I was once asked if the Christmas and New Year period was a good time to see ghosts.
I replied that the spirits of our loved ones are around us all year round, when they wish to be, but at Christmastime, when our thoughts turn to family, especially those no longer with us, then it is possible that they might draw that little bit closer, and make their presence felt, when they sense us thinking about them.
This final story for advent, before the big day itself, is inspired by and dedicated to all those lovely people who have, over the years, invited us into their homes to help solve their spooky paranormal problems.
On the whole, we find that the majority of them are caused by deceased family members, who just want to make their presence felt and to basically say hello!
We always leave the household feeling happier than before we arrived... this one is for you.
Merry Christmas from the Ghostbusters (Torbay branch)
It was Christmas Eve, and at Ghostbusters (Torbay branch) headquarters, Dawn and Kev had drawn the short straw, giving them the Christmas shift, manning the phones over the holiday period.
Christmas was a notoriously busy time for the public to report odd and spooky activity, and TIP prided itself in being available 24/7 all year round! Dawn and Kev were relatively new to the group, only recently having moved permanently to their little cottage in Brixham.
Prior to that only being able to visit now and again, when their busy lives in London allowed, so they were only too happy to do their bit to help out now.
They, like most of the group, had a long-standing interest in all things weird and wonderful, having spent many a night in an allegedly haunted hotel room!
When they were able to attend the meetings, they loved to hear all about the group’s exploits over the years, as well as the debriefings from the investigations they were able to take part in themselves, and the year just gone had been a particularly busy one for the group.
So, as they settled down for their shift, waiting for the phone to ring, an email to arrive or a text to ping, in the suitably decorated office festooned with trimmings and a brightly lit tree - at least someone at TIP was well into Christmas - they reflected on the year just gone.
‘That was an odd one,” said Kev, “the woman who locked herself in her bedroom because she could hear a bowling ball coming down her hallway!”
“It had a happy ending,” replied Dawn, “she took the lock off when the guys explained to her that it was her mother paying her a visit. Apparently, she used to walk with a stick, the sound she could hear was the walking stick striking the wooden flooring as she came along the passageway, just as it would have done whenever she visited the house when she was alive!”
"Nice one!” said Kev. “David always says what a humbling feeling it is being invited into someone’s home, when they feel they are being terrorised by something they can’t see or explain, and then reducing them to tears on their own sofa when you explain that it’s a relative or someone close to them that is just trying to make their presence felt in the only way they can, now they are dead!”
“Yes, but once or twice it’s been people that the person doesn’t really want to be reminded of!” reminded Dawn.
“How about the time they met those kids who put up their hands to ask a question in their own home,” Kev said, taking another bite of mince pie, “just like they were at school!”
He was pleased that the office was well stocked with Christmas goodies and treats to keep them going over the next few days!
“I think that’s one of the weirdest and spookiest coincidences I’ve ever heard,” mused Dawn.
“How on earth did that guy who died in a motorbike accident manage to get his friends to contact David, all those years later, just so he could get a message passed on to them?”
“That’s well spooky!” said Kev.
“It’s the little one I feel sorry for! Waking up in the night thinking it was Darth Vader breathing over him! He must have been scared to death! You would never have thought that it would have been a ghost in biker’s leathers and helmet... well done to Maia for sussing that one out!” congratulated Dawn.
After another mince pie, Kev continued: “I wish I’d been with them when they saw those lights on the battlefield at Sedgemoor the other year...that must have been an amazing sight, seeing all those cannons and muskets firing. Weird how they never heard anything.”
Kev was well into his historical re-enactments, so this was right up his street.
“Don’t worry. They’ve got some more cases already to investigate next year, including a spooky wood! I’m sure we will be able to join in, now we are locals,” Dawn reassured him.
Just then, there was a “ping!” as a text message landed.
“I’ve lost the Christmas spirit! Please help me to find it!” read out Kev. “Joker!” said Dawn.
Then she noticed an email had arrived. “Here’s another! This guy reckons there’s a big fat man in red running around his garden and his marshmallows are coming to life!”
Kev laughed. “File them in the vivid imagination folder!” he suggested.
Noticing it had just turned midnight, he gave his partner a kiss on the cheek, “Merry Christmas, Dawn!”
“Merry Christmas, Kev!” she replied, “And a merry Christmas to all members of TIP and our followers!”
They toasted in the start of another Christmas morning with their favourite tipples, and continued their Christmas vigil.
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