Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Haunted House?

The New Office
We’ve now been in our new Italian house for three full days. We’ve finally managed to find out how (almost) everything works. The large, rickety wooden bedstead which creaked and groaned at every movement has been taken apart and stowed in the shed. For the moment we’re sleeping on the floor. And we’ve managed to organise the box-room into an office, using the dining table, a recycled set of shelves and the top of a gigantic dresser that used to dominate the sitting/dining room.


All so far blissfully going to plan. But on our second night here, something very odd happened. Neil, who is as down-to-earth a bloke as you can find, had a very strange and disturbing dream, which he was convinced at the time was not a dream.
It was a hot, thundery night and so we went to sleep with the electric fan on. Somewhere in the middle of the night the temperature dropped and I woke up cold, but didn’t want to get up and switch it off because that would have woken Neil who was still peacefully asleep. Then, suddenly, he called out really loudly - ‘Hoy! Hoy!’ and sat up in bed.
I said ‘what’s the matter?’ And he shouted ‘Get out! Get out!’
I leapt out of bed thinking, ‘Is there a fire? A rat in the room?’ Neil carried on shouting - switching the bedside lamp on so violently it fell off the table and shattered on the floor.
‘What’s the matter?’ I was by now quite terrified. ‘What’s happened?’
‘There are people in the house!’ Neil got up and began to run out into the hallway. ‘Didn’t you see them? Two men, one of them had a lighted cigarette. They were just coming in through the doorway.’
I’d seen no one, but it took some time - and a complete tour of the house - to convince Neil, who was totally spooked. He had obviously had a very vivid, real dream, in which he was able to call out, smash a lamp, and sit up in bed. Either that or the house is haunted!
I’m not a great believer in ghosts, but we are quite close to Santa Anna, in the heart of Partisan country, where terrible things did happen and whole villages were massacred in these hills. Who knows what echoes of the past remain.
Neil was so spooked by it we went to sleep the following night with the hall light on and the bedroom door locked, but so far everything has remained peaceful.  Perhaps this is a warning to reduce the consumption of  local wine and pecorino cheese just before bedtime!

2 comments:

  1. Don't blame the cheese! It couldn't be the pecorino!

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  2. It could be a case of "heaven and earth" and "philosophy", but I also think big life changes and new environments often generate unease that can manifest in vivid and disturbing dreams. I wouldn't lay off the wine and pecorino just yet.

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