Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

Posts tagged ‘strange’



What warrants the label of ‘strange’ for you?  Does a noise in your closet in the dead of night fill your mind with images of ghosties and ghoulies and leave you shivering under your covers, or do you fart, turn over and go back to sleep again (yeah, you know who you are)?  Are you the kind of person that drives past a dilapidated building just that little bit faster than normal, checking your rear mirror as you go in case a lost wraith is chasing after you, or do you make a mental note to have a nose around at a later date because, well, you never know what you might find.

When I encounter something that might be a bit out of the ordinary, when I hear a strange noise that I can’t place when I’m alone in the house (and like many people, I have knowing what every noise in my house is down to a fine art) or see something that I’m not sure is ‘the norm’, it feels as if reality takes a step to the side, time slows down and my brain whirrs at a hundred miles an hour as it tries to figure out, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, what just happened there?!’  I’ve always loved the paranormal, and I wonder if what I consider to be strange is the same as what people who don’t give two hoots about the World of Weird consider to be strange, or am I so used to looking out for general cosmic oddness now that I need a bigger hit of it to get the same high?

Wait, am I a weirdness junkie?



I remember reading once that a person visited a stately home and while they were minding their own business, looking at one of the centuries old portraits hanging on the wall, reality suddenly hiccupped and the person in the portrait appeared to move.  Oh, pack it in, I don’t mean the person leapt out of the frame and started chasing them around the grounds, but moved just enough for the viewer to have one of those ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, what just happened there?!’ moments.  Now that is my kind of strange…


So come on, don’t be shy, write and tell me what sort of things you have experienced that have left you thinking ‘uh… not sure that was supposed to happen… did anyone else see that?’

Big or small, we all secretly love a little bit of strangeness.

©Nicola Kirk 2015 and


I usually write about strange stuff that has happened to other people, but today I thought I’d share with you a recent experience that my husband, Anthony, and I encountered whilst innocently viewing a potential new house.  I don’t think we have experienced something quite like it before, and I pray to anything friendly listening that we never experience anything like it again…

A few weeks ago we went to look at a house we had seen on the internet.  It seemed nice enough judging by the outside photos and it was cheap enough that we could afford to gut it and do what we wanted with it.

What we weren’t quite prepared for was the internal viewing or the current owners.

Apart from the fact that there was a strange smear on the front door, which I was half convinced was a smudged bloody hand print from someone who had viewed the property before us but had failed to escape after, I was slightly concerned when the man of the house opened the door with a manic grin on his face and eyeballs that pointed in every direction but mine.

Meet the dad:

I hesitantly walked in, followed by Anthony, and of course offered to take my shoes off.  It’s only polite, isn’t it?  The dad just looked at me and grinned.  I’d only offered to take my bloody shoes off, not my top.  Looking down at the floor, which was covered with a curiously sticky wooden flooring and a rug that looked as if it had a decomposing body wrapped up in it at some point, I decided that my socks weren’t thick enough to take the abuse and I quickly moved the conversation on to something else.  The shoes stayed on.

I’ve never met a family quite like it before.  An old woman (mum) came wondering out of the downstairs loo with a shocked expression on her face and started winking at me.  Say hello to mum:

I glanced at Ants who was biting his lip, trying not to laugh.  “Ooooh, ‘ello, luv,” the old woman grinned as she shuffled out of the bathroom and quickly shut the door behind her.  Clearly whatever she had been up to needed to be beaten back with a stick before we could go in there and look around.  She kept winking at me the whole time.  I think she had a glass eye (or perhaps she had had a stroke at some point) but the constant winking because she couldn’t shut her other eye was riveting to watch and I really struggled not to stare.

Dad herded us into the front room where we found the village idiot:

The daughter:

And the sprog:

All of them were sitting in front of the TV with impressively vacant expressions.  I’m assuming the village idiot was either the son, the daughter’s boyfriend/father of the child or maybe all three.  They all seem to be related and I suspect not in completely legal ways (Incest: The Game The Whole Family Can Play).

They had what had once been a nice wooden floor throughout the house but it was now completely wrecked with strange burn marks all over it.  There were fist sized holes in the doors and the main bedroom was one of the only rooms that had a carpet, but when the dad opened the door to the room we were hit with the stench of too much air freshener and dog piss.  I kid you not, there was not one spot of that carpet that hadn’t been widdled on by something that must have been the size of a small horse.  Ants coughed a bit and then walked straight out again.  The dad was completely oblivious.

We stood in the kitchen talking and I had my hand on the worktop until I saw the state of the cooker (oh, there are no words available to describe the state of that cooker…) and then I had an overwhelming urge to run home and scrub myself all over with a brillo pad and bleach.  It really was that horrible.  The dad wouldn’t even let us look in the downstairs loo – Ants and I are assuming this is where they keep their other son chained to the toilet:

Apparently (somehow) they had already sold the house once but the buyer had seen sense at the last minute and had pulled out, so there were packed up boxes everywhere.  In one bedroom there was a hammer sitting on the side.  I tried not to look too closely at it in case I saw blood and hair stuck to the end of it.  I was trapped in the bedroom because the dad was blocking the door and Ants was on the other side of him.  I considered making frantic signs at Ants that it was time for us to leave, but I couldn’t tell where the dad’s eyes were pointing.  He could have been looking at me or… he could have been looking at the back garden, it was hard to tell.

“What’s that vent up there for?” Ants asked, pointing up at the ceiling.  “Part of the old heating system?”  The dad looked up at the vent for ages.  And I mean ages.

“Huh,” he said, “never noticed that before…  don’t know what that might be…” Images of something nasty dripping out of the vent began to manifest in my mind so I didn’t feel too rude when I practically barged the dad out of the way to get out of the Room of Death.

Finally, we were marched out to the back garden so Ants could have a look at the garage.  There were a lot of dog toys about but strangely… no dog.

“Uh… is there a dog buried out here somewhere?” Ants asked.  The dad looked at him.  “Sorry, I meant do you have a dog?” he corrected.  I had to turn away, I was beginning to giggle uncontrollably.  “It’s just that there are a lot of dog toys all over the place but…”

“Dog’s in the car,” the dad grunted meaningfully and carried on to the garage.  In the car… right.  Where else would you keep your dog?

“This is the garage,” the dad said.  “We thought about turning it into a little house but… well, we started to put some plumbing in but…”

It’s a prison, my brain shouted at me. It’s a prison!  He’s been building somewhere to lock up people he’s kidnapped for strange and nasty rituals…

“We used to foster kids, you see…” he muttered.


“You…uh… wanna come back inside the house again?” the dad asked, grinning again, one eye seemingly on me and the other on Ants.  Clever that.

“What?” Ants looked as worried as I did by now.  “Uh… no, actually, if you could just let us out the side gate, we won’t walk mud back through your house…” Like it would even notice.

We made it back to the car and there may have even been a little bit of wheel spin involved as we drove away from that place.  I was so glad when we got home, I had to restrain myself from kissing the hallway floor.

I’m just trying to remember why on earth we decided it would be a good idea to look for a new house now…


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

Weird World

I should start by saying that beginning this blog was not my idea – therefore if it all goes horribly wrong we can all point the Finger of Doom at my husband’s cousin, Katie.

Weird World has come about because last Sunday morning, whilst considering all things strange with possible paranormal undertones, I began wondering how many people in my little village of North Weald had had a paranormal or unexplainable experience but hadn’t documented it, for whatever reason.  Perhaps they were worried they would be laughed at, or maybe they didn’t see the point in making a detailed note of it – they would just tell their friends and family about it in hushed tones and that would be that.  Then I began to wonder how many people in the surrounding towns and counties, nay, the country (I was clearly feeling a little ambitious that morning), were keeping valuable information under their hats!  And I thought – this is terrible!  All this information is going undocumented.  I must do something about it.  And so here I am, a self titled paranormal researcher looking for tales of paranormal and general oddness with a few legends and myths thrown in for good measure.

My first problem was, how would I get people to tell me about their experiences?  I can’t just march up to people, stuff a dictaphone in their face and demand they tell me all.  It’s just not going to happen.  So I designed a few fliers to put up in various places (with permission, of course) and even found a website that produced nice looking but delightfully cheap business cards.

After boring my mother over the phone with my ideas of paranormal world domination, we decided the name Weird World just about summed up what  my project was going to be all about – bringing together tales of weirdness going on in the world in one place.

There are no strict parameters with regards to the subjects I’m interested in hearing about – ghost sightings, local legends, urban legends, UFO sightings, cryptozoology (don’t go running for the dictionary, I’ll do it for you: cryptozoology is the study of evidence tending to substantiate the existence of, or the search for, creatures whose reported existence is unproved, as the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness monster), experiences with Ouija boards, incredible coincidences… you get my drift.  If you have anything you would like to share, please email me at, I would be delighted to hear from you.

If I get enough information I’m planning on writing a book including some of the most interesting experiences I receive from people or places I have researched.  Fingers crossed there will be enough people out there who wish to get in touch.

I suspect the gathering of information is not going to be an easy task.  Having been into Epping and dropped into the oldest pub in the town, I was full of hopes that the landlord and staff would have numerous tales about things that pulled a pint in the night to regale me with.  Alas, when I explained what sort of information I was after, the the barmaid just gave me an incredulous look, went to find the landlord (who wouldn’t even come out of the basement to talk to me) and told me ‘he said no, probably not’.  A little depressing but not enough to stop me.

Tomorrow is another day and there are many more people out there I can pester for tales of the paranormal.


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

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