So that was it. We moved into Fern Cottage. The walls in the hall were lined with pine planks stained a ideous dark brown. A single lightbul – 15watts would you believe – hung from the ceiling. The wall was not original, constructed in Victorian times to form a passageway on one side of the wall, a small room on the other. There was another far larger room off of that. Two wall mounted gas lights – beautiful things of copper with cut glass shades – were still in situ above the fireplace.
There were two other rooms on the other side of that passageway; the first one we planned to make into a dining room. The one beyond that had plans of its own;
Upstairs bedrooms also had gas lights as did the crooked landing. You could almost miss the door half way along. Opening it led to a narrow staircase that wound up into the attic. Apprehensive, I opened that door, looked at those narrow stairs and took a deep breath. Up I went, jumping out of my skin when the door slammed shut behind me. The cause of this was a huge spring, The two attic bedrooms were painted a dark green. There was a funny curtained wardrobe in the corner; obviously servants weren’t meant to own too many clothes! What at first appeared to be wooden crates turned out to be water tanks, one of which was lead lined and one made from huge slabs of slate. (I’ve actually described these tankis in Blood and Broomsticks. Like Mary Jane, my professor of the paranormal, they really existed.
What was I wondered, that made the lampshade whirl around in the room at the end of the landing? The room with the high wood lined ceiling and shallow wardrobes set into the wall on either side of the fireplace? Why did I feel that there was somebody watching, though each time I turned round, there was nobody there? And how about the footsteps? And how come that things I put down in one place turned up elsewhere?
Fearful of being ridiculed, I said nothing to either my daughter or my husband. I did drop a hint to the cat, but she appeared unfazed by my comments. Fern Cottage had hidden secrets and it wasn’t long before we were sharing them.