Monday, 19 October 2009

The ghost in my bathroom

Haley Joel Osment famously saw dead people. I HEAR them. It started as a child. I lived in a large Victorian house with my mother. One day, when we were alone together in the sitting room we heard a woman singing. But the sound came from WITHIN the living room itself. My mother asked if I could hear the woman and I nodded. On another occasion, my mother had already retired for the night whilst I stayed up to watch a Shakespearean play. When it had finished I went downstairs to the bathroom. As I did so I had to pass a set of empty unfurnished rooms. The doors were wide open and I could clearly hear a group of people talking and laughing from within, despite the street lights showing there was no-one or anything in there. I raced back to my bedroom and locked the door. As I was often alone in that house it was a tacit agreement that we never discussed what had happened.

I have heard voices since but put it down to my imagination until one day I found I had recorded a “ghost” voice. I now live on the top floor of a house built in the 1850s. At the time, the flat below me was empty and had been so for some time. Consequently no–one else had call to be in my part of the house. I often use my enclosed bathroom for taking pictures and film because of the lighting. Having been out for the day, I came home and started filming in the bathroom. I then went to my pc to playback the film. 14 seconds into the video I pan around the bathroom. It is empty other than for me. The camera is on my face when a woman’s voice asks somewhat tentatively for Laura. It is as if she has come back to the house unexpectedly and, hearing noises, wonders aloud whether it is Laura. As she speaks the expression on my face does not change. I had not heard her. Stunned, I tried to recreate the sound by standing outside my bathroom with the door shut and calling for Laura. My voice is not heard over the noisy extractor fan. I have showed the video to friends and made them listen to the soundtrack alone to confirm that we were hearing the same thing. I do not know who Laura or her friend are or were. Is she a ghost from the past or I am the ghost in her future?

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