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Nightmare in an Irish Youth Hostel

Nightmare in an Irish Youth Hostel

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Published by Tony
A night alone in a deserted Irish youth hostel with a rather frightening and inexplicable outcome
A night alone in a deserted Irish youth hostel with a rather frightening and inexplicable outcome

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Published by: Tony on Jun 28, 2011
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02/01/2012

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Nightmare in an IrishYouth Hostel
Are you troubled by a past event, the memory of which causes the small hairs on theback of your neck to rise? Whenever it returns to haunt you, do you brush it aside asan elaborate hoax, a practical joke that was played on strangers or the unwary? Theremust be a logical explanation (for you, of course, are not superstitious), but it eludesyou. I know this feeling well, for I am haunted by the memory of some strange eventswhich occurred in the dormitory of an Irish youth hostel in the early hours of anEaster morning many years ago when I was fifteen. Occasionally, I am tempted tobelieve that I witnessed a few brief moments when normal life was suspended andthe supernatural intervened. Perhaps you would like to hear about it before you settledown for the night?Having a few days holiday, I cycled south from Dublin with the intention of reachingTipperary. With luck, I would spend each night in a youth hostel in basic but cheapaccommodation. After a glorious day in the Wicklow Mountains, my first stop was inthe Vale of Avoca. I remember a narrow and densely wooded valley and passing theentrance to what looked like a gold mine. At sunset, I found a lively hostel with aparty of cheerful Americans showing everyone how to make French toast; somethingthat was a complete mystery to two French visitors. In the morning, I continued my journey through roads untroubled by traffic and the second night was spent in aconverted castle not far from Kilkenny. Another opportunity to meet new faces,huddle over maps, and compare the day’s events.The following morning, Easter Saturday, I set off for a hostel that was midwaybetween Kilkenny and Tipperary, but I lost my way and didn’t arrive untilnightfall. The building, a large farmhouse, stood some distance from the road. Ipushed my bike up a grassy track expecting, at any moment, to see lights winkingthrough the trees. I anticipated laughter and sounds of activity from the kitchen -perhaps even the smell of burnt French toast. The house was locked, dark anddeserted; a notice on the door indicated that the keys could be obtained from a nearbyfarm. I collected them and opened the front door, only to be greeted by a musty danksmell. This, clearly, was not a popular hostel, but at least it had the usual equipmentand facilities. I lit a turf fire in the stove and explored the rooms. Two short flights of 
 
stairs led to the ‘men's dormitory’ - a large bleak room containing half a dozen metalbeds and a box of blankets and pillows. After a meal, I sat alone in the dining roomand studied the hostel rules displayed above the fireplace. I even toyed with the ideaof seeing how many I might break. Then I tried reading a book, but it only increasedmy sense of isolation. Occasionally, I glanced outside, but no one else came up thepath. Eventually, I took a final look at the stars, closed the front door and went up tobed. The room was cold, but tucked up in a sheet sleeping bag under three blanketsand a coat, I soon fell asleep.
 I am dreaming. I am cycling alone along an endless country road. It is a bog road bordered by fields of rushes and stunted trees. There are no turnings or junctions, farms or villages. Gradually, night falls but I must keep riding. In the darkness, a pair of eyes stares at me - they are filled with malice and could belong to a bird of  prey, possibly an eagle. I get off the bike and hide. What happens next occurssuddenly and with some violence. A long thin hand, it might even be a claw, appears from nowhere and hovers above me. Then, without warning, it plunges down and grabs hold of my bedding. There is the sound of a gale howling as the bedclothes aretorn from me. They fly upwards and disappear, and then there is only silence.
I awoke with a start and sat bolt upright with my heart beating like a drum. Then Igradually relaxed as I realised that this was a nightmare. The house was silent and thedormitory door was closed. As I settled down again, I discovered that my coat andblankets were missing and I assumed that they had slipped off the bed. I gropedaround but could feel only the cold floorboards. This was strange. Perhaps alatecomer to the hostel had taken them? A waning moon shone through the dormitorywindow and threw just enough light for me to see around the room. I studied each of the other five beds in turn, but they were empty. I remembered the dream and becameanxious and confused. The bedding couldn’t have just disappeared through a brickwall or a closed door, but it was no longer in that room. Where could it have gone andwho could have removed it so swiftly?I had never been so frightened in my life. I don’t know how long I sat there shakingbut, eventually, I summoned the courage to get out of bed and open the dormitorydoor. ‘Is there anyone there?’ I called nervously, but my voice just echoed through thesilent house. Then I noticed a dark shape lying on a landing halfway down the stairs;it was one of my blankets. I thought that perhaps a dog had entered the room anddragged the bedclothes down the stairs. At this point, I hadn’t considered how ananimal might open and close a door, but what I saw next dispelled this notion. Furtherdown the staircase was my second blanket - lying on top of the banister rail. As Istood shivering in the hall, I became aware that the front door to the hostel was wide

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Carolina added this note
Wow, is it a true story? I love these types of spine chilling story's
Daniel Essman added this note
I love a well-told supernatural tale..."There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."--Hamlet
Joe Hagen added this note
Eerie read. I note this story is identified as a memoir, so is this a true story? Eerier still.
Ashwin Kadle liked this

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