The Ghost in Number 4
(REQUESTED BLOG about living in a Haunted House)
Big and spacious with a balcony out the back, a friend of a friend was renting a house.
The rent was low and the house was old.
Danial O´Connell had even stayed in the house and I'm sure it had seen many different uses over the years. One use in particular would come to shock me when I was finally told the tale of the ghost in number 4.
It is important to emphasis my insomniac difficulties which made sleeping in my room impossible.
There were a couple of factors that didn't help of course. Firstly, streets lights and a bad blind.
In Spain, I fell in love with shutters which pull down completely outside and turn a room pitch black in an instant. A dormir, to sleep.
Essential for every siesta but back to #4 and this bad blind let in too much light at the sides and too much light through the material. This combined with the street lights made sleeping very difficult.
As the house was old, I believe a current or draft could also play havoc with my sleep. Any good ghostbuster would have to look at immediate environment and its not like we had triple glazed windows. More importantly I would have to question where the walls ended.
Not being able to sleep was nothing new to me and going to bed at 2AM/3AM and getting up for school, had always been a nightmare for me.
A sleep specialist called it Delayed Timezone Disorder which was the equivalent of having jet lag, all the time.
This felt different and with the small wooden door at the end of my bed, my flatmates thought I had watched a few too many Paranormal Activity films.
I felt very uneasy sleeping in this room, luckily it wasn't my only room as I rented the house with my then girlfriend Sarah and a Lithuanian friend, Kristin.
Sarah and I had a large bedroom and the box room was more of a guest bedroom and place to keep my books and camera equipment.
While I slept there often, I never slumbered peacefully until the early morn. Again a symptom of my insomnia but while I struggled to sleep, there were other unknown incidents going on in the house.
MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL:
The first thing which seemed very insignificant at the time, was a mirror at the door and it is probably best if I try to describe the house as best I can.
The building is a three storey so you might expect for example, three shoe boxes stacked on top of each other. A basic box shaped house but this building was more like one large rectangular box on the ground floor which we only had a door leading up a flight of stairs to another box which was smaller than the first and the third box was placed sideways. Below my room seemed to belong to #6 and beneath that was the archway.
The mirror at the door fell down, a lot. Naturally I hung it, re-hung it and replaced the hook to make sure it was strong enough.
There was a shop under us occupying the ground floor and through the archway beside the shopfront, led down to our entrance. Up three concrete steps to the door and inside #4 where a stairs led up to the landing and a large kitchen on the right. At the end of the landing, well hallway there was a large unused room which had been used by the shop below in the past. We were not to use this room.
Next to this room was a small cozy sitting room, where we enjoyed many nights drinking with friends. The house was furnished but apart from the old green settee, the room was mostly decorated with my photos and prints.
Going up another flight of stairs led to three bedrooms and a very large bathroom. Another door led up to the attic. One thing that struck me as very odd was, what was under the bathroom and what was under my room?
#4 was attached to the vacant #6 and an arch led into our yard which led to the door. Above the archway, I believe was part of #6 and above that, my room.
The building seemed like an absolute jigsaw and despite being on a street front, past our door, and through a wooden partition, you could find some old sheds. There was a lot of space and I would loved to have owned the property to develop it and even tried searching online to see how much these properties might be listed as but my search revealed something very different in the end.
Anyways back up the stairs and at times when I couldn't sleep, I watched TV and played videos games in the cozy little sitting room and I remember late one night around 3.15, I heard a loud thud.
A bang at the door so I went as far as the kitchen door and looked downstairs to the door.
It was 3.15 and I froze looking down at the mirror on the ground and a horrible sensation told me not to go down to the mirror and not to go down those damn stairs.
I felt fine where I was, uneasy but safe and not afraid to retreat away from the stairs.
I did feel dread about investigating the mirror and knew I could check on it, in the morning.
I want you to imagine being unable to sleep in my bedroom as the sensation of goosebumps on your arms and the feeling of being watched.
Nobody believed me about the house being haunted which I explained as either a sensitivity as an insomniac or an old crafty house with an air current fucking with my sleep.
Talking with the people in the shop below would change everything. As I talked with one of the owners, I mentioned how interesting it was to live in an old townhouse with so much history, "Daniel O´Connell had even stayed in the house", I said. "What about the ghost?" she enquired.
I was stunned, "The ghost in the corner room" she continued.
She was well aware of the ghost and went on to talk about the gender of the ghost.
"Most people believe it is a man but I sense a little girl." or words to that affect, I can't remember her exact words. I think she then told me that people associate the ghost with the man hung under the archway.
I was blown away. Then she went on to tell me about the cells at the back.
Turns out that throughout the history of the building, it had also housed prisoners.
This I can only imagine being during the War of Independence but I have no date or details to add to her "cells" comments.
While I had sensed something from the start, this woman sounded like a true Ghost Whisperer and I couldn't believe the details she was blurting out.
Apart from the mirror and my sleep, I thought nothing else was happening but according to Sarah, most mornings when she got up, she had to straighten and adjust the pictures frames on the walls as they were always crooked.
I'm saying always but I'm not sure of the exact frequency of course as I never witnessed the pictures messed with. Sarah thought I was playing some kind of stupid prank by adjusting the frames. I wasn't.
Then one night, I went out to meet a friend in Sean´s Bar and Sarah had a shower. She called out to me when she saw the bathroom door handle moving downwards.
You can imagine her talking to the door, "stop messing with the door, I'm in the shower."
She got out of the shower and went to the door and there was no-one there. She was all alone. She even looked out at the yard as the sensor light would stay illuminated for a long time but nobody had left the building.
I couldn't believe when Sarah told us about the shower story but at least she believed me now.
Not being able to sleep at night was nothing new to me but now we had signs of poltergeist activity with door handles opening and pictures being disturbed. We also didn't like that mirrors and personal pictures were being moved. It was all becoming a bit freaky.
Another strange encounter I had in #4 was when I googled #4, I was curious about the price of such a house and wondered if there had been a listing on Daft.ie etc. What I did find was a list of previous tenants from the 1911 census which had just come out.
I looked at the names and opened another tab on my browser. I never closed the page and each time I opened up my computer over the next few days, it went straight to the list of names. It was very freaky because normally the computer would only open on the last page I was on but of all the open tabs, this one kept calling for my attention. This must have happened about 3 or 4 times until I decided to turn off the computer completely.
3.15 in the morning came by and occasionally we heard noises, Sarah pointed out that the exact time was repeated in other stories most notably The Amytiville Horror but the worst was behind us.
We moved out and I moved to Spain. That was the end of the ghost in #4 for me.
Before leaving the apartment, I took some pictures of the upper landing after a picture of myself had been knocked off a wall. The picture was out from the wall and hadn't just fallen straight down. I took the photograph as if I was a ghost hunter and years later while looking at the picture, a ghostly image appeared in the background. I dismissed it at first but I couldn't easily explain the blurry picture. That is another story for another day.
I returned home at Christmas time and met up with my ex who worked near #4 and Sarah told me that an old man died there after falling down the stairs.
Later, I heard that the man was only 58 but I can't confirm the details about the man or how he died.
All I know is, I'm glad I never went down the stairs at 3.15 in the morning when the mirror frequently fell down, down by the old cells, what the hell?
NOTE: All photos have been taken from my current apartment and not from #4.