Ok; that was weird

Back in the mid 90's I lived with a guy (I didn't always live with my little old Mum) in a 'Penthouse Apartment' (that makes it sound so lavish) in an old Victorian building. Consisting 4 storeys (listed as 3 with an attic) above ground and one semi-basement level (the back of the plot was lower than the front so it was basement at the front of the building, ground level at the back) it was the biggest shit hole dive you could ever imagine, but on that top floor we made ourselves a little home. We were at the back of the building with another apartment at the front. The guy I was with had originally lived in the front one with a friend of his; when we decided to move in together, ours had just become available so it seemed the most logical move to make. They'd had the bigger of the 2 on our floor, with an open-plan lounge/kitchen, 2 double bedrooms (one of which was huge) entrance hall and bathroom. They overlooked a common with the beach and sea just beyond; we overlooked some more buildings and a road!. Having said that, you had to stand on tip-toe to see out of the windows as the upstairs of the building (which had originally been one house) was the Servants Quarters. Ours had a separate kitchen and bathroom, but the lounge/bedroom were one room. We had a decent sized entrance hall though, and a fabulously large roof terrace (I'm sure it was a bigger floorplan than our whole apartment). We had a selection of friends living in the building, as well as some directly next door so it felt as though we owned the whole building at times as we were always in-and-out of each other's homes (mind you, if we had owned it there would have been security entry to get inside, rather than a set of doors which didn't lock so anyone could wander in; I often found people sleeping in the entrance hallway when I came home late at night.) 

The photos below show the front of the building - the top 3 windows belonging to my exes first apartment. The right window at the back of the building was our lounge/bedroom, the small window our kitchen; the bathroom ran the other side of the bedroom. The green railing you can see edged our roof terrace. 

The photo above was taken from the edge of the beach; the sea is just behind me. 

I was still very much a believer in the paranormal back then, and Whilst living there my belief in all things which 'go bump in the night' were not dissuaded at all. Staying overnight in the front apartment, I had looked out of the window the following morning, gazing down on to the common below, which was shrouded in mist that had rolled in from the sea. It was quiet, beautiful and eerie all at the same time. That was the first time I saw the little girl I came to name 'Emily'. She was around 5 or 6 years old, with long blond hair that hung in ringlets. I could see her playing on the common just a few feet away from the parking area, skipping around singing to herself. At first I thought she was dressed in a nightie, which I found slightly odd, but then knowing some of the people who lived in the adjacent blocks it wasn't quite-so-strange a thought; then I realised she was wearing (what I assumed to be) victorian style clothing. A blue dress with frills around the bottom and sleeve edging, with black lace up leather boots and a white apron over the top. She had some ribbons in her hair which matched her dress. Emily was not a poor child that was for sure. I felt as though there may have been a little boy with her but couldn't see him, or anyone else. The more I watched her, the more I realised something really wasn't as it should be, for the mist was thick enough that I should not have been able to see anyone out there, let alone a child playing. I turned around to call over my ex to ask if he knew who she belonged to (she wasn't a child I had seen around the area) and when I turned back she was gone. As much as I believed in the paranormal I assumed I'd imagined her; maybe I was still half-asleep as it was early in the morning. 

A few months after that my brother came to visit with a friend of his. As they were leaving his friend stopped on the landing below ours before proceeding to ask my brother if he had seen the little girl run by them; he hadn't. When he told me I asked him to describe who his friend had seen and she described my Emily to a T. I got to thinking maybe she was part of the history of the property. 

A lot of weird stuff went on in that building. I physically (on more than one occasion) had the bottom of the bed covers pulled from me. The first time I worked on logic assuming my ex had hooked his feet into the bottom of the quilt; had he stretched it could have made them feel as though they were being pulled, but it happened a couple of nights when I was alone. I also had it happen at the side of the bed and there's no way feet could have done that. 

All of our sharp knives went missing; every single one I bought vanished. I would have said it was friends/neighbours messing about with us, but we were either there, or had the alarm on and as we'd not shared the code with anyone (my ex didn't trust any of his friends) they couldn't have done - one day we came home from walking the dog to find all our books and DVD's (this was the 90's) had been turned around the wrong way! I still think that was down to his friends. As for the knives it happened with them all. I'd buy one, use it, go to use it again and it would be gone. We found them all when we cleared a cupboard out, tucked right up into the corner of the cupboard. They couldn't be seen just by opening the door; it's only that we couldn't find what we wanted so did a sweep pushing out hands deep into the four corners. 

Once whilst I was cleaning the bathroom my neighbour banged on the wall between us to get my attention. Our front door opened out onto the landing, with theirs adjacent at a 90' angle so we could touch each other without having to leave our doorways (not that we ever did touch but we could have if we had wanted to). I chatted with him for 5 minutes, closed (and locked) the door before heading back to the bathroom, to find the cloth I had been using was missing, and a new one was in it's place. Our front door was dead opposite our back door at the narrowest point of the entrance hall. For someone to get through the back door to make the switch, I would have had to move out of the way; plus the door was kept locked at all times, and it would have taken spider man to have been able to make it up onto the roof terrace so they could enter via the door. I found the cleaning cloth I had been using the following day when I opened up the oven!

Our dog - he came with the boyfriend and to be honest I think I always loved him more than the human - would often lean into you when you were out walking with him. It was endearing in one way, but a pain in the ass in another. This tall, gangly lurcher leaning against your legs with his body to the side and head on the front of your thigh (making it quite difficult to walk) would often walk around the apartment as though he was leaning against someone. It was most peculiar to watch and he would usually do it from just outside a cupboard door in the lounge, walking in a straight line to the front door when he'd sit at the door for a while as if waiting for someone to come back. A painting we had hanging on the wall he'd walk along was forever falling off as though someone had brushed against it. One day whilst visiting my Mum suddenly spun her head around, and was looking as though she had seen something. She told us she'd just watched a woman in what she assumed to be some kind of nursing outfit, walk out of the cupboard, down the hall and out of the front door. My Mum is a woman who is not inclined to be caught up in delusion. She felt she could have been from the same time period as Emily because of what she was wearing, but wasn't sure if she was part of the household because she got the feeling she was more connected to a war. Someone in the area had told me once that the house had been used as a field hospital during the First World War! She got the name 'Daisy' as being associated with her.

Sadly I was never able to track down an Emily, or Daisy, as having resided at the property at any time (oh my, now I'm just thinking I could check the census records to see who may have lived there. Why did I not think of that before?) Stopped to have a look, but can't seem to find how to do so without a name so have text my brother to get him on the case (he knows what he's doing with such things). He's just come back to me; turns out it was known as a different address back then and on the day of the census only 6 of the 10 houses were occupied. One Emily is listed at one of the properties but she was a maid and aged 21. Pretty sure it wasn't her!

Anyway; fast forward to the time I split up with the ex (Christmas Eve if you please; Happy Christmas, Sarah). Because I'd moved in with him it was decided (not by me I might add) that I should be the one to move out, which is what I did (I won't bore you with the details of how I never got half my stuff back that he'd promised to look after for me until I had somewhere to live and could move it out with me). For a while I slept on my best friend's sofa (and sometimes in her daughters bed if she wasn't at home). On the odd occasion I did sleep in my car. I could have gone back to the family home, however, at-the-time things weren't great between my Mum and I and moving back would not have been a good thing for us; thankfully, we got to a great place and I'm never leaving her again :) 

There was a lot of stress and upset on my part; one minute I was planning a wedding, living my best life with a fiancĂ© and gorgeous dog, the next I had a car full of bin bags, a fridge freezer and nowhere to sleep. Imagine my surprise when on the third night staying at my friends we heard footsteps running along her hallway and a little girl's laughter; her daughter was away from home at the time. It was just the 2 of us. This went on for a few weeks to the point where it was becoming almost annoying, and was happening at all different times of day, and night. When her daughter was there too as well as when she wasn't. We were all out one evening; the next day one of my friends neighbours asked who the little girl was waving from the bedroom window the evening before. My friends daughter (who I class as my niece) kept shouting for the 'girl and boy' to be quiet as they were keeping her awake at night; she also complained they were playing with her toys. Often the stereo (this is way before Apple home hubs and Alexa) volume would go up-and-down. You could watch the slider move, yet we never saw her. Once I caught a glimpse of a little girl running into my friends bedroom when I opened the front door one afternoon (all her rooms came off a central hallway with the main door at one end) but it was a fleeting corner-of-the-eye kind. 

A few weeks after we asked her to stop (the night she looked around the door frame at me, smiled and we heard her run off down the hallway; the last time we ever heard her, the only time (other than on the common that morning, that I actually saw her)) I was sleeping there one night when I had a dream that the little girl was in the kitchen, standing with a little boy (he appeared to be around 2 years old). She was holding his hand and they were having a conversation. I walked into the room, they both looked at me and smiled before I walked off and left them to it. I had no idea who the little boy was or where he had come from but I can (to this day) remember what he was wearing. 

Imagine what a jolt it was for me when 2 weeks ago I was with my niece when her daughter (just coming up to 6 years old with long blond hair that hangs in ringlets) was standing holding her little brothers hand (he's coming up to 2) and he was wearing the exact same outfit I saw him wearing in the dream. You could have literally knocked me down with a feather. It then struck me as I was telling my Mum, brother and brother-in-law at the weekend, that my nieces daughter is the spitting image of the little ghost girl I knew as, Emily! I dreamt about those 2 kids whilst round my best friends place, the best friend who is the grandmother of the 2 kids. 

Was I getting a glimpse into the future during the dream that night? Did I assume the little girl in the dream was Emily because she resembled her, yet she was, in fact, the future granddaughter of my best friend? My nieces little girl would happily dance around a common on a foggy day singing to herself (yesterday she spend an hour in my garden talking to a ladybug). My friend was convinced Emily (if that's who she really was) had followed me from the flat and was somehow connected to me; after my jolt the other week looking at both her grand children I'm really not so sure! 

I'm almost on the cusp of believing in things that are not of this world again; not quite there yet but getting closer.