No Walls.
Ghost Stories, True Tales

Photo portrait of Nici. (c) A. C 1998

4 No Walls

4: No Walls

Date: Summer 1982

Location: Gartow am See, Germany

Event: Ghost sighting?

The following occurred on a school-outing in the 9th form. We stayed in a very old, converted farmhouse for a week, out in the countryside and my best friend and I chose to share a room . We started drinking every day (as you do on school outings in Germany) and had a party nearly every evening before bedtime at around 10.00pm. On the Wednesday just before 9.00pm I felt a little ill (which wasnít at all a surprise under the circumstances), so I went to bed early. I switched off all the lights and put a wet flannel over my forehead to cool down. It was a clear night and through the skylight in the roof there shone enough moonlight to see all the furniture in the room. I lay there recuperating, eyes open and fully awake but thinking about this and that. After a while, I could see something strange happening near the door, which was in full view from my position. A sort of mist was forming and eventually to my astonishment I could see the shape of an old woman. I could see that she was wearing a long dark dress with an apron in front. Her hair was tied back into a knot and she was bending down to what appeared to be a washing basket. She seemed to take something out of the basket and placed it somewhere beyond the wall (as if it didn't exist)!. By now I was sitting bolt upright, thinking that this must surely be a hallucination caused by the alcohol. To test myself, I did everything possible from pinching myself to rubbing my eyes but the woman was still there, working away without taking any notice of me. Then I decided I would switch on the light and leave it on for a while, if the figure was still there afterwards, I would consider it to be a ghost. If not, it would probably have been a hallucination. This I did, and even kept my eyes closed for a few moments after I switched the light back off to get my eyes used to the dark again. When I opened my eyes, the old woman was still there. This time though, she had stopped working and actually looked over to me! It was at that moment that I believed in what I was seeing. I swore to myself that right now I was of sound mind and that everything I was seeing was really there, regardless of whether my conviction would fade with time. Up until now though, the woman hadnít caused me any fear at all, only bewilderment - until that is, she started moving towards meÖ

I lay back and felt my gaze followed her as she walked up to the side of the bed. As she stood right next to me, she suddenly bent down and put her dead-looking eyes right up close to my face. At that moment I started to scream. I turned away and made sure I was completely tucked underneath the duvet - and stayed like this until the morning, not even waking when my friend came to bed later that night. The next morning, the whole episode seemed unreal to me and if it hadn't be for me swearing to myself that I had really seen what I did, I would have dismissed the whole thing as a dream. I didn't even tell my best friend because it sounded too weird. So we went downstairs for  breakfast, when I overheard a  girl at the next table telling her friends that she had seen a ghost the night before!
I immediately felt a shiver down my spine.

I told her that I too had seen a ghost last night. As it happened, her room was adjacent to mine on the same wall through which the old woman had leant. I asked the girl for more details without telling her what I had seen and she described exactly the same old woman. In her case the woman hadn't moved but had stared for quite a while at the her, and she too said that she hadn't felt too afraid. When I asked her what time this had happened, she answered that it was about ten past nine, only shortly after I had seen the ghost. Then the girl and I went to see the owners to ask about the history of the house but no information was forthcoming as they had only bought the house recently.

* Thanks to James Allibon for the proof-reading.

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