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New Zealand Haunted Home (1927)

New Zealand Haunted Home (1927)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Sunday Times 1927 (July 3)
Sunday Times 1927 (July 3)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Oct 17, 2013
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04/03/2014

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Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), Sunday 3 July 1927, page 6National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128515090
HAUNTED
HOME
?:??
Five
Years
of
Thrills
and
Terror
SHADOWS
THAT
SHIFTEDFURNITURE
(By
DULCIE
DEAMER.)
Howcould
one
remain
fiveyears
in
a
hauntedhousewithout
becoming
a
gibbering
lunatic?
Candidly,
Idon'tquiteknow.
It
only
goestoprove
that
onecan
get
used
to
anything,
though
for
at
least
a
decadeafterwards
a
dark
room
was
torture
tomynerves,
and
even
now,
sometimes,
the
ghostly
fear
unlike
any
otherfearintheworld
comes
back
onme.
PJTETE
plainfact
was
that
we
stayedwhere
wewero
becausethere
wasno
otherhouse
togoto.
When
wo
took
it,
my
father
a
doctor
hadjuststartedpractisinginFeatherstone,
a
tinyNewZealandcountry
township,
ofaboutfourhundredinhabitants.It
was
absolutelythe
only
house
we
could
get,
and
to
move
toanotherlocality
was
out
ofthe
question.
^
.
An
old,
two-storiedwooden'
affair,
Banksia
roses
climbed
over*
it,
and
it
fronted
a
tangled
garden
of
?
rosemary,
Australian,
may,lilac,
andlaburnum.Tolook
atit
one
would
never
have
imagined
that
it
housed
at
leasttwoseparate,
super-imposedhauntings!
.
/'
TWOMURDER
VICTIMS.
i
A
year
orso
after
we
first
occupied
it,we
learnedthat
two
murders
were
believed
to
havetaken'placethere
one
of
an
infant
supposed
to.
havebeenthrowndownthedisused,boarded-ov.er.wellbehindthehouse,and
one
of
qn
adult
whether
manorwomanwasnoi
clear
whohadbeenmade
away
withintheupstairsroom,I
occupied!
,,.
Thehouse
was
very
old,the'memoriesofFeathcrstone'sinhabitants
were
shortandsomewhatfuzzy,but
we'
didn't
neeid
mererumors
to
inform
us
thattieplace
was
uncanny
its
other
occupants
left
us
in
no
doubtfromtho
start.
Apart
fromwhatI
maycall
the'murderhauntings,'theplacecertainly
housed
a
'poltergist'
thatbeingthetechnical
term
for
a
stupid,mischievous,causelessintrusionfromthe'otherside'
;
a
sort
of'spirit
schoolboy'
thePuckoffolk-lore.
Perhaps
thegeneration-oldviolencethathadbittenintothe
very
timbersofthohouseandmade
it
a
kindofrepro
ducing'gramophone
of
grief,'
had
opened
a
doorthat
is
usuallyclosedbe
tween
us
andthat
hell's
hinterlandof
tween
us
andthat
hell's
hinterlandofelemental
creatures
whohave
nomors
lovefor
us
than
malignant
animals,
if
aHthetraditions
are
correct.
FOOTSTEPSBYNIGHT.Ihavelaininbed
ona
bitter-cold,
moonlessnight,whenthere
was
not
even
the
longwhisper
ofthepines
tostir
the
utter
silencethat
is
only
possiblefar
away
fromtowns,andhaveheard
a
step
at
tlie
threshold,nndthensteps
across,
tlio
bare
floor
ofthe
room,
and
finally
a
?
footfallright
by
thebed,
,
andthe
little
.'sharpsoundandslightjar
as
thatfoot'struck
against
thebed'siron
foot.
'
AndthenIhavewaitedinthekind
_
offear
tliat
onenever
wants
to
ex
perience
again
but,
thankheaven!thercstlcscreature
man,woman,
or
v,.-
child
never
touched
me,
or
tried
to
drawbackthebedclothesunderwhich
?'
'
Itrembled.It
was
myfather'sslioul
-5
????
.
der
on
which,
severaltimesinbroaddaylight,
a
heavyhand,
was
laid.Ilis
nerveswere
iron
;
Icould
'
never
haveborne
it.
Once,
ona
nightwhen
'the
Summer
moonlight
filled
the
room
withmilkandhoney,andmadeeverything
as
clear
as
day,I
saw
my
bedroomdoor
open
there
waisnot
a
breathofwindthatnight
andheardthesteps
come
right
across
tieroom,but(again,thank
heaven!)
I
sawno
figure.Othermembersofthefamilydid
a
darkfigurethat
might
hava'beeneither
manorwoman.
0nee
there
wasa
heart-breakingsoundof
sobbing
heard,but
the*-worst
was
the
scream
iuthenight.SCREAMINTHENIGHT.Directlybeneath'
my
bedroom
was
the
 
Directlybeneath'
my
bedroom
was
thekitchenandscullery,thissculleryhaving,besidethe.door,that
opened
intothe
.yard,
one
little
window
thatcouldnot
open.
'
;
Again,
it
wasa
windlessnight;-I
was
;going
to,
bed;
below,iuthekitchen,
my
-mother's'
adopteddaughter
was
-
setting
matters
straight'forthe
morning.
Shopassedfromtheflightedkitchenintothadarkscullery;and
as
shedid
nosome
thiiigsprangup
almostbeneathher
feet
andwhizzed
out
through
the
tiny;
scaledwindowwith
a
piercing
scream.
Atthe
.
same
moment
that
scream
semed
to
risestraight
through
the
floor
beside
meas
Istood
by
my
bed,andwith
it
Iheard
a
soundI
can
onlydescribe
asa
whirlwind,
oras
thepassingof
some
largebody,incrediblyswift,
up
thesideofthehousefromthescullerywindow
brushing
againstthehouse
as
itwent.
On.
anotheroccasiontho
same
girl
my
mother's
adopteddaughter
was
justleavingthekitchenwith
a
lightedcandleinherhand,when
something
brushed
past
herand
put
outthelight!Almost
every
night,afterthewholefamilyhad
goneto
bed,thoshiftingaboutof
heavy
furnitureused
to
boheardinthedownstair
rooms,
and
a
noise
like
biglogs
being
cast
one
afteranother
upon
theembersinthe
open
fireplaceintheliving-room.I
wasso
accustomed
to
hearing
inthedeepsilencewheneverythingslept
thekitchen
table,
asit
seemed,
pulled
out
fromthewallinthe
room
below
me
andthen,
pushed
violentlybackagainagainstthewall,thatIscarcelypaid
any
attention
to
it.
Nothing
mattered
as
long
as
the'other
occupants'stayed
downstairs
!
But
guestsstoppingovernightwith
us
complainedagain
and
again
ofcrashes
iii
thekitchenregions
as
though
all
thecrickcry
wero
dragged
downandtumbled
on
the
floor.
HAUNTEDBUGLE.
Once,
inthe'smallhours,'
my
fatherheardthebugle,which
we
kept
to
summon
the
groomto
hismealsfromhiscottage,blown,
as
thoughby
an
'in-visible'
standing
on
thebackporch.
?
Whatintangiblehandraised
it?
Whatbreathcaused
it
tpsound
whatbreathfromwhatworld?Thotraditional'demonhuntsman'
comes
to
mind
that
horn-blowingmidnightshape
of
many
countries.
?
But
our
'poltergeist'
our
Puck
operated
usuallyinbroaddaylight.Inthemiddleof
washing-up
I
have
;
hadpiecesofcrockery
picked
up
almost
:
frombeside
my
handandthrown
to
theother
corner
ofthe
room
where,of
course,
theybroke.Wchave
seen
thochaininthebottomof
a
porce
lainwash-basin
tieitself
intoknots,and
an
enamelled
move
for
some
and
an
enamelled
mug
move
for
some
distancealong
a
perfectly
flat
shelf
as
though
an
invisiblehand
pushed
it.
On
one
occasion,inthemiddleoftheday,
we
heard
quick
footsteps
come
alongtheside
path
leading
to
theclosedbackdoor,andthenthedorhandlerattledandturnedandthedoor
was
flung
open.
But'
on
thethresholdstood
noone.
SHIFTING
SHADOWS.
Sometimes,duringdaytime
hours,theshadowofsomeone's
movements
wouldbe
caughtthrough
a
half-opendoor,andsounds
as
though
smallarticles
were
beingshifted
or
dusted.Butwhen
one
enteredthe
room
it
was
alway.empty.
So
weneversaw
,our
'poltergeists'Howdid
we
endure
all
thisfor
five
years?AsIhave
said,
there
wasno
^where
elsetogo.
.
Andthen,the'haunt-ings'
were
not
a
matterof
day
after
day;
therewouldsometimesbe
a
month,
or
sixweeks,
or
two
months'interval.Then—suddenly
when
our
minds
wereon
ordinary
bread-and-butter
affairs,
the'other
occupants'
ofthehousewouldtap
uson
theshoulder,
as
it
were.
I
cansee
that
homely,
barn-likehousein
its
old-fashionedgarden,
set
roundwithpines,
as
though
I
had
leftit
yesterday.Iwonderwhoandwhatshared
it
with
us—
and
why?.

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