that's life (Australia)
Alison’s creepy childhood fostered a love of the paranormal
Creeping into my older brother’s empty bedroom, my gaze settled on his wind-up toys scattered across the oor.
I was three and desperate to play with them.
Before I could even pick one up, however, his Doctor Who Daleks, resembling little robots, wound themselves up and whirred across the oor towards me.
I ran out of the room, screaming in fright.
It wasn’t the rst scary event that happened in the house where I was born – that was hearing heavy breathing in my ear. It was terrifying.
My older sisters saw stuff, too. Jenny’s wardrobe door would open and slam shut on its own, petrifying her.
Then one day, Trish, the eldest, began freaking out.
‘I saw oating eyes in the corner of my bedroom!’ she wailed.
Mum tried to calm her down, saying they were just shadows from the street lamps outside. But even she didn’t have an explanation for what happened when we went away.
My grandparents thought that, for a surprise, they’d decorate the house while we were gone.
They started painting, but when they returned the next day, the leftover paint had been thrown over the walls – with no sign of a break-in.
We moved out when I was ve but I was always scared of that house. Even though one of my best friends lived three doors down, I’d always go and visit her the long way round, so I didn’t have to pass it.
But it wasn’t until I was 18 that I learned from Trish that Mum had actually seen a ghost there – a man with protruding eyes!
Petri ed, she’d asked our neighbour about who’d lived in the house before us.
‘The man that lived there went to the pub one New Year’s Eve and ended up with head injuries,’ he told Mum. ‘They never knew if he fell over or was mugged. Poor bloke died in hospital. I’ve got a photo of him. Would you like to see it?’
‘Yes please,’ said Mum.
‘He had a thyroid condition, that’s why his eyes protruded,’ the neighbour said, showing her the pic.
It was the same spirit she’d seen that day, with identical eyes – and just like the eyes Trish had seen!
My childhood experience gave me a lifelong interest in the supernatural.
In 2002, I started the group ‘Paranormal Field Investigators’, and began exploring places reputed to be haunted.
I started with Adelaide Gaol, said to be one of the most haunted places in the country.
Some of the ghost sightings are prisoners who’d been hanged; another is the hangman himself. It was so fascinating I even wrote a book about the place, Ghosts of the Past.
Since then, we’ve done investigations in many places, some terrifying.
One night in an empty old jail, we heard loud bangs around us. It was as though the ghostly prisoners were smashing their sts against the walls in protest of us being there.
I love what I do – I’m fascinated by the ‘other side’, and addicted to the adrenaline, too! ●
The paint had been thrown over the walls – with no sign of a break-in