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My French Life | Ghosts in France

 Ghosts in France

I used to have an English neighbour called Rod. He had a holiday home in my village and as he didn’t have much money to spend on renovations he would advertise for people to do a bit of work and in payment let them stay at his house for free.

It wasn’t the most successful scheme ever. He had quite a few people apply stating that they had many skills that would be great for his somewhat fantastical plans to convert a shed into a gite. An assortment of nutters, fibbers and blaggers on the whole but there was one couple that stand out in my mind.

I can’t remember their names but they were a very nice retired married couple from the UK. The husband was a bona fide carpenter who had worked on Tudor house projects and really did know his stuff. He and his wife had a caravan in Pas de Calais and they loved to travel and Rod’s idea suited them well. For each day’s work they did, he let them stay in his house for three days free.  As it was winter and bitterly cold in their caravan and Rod’s house had central heating they struck a deal.

We had dinner with them one night and they were a lovely couple. The wife though could see spirits which was a bit off-putting.

We’d be sitting there just chatting away and then she’d say “hello, lovely to meet you” to someone who I couldn’t see. Her gaze would be held by something, I mean someone, to the side of me and she would then have a bizarre one-sided conversation with them. She told me it happened all the time and that people found it most disconcerting. I’ll say!

She said it happened in shops, houses, the street – everywhere she looked she saw spirits and she could talk to them and hear them perfectly well and it had been happening her entire life. Having dinner or even a simple conversation with someone who is talking to you quite normally one moment and then chatting away with an American Indian who died 200 years ago is really quite odd. She did tell me that my house has only friendly spirits – phew!

My French friend Monique who met this spirit-seeing lady told me that French people don’t believe in ghosts.

I’m thinking that can’t be true since I read in the paper recently that a French family in a town near St Omer, not too far from where I live, are to be rehoused by the council as their house is haunted! Apparently the Mayor of their village himself witnessed things flying through the air and is supporting their request to be rehomed. The tenants are in hospital having been hit in the head by levitating objects.

Opinion in my village is divided – there are those that vehemently oppose such a “ludicrous” claim and those who believe that chairs and oranges really did fly up in the air and hit the tenants in the face as the newspapers are reporting.

Pierre the farmer says that it is obvious what has happened – he has seen things spinning round in circles above his head many times and often awakes with a mysterious lump on his head – it is pastis of course!

A bientot

Janine

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