Orginally Posted on Haunted Scotland - http://Hauntedscotland.listbot.com
Lewi Shaw, who originally hails from Halifax but is now a resident of Newcastle, would at one time, have scoffed at the idea of ghosts and the paranormal, but after experiencing a couple of incidents himself, he now listens avidly to anyone who has a similar tale to tell.
Lewi who is now retired and in his early seventies, was a painter and decorator by trade in his home town of Halifax. The job always fluctuated with some months being busy while others were slack and then there were the months with no work at all. During the workless months Lewi and his mate would scour the papers for jobs in other areas. One such time, they secured a job in Nottingham and travelled down the by next Friday by train, the plan being to find lodgings and settle in over the weekend before starting work on the following Monday.
On the way down they both fell asleep on the train, overshooting Nottingham by about twenty miles and ending up in a small village, the name of which now escapes Lewi. They headed straight for a near-by 24hr transport cafe and after a meal had a couple of pints before setting off to find lodgings for the night, still quite sober Lewi assures us. As they walked along a street full of empty and derelict houses it began to rain quite heavily, they entered one of the houses and decided to shelter there while the rain abated. However the downpour became worse and the rain came down in torrents. Lewi's mate suggested that they go upstairs and sleep in one of the bedrooms until early morning, then travel on to Nottingham.
In one of the front bedrooms they found a pile of newspapers which they spread over the floor. The door had a strong steel lock on it and they used this in case anybody tried to rob them during the night. The room was pretty well lit from a street lamp and although it was raining heavily outside, there was no wind at all. As the two pals lay there talking and smoking they heard a terrific crash outside the door and then the door itself, along with the frame and large lumps of plaster came hurtling into the room with "the force of a hurricane". It flew a clear ten feet across the room striking Lewi's mate on the leg, causing a particularly nasty wound.
They saw and heard no one and in fact, the house was completely empty apart from the now two terrified men who after their initial shock, picked up their tool bags and left as quickly as they could. They headed for the cafe and ordered two strong coffees. On entering, an elderly chap, who Lewi describes as a "Likeable dosser" asked why one of them was now limping as they had been fine when they were in earlier. They sat down and hesitantly told the old man what had happened. The gent knew which house they were talking about straight away and told them that even the vagrants avoided that house because of the strange happenings there such as loud banging's and rapping's, accompanied by screams of ghostly children which were well known in the area and which drove people away from the place. The old man added that he would never stay there, "not even for a gold clock as big as a bucket".
On the following morning, after staying at the cafe all night, Lewi's mate's leg had swollen considerably and was causing him a lot of pain so that he was unable to walk without limping, never mind start a new job. The two men therefore decided to catch the train home and leave the house far behind them. Even today forty years after the event the two painters recall vividly what occurred that night and will never forget it. In fact every time Lewi's mate looks at his leg he is reminded, as he still bears a scar as a memento.
It was some years later when Lewi was to have his second experience which was to finally convince him that there are supernatural forces at work, to use his own words. He lived alone for a short while after his wife had died and then moved into a cottage with his new lady friend in Elland, about four miles from Halifax. The cottage was an old stone building with two bedrooms and a sitting room. Lewi made it comfortable and of course decorated it himself through out. The staircase had a door at the bottom which Lewi always shut before retiring to bed. They had been in the cottage for about six months when one Saturday night at around 11.pm as they both laid in bed chatting away, they heard the door at the bottom of the stairs open and then close. Then they heard the distinctive sound of footsteps walking up the stone stairs. Lewi does not mind admitting that he laid there terrified as the 'intruder' entered the spare bedroom and it could be then heard to be moving things about. Then, whoever it was went back down the stairs opened and closed the door and was heard no more that night. Finally Lewi got up and investigated but found nothing, nothing had been disturbed and all the doors and the windows in the cottage still remained locked from the inside!
The next day Lewi fitted new locks and bolts to reinforce the ones already in place, even putting one on the staircase door to be locked from the side of the stairs, he also took to taking a hammer and a metal bar to bed with him. All was quiet for the next three Saturdays but on the fourth when at Apr. the same time of 11.pm. the staircase door opened and then the footsteps echoed out of the stone stairs. When whoever or whatever it was entered the spare room, Lewi picked up his hammer and waited outside the room. Then after a few minutes, the door opened and he struck out with all his strength, but he hit nothing, as there was nothing there to hit. Shaken by this, he managed to search the spare room but found, as before, nothing that had been disturbed, he then found that the staircase door was still bolted from his side.
Several Saturdays went by before the same thing happened again. Lewi this time sat and listened, knowing that the noises were not caused by a mortal intruder. Lewi began asking the neighbours if they knew of any reason for the haunting which they all incidentally knew about. He discovered that the last tenants had left in a hurry complaining of strange noises. Then he talked to an old women who had lived in the area for the last sixty years. She told him that the cottage was once owned by a women and her unmarried daughter. One day the daughter came home to find her mother hanging in the upstairs room and the daughter herself suffered from a breakdown shortly afterwards and was placed into a mental hospital. Later she was released and returned home only to commit suicide herself in the same manner and room as her mother had done.
This old woman thinks because of the suicides that the cottage is now haunted. Lewi could not discover if any of the deaths occurred on a Saturday or what room the two women had died in. It was shortly afterwards that Lewi and his lady friend decided to move out of the cottage and leave the wandering spirits to themselves.
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