Friday 2 September 2011

The Haunted Wardrobe (Allegedly)

To celebrate the release of his novel The Bleeding Room Barry Napier is running a true ghost stories contest. More details can be found here and here is my entry.

What follows is a true account. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent.

Once upon a time, a man and a woman moved into a poky flat in the Kensington area of Liverpool with their baby daughter. One of the rooms was boarded up. The man decided to remove said boards, after all the room was in their flat. Inside the room the walls were covered in Jewish prayers and there was a metal box attached to the wall. The man removed both the prayers and the box and from then on claimed that something (or someone) kept throwing things at him. The woman thought he was drunk. He possibly was.

Not long after, they moved out of the flat in which they'd once watched man walk on the surface of the moon and they took with them one item of furniture - a wardrobe. (They may actually have taken more items of furniture, but the writer is unaware of this and quite frankly it makes the story less dramatic).

The wardrobe and part of the family (the man left) lived happily in their new 'little house' with its leaky roof, outside loo, dodgy electrics and draughty windows. The writer loved growing up in that house and wasn't bothered by anything spooky at all. The rest of her family, which had expanded to include a grandmother and a brother, claimed that things flew off a shelf or some such nonsense once and the brother said that he hated the wardrobe, although he didn't seem to have a problem hiding in it. Just saying.

Time passed, and the family moved to a grown-up house with a bathroom and garden and thought they were oh so fancy (okay maybe not, but it was better than treading around snails to get to an outside loo and hey, the upstairs electrics worked and the window didn't try to decapitate you - win). The wardrobe came with them. Things began to happen.

The wardrobe was in the woman's (the mother's) bedroom and she'd wake to find her bed violently (yes, I did just use an adverb) shaking. Violently. The mother also used to tell her children to stop sneaking in behind her when she was in the kitchen and hitting her in the back when in fact said children were watching Family Ties or Robin of Sherwood or some such thing on the telly. She must have thought her children had super powers. Maybe they do. The brother then saw his grandmother walking along the hallway. She was decapitated. This bothered the grandmother as she was still alive and her head was firmly on her shoulders. The brother wasn't drunk. He was twelve and fond of drawing monsters.

The family left that house and moved two houses down the street (obviously not descended from Gypsies). They kindly left behind the wardrobe because they had a new one and the family moving into their house needed one.

The family who moved into their house weren't happy. Someone kept turning on the lights (a sceptic yelled, 'dodgy electrics' and the sceptic may have been me) and doors slammed ('the house is probably draughty', the sceptic yelled). The new family were unnerved. The writer doesn't know what else happened, she was too busy partying and thinking she was Madonna, but she did witness the murder of the wardrobe.

The new family took the wardrobe into the garden where they attacked it with an axe. They were never troubled by ghosts again. Unfortunately, the brother was not so fortunate. He's, allegedly, had a few more ghostly experiences and does not appreciate when someone says 'is there anybody there' in his new home. He can get quite angry. The writer promises she won't say it again…


Simon said...

This deserves to win if only for... nope, I've tried but can't pick a favourite line. It just deserves to win, full stop.

(Isn't 'violently' an adverb, rather than an adjective? Just saying.)

Ray Cluley said...

Brilliant. Scariest line easily the one about watching Family Ties.

Cate Gardner said...

You're absolutely right, Simon. That's what I get for writing this at work and not concentrating. Gold star.

Ha! Thanks, Ray.

Mary Rajotte said...

My fave - "and hey, the upstairs electrics worked and the window didn't try to decapitate you - win".

And hey! I loved Family Ties! I met Tina Yothers one summer. I even had my photo taken with her. I'm not sure who had bigger hair...

Cate Gardner said...

No one could have hair bigger than Tina Yothers. I demand proof. :D

E. Arroyo said...

I'd chop it up too! Great story.