17 February 2012

Go Ask Alice

Someone or something has been in the cottage since I came to live here. It's an old house so when I walk along the upstairs hallway, or down the stairs, there are several places where the boards creak. Several times a week, no matter the time of year, I can hear creaking floorboards along the upstairs hallway and then down the stairs, as if someone was walking. (Friends have been over and heard it too.) It's a very deliberate sound, so much so that I've actually gotten up and walked over the stairs to check but I never see anything.

Within moments of hearing the 'walking', the motion detector in the sitting room (which is directly across from the bottom step) will start to flicker, as if something has passed in front of it. And sometimes, when I'm sitting on the couch reading, I won't hear anything on the stairs but the detector will go on and off, on and off... as if someone or something is moving nearby.

Twice, something has tugged on the back of my dress: once when I was standing at the kitchen sink, and the following day when I was in the laundry room in the cellar. Each time I turned quickly (heart pounding!) but there was nothing there.

One summer's day, when I was standing at the top of the stairs, the curtains started to shift slightly as if there was a breeze, and I felt cool air on my face. It was a very hot day, very humid and still, and that particular window has never been opened since I bought the cottage, so I have no idea where a 'breeze' might have been coming from. Whether the tugging and the breeze are related to the 'walking' I hear on the stairs
or the motion detector going off is anyone's guess.

For as long as I can remember I've called the ghost 'Alice' but really I don't know what or who it might be. Some day I'll have to check the records to see who's lived here and the circumstances of their leaving.  Or some night maybe I'll just ask Alice!


  1. Oh my! You told this very well. Just the right matter-of-fact tone. It gave me chills. I have similar tales from an old house turned Antiques shop I rented space in for a few years. But much more subtle.

  2. I find that when it's actually happening I'm more curious than frightened. (Other than the dress-tugging incident!) I've heard that spirits can become attached to things as well as to places, and since my cottage is filled with antiques and second hand furniture I often wonder if it's those items and not the house itself. (Perhaps that was the case for you, too! I hope you write about it sometime...)