Memories of youth, paranormal, séances, strange stories

Memories of youth, the paranormal, séances, strange stories. With this jumble of words I want to introduce you to some of my memories which, who knows why, have come back to me today and from one of them others have come and then others again, in an avalanche. The first memory that came to mind was many years ago, when I was a young girl, 15-16 years old or so. I lived in a huge, very old house. In fact, it is said that it was built by the Grand Duke of Tuscany around 1600 and used as an inn.

The second and top floor was not inhabited at the time. We were a family of four and had more than enough rooms on the first floor. One evening we were in the living room watching television and suddenly we heard a loud bang upstairs. It sounded like in the corner room, the biggest room with two windows, something was banging in the windows. We thought it was a bird that had come in through some window and was banging here and there just to get out.

My father armed himself with a candle, as there was no electricity upstairs as the rooms were not being used, and the four of us walked up the stairs. When we got to the landing the noise was even louder. The door to that room was closed. My father went ahead and opened the door, and as soon as the handle was turned the noise stopped. We entered the room, which was empty and the windows were closed, but there was nothing in the room.
We looked at each other not knowing what to say or what to do.

We closed the door and walked down the stairs back into the living room. We never talked about this between us, not even to try to explain it. And we never heard anything in that room again. Today it came back to me and the thing I remember most is that when I got to the top of the stairs I felt a cold wind that lasted only a moment, but my skin crawled. That house was later renovated and divided into three flats. Needless to say, I did not want the flat that included that room, which became the wardrobe room in my brother’s flat.

I haven’t set foot there since. This memory, which still disturbs me a little, even though no one has ever heard any more strange noises coming from that room, brought back memories of a few years later when, as young people unconscious and curious about everything, we wanted to try seances. It started one August, in a small mountain village, a large group of boys and girls almost the same age and a desire to have fun. In those days it wasn’t like now that in holiday villages you try to do things to attract holidaymakers and make them spend time having fun.

There was only one bar in the village, and a couple of times in August, on Sundays, a little orchestra played ballroom dancing. Near the village was the old people’s house, which had been abandoned and rebuilt in the centre of the village. It was a huge room with high, broken windows and a wooden stage at the back. There were some wooden tables and long benches. Also to pass the time, we decided that summer to clean up the place so that we could go there in the evening after dinner with a record player for dancing.

We worked on it for a whole day, but in the evening, armed with candles, since there was no electricity, a few batteries and a record player, we all went there to dance a little. That year a girl from Rome came on holiday for the first time and at a certain point in the evening she said: “This place would be great for a séance. We often do them in Rome, I’m a medium. Shall we try?”

Everyone agreed, even if I must confess that I had never done one and I was a little afraid. We put the table in the middle of the room, the benches all around it and sat down. It was the classic séance with the saucer and the letters around it. We all took hands and that girl started calling a count, who I don’t remember what his name was, but she told us that he was her spirit guide. After a while we all put our fingers on the saucer and it slowly started to move.

I have to say, frankly, that many of us had to laugh, we didn’t really believe in those things, we were just doing it for fun. However, given the location, which, by the way, was very close to the cemetery and a little far from the village, the room with its enormous shadows that only candles can create, and a little bit of suggestion, we all fell silent and at that point thunder exploded in the air, together with lightning that flooded the room with light.

It almost seemed as if it had fallen right next to the house, as not even a second passed between the lightning and the very loud thunder. None of us, caught up in the novelty of this new pastime, had noticed that the weather had changed, it had started raining and the thunder was just the beginning of a very strong thunderstorm.
We waited for the rain to clear and then nobody wanted to go home alone, so we organised a sort of procession to accompany each other.

We didn’t do any more séances there, although we continued to do them in various holiday homes that summer and summers afterwards.
I personally stopped when a lady who worked with me, after a story I had told about séances, where, by the way, nothing exciting ever happened except once when a girl, perhaps very impressionable, fainted, told me about her experience. When she was a girl, she used to have séances, just like us.

It was a fun way to spend the evening, to get together and maybe make fun of someone who took them a little too seriously. So she told me that one evening at one of these séances, a girl participated, a friend of the owner of the house, who had never done them. It was a session like many others, a little chat, a few laughs and some teasing. When the lights came back on, this girl talked about self-deception. She said that the mind is able to make us see what doesn’t exist if we are conditioned enough. She said that for some fragile and even gullible people it could happen that such experiences could, once alone, turn into something concrete, even if only imaginary. Suggestion, she explained, is a very powerful and dangerous thing.

To be honest, she was more frightening than the seance. The lady then told me that she came home and went to bed. She couldn’t sleep and was always thinking about that talk of the mind. She didn’t even turn off the light, she was so frightened. She tried to sleep but she couldn’t, those words were spinning like spinning tops in her mind. At a certain point, she saw the wardrobe door opposite the bed slowly open, almost halfway and close again with a dull thud.
Needless to say, she wanted to sleep in the bed with her mother and father, even though she was a grown-up, and she told them what had happened.

However, since that time she has never done any more séances and that story frightened me a little too, even though I have never seen anything particular or strange, but since then I have never wanted to do any more séances.

Have any of you done or are doing such things? Does anyone have any stories to share? Memories of youth or stories from some old people that are a bit scary?

I still remember the evenings when I was a child, when in the evening after dinner we would go to someone’s house and around the fire eating “frugiate”, which are chestnuts cooked on the fire, we would listen to our grandparents telling us scary stories. We children would stay for hours listening to those stories of ghosts, ruined houses, princesses kidnapped by ogres and many more that I no longer remember.

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