I love a good crime story, but I’ve been always afraid of horrors and spooky stories. It goes back to my childhood, and actually to my dad. He is a very down to earth person, you couldn’t find anybody more level-headed. Yet, since he was a child, he had a six sense and ability to predict people’s death. When he was young, it happened to him on many occasions that he saw ghosts. The scariest of those encounters was when he woke up one night only to see his father-in-law, dead for several months, sitting in a chair opposite the bed and watching him and my mum. (Why would my granddad decide to come back, it was never established, nevertheless, he chose his son-in-law for that last encounter).


When my dad tells this story he says that, when he woke up and realised that he was facing a ghost, for a couple of seconds he felt nothing – as if the time stood still – he just watched the man opposite him, until a wave of panic hit him, and he dived for cover screaming and waking up the whole house. There were also lots of stories told by ma dad’s siblings about a hunted house they grew up in after the war. (Dad doesn’t want to talk about it at all.) Supposedly, on several occasions, he saw people nobody else could see.After this last encounter, my dad did his best to block his special talents. He never saw another apparition, but some of his abilities have remained. Somehow, mysteriously he always goes to see people a couple of hours before they die. This was the case on two occasions – with his mother and his sister – they were both ailing but nobody expected anything serious happen to them. My dad, out of the blue, decided to visit them. In both cases, after he saw them, they died when he was still walking back home. I personally experienced his 6 sense only once. I saw him waking up from a nap, to say that he had a dream and in this dream, a telephone rang and somebody told him that Mr John had died. I had no clue who Mr John was, but before my dad could develop, the phone did ring. It was my aunt announcing a sudden death of her husband’s cousin …. John.


My mum on the other hand has a very practical approach to ghosts. I strongly suspect that if she saw one, she would just have a go at it for disturbing her daily chores. The most famous story about my mum is that, when my gran died, it happened in a hospital in a distant city, and my mum had to go there to bring gran’s body home. The hospital car bringing the coffin broke somewhere on an empty road. Since those were the deepest, darkest days of communism, there was not much to do about it. The driver called AA to take him back to hospital…. and left my mum with the body and the coffin in a roadside ditch. He suggested to her to hitch- hike…. so she did…….. Both her and my gran were delivered home in a pig truck carrying pigs for a cull.


As you can imagine, growing in a family with such credentials, I’m not keen at all on ghost stories or horror movies – to put it mildly. In truth, I get scared out of my mind and refuse to sleep on my own. That’s why I couldn’t even believe myself when I let my friend talk me into attending a whole night event with a medium in a haunted castle. I must have been doing something else when she mentioned it to me and, absentmindedly, I said yes. It was only later on when I realised what I talked myself into….

More about the haunted castle next week as, first of all, this blog is getting long; and second of all, it’s already dark and I don’t want to work myself up.