The Witches of Liverpool
It has been documented that poltergeist activity often centers around girls and young women. For some reason, their particular energy stimulates this psychic phenomenon. And when a houseful of women are gathered, it’s possible that their combined energy can produce some remarkable poltergeist psychokinesis. At least, that’s one theory. Or was it some kind of spirit activity that plagued Jennifer, her two sisters, and their mother? This is Jennifer’s story.
My father and grandfather both died in 1967 when I was four years old, leaving my mum with three girls under 13 to raise. We had a traditional residual haunting by my grandfather for many years after that, so I grew up in a “haunted house” in suburban Liverpool, NSW, Australia. We had both full-bodied apparitions and noises as experienced by us, friends, and neighbours (so we didn’t feel too crazy!), but it wasn’t until all of us girls had matured and I finally entered my teen years that we then moved into poltergeist activity as well.
My sisters and I now all live in different states, but I’ve concluded that we’re a bit like the Witches of Eastwick, and every time we three live under the same roof, trouble follows. The haunting peaked when we were younger, but when my much older sisters returned home from failed marriages and we were all together again… we weren’t disappointed. Furniture moved rearranged itself and things fell without cause – the “usual” poltergeist activity.
THE FIRST ATTACK: SURROUNDING THE HOUSE
This activity peaked one night in 1977 when my eldest sister and my mum stayed up late to have a talk. Our house was built up high and ended in full-length French windows that overlooked the yard. One of the windows was a door that led to some steps down into the yard. As they sat at the dining room table talking, my elder sister, Wendy, heard something at the glass. Mum thought it may have been moths or something hitting the glass, so she drew the curtains.
Not long after that there was a loud bang. They got up and opened the curtains and had a look around, but there wasn’t anything to be seen. When they sat back down, there were more bangs on the glass and Mum told Wendy it was just kids and to ignore it. Wendy begged Mum to call her boyfriend to come over (we were a house full of women and children), but Mum looked at the bottle of whisky they’d been drinking and thought he’d make fun of them for being drunk! So she refused.
The bangs got worse and worse until they stopped, suddenly. Then there was noise in the driveway that ran down the side of the house. My mother described it as a swoosh, like when you flick a long baton or cane rod through the air, and then an impact on the foundations of the house. The women could feel the floor shake every time it hit. Mum said it was heavy like a chain being swung through the air. It passed around a heavily gated corner without pause and started along the brick work under the French windows. Neither dared look through the curtains. Mum climbed in the kitchen sink trying to look down through the window at what was going on, but it was too dark. The sound travelled along the back of the house, even changing tone when it moved from the brickwork of the foundation to the cement steps of the laundry door. They could hear it going toward the far end of the house.
All Mum could think was, “I cannot let this go all the way around the house.” So she ran out the front door, across the front lawn, and down the other side of the house to meet it. Our front lawn has prickles and Mum didn’t feel any of them in her bare feet! But now Wendy was screaming, so Mum ran back in again. Wendy was now across the other side of the house on the lounge, absolutely terrified. She told Mum that as soon as she left, the noise had doubled back and reasserted its attentions at the windows. Then, just as mysteriously as it had started, it stopped.
In the morning, there was dirt caking the back of the house. That was what had been hitting the house, but there was no source in our yard or neighbouring yards for this particular kind of caked clay dirt.
Little did we know this was only the first of three nights of this kind of activity.
THE SECOND ATTACK: TRYING TO GET IN
The second event, a week later, took place when I was alone in the house. I had just got out of the shower when I heard the first bang. I was now 14 and I knew what it was. The poltergeist had returned. I made sure the curtains were closed and the back doors were locked; I tried to turn the TV up, but this was just too loud. I really started to get distressed and upset, and I started to pray.
Suddenly the phone rang. Uncharacteristically, Mum had felt like checking up on me, and I told her the ghost was there and to get home ASAP! As I hung up, my middle sister, Kerry, also had the same intuition to call, and I told her the same. Kerry got home first and put me to bed. The commotion was still going on in the backyard when my sister ran out and started abusing “it”. I was just worried that the neighbours would complain about the bad language!
Then I heard something at my bedroom window… trying to get in! It sounded like scratching and seemed that it was trying to open the wooden sashes. I couldn’t believe it and called to my sister. At the time she told me nothing was there and to calm down. It took her another 15 years for her to admit there was something at my window. She could see it, but she couldn’t tell that to a hysterical 14-year-old girl at the time.
Soon my Mum and her boyfriend were also home, the attack had stopped, and we all settled down.
THE THIRD ATTACK: OUT OF THE DARKNESS
A week later, we were all together watching TV when we heard the first bang. We waited for Mum’s boyfriend to react (because he thought we were a little crazy), so we felt a bit better when he heard it too. This time, however, there was safety in numbers and we weren’t afraid, just intrigued.
We all went down the stairs and searched the yard, though my two dogs snarled and barked at the top of the steps and refused to enter the yard. We all came back in the house and…bang! This activity was getting a bit boring now, and only Kerry and I stayed to watch it; everyone else had gone back to watching TV.
I noted that the dirt would appear out of the darkness into the light generated by the house. Even though our house was built up, the dirt came in a straight line, which seemed odd: for kids to be able to throw dirt in a straight line at these windows, they would have had to be 20 feet off the ground somewhere directly in line with these windows! As the dirt wasn’t the kind from ours or neighbouring yards, if it was kids, they were bringing their own dirt with them!
I knew the dogs in the neighbouring yards were outdoor dogs, and not particularly nice, and I certainly wouldn’t have been going through there in the dark. Also, when the dirt was peaking, it was hitting every second or two at times. How fast were these “kids”?
During an experiment (which scared my mother to half to death!) I had proved it was possible to throw dirt at the window, but for any accuracy you had to be close enough to be seen in the backyard lights, and we couldn’t see anyone within throwing distance because the area was illuminated.
Kerry and I pulled the curtains and went back to watching TV as well. The “thing” never came back… but that was the only time I was really scared of our ghost.