Thursday, May 17, 2007

Keryn here, again. Mereth is still absent without computer, (AWOC?) and doubly absent because she has nicked off to West Australia with our older brother. She's visiting a dear friend over there, and having a small holiday and seeing the WA rellies for the first time in decades. She'll be back in a couple weeks with tall tales to tell. Until then, here's an account she wrote of a visit to her in-laws....

A few years ago the boys and I stayed at my inlaws farm, in the hills above Victor Harbor. The house is a huge old rambling place nearly 150 years old, with 16 main rooms and it's like a rabbit warren inside. My parents-in-law live up one end, and sister/brother-in-law and their family up the other.

I had to stay in a now disused part of their house and MIL asked if I minded, seeing it was supposed to be haunted. I laughed, and said no, because I'd slept in this room before with no problems. Everything was fine until the last two nights, when the brother-in-law and family went to stay at Goolwa for a holiday, leaving their end totally empty.

The first night was very windy, and the big heavy door into the hall slammed itself shut with a bang to wake the dead, or at least the boys and the oldies sleeping miles away at the other end of the house. I got up to go to the loo, and made sure that I shut the door when I came back. It has an old-fashioned latch that has to be raised at least half an inch so I was pretty sure it would
stay put.

Back in bed and snuggling down under the doona I heard the door being pushed open, dragging over the carpet until it was fully open, and then an almighty WHAM! as it slammed shut again. I didn't get up to investigate, but it took me a while to get to sleep as I tried to think of explanations of how the wind managed to lift that latch up....

The next night I wedged the door open so that it couldn't move at all, and went off to bed.I was reading when I heard a patter of feet coming down the hall, muffled on the carpet, and clicking on the lino at the end. It sounded like a small animal, perhaps the cat locked in and now wanting to get out. After a while I realised it was doing circuits of the house through the interconnected
corridors, because it went past again, pad pad pad PAD PAD PAD past the open door and onto the lino.

I got up and began to search for it, but I couldn't find it anywhere and I was rather annoyed because all I wanted was to go to sleep.Eventually I went back to bed and it started again, busy little paws trotting past and fading into silence. While I was listening to it padding past I realised that I could hear claws clicking on the lino, and cat's don't make that particular sound because
their claws are retracted.....

Round and round it went and I became convinced it wasn't a cat, Jessie was locked in the shed and the in-laws are violently opposed to dogs inside, so therefore it had to be a little ghost dog endlessly patrolling the dark corridors.

I didn't feel afraid, but nevertheless I got up and closed the hall door just in case he decided to detour into my room and then I drifted off to sleep, to the intermittent patter of his paws.

The next morning MIL said it couldn't have been the cat, because he parks himself on the end of their bed and complains until they let him out, and the boys said it was a giant rat or a possum. But I know it was a little dog, intent and busy, circling the maze of halls on his unknown errands; coming and going through the darkness of the night.


meggie May 18, 2007  

Ooh. Having seen ghosts, & felt them, & hearing them... I think Mereth is right!

Nic Bridges May 18, 2007  

Ooooohhhh! I love a spooky tale (tail)!!!

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