* Submitted by Carol Kastelic
I spent the weekend down at my friend Deanna’s place in Belgrave, Victoria early last year, and vowed that I’d never visit her again ... unless she moved house.
She was quite unfazed about the noise in the night and the visitor to my room when we spoke of it after my first night’s stay. In fact, she pretty much scolded me for being a ‘scaredy-cat’ and told me there was ‘nothing to be afraid of’.
Nothing to be afraid of!! Rubbish!!
I’d headed off to bed at about 10pm, and within the first ten minutes or so I’d heard footsteps walking towards my bedroom door. Assuming it was Deanna I’d called out for her to come in, but there was silence. A moment later the footsteps walked right up to my bed, but I couldn’t see anyone or anything and the door hadn’t opened or closed. I felt distinctly that someone (or something) was standing right next to where I was lying. A shiver went right through me and I clicked on the bedside lamp to double-click that I was alone in the room. There was no one and nothing to be seen. But still I had an eerie feeling of being watched.
I dreaded to believe that I’d just been hearing things because I was so worn out from my long trip down from Dubbo, so I snapped off the light and snuggled down under the warm doona ready to drift off to sleep.
Next thing I knew I felt something (or someone) sit on the bed near my feet. I distinctly felt pressure on the bed, and just froze on the spot. I didn’t want to look - I didn’t want to know about it. I just felt scared stiff - beyond scared - totally petrified.
I wanted to scream but nothing would come out. Not only that, but somehow I was too scared to even make a sound, let along scream. I held my breath instead for what seemed like forever. Then all of a sudden the pressure released at the foot of the bed and whatever it was got up and walked back out the door - or rather - through the door.
I just lay there frozen on the spot, too scared to move, and by then, too scared to sleep. I lay awake for what seemed like hours.
Eventually I summoned the courage to get up out of bed to get myself a drink and go to the loo - which I quickly regretted once out in the dark hallway. I fumbled around searching for the light switch on the wall, but instead something/someone grabbed my hand. I just about jumped out of my skin and screamed like a banshee. The light flicked on at the other end of the hallway as Deanna didn’t bat an eyelid. She told me not to worry about it - it was just ‘Fred’.
Fred!?? Yep, Fred - her resident ghost!
Apparently he’d been around for years; and according to her, her next door neighbour knew all about it and had told her that he’d been hanging around for at least 20 years or so.
That didn’t help me at all - not one little bit!
We enjoyed our day together, Deanna and I doing touristy things in the Dandenong Ranges, visiting little boutique shops and enjoying a delightful picnic lunch amongst the gum trees and fern trees in the lush green setting of Sherbrook Forest. At the end of the day though, I was loathe to return to Deanna’s home. I’d be leaving the following day, but didn’t really look forward spending another night in that house.
Pulling up in the driveway, Deanna sensed my trepidation and assured me yet again that there was nothing to be afraid of. I didn’t like the idea of another encounter with ‘Fred’, Deanna’s resident ghost, and I hoped the night would pass uneventfully.
All seemed to be going well, and by the time we’d finished dinner I’d relaxed. I’d almost forgotten about ‘Fred’ as we drank some wine and laughed about old times.
A little tipsy by bedtime I was happy to go off the bed, looking forward to a good night’s sleep. All seemed to be going to plan and I drifted off without a care in the world.
At around 2am though, I was woken by the sound of someone walking around the room and rifling through my open suitcase. In my sleepy stupor I assumed it was Deanna looking for something.
I asked her what she was looking for, but got no reply. All was silent. I was certain someone was in my room, but couldn’t see anything or anyone. Then I remembered about ‘Fred’ and felt a sense of dread from head to toe. I just lay there not wanting to move an inch.
After what seemed like an age, I turned the bedside lamp on. There was nothing and no one to be seen, but I still felt as though someone was in the room with me. Just as the thought went through my mind the light beside me snapped off and all was dark again. The rummaging sound started up again, but rather than becoming scared I actually got quite angry. I threw back the doona, grabbed my robe and stomped off towards Dee’s room. There was no way I’d be sleeping in that room. I’d had enough.
I made Deanna scoot over and got into bed beside her. She roused briefly and chuckled when I told her that ‘Fred’ had paid me another visit. I heard faint footsteps walking down the hallway towards Deanna’s room, but decided that I wouldn’t let it bother me this time. I hunkered down under the warm blankets and promptly fell back to sleep.
If anything else happened that night, I certainly wasn’t aware of it.
The following morning Deanna admitted to me that I’d been sleeping in ‘Fred’s old bedroom. Great.
I was so glad to leave her house that day, and like I said earlier, I won’t be going back there again as much as I love my friend Deanna. I just hope she decides to move house soon, or she can come and visit with me instead.
* Submitted by Carol Kastelic