Me back in the late 1970’s, when ‘Beryl’ made regular appearances on New Year’s Eve.
When I was 16, my father died suddenly, and a few days after he passed, I was sure I saw him at the bottom of my bed. When I told my Mother about it the next day, she said it was wishful thinking. That seemed to be confirmed on the day of the funeral. Back in 1968, it was customary to have the open coffin on display in the front room, so friends and relatives could pay their respects before leaving for church, and much against my will, I was told I had to say goodbye to Dad. I was convinced he was breathing, although he was so cold. I could actually see the ivory satin going up and down, and again I was told it was wishful thinking.
That seemed a logical explanation – I was definitely a Daddy’s Girl and I wanted him back with me. I tried to put the episode out of my mind, but 50 years later, having developed my psychic powers somewhat, I realise Dad was sending me the message that though he wasn’t physically with me any longer, he would always be by my side when I needed him.
For the next 9 years, although I thought of Dad a lot, I pretty much convinced myself that he’d gone, and all I had left were memories. However, on New Year’s Eve 1976, I received proof positive that there was indeed an afterlife. With my husband and two children, I was moving from our house in Wolverhampton to start a new life in Telford, Shropshire. We had to vacate the house on New Year’s Eve or pay another month’s rent, so we called in my brother in law and a rented van to empty the place of our possessions.
My brother in law had always said he sensed a presence in the house, and was glad we were moving out. However, we disregarded his concerns, as he had a few ‘funny ideas’ – that is, things we didn’t agree with. I was not so open minded at 25 as I am at 65, but then I hadn’t had the life experiences to know any better.
It took several trips to empty the house, and my husband went along to help unload. The children were with my mother in law, so I was alone in the house for an hour or so. I was working away downstairs, cleaning the rooms that had been emptied, when I heard the doors of the fitted wardrobe in what had been the children’s bedroom banging. I cursed under my breath, thinking our dog or one of the cats must have got trapped. I was on my way upstairs to free them, when I saw the dog and all three cats in the garden. I called them in, but as I opened the patio doors, they ran to the bottom of the garden and refused to come in. That was enough for me, and, cold as it was, I sat in the garden with them until my husband and brother in law returned.
I told them what had happened, and they agreed we needed to get out of the house as soon as possible. I’d stripped the beds, but had left the bedding on the landing in a bundle to be pushed in wherever it would fit. Feeling much happier now I was no longer alone, I went upstairs to collect the bedding. Although all the radiatiors in the house were warm, and there were no windows open, it was very cold on the landing, and a feeling of dread crept over me. As I started to descend, a woman walked through the door of the children’s room and brushed past me on the stairs. Although she was beautiful, feelings of anger and hatred emanated from her, and I did the only sensible thing – I threw the bundle of washing down ahead of me and legged it to the van.
My husband and brother in law quickly finished off indoors, and managed to coax the dog and cats into the van. My eyes were drawn to the upstairs window, and there was the woman, no longer angry, just looking very sad to see me leave. I thought she must be sorry to have frightened me, but I was frankly glad I didn’t need to go back to that house.
We told my mother in law what had happened, but she was very sceptical, and put it down to me being exhausted because of the move and having too vivid an imagination. I wanted to believe her, but later that evening, at a family party – remember this was New Year’s Eve – my husband noticed teeth marks on my left hand. He said I must have been worrying about my experience, and chewed on my hand, but there were two problems with that – I hadn’t been chewing my hand, although I couldn’t stop thinking about the afternoon. Apart from that, the teeth marks were small, like a child’s, and definitely didn’t originate from my mouth.
Fast forward a year, and we were happily settled in our new home in Telford. Again, it was New Year’s Eve, and again, we had a party to enjoy in the evening, once the chores were done. I was working away in the kitchen, cleaning the floor while a stew bubbled away on the stove. It was cold outside, but lovely and warm in the kitchen, with the stove going and the radiator on.
All of a sudden, the room became icy cold, and our dog George, who had been sitting by the stove, willing the stew to be ready so he could check it was fit for human consumption, started barking and fled towards the garden. I thought maybe my husband had returned from the park with the children, but there was nobody there, and the door was closed, so there was nothing to account for the sudden chill in the kitchen. Or maybe there was …
As I went back to the sink, I glanced in the mirror, and there was the reflection of the lady I thought I’d left behind in Wolverhampton. I was startled, but this time I wasn’t scared, because there was no animosity about her. In fact, she seemed to be asking me for help, but I didn’t think there was anything I could do for her, so I just said ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. Please leave, as I don’t want my children to be frightened.’ She gave me a hug, then left, and the room was back to normal. When my husband came back, I told him what had happened, and we decided that as the spirit had followed us, we should give her a name. I can’t remember why we thought Beryl was a good idea, but Beryl she became!
Beryl returned the following two years – 1978 and 1979 – for brief visits, then we didn’t see her again until New Year’s Eve, 1986, just a couple of months before we moved from Telford to Cornwall to manage a holiday park. She didn’t seem very happy, and seemed to hold on to me, as if she didn’t want me to leave. I just said ‘Hey Beryl, you’ve followed us once, you can follow us again if you want to, as long as you don’t scare away the holidaymakers.’
I thought she’d taken me at my word, and was keeping well away, because I didn’t see her for about three years. In the meantime, we lost the job, our marriage broke up, and we faced several other serious problems. I was at my lowest point when I met the man who would become my second husband, and soon after we moved in together, Beryl came back. This time was different, though. For a start, it wasn’t New Year’s Eve, it was summer. And she didn’t come to my home, she joined us on an evening out at a local club. A friend who was with us sensed something, but I actually saw her, and she looked happy and waved to me. That was back in 1990, and she hasn’t appeared to me since.
I’ve thought about who may have been, and why she followed me around for so long, but I really have no idea. I don’t recognise her from
Our dog George, who was most unimpressed by the ghostly goings-on!
the many old family photos I have, and since she never gave me her name, I have no way of tracking her down. Maybe she was a trapped soul who needed help to cross over, and thought I was the one to help her, or maybe she was a harbinger of change, as she only seemed to appear when my life was about to change radically. When she appeared to me in 1979, I was already pregnant with my youngest child, although I didn’t realise that at the time.
From my current standpoint of having some knowledge of things spiritual, I’ve more or less come to the conclusion that maybe Beryl appeared to me in order to prove that there is another world beyond this earthly life, and also spark my interest in preparation for my personal spiritual journey. I will probably never know in this lifetime, and it doesn’t really matter. Everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t recognise it at the time. Being naturally curious, I would love to know who she was, and why she shared my life for so long, but I certainly feel privileged that she chose me to appear to. I only wish I could have helped her – but maybe I did, in some small way. I certainly hope so.