Ghosts in The House
written by: Lee Montgomery-Hughes
I live in an ancient, haunted mansion and to say the ghosts are not shy is an understatement. There is never a single night that goes by when something doesn’t wake me from my slumbers, scaring the life out of me and have, what is left of my rational brain questioning just why I love living here. Not that I would ever live anywhere else, but sometimes I do question my reason for that decision, especially at daft o’clock in the middle of the night when yet again I am laying under the duvet listening to whoever is doing whatever somewhere just out of the realms of normality.
Tonight is the last straw though; something is going to have to change.
First thing the next morning I contact a medium. He advertises in the local paper and the word is that he is very good. He is intrigued, always a promising start when trying to enlist anyone into doing something a little strange. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the first time those in the know have done whatever it is they do here, but the spooks are brighter than any mortal and so end up running rings around the procedures and have even been known to frighten the experts to such an extent that they vow never to return. Some even going so far as to dub the building as the house of satanic evil.
It is nothing of the sort. The ghosts are lovely, just a little too lively for my liking. I am supposed to be a writer, no wrong I am a writer but as with any profession it does mean I have to get some writing done in order to make a living and the nightly antics of my wayward houseguests is not conducive to productivity. The simplest thing would be for them to reign it in a bit so I can get some sleep as things always seem worse when I am so tired that I cannot function. Lately I have taken to sleeping during the day when they are less active and working through the night wearing earplugs, but that is doing nothing for my social life, or book promotions. I constantly appear like I have been on the tiles, which is not a good look.
The medium arrives as arranged just after sundown. The spooks are fascinated. How can I tell, well they have all gathered on the huge sweeping staircase. I can’t see them, but I know they are there. They distort time and make everything solid kind of shimmer a little as if a hand was being gently run through fog. To my knowledge they have never been hurtful, well not intentionally but their mischief has landed them in bother with unsuspecting mortals on occasions.
As I open the front door a rush of cold air hits him in the face as something unseen dashes outside. The medium smiles and as I shut the door a very disgruntled spirit slides back in through the letterbox. I lead the way to the sitting room, where most of the fun stuff usually starts. The medium gazes around, fingertips lightly touching he goes in for a bit of communication. He stands so still I wonder if he is actually breathing.
The ghosts here come in all shapes, sizes and ages. The mansion has been collecting them for centuries and so some date back to a time when anything supernatural was considered witchcraft. The medium watches them as they watch him. Without saying a word he extends his arms; hands palm up and smiles warmly. The ghosts relax.
The medium sighs, who is the spokesperson I hear him asked even though he doesn’t actually say anything. An elderly gentleman dressed formally in Edwardian attire steps forward, his cane tapping on the floor tiles.
‘Lord Conway Crosby the third.’ He announces extending his hand. The medium inclines his head with a puzzled look and the ghost laughs, both knowing physical contact is out of the question. ‘Sorry old man, force of habit.’
‘What seems to be the problem?’ The medium asks.
‘Well, old chap …’ Lord Crosby begins. ‘Not really sure when it started getting out of hand but well, we are used to having people here, people we can play with and now it’s just her we’re all well kind of bored so things have got a bit chaotic of late.’
All the ghosts nod in agreement and stare at me as if it is all my fault.
‘So you just need some playmates?’ The medium suggested. There was a babble of voices all in agreement.
The medium addressed me. “There’s your answer,” he said. I frown because I haven’t got a clue what is going on, but before I could respond he continues. “They are just bored. All you need to do is get people to come and stay here. Writing retreats are popular, and very lucrative.” I nod. It is something I had been considering but had never done anything about.
“Also,” he said tentatively, “what about ghost hunting weekend with Ouija boards and personal readings …” he coughs “I know just the man for that kind of thing.” He says tapping his chest and smiling.
The ghostly cheer of approval was so deafening, even I heard it.
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- Ghosts in The House - October 28, 2022