1994. A cold December in Scotland, and I'm at my parents for food, heat and love.
5pm; I'd fallen asleep upstairs in the attic, in my old bed, and awoke to my mother, calling me down for dinner.
It takes me a minute or two to come to, put my trousers on, and wander downstairs, through the house I grew up in. I know
every step of the way, so no need to put on any lights.
Down 3 flights to the darkened hall ground floor- turn slightly to the right,
see Dad leaving the living room- I hear his footsteps behind me as I turn to the right and push open the kitchen door...
confusion, as Dad is sitting there, eating dinner.
I turn to look behind me- the footsteps stop.
Shaking my head, I sit
down for dinner, and tell them what I think I've seen.
Mum just laughs- "I've been seeing that man in this house for years", she says.
"He's never bothered me, so I've never bothered him."
But I'm bothered- a ghost in the house I never knew about? That shakes things
to their core.
A month or so later, and I'm back there again, for an overnight stay this time. But I'm ill at ease, can't relax. It shows when
I go to bed later, and I dream:
The four of us- Mum, Dad, brother and me- are sat around a bare table, in a room devoid of detail, except for a lone, bare bulb hanging down. We're talking, discussing him, and what we all want to do about him. One by one, we offer our opinions- I'm last to speak, and I'm aghast that no-one
seems troubled by his presence- except for me. "There's only one thing to do if you have a ghost", I say. "You must have it exorcised".
The light bulb, hanging on bare wire, suddenly begins to glow more brightly, and continues to brighten until the glare makes us shield our eyes.
at that moment...
crash of something heavy landing on my bed, and I'm suddenly wide awake, staring at the snapped-on ceiling light. And the crash on the bed- it's my brother,
20 years of age, almost in tears as he desperately tries to get in bed beside me. Between the adrenalin surging through me, and his stifled sobs, he manages to
tell me what happened. He fell asleep downstairs, watching (of all things) Spinal Tap on the T.V.. Woke up in the dark to find something unseen dragging him along the floor
by his ankles. Somehow fought it off; made it up three flights of stairs in the dark to find another human being and safety.
"But the weirdest thing of all" he says, calmer now, "is the dream I was having just before I woke. We were all of us sat round this table, and there was this bare bulb hanging down..."
And yes, before you ask, it really happened...