In the spirit (pardon the pun) of Halloween , here’s one of the scariest things I have ever lived through!
She barked again.
I watched as she jumped against the door biting and growling at it.
“It’s simple,she’s too wild for me. I can’t handle her ” I tried to convince my father to take my eleventh month old dog out of my house and into his .
“If you train her , then I’ll happily take her back” I coaxed.
My dad is what you would call a dog whisperer ,without the show or the bank account to match .( Unfortunately)
“No way. I told you not to get a dog . And now ,well ,now my dear ,you’ve a bad mannered dog to train” he laughed as he poured another cup of tea.
I rubbed my ever growing belly ,hoping this may help my plea.
“Don’t be using the baby against me . The dog only does that in your house, not mine or anyone else’s !”
It was true. She didn’t do it anywhere else.
I took tips from my dog whisperer but nothing helped.
She piddled on the floor every evening at 9.35pm, despite bringing her out minutes before hand.
She piddled in the same spot each evening and once she was done she’d whimper .
She’d sit and whimper ,regardless of my reaction to her piddling issue.
“9.35. not 9.30, not 9.40, 9.35 ..is that not odd dad ?”
”Tis ” he agreed.
She’d lick ,bark, growl and piddle in front of the kitchen door each and every night at the same time.
In the mornings I’d find her at my bedroom door, growling at what I presumed was the handle of my kitchen door.
She hated that kitchen door.
Every time I brought her to any other house she behaved like an average dog .
“Maybe you’re imagining it ” my dad offered , my mother smiled ” baby brain ?” She questioned.
“I’m not imagining it. She’s a different dog each evening and morning. She’s driving me mad” I snapped back.
I was due my very first baby in three months and this dog really felt like a practice run.
She woke me up at night.
She scratched to come into my room.
She growled .
She was moody .
She would sit by my feet and growl at the kitchen door.
It happened pretty fast after the dogs behaviour became more worrying.
I lay in bed . I mentally listed all the jobs I had to get done before my next doctors appointment .
I sighed and gave my round belly a gentle tap.
I closed my eyes. I drifted back to sleep.
I felt him climb in beside me.
He moved the blanket from my stomach to my shoulders.
I knew I had to get up in a few minutes for work but I was enjoying the warm bed.
“You’re supposed to be at work” I sheepishly whispered .
He didn’t respond.
The dog began scratching at the door, growling then barking.
My eyes flung open.
I didn’t have to look ,I knew.
My baby kicked me hard.
Taking a deep breath ,I calmly pulled the blanket off my body.
I told the dog I was coming.
My legs wobbled as I stood up.
Do not look. Do not look. Do not look ..I repeated to myself as I turned the handle of my bedroom door.
The dog ran into the room and onto the bed ,her growl became a snarl ..
I grabbed her lead.
“Come” I called her.
Fear kept me from looking over my shoulder.
It was a small house.
The front door lead into the sitting room, off the sitting room where two doors, one to the kitchen and one to the bedroom… a bathroom lead off from the kitchen ; finishing off this beautiful little cottage.
The dog came.
I didn’t even have to attach her lead ,she walked beside me ,stopping each time I needed to.
Nervously, I took out my phone, taking a deep breath , I dialled my partners phone .
He didn’t answer on the first ring,nor the second or third .
Exhaling slowly ,I looked down at my little dog and my wet sloppy slippers .
She sat at my feet as the rain fell.
A car beeped as it rolled passed us.
“You alright love ?” came a friendly voice from a silver Ford.
Yes ,this pregnant lady was perfectly fine standing in the pissing rain,in her pajamas with her dog by her side ,move along lady,move along .
“Ok guys,we’ve to go back in and get dressed” I rubbed my belly ,while coaxing myself to go back.
I walked slowly back to the front door.
I blessed myself .
I placed my hand on the handle , taking a deep breath I opened the door.
The dog by my feet , I walked into the house .
I starting singing , I know that sounds a tad “odd” but it made me feel more comfortable. As a child singing aloud helped with my stammer and since then , I use it as a calming crutch , I suppose !( And no, I can’t hold a tune doesn’t stop me though )
I packed an overnight bag , and slowly, due to my big bump , I got dressed.
Relieved that the “thing” didn’t make a second appearance ,I took my bag and just as I was about to leave ,the television turned on.
The dog began to growl.
“I’m leaving . You can stop all that now” my voice shook as I unplugged the TV set.
By the time I got to my parents house , I had figured out a way to tell the story in a less dramatic way. I was simply going to tell them the house gave me the creeps.
Of course my parents didn’t quite believe me but they were never going to turn me away from my home.
The day wore on.
My then partner finally rang me. I didn’t want to tell him exactly what had happened , as experience taught me ,he would just mock me and I was in no form to be mocked.(Again)
It wasn’t until later that evening that the doorbell rang.
He was white and sweaty. My father didn’t even get a chance to say hello to him, when he brushed passed and declared that the cottage was “fully blown haunted”
“Relax , sit down and I’ll make ya a cuppa ” my very Irish mammy insisted.
“Is this what you were talking about the last day ?” My dad looked at me .
Have you any idea what it’s like to tell someone that you think you’re being haunted ? Trust me, it’s not an easy conversation and being Irish there was plenty of “ah will ya stop, you’re having me on ” type of reactions.
Slowly taking his sweet tea ,he began his own tale.
He had decided to go to our cottage ,put on dinner ,have a shower then come over to my parents house to collect me and the dog.
He came out of the shower .
The steam in the small bathroom filled every corner ,which he did find odd,as the window was opened. He wiped the steam from the mirror and ..in his own words …he saw ‘someone else’s face’
Now this guy liked to think he was tough and a horror fan who couldn’t be scared. He didn’t even dry himself , he threw back on his work clothes and ran.
“I don’t think I locked the door ” he looked at my parents who were trying hard to close their mouths .
“I wouldn’t worry bout that, doesn’t sound like it’s Casper ye are dealing with it won’t be long running a thief ” my dad laughed as my mother blessed herself.
What can you do in this situation ; if you’re Irish and Catholic ,which my parents are , you call the local priest .
And the priest came.
I remember telling him everything I had witnessed there and the feelings I felt ; coldness , air passing by my face …
My partner had nothing to add only the steam story.
“It’s haunting you ” the priest nodded at my belly.
“It knows there’s a life growing in there and I don’t think it likes it very much”
I was taken aback. I was sure the priest would mention I was unwed, I was 20 and I was pretty much setting myself up as a single parent ,given the stats about young unwed couples in relationships .
But no , he was genuinely concerned that this spirit or whatever it was didn’t like babies .
My father and the priest went to the cottage.
The following day we packed it up.
I sat in the sitting room while my father and brothers packed up my belongings .
The dog sat by my feet.
“Do you reckon it’s not haunted anymore ?” I asked as they loaded the car.
“I don’t feckin’ know but you’re not staying to find out ” my father opened the car door for me.
And that was that.
That was the end.
What did I learn?
That the statistics on young relationships plus a baby are fairly accurate .
Happy Halloween to you and yours remember if something creeps you out in the dead of the night; the chances are you’re not alone !