Spooky Ghost Story                                                              Back to Ghost Stories

by Sarah Hoyland, Runcorn, UK
I became obsessed with spooky stories at a young age, and my Grandad bought me lots of books
on the subject. I adored seeing ghostly photos and reading about poltergeists, but little did I know
my family had our own ghost story.  I'll try my best to explain what I remember, but it has been a long
time since the story was told properly to me.

We live in Runcorn, a town near Liverpool in the UK. The incident in question took place in Halton
Village. We have several stories of spooks in this area, including prisoners who still haunt the castle,
ruin dungeons, ghostly goings on in an old library, and supposedly a phantom traveller (the rumour
is that if you listen closely you can hear the sound of the horse's footsteps...before you know where
it's coming from, it's passed you by and is trotting into the distance; no horse or traveller to be
seen).  You'll have to forgive my lack of knowledge regarding dates and years.  It began in the days
when travel was done by horse and carriage. There was a massive house on Main Street in Halton
Village, and it was used as a doctor's surgery. There was a stable on that area of property the
doctor owned, and also a massive garden. The man who worked in the stable and looked after the
doctor's and patients' horses was a man named Harry. He worked very hard at what he did. That is
until one day, he heard a strange noise approaching the house. To Harry's utter shock and dismay,
he learned that the wealthy doctor had purchased an automobile.  Harry panicked. The doctor had a
car.  A car meant "no horses." No horses, in Harry's eyes, ultimately meant "no job."  Instead of
being calm and realizing there were still patients who would be travelling by horse and carriage,
Harry went into the stable, and took his own life.  He hung himself from a beam.  Years went by, and
the house (along with the massive garden and stable) was sold to my grandma. Grandma had big
plans for this property.  It became Halton House Residential Home.  But what of the stable, where the
poor man had taken his life many years before?  Grandma had it converted into a small house
where she lived with my grand dad, my great grand dad (grand dad Tom), my mother, and my aunt.
She knew of the story of Harry, but there were no disturbances for a while. Things began to happen
when my mother was roughly seventeen and training to be a nurse.

One night my grandma was in bed when she became very aware of someone else in the room with
her. Grand dad and Grand dad Tom were downstairs, and her daughters were in their rooms, as far
as she knew.  The door hadn't opened, but there was very definitely someone in the room with her.  
She sat up and peered into the darkness at the foot of her bed. At first she thought it was my aunt
she could see, but as her eyes properly adjusted, she realised it was a man...a tall man, taller than
my grand dad or grand dad Tom.  He seemed to glow dimly, like he wasn't quite there. As quickly as
my Gran put the light on to confront this strange man, he'd vanished. The door remained closed.  
No-one had entered or left through it.  Gradually, strange occurrances like this became the norm in
the household.  Most notably was the cold spot in the living room that was by my Gran's chair. She
said to me, "I used to sit there with your grand dad in that toasty warm living room, and suddenly, the
air in a certain place underneath a main beam would go icy cold.  We used to say "Oh, Harry's come
to visit."  However, living with cold spots, hairs standing up on the back of necks, and an odd smell
(I'm sure my grand dad said every now and then the house smelled horrid for no reason) was easy
enough for my family.  What my Grandma couldn't take was when the ghost scared her children.

It was explained to me that ghosts don't mean you any harm.  It was certain that Harry never meant
any harm to my family. Yet one night, he decided to appear in my mum's bedroom doorway.  She
was walking up the stairs after getting home late one night.  Grandma was in bed, grand dad and
grand dad Tom were downstairs.  As she rounded the corner to her room, there was this apparition
in the door way. A tall man who was just staring at her.  He vanished when she screamed, but it
really spooked everyone out.

According to my grandma, all she did to get rid of him was one day was to say very loudly, "YOU'RE
ACCEPTABLE!!!"  There were no further disturbances involving the ghost known as Harry in the
little house.  I was fascinated with the whole story, and growing up I spent a lot of time on that
property, hiding in the cellars of the big house and wandering around the little house hoping I would
bump face to face into a ghost.  The little house became room for more beds as part of the
residential home.  There were never, to my knowledge, any more reports of strange goings-on in the
house. The only other stories I'm aware of are reports of a ghostly man, matching the same
description as Harry, wandering around the village near the church further along the road. The
property in question has since changed ownership, and is now a home for children.  I often wonder if
any of them have sensed something a bit ghostly?

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