The nightmare began in 1995 when we moved house.
The new property was a spacious Victorian villa in a north London suburb. It was the kind of house I'd always dreamed of owning, with plenty of room for the kids to play in and explore!
There was no denying it had character. Although most original features had been destroyed, occasionally we'd come across patches of the old wallpaper, such as in a small ceiling height cupboard upstairs which had obviously been constructed shortly after the house was built.
I didn't sense at first that the house was a problem. It certainly didn't feel 'neutral', unlike my current property which, although about 500 years old has no sense of people at all, which is odd, considering its history!
However, I soon came to feel the house was my enemy. Everything felt such hard work.
Somehow or another (I can't remember how) we discovered that a previous owner had been murdered. Shot dead by a drugs dealer. Luckily, not in the actual house we were now the owners of, but in a hotel on the Isle of Wight. He was Cypriot. The relevance of this you'll find out later in my story...
Weird goings on
It soon became plain that the house had a problem.
Electrical goods kept malfunctioning or blowing up. In the 6 years we lived there we got through 3 washing machines, 2 tumble driers, 3 televisions, 4 vacuum cleaners, not to mention various small electrical appliances! It was becoming ridiculous!
On several occasions I felt hands around my throat in the night, which was absolutely terrifyng!
Once I was awoken in the early hours of the morning by the sound of the bedroom doorknob being loudly rattled. Not being given to uttering profanities, I nevertheless swore out loud and immediately the rattling stopped, never to return.
Sometimes I would find the sideboard drawers open first thing in the morning, as if someone had been hunting for something. Pictures on the wall would be hanging at odd angles.
My daughter's cousin came to stay for a week, and my daughter, who was only 12 or so at the time had the sense not to tell her cousin about the problems the house had. She didn't want to scare the poor girl! However during the first night the cousin was woken by feeling a heavy hand on her shoulder. She was terrified, but somehow managed to get back to sleep.
The next day she told my daughter what had happened, who then confessed that she had kept from her the fact that the house was haunted.
These incidents were relatively minor compared with what was to come...
Enter the builders
It was when we had the builders in that things got worse.
The bathroom was in a dreadful state and had to be completely refurnished, which included re-plastering the walls prior to tiling. As the plaster dried the image of a man's a face began to form. He looked mediterranean. At first I just thought it was my imagination, but everyone could see it as plain as day! Was it the face of the Cypriot man who had lived there a few years before and was subsequently murdered?
Then we had plumbing work done upstairs - we decided to have a new shower room installed next to the bathroom. In order to prevent leaks the plumber fitted an isolation valve under the floorboards of my son's bedroom which was next door to the bathroom.
The plumber left at about 5pm that day, and all was quiet. The children went to bed and my husband and I were watching the television.
At 11 o'clock we became aware of a dripping noise which got worse and worse. I went to investigate and saw water coming through the kitchen ceiling, which was below my son's room.
We called the plumber back who, on investigation found the valve had been turned 90 degrees into the open position, allowing water to pour out of it. He was totally bemused and said it must have been my son who did it! He was asleep and in any case, wouldn't have known what to do or had the right tools to make the change in the valve. Getting desperate the plumber tried to blame it on the cat, hahaha! It just couldn't happen, he said.
After fixing the problem he went on his way.
A couple of days later he came back to continue working on the job. At this point he had not yet pulled up the floorboards to change the isolation valve or done any plumbing work at all. I was sitting in the living room. Again I heard dripping sounds, then worse! Water was streaming through the kitchen ceiling again. I shouted upstairs to the plumber who immediately checked the valve and it had been turned AGAIN! It's impossible, he said. It just can't happen!
Funnily enough, the builder/plumber that we had employed had a lot of experience of troubled houses. In his spare time he was an exorcist!
So we arranged with him to come back and sort the house out, hopefully once and for all...
As the dreaded day approached I felt more and more nervous. What would happen? Would ghosts come screaming out of the house? Would sparks fly? Would the house enter the 4th dimension?!
It was a fine day. He was due to arrive after lunch, by which time a few clouds had built up, but I wasn't prepared for what was to come -
The first the thing he did was to instruct me to sit outside in the car, as he felt I shouldn't be in the house while he did his business.
So I obediently did. Within minutes black clouds developed overhead, and the rain started coming down in sheets. Then there was a huge flash of lightening and an enormous clap of thunder, The car shook! You wouldn't have believed it unless you'd been there!
The storm carried on the whole hour the house was being exorcised, and the minute the exorcism finished, the storm did too.
Apparently the house was riddled with poltergeists, from top to bottom. Every room had a problem.
I can't say the house felt any better after the exorcism, but nothing strange happened again. However I hated the place so much we decided to move.
Trouble often starts in a problem house when building work starts - the upheaval seems to stir things up! On the other hand some people say poltergeists are attracted to a property where there is a young girl. But when we moved I of course took my daughter with me to the new house and nothing untoward took place there! It was a calm, happy house unlike the previous one which was so troubled!
Other houses nearby
Apparently ours wasn't the only house to experience weird things. Lights would go on in the middle of the night in the house next door.
People living in a house behind ours had a strange story to tell - they went away for a week leaving the house empty. When they returned they checked with the people next door that everything had been ok, but apparently it wasn't. All night every night there was the sound of someone running up and down the stairs. Who was it???
Another property nearby ours experienced unusual events. Plates etc flew around the kitchen in full view of the bemused owner. Once, she told me, her husband's phone (which he had left at home when he went to work) spontaneously rang her phone. It was turned off at the time.
There seemed to be a rectangle of land where supernatural goings on happened. Then I found out a possible reason -
The area had once been a Roman Camp. Many people unearthed Roman artefacts when gardening or building an extension to their houses. Then a portion of land was sold off for development. When the builders dug the foundations for the apartment block they found old coffins, which archaeologists later declared to be Roman.
Was the area haunted by ancient Romans???
Robert Sacchi on September 28, 2017:
Thank you for sharing. I always find it interesting how people in Europe live or work in such old buildings. It seems the UK is famous for having haunted houses and castles.
just helen (author) from Dartmoor UK on May 24, 2015:
Interesting Bob! Yes, I think you're absolutely right. I don't believe humans come back to haunt as disembodied spirits. I think I could've coped with that to some extent. There was definitelya sense of evil in that house.
Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on May 22, 2015:
Hi Helen, I have no problem believing in ghosts but the problem I have is what ARE "ghosts?" I do believe in spirit beings but believing that God allows people's disembodied souls roam around taking vengeance or remaining lost and trying to complete some life task is too unbelievable for me. "Absent from the body, present with the Lord."
My spiritual mentor Joe was called once to a place where a young couple was having trouble with something that emanated from a bedroom closet. He and another dear friend of mine Dennis went to see if any prayer over the house would help. He and my friend sat on the floor in the closet and began to pray. Joe was praying and as he prayed he began to feel an oppressive presence in the closet with them. He knew that my friend Dennis also was feeling it because Joe said my Dennis had put his hand on his shoulder and was squeezing it pretty hard, apparently from fear or some loathing that had come upon him. They finished up and left, each feeling the effects from the experience. It was quiet for a while and so about halfway home they began to talk about what they felt in the closet. Dennis spoke first and said that the place suddenly became close and hard to breathe. Joe told him that he felt the same and knew that Dennis was feeling something because he had been squeezing his shoulder so hard. He told him that his shoulder was actually beginning to hurt so much that he almost stopped praying to tell him to get his hand off of him! It was at this point that Joe looked over at Dennis who had stopped talking when the subject of the shoulder-squeezing came up. "I didn't have my hand on your shoulder at all!" he said.
I voted up and interesting. Spirit beings demons are real alright. I have no doubt about that. Bob.
just helen (author) from Dartmoor UK on July 25, 2014:
Thank you Shyron! Yes, I should have taken a photo. I didn't think to!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 25, 2014:
Wow, I am glad you got out of that house. I have heard many ghostly things. It would have been nice to get a picture of the man whose picture showed in the plaster.
This is very interesting, voted that way and shared.
just helen (author) from Dartmoor UK on May 26, 2014:
Thank you for your comment DDE! The castle sounds very interesting!
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 26, 2014:
I don't believe in ghosts but this hub allowed me to know more from your experience. We have an old castle close by and the builders dug up many old graves from centuries ago also the castle is built near a cemetery it is scary to walk by not in the day. Especially in the evenings. I won't dare go by there.