304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
My parents bought a quite large semi detached house not long before I was born, It was on the market for a very reasonable price which was down to the property being in a very dilapidated state, having been abandoned for some time. The fact that a good quality house had been left to decay in a growing suburban area of Merseyside in the middle of a middle classed street is in it’s self odd.
But the house soon became habitable with a lot of hard work, though with little assistance from contract labour, delivery men or even other family members. Some just plain refused to go near the place, some turned up made their excuses and quickly left, not one delivery man would cross the threshold, and by all accounts the house did exude menace in it’s own suburban way.
I should explain that the house was fully furnished, nothing had been looted or even thrown about a bit, all was as it had been. The roof and windows were shot and the rains and weather came in so the furniture had been soaked through, quality furniture abandoned with the house now decayed beyond redemption.
My parents as they worked in the house often found the air turn chill and the hairs on their heads raise for no explainable reason and many items, screwdrivers, pliers etc. seemingly vanished without trace, I think they were mad to have stayed but they did.
The furniture had to go, broken up and burned mostly though some of the items were quite grand I’m told they were all beyond repair. One large chest of drawers which had seized solidly shut defied all attempts a being opened had to be dismantled with a lump hammer and crowbar. The drawers when smashed apart contained all of the missing items lost since my parents first took possession, including a still wet and warm window cloth my mother had lost just moments before my father destroyed the chest.
Some time later, when the house was habitable I arrived, delivered in the front bedroom nothing too remarkable about that but with my birth returned the ghost. My room was fitted with a baby alarm, so that my parents could listen to me screaming (only kidding, you know what baby alarms are for).
For a while after my birth renewed sounds of heavy footfalls had been heard upstairs and an odor of burning candles was often commented on by visitors though my mum never used them back then. Also the icy patches had come back and now with the baby link in my nursery my parents had a voice. A kind voice of an elderly lady, usually singing “rock of ages”, my father tells me it used to freeze him to the spot but my mother would run up the stairs hoping to meet our ghost.
She never did, the voice would go as she reached the stairs and all would be as it was before. The voice came regularly, and my Mother inquired with neighbours as a way of ruling out interference from neighbours’ televisions and radios, no link could be found with them and the singing voice.
I think my parents just got used to it as time went by, people got more relaxed about the house and the feeling of dread about the place went away. The house looked nice and visitors used to treat the stories of haunting with great skepticism, my Nan my Mum’s Mother was the greatest skeptic of all, but I feel that her story of all that I have heard from the house remains the best.
It was Christmas, I guess 1970 or 71 I was still little more than a baby and both of my Grandmothers were staying over for the festive season. I must have been out of my old nursery room because I know I was supposed to be moved back to the nursery (box room) to make room for the two old ladies.
I also know I wouldn’t go I was adamant that the box room belonged to “the Lady” and not for anything would my three year old self sleep in there. My Mum’s Mother ended up taking the room in my stead, laughing at my parents foolishness for believing all this haunting rubbish. Anyway I don’t know how many nights she had stayed but on one of the Christmas nights my Nan had an interesting experience.
It must have been fairly late and my Nan was getting undressed in the box bedroom when another old lady joined her in the room. The other lady looked at my Nan and said “hello Amy (my Nan’s name) love, I haven’t seen you in ever such a long time.” My nan fled, can’t say I blame her, it’s a small room to be cooped up in with someone who you know is dead. It later transpired it had been the previous owner of the house, a woman my Nan had known in the past, a woman who died under quite tragic circumstances in the house.
I had a little sister the following year, and things got loud again footsteps and candles but no singing just sounds, clicks on the baby alarm nothing specific just wrong. That was that, things calmed down or seemed to I guess the noises just became normal background noise to us and we just stopped noticing them though visitors still found them disquieting.
We were feeling our ghost must be getting used to us, as I grew up and entered junior school I can only remember one incident that was even remotely unusual, and that was a glass vase which decided to move along a window cill and then be flicked onto the floor, something I watched while having my breakfast before leaving for school one day.
It was much later that I saw “The Lady” and I still hardly trust my own senses, but it felt as real as it could be. I was a teenager and my room was in an attic conversion (a new room that was never accessible to the previous owner) reached by a wooden ladder staircase.
On this night I was in bed it was fairly late, am rather than pm but I was awake maybe only half awake but aware. Anyway I heard a sound, it was the sound of shuffling feet on carpet it was unmistakable I knew I was not alone in the room.
To reach the room you had to climb the bare wood stairs, which creaked and thumped however hard you tried to be quiet, I had not heard anyone climb them. Anyway I summoned the courage to peep from under my bedclothes not expecting to see anything at all, but I was disappointed.
In the gloom I could see a woman in a dressing gown standing at the entrance to the room, she was old and she was moving though very slowly into the room. Oddly I was not too terrified though I did not sleep that night, after I popped back under the covers. I never mentioned it to anyone, I often wondered why I would see her in that room as it could not be accessed in the houses past.
I did have a theory well two theories, the first was to do with an item of furniture. In my room was the only salvaged item of furniture from the old owner, the lower section of yet another chest of drawers. I wondered if that had been the draw, but I also wondered if she was curious of the new room and just decided to explore I guess I’ll never know.
About the same time that I saw “the Lady” my father saw her too, he never told anyone either, it was years later that he told me about it. Like me he had been in a semi doze, and he was lying on the sofa in the rear lounge and he was facing what was at the time the doors of a built in cupboard.
He says that he was just staring into space relaxed and cosy when an frizzle haired old woman strode out of the cupboard doors and through the end of the sofa he was lay on. He says she was as clear and solid as any person and he was able to give a fairly good description of her. He later visited our elderly neighbours and he told them about the ghost he had seen and he gave his description to them. They were surprised to say the least, my fathers description had been a perfect match of the previous owner.
Anyway time strode on the noises had long since vanished the candle odour was a memory and the house was bar one spot a happy house. And the spot on the first landing is now the only place that won’t get better.
I wondered if it was just me, until last year, I have my own house now which I can only describe as 100% happy I never feel uneasy there. One evening we had a group of friends over and we all started on ghost stories, and a theme arose. Had I started it I could dismiss it but it wasn’t me that mentioned it first and I sat back amazed as agreement spread through the room. Of all the places that any of them had been going up my mother’s stairs was the worst.
None could explain it further than a gut feeling that something they did not want to be any part of was hiding there, so people tend not to linger or look just in case. The first landing is a junction, from there the stairs go straight on and right and to the rear. There is something about that space, you have to check right you don’t want to but it’s almost a compulsion.
Just one last thing, my little sister had a baby six years ago, her and her boyfriend lived at my mothers at the time and her bedroom was one of the two old hot spot haunting rooms. With the new baby came footstep sounds again and something that never registered at first were clicks on the baby alarm, we’d forgotten the ghost.
The clicks we began to realize were at the same time every night, 10 after eight and again a little after eleven, after the click the baby would wake every time it wasn’t until the family used a baby-sitter one evening that we paid any attention to the clicks as not being anything other than interference.
It was my then girlfriend now wifes 21st birthday I arranged a big surprise party at a local restaurant, all the family would be there so my sister got her boyfriends mum to come over and look after my niece “Lucy”.
Jenny the sitter knew very little about us she had only met us a few times she had never heard a thing about our ghost that was for sure. Cutting a long story shortly after a very pleasant evening we returned to my Mothers to find Jenny by the front door, at just after eleven she had heard a sound on the Baby alarm, a click it was followed she says by a womans voice which said “come on come on Lucy love” Jenny was terrified when we got to her the poor woman but we have never heard a peep since, other than the click’s which went on for more than a year afterward.
Well that’s all I suppose, when I was about 22-23 my mum was telling me some things and she mentioned a scandal involving the old lady who lived in the house, which involved her son leaving the country in a bit of a hurry. She hung herself soon after, I. think I know where.