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Ghost House in LondonDexter Phoenix Salem-News.com
A seriously scary story about a child ghost and untraceable sounds.
(LONDON) - In London, south of the river in a place called Brixton (think of the bronx in New York then you will get a good idea about what this place is like... or better still Google “Brixton Riots”.
Apparently they are starting to clean this place up with expensive house conversions, especially in the big old houses that have plenty of space to rent out the rooms to what seems to be the new age of modern arty and media types. I hear the talk about this part of London as the new fashionable place to be seen in as, well as living in?
You ask me I think those people are living a hugely delusional mind set, that is probably fueled by a modern day diet of coke and expensive wine... if you ask me. I think you need to be on that kind of diet to tolerate the extreme premium prices that these house owners are now charging in such a place anyways.
Brixton has a heavily multi cultural look and feel about it, mostly populated by Jamaicans. You can see the huge diversity in cultures as you walk down this very busy and crowded area, of this all ready over populated and large city. Reggae music playing in local shops and small record stores, as well as a mixture of chill out dance music (lounge as its called in the states) coming out of the big old buildings that have been converted in a very modern deco look inside these large bars and pre-club bars, that are are very popular in London in itself, owned mostly by huge bar owning consortiums... or large breweries.
I had moved back over to London after almost going bankrupt through my war photography trips. Basically I had to almost start all over again in my career, as I turned up in this very expensive and dreary looking concrete environment called London. (why on earth did the Romans ever wanted to conquer this place?, is still one of life's “huge” mysteries to me!)
I turned up in this part of London with one large travel bag and a camera bag that I had been stuck with for the most part of my working years as a professional photographer. you called say that was my only furniture that I could call my own...due to working and traveling all over the world, and not managing to settle down long enough to get REAL furniture!.
Lucky for me I had a friend who was living in London with a bunch of other “arty “ types that were mostly on good money due to there work. These people were mostly in there mid twenties to early 30’s in age; mostly a mixture of international types... predominately Ausies, kiwis, Spanish and French.
It was a journey in itself getting there from Heathrow airport to Brixton. Fighting through a tidal wave of fast pacing people rushing to all different parts of central London like there whole lives depended on it.
Even though public transport is pretty good in London, it is far from being perfect when u are carrying large travel bags that have to constantly squeeze past what seems to be a billion people, that are all trying to squeeze in to one tiny box (a very simple explanation of what London transport feels like).
Brixton tube station is one of the most dismal of all places in London to walk out from.
As soon as you get through the gates you feel like you have just entered a circus for the weird and wonderful. All walks of life from the rich modern arty types to the poorest, and scariest looking people, that would even make Guy Riche movies look like something from a Disney Channel.
Unfortunately my friend never told me just how far his house was (it was only a 10 min walk away from the station he said, ”just turn left from the tube station and carry on walking up this road called Brixton Hill.. until you get to this street, it’s not far!).
Well what he forgot to tell me was this road was like trying to walk through a "dodgem" or bumper car convention. Cars, bikes, buses, taxis, thousands of people, and every other kind of obstacles you can think of. About the only thing missing was home made mind fields made by the locals to ward away the dumb ass tourist that might have strayed on this part of town by mistake.
It took me 25 minutes to finally drag my bags up this road to the house, sweating, stressed, bruised and in need of something very strong to drink!!.
The house looked very impressive though. It was on this street that curved around like a half moon. in fact it was a beautiful street, that once you were there you had no idea you were in Brixton.
By the time I was walking up to this house it was now dark, all the trees on both sides of this quiet street were lit up like something out of a movie with there old Victorian style lamps. The houses themselves were very large old houses, probably dated back to the mid to late 1800’s.
I walked in to the house after being greeted by my friend. He looked at me with a small suppressed smirk on his face, trying to not let me know of the hell I just experienced walking up here with my bags from the tube station (subway).
He introduced me to all the people in the house..again mostly international types. Apparently they had all just moved in to this house after being kicked out of another house, due to the owner of the house that was renting it out, had died, and the son wanted the house back to move in to himself.
The new house they had all moved in to was surprisingly modern with a huge open kitchen that was tarnished with expensive aluminum kitchen tops and aluminum microwaves and ovens, mixed in with thick old pine that gave that post modern look, that did not totally destroy the old look of the house.
The place had modern lights in the high ceilings as well as weird and wonderful modern deco attached here and there all through the house.
The house also had beautiful long refurbished light wooden varnished floorboards, that swept through the whole house.
The house itself was warm, apart from one room, and that was the living room.. the room I was enlisted to stay in too..on a temporary basis until I knew what I wanted to do while I was in London.
This living room had a large couch and two large single seats that matched the couch. The curtains were of a dark red, and there was a large beautiful original open fireplace in front of me... and the large TV was in the left hand corner of the fire place. There was a 4 foot built in wooden storage box that was attached to the wall in the right hand side of the fire place. I was presuming that was for the coal or logs that the fire place use to burn in the ye-old days, while the building was still in its infant stage of its life.
The only thing we all found very odd about this room was just how very cold it was. The windows were new and so no cold air leaking through. The chimney had been blocked off, and the radiators were still on and working, but the heat just seemed to have evaporated at about 6 inches from the radiators. I was not looking forward to this new cold environment I was about to stay in, since I had been spoiled by the hot weathered climates from my previous work.
My friend grabbed a few heavy covers for me to sleep under on the couch, and they were very thick and heavy.
It was quiet late before I went to bed, after drinking a bottle a wine with one of my friends room mates. We noticed the room got colder and colder as the night got late. So cold in fact it was actually more colder than it was out side. The room mate was so concerned, he actually went in to his room and brought out some more blankets.
I remember laying on that couch feeling like a mummy wrapped up in all these heavy blankets, and not hardly being able to move..thinking to myself, please don't go to the bathroom tonight! It’s too cold!
It took me another hour to finally generate enough heat to get to sleep. But not long after I had fallen a sleep, I was awoken to what seemed to be like light foot steps with hard shoes, and those floor boards did creek a lot in the living room when you walked around.
I constantly pulled my head up from the weight of the blankets (as this being the only part of my body I could move with speed, due to the excessive weight that was laying on top of me!).
The door was shut! It was a big old door that jammed in to its place with a stiff motion when it was closed, making it a noisy and difficult door to open or close, giving the reason to why most of the time the people decided to leave the door open. But where ever I go in the world, I had always liked my doors shut, and even better locked! Unfortunately this door did not have a lock (being the living room door).
These creaking noises happened about 4 times that night, until my tiredness got the best of me and I finally managed to fall asleep for the most part of that night.
I woke up that morning feeling very tired and “drained”. and feeling like I had been asleep outside the house, in the cold winter night. My skin was ice cold and I had almost black eyes due to the lack of sleep I had seemed to have had. It took for ever to warm up, even after having a warm shower that morning.
I spent that whole day going around London seeing what photography work they might have to offer. I did not come back until around about 7.00 p.m. that night, as I walked in feeling like I had just walked a hundred miles. I made myself something to eat in the house, as the house was almost deserted due to being a Friday night. Most people leave the house early on the weekends to drink against the strict and very boring drinking hours of the bars in most of England in those days.
By the time I had gone to bed it was now 1.30 a.m. I cocooned myself again in the large couch with the heavy thick blankets. This time I remembered this room to have never felt this cold before... literally.
I was blowing out the cold air through my mouth, seeing it hit the street light shinning through the thin dark red curtains. I started to drift off to sleep after half an hour, only to be awoken in a very startling manner. It was like waking up with some one right next to you, but not expecting it... except there was no one next to me.
I remember my whole face to be ice cold..almost like some one was breathing ice cold air on to my face... even my nose got runny and the tips of my ears were getting red due to the cold (that slight burning sensation you get when its extremely cold). I knew some one was now in the room. I could feel its presence. It was not an evil presence... but a presence I knew that was not human.
I moved my eyes slowly to the left of me, towards the built in storage box in the dark corner on the right hand side of the big old fire place, that was very dimly lit in a dark grey shade, from the natural available light in the room itself. I saw a dark small figure sitting on the box... dead still! My eyes quickly darted back towards the ceiling, looking straight up..trying to ignore what I had just saw. by now my eyes must have looked like one of those cows that contracted mad cow disease.
By now I was planing on how I'm going to get up and try to open up that stiff door and run out the room as quickly as possible with out this thing being right up behind me. I tensed my body up ready for my final leap towards the door, but before I did this I could not resist taking another look of this thing, that I could now feel its eyes staring straight at me with deep sinister intensity. I slowly rolled my eyes over to its direction hoping what I saw was just the trick of the eye, that dark rooms can sometimes play.
As I did this, my eyes had adjusted even more to the darkness in this room. there sitting there was a girl of about 8 years of age with a tight orange strapped top and a short black pleated skirt. She was wearing little black shoes, but I did not have enough light to focus well on her feet... and to be truthful that was the last thing on my mind right now to worry about.
What's made it even more disturbing was I could see her thin legs moving back and fourth slightly as she sat upright on top of this box, with her thin arms pointing straight down, with her hands laid out flat on the box on each side of her thin body. Her skin was a dreary blue grey tone with eyes that seem to be completely black. Then again even around her eyes they were pretty much darkened by the corner shadow. She had black thin straight hair that were in pig tails... and her face was angular, not rounded. Her face almost reminded me of one of those elves in lord of the rings.
She had this almost emotionless expression about her...she did not seem sad nor happy, she was just staring right at me with those very dark deep eyes of hers, which made her look almost nonhuman like, and more demonic in her looks.
By now I even had problems in moving my eyes away from her. My biggest fear was in seeing this girl get up and walk towards me. My whole body had now gone in a complete paralysis. I could not move AT ALL!. This is the first and only time this has ever happened to me!. I could not even shout out, about the only noise that came out of my mouth, was like a strange strangling odd gargle coming from my throat... it seemed even my voice was now scared out of its wits!.
The only thing I could do now was just to close my eyes tight and try to fall asleep in the most desperate way. Hoping this thing will just go away, instead I just had this horrible vision of opening up my eyes and seeing this thing leaning over me staring straight at my face with its dark eyeless expression.
I can't really explain what happened later or how it happened... but I did wake up the next morning at around 8am, with no memory on how I did manage to fall asleep.
Still ice cold I slowly looked over to the corner and there was nothing there. I also got all my feelings back on my body.
So I got up slowly, but at the same time feeling drained again... and heavy. I remember to have a mars bar (chocolate bar) and a bottle of french drinking water next to me. I picked up the bottle to have a drink and noticed the water to be so cold it actually had a very thin layer of mashed up ice inside it, like a Slushie drink but just covering the top layer of the water. The mars bar was ROCK hard frozen, like a piece of concrete as I banged the thing hard on the wooden floorboards to my own amusement.
I muttered to myself f@@k that!. Then after a few hours I reluctantly told my friend about it, and as usual he just came out with crude jokes and was of no help what's so ever.
I spent the whole day again looking for another place to stay, getting sick and tired of lack of sleep deprivation due to all of this. This time I caught up with another friend that had strayed off the radar for a couple of years. She was more than happy to have me stay at her place while I was in a transition of finding more photography work in London.
By the time I got back to my friends house in Brixton it was around about 1am. Apart from one girl, everyone was still out, being a Saturday night. She was from Romania of all places, and thought it was all very fitting and slightly amusing with this ordeal that I had been involved in in this house, that this girl was from a very superstitious country, and that was also famous for the birth of all the Dracula stories (Vlad the Impaler). She was un packing some more boxes in her room and was asking why I was making so much noise down stairs, and the reason why she was up so late un packing was because the noise down stairs was keeping her awake.
I asked her what noise? And where was the noise coming from, in a very confused expression on my face. She looked back at me as if i was lying to her, or just out right insane!. She said in the living room. “It sounded like you were banging and moving furniture around”?
By now the hairs on the back of my neck went up, and was even more so upset, and extremely angry that I realized I had left my bags in the living room... and I had to go back down there and get them!
I told her I had only just got back, and are you sure no one came in, and then out the house?. She was very positive in her answers. Two of the people had left for the weekend, my friend was out working that night, and she just spoke to another guy that was still out clubbing.
She came down stairs with me after seeing the odd expression on my face, and she could see I was serious about me not being down there. I opened up the big heavy stiff door and quickly put on the light. Nothing had been moved around, but again the room was very cold. I thought to myself, I am not going through all this again, and with what money I had left, I phoned up a taxi to get my ass out of there ASAP.
Strangely after that, I did not see my friend much after moving out. Only occasionally meeting up with him at some bars in Soho and close to that area of London. That was the only time I had in my life, that I had truly experienced something that I did believe in before, but no way as much as I did after that experience.
Dexter Phoenix has worked as a staff and freelance photographer since the mid-1990's and has a wealth of professional experiences on his resume. We welcome his presence to our staff and Salem-News.com.
This native of Great Britain moved to Los Angeles in 2007, where he photographed general news, general Interests, sports, freelance model photo work, and also stock images. In his career Dexter has had photos published: World wide, in many magazines and newspapers and online. Throughout the course of his career he has experience with technology of all imaginable types. In his career as a photographer Dexter has covered stories in Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, France, Mexico, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Somalia, Tunisia, Algeria. Angola, Iran, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Colombia, United States. Email inquiries about photo purchase to Dexter at the above address.
You can email Dexter Phoenix, Salem-News.com Photographer/Reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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