Well, this ghost: it wasn’t like a malevolent manifestation (there was no moving of furniture or unearthly wailing (nearly put whaling, ha!)) it was more like a lonely spirit who wanted a playmate. Whatever it was, it certainly gave me the heebie-jeebies. Yeah, I’m sounding weird again. Nowadays, I don’t believe in the supernatural, I think everything has a rational explanation, and the mind can play strange tricks. However, at that time my child’s mentality basically perceived that I was being harassed by a ghost and I was frightened, so much so that I said prayers and read the New Testament in a desperate effort to ward it off. I try to take something positive from all my experiences, and I think I learnt two valuable lessons here: Firstly, The New Testament taught me that we all have our crosses to bear; and secondly, the unearthly entity taught me that we have to learn to live with our ghosts. Thankfully, that didn’t go on too long, and the problem was resolved when my family and I moved house (which had nothing to do with my spectre). This is the end of the story for this particular personal haunting; however, since we left I have heard of two separate significant events that happened to other residents of the house, which fit in well with my ghost story. I would like to elaborate but this is not the place. The house is still there and there are people living in it.
Around the same time as the ‘haunting’, I was rooting around the closet one day when I found some of my mum’s old possessions. I found a red and cream Dansette mono record player, and a red leather bag crammed with single vinyl records (45s they were). I digress, but I have to mention this because I spent many a happy hour playing it: Cliff Richard (Summer Holiday), Elvis Presley (Anne-Marie’s the Name), Tommy Steele (Little White Bull), the Everley Brothers (‘Till I kissed you), Little Eva (The Locomotion), Connie Francis (Lipstick on Your Collar), and many others. All classics and greats!! Where the hell is it now? I, unfortunately, have no idea. Back in the day, my mum and dad were rock n’ rollers. I have seen them rockin’ and rollin’, to my acute embarrassment, but I guess they were quite good.
In the closet I also found a blue coloured hard-backed book, entitled ‘Five on a Treasure Island’. I read it and loved it. Consequently, my Enid Blyton phase begins. I was lucky in that this volume is the first in the Famous Five series; you know the one where siblings Anne, Dick and Julian first meet their tom-boy cousin George and her dog Timmy. They all drink lashings of ginger beer, and go off and have their very first adventure together. After I had devoured all the Famous Five books, I went on to the Secret Seven series. After this, to my even greater pleasure I discovered Blyton’s books which are set in girls’ public schools, such as the Malory Towers and the St. Clares series: wealthy, angst teenage girls; midnight feasts; and lacrosse - what’s not to like! At the time, my mum got her housekeeping money from dad on a Friday afternoon, after he finished work. Once she had been able to drag it out of him, we went to do the weekly grocery shop at the Fine Fare supermarket in town. To my delight they sold paperback Enid Blyton’s, so every week my mum would let me put a book in the shopping trolley. This really was exciting for me, and something I looked forward to every week. That is, until one day my aunty mentioned that she had a book about a girls’ school and I could have it if I wanted. I wasn’t very hopeful, but I thought no harm in having a look. As it happens, it was about a girl’s school, but it was also a murder story; it was Agatha Christie’s, Cat Among the Pigeons! Goodbye Enid Blyton, hello Agatha Christie.
To cut a long story short: