I Believe In Ghosts Because I Spoke To One In My House
Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, double lock-up garage, and the spirit of a former owner.
“Do you have a ghost?” our startled party guest stopped mid conversation to ask.
“Did you see him?”
“The man in the beige suit?”
“Yeah, Mr Murphy.”
Since we’d bought the house four years prior to this night, my family and others had had many experiences with our resident spectre. A self-confessed sceptic neighbor had his very own encounter, telling me once over the fence, “I don’t believe in bloody ghosts but I saw Jock in the garden yesterday.”
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Jock Murphy was the previous owner of our home. He’d built the house in the 1950s and had made many unusual adjustments to it over the years. There was a hidden button in a kitchen cupboard that rang a bell in the downstairs workshop -- we assumed it was the way Jock’s wife alerted him to stop working and come upstairs for lunch or dinner. And what the ex-industrial arts teacher did with the hot water system was a mystery to plumbers far and wide. The house was indeed filled with these loving memories of the family whose home we now owned.
We’d bought the house after Mr Murphy passed away, and it had become too much for his aging wife to maintain. Their adult children sold the house but were very picky about who they were selling to -- no developers and no flippers. This was their childhood home, and they were selling it to someone who would love the house as much as their father had; we loved it immediately. We felt a sense of warmth we associated with belonging; we were welcome; we were home.
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But the first night we moved in, we randomly spoke of Mr Murphy, and all of the lights flickered as if the house was reacting to his name. We tried it a few other times and on cue every single time we said his name the lights danced.
Over the coming years we had numerous encounters with Mr Murphy. From seeing his reflection in darkened windows, to footsteps in the hallway, to full physical sightings while I was maintaining his beloved garden. Sometimes he would stand millimetres in front of my face while I was watching TV and although I wouldn’t be able to see him, my breath would bounce back at me as if there was something physically in front of my face. “Go away Jock!” I’d demand, and off he would go.
There was never any fear involved with these supernatural activities -- Mr Murphy was just part of the house, our home, and our family, and we just kind of liked having him around. Even when my son Ryder was born, we’d feel Mr Murphy looking over him while he slept his newborn slumber. We would also hear Ryder in his room gurgling, giggling, communicating with someone… Jock Murphy.
We spent five years in that house before we decided on our current sea change, so made some small renovations in order to ready the house for sale. We made it as beige and as characterless as possible, because that’s what buyers wanted, according to the real estate agent. So with every adjustment, every removal of its quirks, we said goodbye to the home, and to Jock. We noticed his presence less and less.
I’ve been told the tenants after us felt no supernatural presence whatsoever. I guess houses really do have memories, or ghosts of the past -- but if there’s no one to hold onto the memory, it just drifts away.