Personal experiences: Part 1 – The presence on the stairway or don’t go there alone in the dark.

The dark staircase

This is a six part story about a paranormal event that occurred in January 1980. As usual, it’s told without any embellishments and according to a document that I had written after the event.

As a youth, my father insisted that I play in a brass band, and so I ended up playing that Euphonium. So every year I would end up going on a god awful band camp to play awful music that your family would end up politely listening to in the inevitable end of camp concert we’d subject them to.

Between January 13th and 26th, 1980, I attended one of those camps for The Victorian State Youth Band.

During this camp, quite a few unusual events occurred.

After the camp, I took it upon myself to write it all down, lest I forget. I’m glad I did, as I had forgotten most of it. What follows is my slightly edited version.

This camp was held at a Christian boarding school which, I recall correctly was called St. Patrick’s College in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, which is a historical gold mining town.

There were two large rooms for sleeping in, and one of them led to a landing and a stair way.

When going down the steps that lead to the showers, a then friend of mine, (let’s call him Shawn), claimed that he got an uneasy feeling there and he didn’t like going down there at night.

At the time, I dismissed this as just being in his mind so he dared me to go down there myself. I did, and I did feel uneasy, but considering I did it in the dark, I would naturally feel that way.

There was nothing special about the staircase. Just two flights of steps winding from the boy’s dormitory down to the boy’s shower block.  As a rule, it was well lit, though the light bulbs kept on blowing. Five times in total, which is also something I have noticed occurring whenever there appears to be some type of spirit energy play going on. It was that, or just bad wiring!

Hanging on one of the walls, was also this abstract painting on the first landing. It was like a red angry face, and I didn’t like it. It gave me the creeps. Personally, if I had to put what happened down to anything, I would have to say that this entity was connected to the painting. In my experience, such things are possible, and it would certainly not be the last time I’d see something like that.

It wasn’t very long, though before we both felt a slight tingling in our mind every time we went through the double doors that lead to the stairs. It was a pricking sensation, like walking through a field of static electricity. It was almost as if some force was pushing against you. This gradually got stronger over a matter of days. It certainly didn’t take very long for it to become noticed by several of us.

Now, more than likely, this was the power of suggestion at work. I know what I felt (and considering I was always under some kind of psychic attack back then) I may have been more sensitive to it. I couldn’t speak for Shawn, though. I just accepted that he was feeling what I was feeling, and of course, everyone else joined in.

It’s like your tongue. You don’t feel it, even though it’s always there. But if you think about it, then you notice it, and somehow it doesn’t seem to fit into your mouth correctly.

So I certainly can’t discount that people focusing on feeling weird would not have produced something from their own minds.

It also could have been a group phenomenon brought on by suggestion and then our minds creating this.

What probably didn’t help was that I had shared a few of my own experiences, as I was want to do in my youth. I didn’t have many people I could talk to back then, and it was still all exciting and dramatic for me.

So, by taking about possessions and attacks, I’m sure I fueled the imagination of others.

Now, whether we attracted something or something was already there, or we made the entire thing up, I am not sure, but the things that followed were out of the tackiest Hollywood horror movie.

Interestingly enough, as I told the others about my experiences, these black beetles filled the dormitory and fell around my bed. Strangely enough, none fell around the stairway or the toilet area which was only meters away.

I’m not sure what type of beetles they were and if you asked me to identify one now, I wouldn’t be able to as there are a few varieties that are black, fly and swarm.

These ones apparently just dropped dead once they reached my bed, and I’ve no clue if that is normal behaviour or something that was unique.

I will note, though, this happened at two different times during the camp, the second time being after a group of boys had messed around with a ritual.

I’ve not actually seen anything of that nature occur before or since.

Next: The séance. 


4 responses to “Personal experiences: Part 1 – The presence on the stairway or don’t go there alone in the dark.”

  1. strawberryquicksand Avatar

    How bizarre! Did all the others notice the beetles, too? Ballaratt – old mining town. I wouldn’t be surprised if many places there were haunted. I agree that the power of suggestion is a powerful one…and nah, my tongue now does not fit properly in my mouth any more. I hope I stop noticing it again soon. lol.


    1. Gary Leigh Avatar

      Yes, everyone noticed the beetles. They were hard to miss lol

      Good luck with the tongue!


      1. strawberryquicksand Avatar

        Haha. Forgotten already… until I just read your comment. 🙂 What were the others saying about the beetles! Did they freak out totally? That must have been so wierd!


        1. Gary Leigh Avatar

          Well, it was weird, but there’s also a good chance that no one thought they were connected as only a few people were listening to my stories.

          I can say, however, at the end of the camp, one of the guys (who had an excellent sense of humour) stood up and gave a list of things that people had done that were memorable for that camp. One of the lines was: And for Shawn and Gary for scaring the crap out of us all.

          The odd thing really, though, is that I don’t remember people’s reactions and if I had not written everything down back then, I would have forgotten 90% of those events.

          Memory is such a fragile thing.


Got your own experiences or comments? I’d love to see them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: