IT all started with the discovery of a mysterious key.
Shirley Hitchings, a teenager, started the day like everyone else. She made a bed, washed and dressed before going downstairs for breakfast.
But when she returned to her bedroom in Battersea, South London, she found a glamorous silver key on her pillow.
No one in her family was aware of it, and it didn’t fit the house key.
So it was left on the table, its importance only realized later. .. ..
Shirley, now 80, tells the sun: “It was that night that we first experienced.”
The family was awakened by a big bang that appeared to come from the ceiling and walls.
Since then, there have been more bizarre events that seem to be focused on Shirley, and 15.
Things flew around the room, the fire broke out naturally, and a written message was left around the house.
For more than a decade, Shirley and her family seemed to be plagued by a poltergeist called Donald. This has become one of Britain’s longest and most horrifying ghost stories.
Today, the new Radio 4 drama documentary podcast, Battersea Poltergeist, is re-examining the seemingly paranormal phenomenon that took place at 63 Wycliffe Road between 1956 and 1968 to unravel the mystery of the 65-year-old.
Shirley hasn’t spoken publicly about her experience in decades.
My great-grandmother, who currently lives in Waterlooville, Hampshire, said:
“It took me a teenager and I hated what happened.
“There was a lot written about it at the time. I would like to tell you what actually happened. I’m nervous, but Donald may come back.”
Shirley, her parents Wally and Kitty, and the brothers John and Gran Ethel, who lived at the top of the house, woke up loudly in the middle of the night in January 1956.
She states: “I remember surviving the blitzkrieg and the bomb fell. It was the same level of noise.
“The sound came from the roots of the house.”
A neighbor came to ask what was happening, but the family was confused about the cause. Shirley’s dad Wally called the police because he had no better idea of what to do.
But by the time the police arrived the next morning, the noise had stopped and he was dismissed when Wally told him what had happened.
Shirley recalls: “He laughed and said,’I think you had too much cocoa,’ and that alone made him rest.”
However, the noise continued every night, followed by tapping sounds that seemed Shirley chasing around the house.
The object will move mysteriously. Clocks fell off the shelves, chairs fluttered in the air, and slippers magically moved around the room.
A pile of tea towels was set on fire, and one night Shirley was thrown out of bed and the cover stripped off.
She states: “I heard a scratch from the headboard. It was terrible. You would say,” Daddy, daddy, stop. ” I didn’t know what was happening to me.
“But everyone was pointing at me. I knew I wasn’t doing this. I always grew up honestly and never lied.
“Dad asked me at some point if it was me, and I said no to him. He said,” That’s enough for me. ” Words of bizarre events quickly spread, Shirley became the news, and Donald was described as her ghostly lover.
She says. “I was 15 and had no boyfriend. It was embarrassing.”
Meanwhile, her Gran Ethel was convinced that Donald was a demon.
Shirley recalls: “She threw holy water at me and raised a large decorative cross. Donald became ferocious. The cross flew across the room, as if someone had a knife. The curtains remained finely chopped. “
Desperately, tube driver Wally confided to his colleagues what was happening.
Shirley said: “His wife is a medium and he promised his dad that he could get rid of Donald. I spent five days at their house. They put their hands on my head and a strange voice. The whole thing was weird. I didn’t like it, so I asked him to go home. “
Not only did the so-called demon punishment not work, Shirley and her dad were taken for cross-examination by police who received reports that the demon had been summoned.
Shirley recalls: “Dad was in one room and I was in another. They were asking us questions. They really made us feel guilty.”
And in a strange event, the issue was even discussed in the House of Commons after local parliamentarians demanded an apology from the police on their behalf.
However, Gwilym Lloyd George, then Minister of Interior, was uncertain whether there was a good reason and claimed that “black magic is a violation of customary law.”
After reading newspaper reports, ghost hunter Harold Tibet, played by Toby Jones in a podcast, appeared at home to provide his service. Shirley recalls: “He said he could explain everything if his dad gave him five minutes. He ended up staying for three hours.”
A World War I veteran, Harold is a tax inspector during the day and a paranormal investigator at night, and Donald is a poltergeist with problems that bother certain people and cause physical disability. I told my family that it was a spirit.
Shirley recalls: “He said,’Shirley, start with a young girl like you.'”
Some believers in the paranormal say that this type of activity is most triggered by adolescents because it releases the purest vital energy that feeds the poltergeist.
Shirley says that when Mr. Chib started calling him, he stayed in their kitchen most of the night before going to work the next day.
He tried to communicate with Donald using a card with letters of the alphabet on it. She states: “Mr. Chib laid them out, but Donald threw them. He would say,’I won’t give up until we reach it.’ And he finally did. I think he tamed him. “
Tibet seems to have persuaded Donald to write with a pen.
Shirley said: “Three weeks later, I got my first reply. He wrote,” Shirley, I’m coming, “in a childish scribble. It sent a tremor just below my spine. “
When Donald complained that he couldn’t use this “writing stick” and asked for a quill instead, he was thought to have come from the past.
The ghost went on to make bold claims about his identity. It’s revealed in the podcast.
Shirley says Donald has become more intimidating over the years. She adds: “He was like a bully, he made a request and told people to do this and that.
“He got all my old dolls stored in the attic trunk and brought them downstairs. He cut off all their heads, stripped off my clothes a bit, and then dressed from the material. I left a note telling me to make.
“If someone offends him, he will write” punishment “on a piece of paper, and you knew you were there for it that night. “
Shirley says she couldn’t get a job and lost all her friends because of Donald, who scared her boyfriend.
She recalls: “A typical Battersea boy, cheeky with Donald, shouted,’Come on, bring it and do the worst.’
“Then suddenly a bowl of nuts flew right above his head. I’ve never met him again.”
Over the years, the family was even accustomed to Donald and Shirley. “He was accepted as a member of the family.
“He tapped the TV theme song. I started seeing him as an annoying little brother.”
Shirley finally found love, and in 1965 she and her husband Derek (now 77) moved to Bognor Regis in West Sussex, where his son David (now 54) and daughter Karen (52) were born. ..
Shirley said: “He left a message telling me what my parents were doing and gave me in great detail what Derek and I were doing. He shot at us.”
Then, in 1968, Donald was silent. He left a final message to his parents, saying he would leave a “goodbye” to his family with peace of mind.
A major role Donald played in his family’s life was his mother’s mourning.
Shirley said: “She was wearing black and didn’t stop crying. Dad didn’t know what to do with her.”
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But Shirley was just relieved and said, “The day my dad was over, I danced around the room.”
And the mysterious key was never found.
Shirley says: “It has disappeared and hasn’t been seen since.”
- Radio4’s The Battersea Poltergeist is now available in the BBC Sounds app.
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My family was plagued by Britain’s scariest ghost poltergeist … we called him Donald
SourceMy family was plagued by Britain’s scariest ghost poltergeist … we called him Donald