Paul’s renovations led to some ghostly goings-on...
It’s had just one owner,’ the estate agent said, showing me around the two-bedroom 1970s unit.
‘She bought it almost 40 years ago. As you can see, she never modernised it.’
That suited me. This was my first property and it was within my budget.
I don’t mind doing a few renovations, I thought.
‘I’ll take it,’ I said.
Moving in, I painted walls, updated the light fittings and changed the dated blinds.
From the wear and tear, I could see the old owner had loved routine. Only one of the four hot plates on the stove had been used, and there was a circular mark on the pull-out kitchen table.
She must have always put her plate here, I realised.
The carpet in the main bedroom even had a worn track running down the left side of the bed. Such insight into her life felt a bit strange.
Then something weird happened. Walking into the kitchen, I saw the dishes
I’d left in the sink had been moved to a bench.
‘I didn’t put them there,’ I muttered, unnerved.
Other things began moving, too. Tools I’d left in one room turned up in another, and an old light fitting I’d put in the rubbish was taken out and moved back to the lounge room.
‘Am I going mad?’ I wondered.
Then, one afternoon, I came home and had an overwhelming feeling that someone was in the unit.
‘Is anyone there?’ I called, slowly opening the door. No response. As I entered the unit the air felt thick and hot. It was like walking through water!
Again, I noticed dishes had been moved and my tools were lying on the lounge room floor as though someone had been inspecting them.
What was going on? Suddenly there was a creak at the front door. I spun around to find my older brother Justin, then 38, in the doorway.
‘Hey Paul, I’m here to give you a hand with the painting,’ he said.
‘Thanks for coming,’ I replied, relieved I wasn’t alone anymore.
It was his first visit. Unlike me, Justin was a very spiritual person. He’d always had a ‘connection’ with spirits, as he called it.
‘Nice place,’ he said, looking around.
‘Thanks,’ I said, too embarrassed to mention the eerie goings-on.
After an hour of painting the ceiling, Justin turned to me unprompted.
‘Did you know that the ghost of the old lady who died in this unit is still here?’ he said. ‘She hasn’t been very happy that you’ve been removing the old fittings.’ My jaw hit the floor.
‘How do you know I have a ghost?’ I asked.
‘She just spoke to me,’ he replied. ‘But don’t worry, she thinks you’re doing a good job and taking real pride in your work so she’s happy to leave you alone. She’s going to go.’
I was speechless. I hadn’t said a word!
Later that day, I spoke to a neighbour who confirmed that the lady had passed away in the unit.
‘She was a bossy old lady,’ he said. ‘But mostly, she kept herself to herself.’
Although I lived there for 15 more months, I never experienced another spooky incident.
Until then, I’d always been very sceptical of other people’s ghostly experiences – but now I know better. Sometimes, people just aren’t ready to leave!
A light fitting I’d put in the rubbish was back in the lounge room
I bought a flat… and a ghost!