The Housesitting Horror

In a Cotswold village in Gloucestershire

The Housesitting Horror In a Cotswold village in Gloucestershire
Poltergeist haunting Gloucestershire

It was in the mid 1980’s when Derek and Miranda were asked to dog and house sit for their friends. Their friends lived in a rather lovely, historic house; Georgian and Jacobean in style but built over a previous building so the cellars were Elizabethan. The large back garden still housed a grotto, where a hermit was said to have lived in the 12th century.

Derek and Miranda were living in a small cottage so jumped at the chance to live somewhere more palatial. Both were dog lovers but lacked space for their own pet dog. So it was a chance to live differently for a couple of months and it wasn’t long until they moved in and took responsibility for the house and 2 dogs.

It was during the summer so they spent many days and evenings with the dogs outside in the garden. It was Derek who first noticed a change in the atmosphere inside the house. He felt watched and whatever was watching him, felt resentful. Despite it being hot outside, the house, in certain areas, felt cold, colder than what was expected. Both Derek and Miranda felt as though they were being silly in feeling this way and tried to pay it no attention. But it was when they started to ignore it, strange things started to occur.

If they had been out for the evening, they would come back and find the interior lights had been switched on. Both had been away at work during the day and they hadn’t switched any lights on as there had been no need. This happened several times. Each time they would go round and switch the lights off. Whatever was causing this to happen, wasn’t best pleased in the nonchalant way in which the couple dealt with the lights. It was then, that when they returned after work, the radio would be blaring out. Again, they were certain that no radio would’ve been left on as either one would have heard it before leaving the house.

One particular weekend morning, Miranda decided to stay in bed whilst Derek attended to the dogs. She was thinking of what plans they had for the weekend, when suddenly, the handle of the closed bedroom door started to rattle, as though someone was trying to open the door. Miranda screamed out loud and Derek came running up. He opened the door with ease and Miranda told him why she had screamed. They tried to give a reasonable explanation as to why the handle had rattled and decided it may have been a large vehicle going past and the vibration of it made the handle rattle.

It was later that week that both were sitting on the sofa watching tv with the dogs that the door of the living room flung itself open. It was flung open so hard that it banged against the wall and an ornament fell off a wooden shelf. The dogs reacted to the event by barking aggressively towards the door. They managed to calm the dogs down and again, tried to rationalise what had happened. Miranda said she couldn’t and no longer wanted to talk about it. “Let’s just ignore it” she said, “It hasn’t hurt us, just shocked us and the dogs a bit”.

Whatever was causing these things to happen seemed to take what Miranda said as a challenge. It started just a few days later. They were in the kitchen washing and drying up the evening's saucepans and plates. Both felt something brush up against them and as it went past, it also swung the hanging saucepans too. They later also saw a large bag of embroidery threads being shaken and moved by invisible hands.

They couldn’t ignore the oppressive feeling of the house anymore and were counting the days till their friends would come back so they could go back to their small but quiet cottage. They had 3 more nights left so that night, they decided to go to bed earlier than normal as the house felt particularly unpleasant. They both fell asleep but kept waking up. It was around 3am in the morning when Derek noticed the sound of the dogs barking and what sounded like water. He realised that the sink in the en suite had both taps turned on fully. So he got out of bed, turned off the taps and went downstairs to calm the dogs down. Once he calmed them down, he went back to bed. As soon as he switched off his bedside light, the sound of water gushing from taps was heard again. So, he got out of bed again, to switch the taps off yet again. This was also to happen on the last 2 nights as well.

When their friends came back to the house, Derek and Miranda told them of what had been happening. The friends said that when their son had been small, he would often talk of the kind lady, all dressed in black, who would comfort him if he woke up in the early hours of the morning. They also said that many of their visitors had also seen black cloaked figures walking around the house and garden but they had never seen these figures. According to local legend, there is said to be an old tunnel or passage that leads from the original building to the local monastery. The monks that lived in this monastery had been Benedictines, who were sometimes known as ‘black’ monks. No more reports have come from this house, whether that’s because nothing further has happened or whoever lives there prefers to ignore this poltergeist behaviour, we don’t know.