We live in an old 1900’s house full of character, creaks and no doubt past history but quite a few years ago something happened that I have never forgotten.
My youngest daughter was a bright 4 year old at the time. Every night we would have a well trodden routine of bathtime and stories before she went to sleep. On one occasion after her bath she stopped dead outside her bedroom door as if remembering something and with an apprehensive look on her face said ‘Mummy, close the curtains!’ Dutifully I did so and she hopped enthusiastically into her bed ready for stories and drifted off into a deep sleep. The next night the same thing happened and the next. At first I thought it was because it was summer and it was still light outside therefore preventing her sleeping. However she seemed genuinely apprehensive every time she asked ‘Close the curtains Mummy?! and refused to enter the room until I had done so. After the third evening of this, puzzled, I asked,
‘Honey, why do you ask me to close the curtains before you come in, is the light bothering you? to which she replied with a very serious face,
‘No…..it’s the boy!’
‘What boy?’ I questioned a little confused,
‘The boy in the garden,’ she explained, ‘he comes every night’
Intrigued and slightly perturbed I thought that perhaps a neighbours child was coming and playing in our garden in the evenings, so I asked, ‘Does the boy play in our garden?
‘No’ she replied, ‘He just stands there and stares up at my window and I don’t like it’
By now I begin to feel that this sounds a little more sinister but without wanting to frighten or alarm her I gently question further….
‘What does this boy look like?’ I enquire,
Her reply chills me,
‘He wears funny clothes, they are all brown, He wears a funny flat hat on his head and his trousers stop at the knee!!
My small four-year old daughter had not yet started school and although a bright child, as far as I knew, was not well read on turn of the century Edwardian fashion. None of the characters in our stories looked as she had so accurately described. From the flat cap to the Knickerbocker style trousers I stood aghast! How could she even dream those details? What had she seen in our garden, which was fully private with no immediate access to the road? It seemed unlikely that a passing boy in fancy dress would be in our garden and every night for the last 3! Not a great believer in ghostly happenings I tried to rack my brain for an explanation and came up with none.
I was unnerved and the next few nights I continued to close the curtains as she requested but could see nothing untoward outside.
The next night after her bath I was surprised to see my daughter bound into her room without hesitation and sit in her bed, story book at the ready.
Slightly confused I said, ‘Hey, you didn’t ask me to close the curtains tonight! How come?
‘Oh its ok now’, she replied, ‘he doesn’t come in the garden now,’
Relieved that this was simply a passing phase I smiled, ‘Oh good’, I said, ‘So you don’t see him in the garden anymore?’.
‘No’ she said with a small smile, ‘HE COMES IN MY ROOM NOW!!
My blood ran cold and I wondered if she could be playing very clever tricks on me, but she’s FOUR I kept telling myself, this is far too clever to be a wind up, and over several days.
After further questioning she told me that she wasn’t scared anymore because he just stands in the corner…….. ‘Over there’
As I mentioned earlier I am not a great believer in ghost stories, I tend to look for a logical explanations in things. At that time and even now I cannot explain this account my daughter in her innocence told to me. Even then she did not come out with the tale, it came about through her responses to my questions.
I have never forgotten this incidence, it actually shook me which is why I remember all the details so vividly to this day. Maybe I do believe in ghosts after all.
My daughter is now at university and sometimes when it comes to mind I’ll say, ‘Do you remember seeing an Edwardian looking boy in the garden when you were little? Did you ever see him again?
To which she simply shakes her head, shrugs and replies ‘No’