Celluloid Diaries: The truth about me and ghosts

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The truth about me and ghosts

 creepy halloween pumpkins

Today author Annalisa Crawford has an exciting true ghost story to share with us! You might remember that I reviewed (and adored) Annalisa's short story collection That Sadie Thing last June for Reading / Watching / Listening To.... Now she has just released a new book, Our Beautiful Child, and it promises to be just as brilliant.


I have a habit of putting myself into my work – a characteristic, a thought I once had, a conversation been involved in. In the title story of my collection, Our Beautiful Child, I put in a conversation I would like to have, based on real events. I would love to hear if you have an alternative explanation!

When I was about 18 months old, we moved into a new house, brand new and built on the outskirts of the city. I don’t know when it started, but until the age of about three I was a prolific sleepwalker. (I’ve done it a couple of times as an adult too – very embarrassing!)

According to my mother, I used to turn on all the lights, and move our large leather settee and the TV around the living room. I’m not so sure it was me.

And here is my evidence:

  • I was a tiny child – I don’t think I’d have been able to reach the light switches
  • Our TV at the time was on a pedestal without wheels – it would have been much more likely to fall over than move, if I tried to push it. (Ahem, I actually discovered this when I was about four and a half!)
  • Our living room was small, without much space to manoeuvre large objects like settees – indeed I have memories of my parents struggling to do it between them

Okay, I realise my evidence isn’t extensive. But I have circumstantial evidence too!

  • The row of houses that we belonged to had a hedge running along the back of all the gardens – but in our garden, the hedge was dead and never grew back 
  • My grandmother ‘never felt settled’ in the house – her own words! 
  • Years later, when I was at school, there was a rumour that the school – which was on the other side of the dead hedge – was built on a graveyard. True story! (Okay, the words might have been Indian graveyard which gives it a little less credibility in England...) 

So it’s over to you, did I play with ghosts when I was a child, or was I actually just very strong and stretchy?

I’d love to hear your ghost stories too – I’ve exhausted the internet, and need new ones!


Our Beautiful Child

“The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”

… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.

People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.

Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who threatens to ruin everything.

Three women. Three stories. One pub.

Available at:


  1. ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰

    MERCI Vanessa ! Tu sais je crois aux fantômes alors ta publication me touche beaucoup !!!


    et bonne journée !!!

  2. Thanks for sharing my ghost story today, Vanessa - I'm looking forward to hearing what people have to say about it :-)

  3. Hi Vanessa! Great to read this spooky tale Annalisa. I'm inclined to believe you were playing with ghosts. Logistically it seems unlikely you could have moved furniture so young. Unless you had someone else coming into the house to do it for some odd reason.

    I have seen several ghosts throughout my life, mostly during my childhood, one in my early twenties, more n my mid twenties, and a few during the past ten years. The first ones I recall seeing was my grandad walking Bob, our dog, across the road from my nan's house. He waved and grinned, Bob barked, tail wagging. It was a midsummer sunny day and I was around nine years old. I called my mum and nan out of the house to see them too, terribly excited because granddad was recently dead and our dog Bob had been missing for around eight months. Mum shouted at me for being insensitive to my grieving nan. I couldn't understand how they couldn't see them, and why they weren't as happy I was. Until I looked back and found that my ghosts were gone.


    1. How lovely that you saw them both again, Shah. Sometimes kids can see a lot more than adults.

  4. Well, at least the ghosts played with you. ;)

  5. I love hearing/reading stories like that. Makes the imagination run wild.

  6. I don't believe I ever moved any heavy objects while sleepwalking. I vote for ghosts.

    1. I remember once waking up during a sleepwalk, and all I'd managed to do was take all the coats off the coat hooks :-)

  7. "Strong and Stretchy" - The image makes me smile.

    I think it could've been ghosts.

  8. EEEK! Ghosts scare the crap outta me! I got nothing to add! BOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  9. My aunt's house in Michigan has belonged to someone in my family for over 100 years now and there are definitely spirits in there, friendly, but still unsettling. I don't know if I've ever seen a ghost, but I did see an angel!! You're more than welcome to read the story here: http://gwengardner.blogspot.com/2013/01/do-you-believe-what-you-write.html

    1. I'm fascinated by angels too, thanks for the link, I'll head over now.

  10. I like a nice ghost story. I am not sure about how I would feel sensing them in person though.

    1. Part of me is sad I don't fully remember. The other half is pretty glad :-)

  11. Spooky. I don' think I would've lived there for long. Interesting post. I haven't detected any ghostly activity around me.

    1. We were there for 9 years in total. I think Mum convinced herself it was me, so it didn't bother her too much.

  12. You were tiny? There we go. It was you all along. I've always been tiny. It's us little ones that are bursting with incomprehensible wit, strength and creativity. No need for ghostly assistance when you're small but mighty. Smiles.

    Thanks, Vanessa and Annalisa. Have a great weekend.

  13. Telekinesis, perhaps? I like the "small but mighty" explanation, too. No ghosts where I grew up. We had demons.

    1. Telekinesis is an interesting theory - I'd never considered that. Demons sound worrying!

  14. I believe and I love your story! And, the book sounds amazing!
    I know the scariest thing that ever happened to me, was an out of body experience. I was 13, sleeping in bed and my cat was with me. I started to float up. I was looking down at my body. My cat started hissing at me. I said, Ginger it's me. I got scared and went right back into my body.
    I've also had ghosts visit me in my old house. One part of our house was from the 1800's and my bedroom was in the old part.

    1. Oooh, that's a chilling story. I bet sleepovers were fun in your 1800s bedroom!!

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