to my Hubby to feel if he was there. He was. It had to be the Scouser. I thought he was playing a game and has knocked the volume right up and couldn’t turn it down. I hiss at Hubby to get up and go tell his mate to get to bed. He mumbles something at me and rolls over. By this time, I was raging.
I rip the bedquilt off with choice words leaving my mouth, and storm out the room. The light on the landing is always left on at night for anyone to get to the loo. I walk over to the railing on the landing. All the while, the loud noise of this ongoing battle is continuing. As I leant over and about to scream at the Scouser, like a light switch flipped, every thing goes deathly quiet. The rooms downstairs are in total darkness, and there is not a sound. I am frozen in the spot, standing there listening and hearing nothing. What did I just hear?
I stood there for a few more minutes trying to get my head around what I had heard and then go back to bed. I laid there for a bit and finally got up and went downstairs to make a cuppa. When the troops finally got out of bed that morning, not even my 13 year old heard a thing, being his room is off the landing.
The house owner would drive up from Limerick now and then for maintenance. I happened to see him one day, and I asked him flat out, “Is this house haunted?”
He looked at me as like I was queer in the head. No, he told me laughing. Are you sure I said to him? He told me he’s never experienced anything, and he and the wife and their many children lived there for years without anything strange happening. I asked did anything happen to this house ever? He said that it had been attacked and burnt down from insurrections. I said, really now.

For me it all made sense now. Did I hear a residual incident that happened to the house? Did the energy of that period of time embed itself into the foundations? Was this the reason for the hauntings or were there layers? These are questions I will forever be asking myself.