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Oppressive or friendly???



When we moved into our house last year, my niece was staying with us. The house is a stone cottage dating back about 100 years. As soon as we moved in, my niece started complaining about the feeling that something was around, and she didn't feel comfortable in the house. She said she felt like someone was watching her constantly and in the end, she moved out.
Soon after she left, I started feeling this presence in the house, but it was a happy and protective feeling, totally different from what my niece felt.
Even now when she comes to visit, she feels (in her own words) "The house doesn't like me!"
My husband and son don't seem to get any feeling about the house at all and my experiences are totally different from those of my niece.
By the way, she's a lovely girl and I don't understand why she feels unwelcome in such a welcoming house.
Fascinating story. Have you done any research into the history of the place? The local library is the place to start - ask what local history resources they have, like old maps, gazeteers, local papers on microfilm, etc. From there you might want to go on to the county Records Office.

I'm sure you'll find a load of fascinating stuff about your area, even if none of it is particularly relevent to your house!
During a particuarly... traumatic stage in my life I took refuge in an Inn which, lets say, had a certain reputation. Safe it to say that a significant number of its guests are "biologically challenged".

Upon my arrival the landlady introduced me to the Inn and asked its permission for me to move in. Once given I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. This sense remained as long as I was on the property but the ''crushing" weight of the world returned whenever I left.

The little research I was able to do revealed not only the existance of a natural spring beside the car park but also that the main structure was built over a sealed well. Further reseach led me to conclude that the well was something I call a "Spirit Well"... a "Window to the Otherside" as it were. I also discovered, through my own 'investigation' that the car park and building were different entities and that the former was the far nicer.

After six months my trauma had passed, I had lost a lot of flab and built up some muscle. At this point I began to get the sense that the Inn no longer wanted me around... so I moved out. All in all I get the sense that the Inn go far more out of the arrangement than I did. But boy did I come away with a lot of fortean stories to tell. Mayby I'll tell you about the Horseman, Burning Bones, the evil clown and what dwelled in the well, someday... mayby.

Niles, you're a terrible tease.

Now, tell these stories, else there's going to be trouble :D
Niles, this sounds fascinating. Do go on...
Where is this inn?
The Horseman, The Well Dwelller and other stories, Part 1

Ow! Ow! Ow! Stop twisting my arm...

Okay, the Inn in question is Crawley Inn (formerly the New Inn) in Crawley nr. Witney, Oxfordshire. Last time I was there (a couple of years ago for a visit) it was still being run by the landlandy during my far more impressional stay, Danu Skydancer. It's one of the few (neo)Pagan - Roleplayers - Reenactors Pubs in the country.

Anyway (thinking back) the tale as it was told to me was that the Inn was built on a settlement site streatching back centuries (if not millennia), and was built above an old well and beside a natural spring (both having ritual significance). The site had been an inn during most of recorded history and an earlier structure had been burnt down during the Civil War, claiming a few victims. (Hence the New Inn)

My understanding is that it had, at some point, been occupied by a group of ritual magicians (possibly Rosicrucians) who had used the site's supernatural characteristics to summon forth creatures from [reverb]Beyond[/reverb].

The well, beneath the concrete floor of the banquet hall, was 'haunted' by some sort of Ultraterrestrial entity, what I like to refer to as a Cthuloid. Many attempts had been made to remove it but with no success (although a circle of Wiccans once got it half way out only to lose it... ) One evening, while a banquet was in full swing downstairs a friend of mine managed to cut himself on a coke can sufficently to draw blood. Not wanting to spill his blood onto the structre (since supersticion had it that his spirit would be bound to the place) he was reluctant to allow any trace remain within. So I took both can and the tissues used to stanch the wound out to the rubbish, which was in the carpark.

As I walked around the building towards the rubbish something lept from a corner and gave chase. The skeletal figure, wearing only rotting waterlogged trousers and carrying a rusted sword in one hand, chased me from the Inn across the country road which bisects the site and into the carpark. As I ran I used the visualisation techniques I had been taught during my stay to create a defender, a psychic projection of an armoured knight to slow the entity which, for some reason, I dubbed The Horseman. Without a pause The Horseman tore through my knight and kept up it's pursuit. I hurled the can and tissue into the rubbish as I passed and fled down into the field from where the Sping issued. The moment I crossed the boundry I felt my terror lift. Turning I saw The Horseman standing at the field boundry, seemingly unable to cross. Seemingly drawing strength from the place in which I stood I hurled taunts and insults at it before it faded from view.

I waited a few minutes before leaving the field and returning to the Inn. I returned up stairs only to have Danu knock on the door half way through my recounting the events to my friends. Apparently a significant number of the revellers in the banqueting hall had seen or felt something come out of the centre of the room and dash across to the corner from which The Horseman had appeared to me. At that time Danu said she had felt that the Cuthuloid rise to just below the top of the well, and came to the conclusion that I had somehow broken whatever seal kept it in place by "calling up" (her term) The Horseman.

To be continued...

You're a hard man, Niles Calder, to leave us dangling so. C'mon. I'm not a patient woman. I hate episodes!:D

Interesting that the 'Horseman' couldn't cross the boundary. Was there running water around the boundary itself? Only cus I'm thinking of the old 'Tam o'Shanter' method of getting rid of ghoulies. There sounds like quite a mixture of good and evil around that place.

But don't stop there! These are things that must be known!!!
The Horseman, The Well Dwelller and other stories, Part 2

Okay Carol, don't get yer doobries in a twist! ;)

After the incident with the Horseman I seemed to become quite the focus of activity of unusual activity within the Inn. Not only was there the ghost of an elderly gentleman who had yet to die haunting the place (he had been born there and intended to die there...) but also victims of the fire and the various (and apparently numerous) acts of violence that abounded in its history. (including a typical White Lady) There were even ghost TREES that could be seen on it's grounds by a few people (myself included at this point). The inn site is well within the ancient boundry of the infamous Wytchwood (immortalised as Ryhope Wood in Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood stories) and it seems the wood doesn't give up its territory...

Anyway one night I was awoken by a flickering light in the corner of my room, looking up from my pillow I saw flames licking up the walls. This shocked me that I sat bolt upright and wide awake, but my call of alarm was silenced, before it had begun, by what I saw. Crouched within the flames, actually seeming to be the source of them, was another skeletal figure; it's arms wrapped around it's legs and it's knees at it's chin. As I sat upright it turned and grinned at me, pure malice radiating out from it. I sat there paralysed with fear, eyes locked with it's gaping sockets for several minutes (and I tell you the memory is sending shivers down my spine even now) before having enough wits to hunker down beneath my covers and hope that I was having a nightmare for the first time in a decade. As I lay there, the light from the flames flickering through the duvet, I realised that I could feel no heat radiating from it, only hatred and, well, EVIL. I don't know how long this continued, hours mayby, but eventually I drifted back off to sleep (the movie Aliens scares me to sleep also). When I awoke the following morning I search the room where I had seen it the following night but no sign of it nor of any burning.

I asked Danu about it that morning and she told me that it, Burning Bones, had been seen previously by residents but only infrequently. It had always been restricted to another room, where a seance had revealed that it had been summoned and bound there by the [Rosicrucians] I mentioned in my previous post. My room shared a wall with it's prior home and this had been the wall which it had appeared beside. Danu also told be that it wasn't a ghost, as such, but more of an elemental force. Danu revealed that I was strongly associated with Elemental Water (with three of my names being associted with water, this may not be too surprising). The implication that there may be a supernatural animosity between it (being Fire) and me. Danu's suggestion was for me to bring huge buckets of water up from the spring to water the plants in beer garden, to help me form "a stronger bond between [me] and [my] natural element"...

Burning Bones appeared to me twice more, in exactly the same situation, but on the third appearance I focused on forcing it back through the wall and it never returned to bother me at least. Not that it mattered, a few weeks later I was moved to another room where I had problems with another summoned entity.

During this time I tricked the Horseman onto entering the field and I was thus able to lead it through to its final rest.

The former occupants had been a couple. He was a relativly accomplished new-age artist and she a bundle of neurosies (exactly the sort of people the Inn attracts). They had redecorated the room and he had painted, on one wall, a clown to cheer and "protect" them. Well when I moved in I had instant troubles. His natural talents and bound some sort of Guardian Spirit into the image of the clown. Lacking any kind of intellect it only recognised that I wasn't one of the people it had to protect, nor one of their friends, so it wanted me out. Now I did get nightmares, dreams of being pursued by this sinister clown figure. The couple wouldn't belive that "a painting" could be a problem and Danu told me to sort out my own problems. So I did. I got some paint and blinded the image by painting out it's eyes. I then painted "mind control" circuits with silver paint all over it's face before repainting the eyes with the same paint. Now it saw only what I wanted it to see and acted only in ways I wanted it. It's thoughts were now mine. To top it off I moved the wardrobe in front of it (so I wouldn't have to look at it's ugly mug) and left it there.

Time passed and I let some loverly young ladies, up for a banquet, spend the night in the room (not telling them about the clown) while I was away for the weekend. They thanked me, but said that they felt very self-concious while they were there, like someone was watching them. Sometime later, while I was away being interviewed for my university place, Danu had her Wiccan friends around again and they took the opportunity of a favourable planetary conjunction to get rid of the Well Dweller as well as any malign spirits. I think Burning Bones remained but the poor clown (and another entity I was blamed for) were kicked out.

I hindsight it perhaps was not the best time of my life, but certainly the most interesting. Upon returning for the first time after university a favoured item, a bronze glazed ceramic tankard in a leather cup mysteriously detached itself from my belt and smashed on the road outside... The Inn was not pleased to see me (and if I'm going back again after telling you all this, I want some backup...)

So there you go, the whole sordid tale, well the key bits anyway. I'll answer you questions later, I need a drink...

Niles "Neck Romancer" Calder,
Finding interesting uses for ESP since 1995...