The paranormal and supernatural have always been present in my life. I’d even go so far as to say that I’m a bit of a lightening rod for it. A number of things have happened through out my life that confirms the existence of an afterlife for me. Such as a Television I inherited from my Grandmother turning on every night at the exact time her favourite soap opera would start. The presence my cousins, brother and I felt passing us on the stairs shortly before the front door (directly at the bottom of the stairs) slammed violently shut on the day my Nana re-married. I remember us all looking at each other and being convinced that the presence felt like our Grampi who had died a few years before. And being followed for a number of years by a shadow person... which perhaps is a story for another time.
The story I’d like to tell today is something that happened to me when I was in primary school. A little background first - I live in the South West of England in a small village outside of Bristol called Puxton. The village is so small that it doesn’t have a school, shop, or a community centre. It’s just a church and bench on the village green. So my brother and I want to a school in the neighbouring village. The school was built in the 13th Century and is called Saint Anne’s. When my brother and I started at St. Anne’s there were only 40 students in the entire school. The main building of the school had 2 levels the ground floor had the toilets, main hall, library, office, and staff room. The second floor had a music/reading room, a landing and 2 storerooms. The classrooms where in cabins built in front and behind the main stone building.
I don’t know if it’s the same in the States but when I went to school (admittedly this was sometime ago) English schools brought the exercise books for the students to do their work in. At primary school you mostly left them in your drawer at the end of the day. In secondary school you took them home with you and if you were really cool you’d cover them in wrapping paper or newspaper to show off your individuality. What can I say? Us Brits know how to roll!
One day when I was 8 or 9 I was in class and reached the end of my exercise book. I remember it was an orange maths book that I needed. I put up my hand and asked if I could go and get a new one. My teacher asked if anyone else needed a book and few of my classmates hands shot up. So with instructions to get 5 books I went off to the main building. I remember it being empty because everyone was in class. I’m sure it wouldn’t be allowed now but back then one of the entrances to the main building was through the boys toilets. I used this entrance, despite being a girl, headed through the main hall, passed the school office and up the stairs. As I went to the storeroom I hear voices coming from the reading/music room. I didn’t think much of it as the room was often in use.
The 2 storerooms were usually unlocked. The first was like a little store with shelves full of stationary to allow you to easily select what you needed. I went into the room and looked for the orange covered maths books. I can’t remember if there wasn’t enough or if there weren’t any at all but I needed to access the second storeroom to get what I needed. The second storeroom was filled with boxes of stationary. It was where new deliveries where dumped until there were room on the shelves for the boxes contents. Being a small child it wasn’t really practical for me to go moving heavy boxes around to find what I needed. I clearly needed an adults help so I crossed the landing and knocked on the reading/music rooms door. Having heard voices earlier I knew that there would be an adult in the room who could grab the box I needed.
Again I heard voices from within the room. I couldn’t make out what they said so I tried the door thinking that I might have been asked to enter the room. But the door was locked. This was unusual because when the room was in use there would be an adult with 1 or 2 children, so locking the door would have been a questionable move for any adult to make. I frowned, even at 8 I knew it was weird but I went down the stairs to the office instead. The receptionist at time was the mother of one of my classmates. Let’s called her Mrs. B.
Mrs. B was sat at her desk doing some paperwork when I interrupted her. “My teacher sent me for some maths books but there aren’t any there” I told her.
“Oh, there’ll be some in the other storeroom. Let’s go get them” she said. On our way up the stairs I told her I was sorry for bothering her but the people in the reading/music room wouldn’t help me.
“There’s no one in there today” she replied, “I have the keys here.”
“Oh... I thought I heard voices” I said sheepishly.
Mrs. B found the box with the maths books and opened it for me, “put some on the shelf for the next student who needs them” she instructed me.
So I grabbed what I needed and filled up the empty space on the shelf. When I was done I exited the storeroom to find Mrs. B stood on the landing in front of the reading/music room door.
“I’m done”, I told her.
“Okay, go back to class I’ll sort the box out” she said without looking at me. So off I went back to class thinking nothing more of it having been convinced by Mrs. B that the voices were my over active imagination. I grew up in a living where the highlight of the day was walking a letter to the post box for my Mum, so yeah I had an overactive imagination.
Anyway the next day I jumped off the school bus (which literally picked up and dropped off the entire school) and wandered into the playground to find a circle of kids all gathered around Matt – Mrs. B’s oldest son. He was my age.
“Hey!” He waved me over.
“Hi” I must’ve said.
“What happened yesterday?” He asked excitedly.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“When you went to get the books?”
“Oh, I had to get your Mum to help me?” I’d almost forgotten about the voices.
“Who was in the reading room?” He pushed.
“No one, I thought there was but I was wrong”
He shook his head, “my mum said that when she was waiting for you to get the books she heard voices too.”
“Oh?” I asked.
“Yeah, so after you left she put her ear to the door and definitely heard someone talking. Which she thought was weird because the keys for the door were in her desk. So she knocked on the door and the voices got louder but no one answered the door. Then she knocked again and someone on the room knocked back! Mum tried the door but it was locked so she went and got the keys from her desk and when she opened the door there was no one there!” He exclaimed.
Now I can’t claim to know who or what was in the room that whispered loudly and knocked on the door but I did believe Matt when he told what his mother saw (or didn’t see) and heard. I know that some of you who are listening to this might assume that whoever was in the room left and locked the door behind them while Mrs. B was getting the keys from her desk. But the problem with that theory is that the school was so small that there really wasn’t any point in having multiple sets for keys so as a result there was only one set for the upstairs rooms and they were kept in Mrs. B’s desk.