Newfoundland unexplained -
Picture an old white house at the end of a dirt lane, a house which has been vacant for years, with weeds growing up to hide it from view. Add in a rocking chair that moves of its own accord, and it sounds like the setting of a Holywood horror film.
In reality, it's the setting of a very real Newfoundland ghost story, one complete with the shadowy figure of an elderly man, strange noises and mysterious lights.
"Lynn" grew up in the Conception Bay community of Clarke's Beach, just south of Bay Roberts. A dark-haired woman in her late thirties, Lynn describes the house as she remembers it from the 1980s.
"The house was on a big piece of land, far off Glam Road. It had a dirt driveway. If you picture a dirt driveway with grass growing up in the centre of it, it was like that. The front of it was all overgrown; it wasn't manicured or anything.
"It was an older house, a much older house," Lynn recalls. "The house was white. It was two storeys, kind of like a saltbox. It was very white; I remember it was painted white inside and outside. There was a kitchen and living room downstairs, and bedrooms upstairs, and the bunk beds were built into the wall. The beds had feather mattresses still."
Lynn's first experiences with the old white house came when her next-door neighbours, including a boy her own age, moved into the property.
"People I knew moved into it, a woman and her son," she says. "They moved from where they lived up into this house. It was up for rent."
Being friends with the boy, Lynn was invited to spend the night in the old house.
"I slept over there a couple of times," she says, "and you used to hear people walking up the stairs. You would hear cupboard doors opening and closing. There was a rocking chair at the top of the landing that used to rock back and forth.
"Those are the only things I remember happening," she says, "but the guy that lived there, the young fellow, he said that he saw a man at the top of the stairs. He was just there. He was an old man."
In the end, the woman and her son left the house altogether.
"They just moved," says Lynn.
After the family left, the house stayed vacant for a number of years. Left alone, unoccupied, the reputation of the residence as a haunted house grew. Eerie rumours began to float around Clarke's Beach that some sort of presence was lingering in the old building.
"Sometimes people would say, when they were going for a walk at night, or if they were out late, they would see lights on in the house when people weren't living there anymore," explains Lynn.
"Sometimes it was young kids, you know, who said they'd been biking by, and they saw a light on, but they could have just been acting up," she says. "Or people would say, so-and-so saw lights on in that house, upstairs, again."
Many years have passed since that time, but Lynn still has memories of that house, and the stories of it being haunted have persisted to this day.
"I kind of liked the house in the daytime, but in the night time it felt tight, it felt small," Lynn remembers. "It didn't feel right."
If you have heard this story before, if you know something of the history of that old house off Glam Road in Clarke's Beach, or better yet, if you were one of those neighbours who saw lights in the upstairs while walking by, I would love to hear from you.
You can share your memories with me at the e-mail address below.
Dale Jarvis can be reached at email@example.com.