Date: Wed, 29 May 1996 12:25:28 +0100
From: Richard McCulloch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Child's ghost story...
Hi Obiwan -
I Thought I'd celebrate being added to your mailing list by sending you a (slightly) creepy tale... Don't know if it qualifies as being a full-blown ghost story, but I think it still rates quite highly on the "Goose-Pimple-O-Meter"
I appreciate that you'd rather this came to the newsgroup, but sadly my company doesn't let its minions use them...
A few years ago, I was involved in the conversion of some 17th Century buildings in Durham City, England, from houses into shops and a cafe.
For those who've never been, Durham is an old Cathedral town, with many old buildings crammed into quite a small space.
These particular buildings were based around an old courtyard of Saddler Street, and consisted of a large building of about three stories and a narrower one of similar height. These were seriously old and atmospheric buildings; the smaller of the two had beams which were reckoned to have been old ship's timbers from about the time of the Spanish Armada, and the larger one had lots of narrow passageways upstairs, and a big oak panelled room.
While I helped prepare the smaller building for use, the larger building was being converted into a Cafe.
Taran, the daughter of the owners of the Cafe, used to play alone on one of the upper floors of the building while her parents worked downstairs.
(At this time she was about three years old, I think, and her parents swore later that they hadn't mentioned death to her in any particular way - all her grandparents were still alive and she'd never had any pets which might have expired.)
On this occasion her parents could hear her thumping about upstairs, and called her down.
"Don't make so much noise, dear!" they said.
"It's not me, it's Davvy making the noise" she answered promptly.
Like many children of that age, Taran had pretty regular games with imaginary friends, so her parents weren't too impressed by this attempt to duck the blame.
"Well, ask her not to be so noisy" they asked.
"I will", said Taran, "but she likes making noise because she doesn't get to play much. She says she's been dead for such a long time that she can only come out to play with me"...
In an interesting development, a few days after this happened, Taran (who had never been spoken to about death, remember) started holding funeral services for her Barbie dolls; putting them in boxes and surrounding them with flowers, saying prayers "for the dead Barbie" and generally being quite alarming. She stopped short of burying them, though!
Over a few months, the cafe was finished and opened, and in time Taran's fascination with death wore off, and - as far as I know - nothing more was heard of "Davvy".
- although it's worth mentioning that the staff at the cafe often receive warnings from people who visit the upstairs toilets that they can hear a child playing in the stockroom...