Was it my imagination, or did we experience a real-life paranormal event at our cheap digs in London? You be the judge.
My husband and I lived in London while he researched his doctorate paper at the houses of parliament library. We couldn’t afford to live near the Houses of Parliament. We had to find somewhere cheap and cheerful near a Tube-line so we could travel into the Houses of Parliament fairly easily.
After several days in a ghastly cheap boarding house, we were despairing of ever finding a cheap or cheerful place anywhere near the city of London. It’s so expensive to live there!
On the same day we’d given up and decided to fly home, by accident we came across an affordable furnished flat, empty and available for immediate rent. Within walking distance of archway station, it was the middle floor in a three-storey terrace home that had been converted into three flats.
A lovely Canadian couple already occupied the ground floor. The top floor was empty, but the middle floor was perfect. It had lounge room, a small kitchen, and tiny bathroom, and a bedroom that was just big enough to fit a double bed and a large wardrobe. The whole space was decorated in the strangest assortment of old mismatched furniture, it could’ve been collected over decades of living in the old house. Or perhaps collected for cheap at the local secondhand shop!
It was cold. So very cold up there.
The top floor was identical to our own, except with the tiniest galley kitchen I’ve ever seen. And it was cold. So very cold up there. It was as if the heat from the ground floor and the middle floor rose to our ceiling, but then somehow didn’t climb into the top floor at all.
Naturally we shared a staircase with the ground floor and the top floor.
My husband, normally completely immune to any feelings that emanated from within buildings, refused to go up to the top floor. He just shuddered and said it’s weird up there. He was a keen photographer back then however and in spite of the weirdness he wanted me to hang out of the top story window so he could get a photo from the street!
The floor felt wrong to me. Wrong in ways I couldn’t explain. But I wasn’t afraid, so I agreed to the impromptu photo shoot.
At the top of the stairs the cold engulfed me like it always did. But this time, as I walked towards the window the coldness pushed against my back.
The wrongness I sensed became a suffocating misery.
Something was in the room with me, and it wanted me to open the window.
I jolted to a stop in the middle of the floor. The coldness pushed harder. Had someone fallen out of it once in the buildings history? I called out to my husband, that I felt something in the room with me. He was silent for several seconds. Then he yelled out “come back down, don’t worry about the photo.”
I ran back down the stairs, he was waiting at the bottom, his Nikon camera and long lens around his neck. His face wore the rigid expression it always did whenever I mentioned my “feelings”.
After coffee and whispered debate I did end up donning a knitted beanie and scarf, running back upstairs, opening the window and posing for a few photographs. The second time, it was still icy cold upstairs, but nothing pushed me to the window. It would’ve been easy to discount it as my imagination. But I know what I felt.
It was the days before digital photography and I’ve searched the old photos from that trip. Strangely I can’t find the photo of me gazing down at Stephen from the third storey window anywhere. Maybe I looked cross eyed in the photo, destroyed the negative, and I’ve hidden the memory away in my brain’s vaults!
Or maybe it doesn’t want to be found…