When the room is quiet
A few weeks ago, we moved from our luxuriously appointed office that was once the billiard room in a country house to an even more luxuriously appointed room that was once a ballroom. Chandeliers, decorative fireplace, gold-painted plaster mouldings, charming views of the local Crematorium, the works. And eighteen desks, a tomato sauce bottle in the shape of a tomato and a 42-inch plasma TV that we haven't quite got round to hanging on the wall.
It's all very well working here during the day, but come the evening it's just myself and George, and when he knocks off at 8pm, homeless that I am, it's just me and the internets until beddy-bye-boes time.
So, there I sit, whipping up webloggy goodness for you, dear reader, when the lights dim, and I hear the regular thud - thud - thud of footsteps behind me.
"Meep!" I invariably exclaim.
"Meep!" I say, as I spin round in my office chair, only for the footsteps to cease immediately. I am alone with nothing but the hum of the over-enthusiastic air conditioning.
Pete the Security Guard is elsewhere in the building. I am alone. Alone with a bunch of ghoulies.
It's not as if this place hasn't got any history behind it. There have been a number of castles and stately homes on this site since at least the 13th century. There could be any number of nobles, plague victims or peasants doing their best to give me the willies at this moment in time, and a quick flick through the Yellow Pages confirms my worst fears: Ghostbusters, it turns out, don't actually exist. Arse.
For this, I blame Derek Acorah.
The building I work in is about 150 years old, and was, before our organisation got our hands on it during the last war, a boarding school. There are, in fact, three graves of former pupils in the grounds, which is the very least you can expect for not handing in your homework on time. And let's not forget the number of journalists clubbed to death by typewriters over the years in this place. They're really quite highly strung in the Newsroom, I can tell you for nothing.
So, as another night draws in and the glow fades in the Crematorium chimney, who can tell what another night may bring? Entertain me. Entertain me with your ghost spottings.