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Do You Believe in Ghosts?


There have been a few times in my life when I’ve been forced to confront the existence of the supernatural. The most recent time was in our home.


We’ve been living here for sixteen months now, and over the previous six months or so I’ve come to accept that we have an uninvited guest. Mostly I kept this to myself because my husband is a complete sceptic. Even scepticism is too much of a stretch for him. Complete non-believer is a more accurate description. Or was.


We have two dogs. A border terrier called Jeff… who plays himself in my second novel, Making Sacrifices, and a nearly pug called Ruby. Ruby is one quarter Jack Russel. She may look like a slim pug, but she has a Jack Russel’s attitude and can often be found stalking around our home looking for would be troublemakers. So, when I was walking past our spare room/office one morning around six months ago, I assumed it was Ruby I saw crossing the red rug in that room.


The next time I glanced a small light-coloured animal in that room I was on my way to the sitting room where I discovered Ruby fast asleep on the sofa. I rushed back to the spare room and found it empty. Windows and doors were often open at the time, so it was possible something had wandered in. However, when I saw this small, uninvited guest again, I told my husband. He was kind, but it was obvious he didn’t believe me. I’m a writer. I have a very active imagination. It was easier for him to put my sightings down to that, than to entertain the idea that we had some otherworldly guest.


By Christmas I’d seen… or glanced our visitor a number of times. Fleeting visions caught in the corner of my eye, always in the spare room or in the hall. My daughter came to stay and slept in the spare room. Each morning, she complained about our dogs running up and down the hall during the night. Our dogs sleep in the sitting room, and we keep the door closed so they can’t do exactly that. However, there have been a number of time either myself or my husband have wakened up during the night thinking we’ve heard the dogs, but when we checked, they were both sound asleep.


On Christmas Eve we all went to a neighbour’s place for drinks. One of the other guests had previously told me she’d been a long-time friend of the lady who used to live in our home. I asked her if her friend had had a dog. ‘No,’ she said. ‘Mary had a cat.’


While I was away for a few days during January my husband called to tell me that something had been sitting beside him on the sofa. He thought it was Ruby, until he noticed she was actually lying before the fire. A few weeks later, when we were both in the kitchen, me with my back to the door out into the hall, my husband facing me... he suddenly shoved me to one side, rushed out into the hall and ran to the sitting room at the far end.


Moments later he returned to the kitchen and admitted he’d just seen a cat running down the hall and disappearing into the sitting room. It wasn’t there when he caught up but has nevertheless left an impression. Me, my husband, my daughter, we all believe that Mary’s cat is ‘living’ with us now. We’re all eagerly awaiting the return of Mary’s friend, to find out what her cat’s name is, so we can welcome he or she into our family.

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