Things from the ‘other side’ seem to take an active interest in what Doreen Philps of Chigwell, Essex gets up to. One particular experience that has always haunted her happened 30 years ago:
In 1980, Doreen, her husband, Charles and their son, Stuart, who was nearly three at the time, went on holiday to Torrevieja in Spain. They were sharing a villa with another couple, Bernard and Cheryl.
Stuart had his own room next to Doreen and Charles, and on the other side was Bernard and Cheryl’s room. They had decided to leave the passage light on at night in the hope that Stuart would feel a little more secure sleeping in a strange place.
One night, Doreen awoke and got up to go to the bathroom. She went to the bedroom door but paused when she heard noises coming from the passage beyond. She glanced down and saw that the light was being blocked at the bottom of the door as if someone was walking about in the passage. She assumed that it was one of their friends, also up in the night, and decided to wait until they had gone back to their room. After what felt like an age, she could wait no longer. She opened the bedroom door a crack and peered out into the passage.
There was no one there.
She opened the door a little further and looked into the bathroom. There was no one there either.
Initially, Doreen shrugged off the strange night’s events until the following morning when Cheryl appeared for breakfast.
“You were a bit noisy last night,” Doreen smiled.
“Noisy?” Cheryl repeated, looking puzzled. “What makes you say that?”
“Well, I woke up in the night and all I could hear was you wandering up and down the passage. Couldn’t you sleep?”
“We didn’t leave our room all night,” Bernard said. “Actually, we thought it was you.” Doreen shivered and looked to her husband.
“Don’t look at me,” Charles muttered into his coffee mug. “I was asleep.”
Then Stuart piped up.
“Who was in my last night?” he asked, innocently.
“In your room?” Doreen frowned. “When? No one went into your room last night.” She looked around the table in case it had been one of the others but they all looked just as confused as she was.
“There was a man in my room last night,” Stuart insisted. His parents went cold at the thought that someone might have broken in to the villa while they were sleeping.
“A man in your room?” Charles asked. “Are you sure? You must have been dreaming.”
“No, I saw him. He was old. He stood at the end of my bed. But I wasn’t scared. I liked him.” The adults looked at each other blankly but Stuart, despite being so young, was quite adamant about what he had seen. From that evening on, all windows and doors were double checked before going to bed but Doreen couldn’t quite shake the feeling that whatever had visited them in the small hours had not been of this world.
Who, or what, was it that had decided to pay the young family and their friends a visit that night at the villa?
©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010