Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Me and the loo seat

Across the road from the primary school was a rather creepy-looking  manor house surrounded by a tall stone wall (think Atkinson Grimshaw) - the main gates were always locked and padlocked; the occupants entering and exiting by the garden door near the church.  It was the nexis of all village ghost stories.

A girl at school - Gwenda- told me that her mother cleaned for Miss W the old lady who owned the manor.   Gwenda had once gone to work with her mother and been so scared that she had had a fit and peed on the sitting room carpet- making her the world expert on Miss W.  Strangely Miss W was at the same time a living being - she could occasionally to be seen in the village with a tartan shopping bag,  but also a supernatural being who haunted any susceptible child..  That this didn't make any sense never occurred to me - I was a trusting (stupid?) child.

 At break times I would beg for tales of Miss W, but by bedtime would be sick with fear and hardly able to sleep.  One day Gwenda told me something that has scarred me for life.  She said it was  a well-known fact that Miss W did her haunting by sitting on any unoccupied lavatory;  the only way to stop her was to close the lid and put something on it (loo roll or some such) so she couldn't get purchase and would go elsewhere.

Every evening when in the bath I was terrified picturing the stick-thin Miss W materialising through the walls to sit on the loo.  Even now when I go into a bathroom I imagine I might see her.  This may be why I favour showers over baths, but if I am in the bath I'll always close the lid and put something on it - just in case.

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