There was one other revelation from our fortune teller-house-party-shenanigans which I forgot to mention. It’s a small thing really. One of the housemates asked the fortune teller if any spirits dwelled in the house.
The question was prompted after one of the other female housemates had an experience one night where she woke up and knew someone was in her room.
The fortune teller said there was a spirit and it came from the ground under the house but tended to stay in the room belonging to the guy who was leaving the house. He apparently never noticed the ghost, despite her trying to get his attention, because he had no time for it and was too caught up in his own world (a visual art project he was working on). They asked the fortune teller what they should do and whether the spirit was menacing. The fortune teller said the spirit meant no harm to anyone; she dwelled in the house for healing but that the house had to be cleansed of the spirit.
Claire wondered if it was worth getting rid of her if she meant no harm. It was agreed that there was a nice homely and matronly presence in the house, which we quickly attributed to the ghost (or ghosty, as she has since been referred to).
The fortune teller shook her head and said that we had to do it, because actually the humans had come to the house for healing, and ghosty was taking up precious real estate by being there. She was taking their healing energy from them. She advised Claire to burn sage and clang pots while announcing out loud ‘Thank you but it’s time for you to leave’, perhaps in some kind of Big Brother-esque eviction but for ghosts (‘Big Ghosty’).
It was decided that someone would do research on the house to figure out who might have lived there previously. There was a shudder at the realisation that the history of Redfern stretches back into a past we cannot quite understand or fathom.
We thought we could make a party out of the ghost eviction ceremony – perhaps that was one way of not freaking out about it. The recounting of the ghost story had us both laughing and in mild shock with an eerie side serving of spine tingling fear. As the jokes ensued, we still wondered if it was even worth asking the ghost to leave. Then my boyfriend noticed one day when he was at home sick that his closed door just opened wide all of a sudden at 10am. He was convinced that it was the ghost letting him know that he should wake up now…
More stories began emerging about doors opening or closing at random. At the recent house party, songs would randomly stop playing for no apparent reason, indicating that perhaps the ghost did not like our taste in music. We were convinced that the ghost took over during our more fervent dance sessions. ‘Possessed by Maud’ (a new name we came up for her) became a thing on the dance floor.
I noticed when the new guy moved in the week after this revelation, and after the awkward conversation informing him of the minor matter of a ghost shacking up in his room and all, (Welcome to the house, PS. There’s a ghost in your room, kbye!) that as we spoke about it, he laughed a little sceptically, as though he found our enthusiasm for the matter and our sheer delight at the novelty of having a ghost, totally hilarious. And so he should, for this is clearly no ordinary house. But more than that, I realised that now, as I walk through the halls, or walk into a room, I always do so with a bit of trepidation, respecting that spirits may dwell here and maybe, just maybe, they don’t appreciate us belting out ‘the time of my life’ at 4am in the morning when they’ve clearly not had the time of their life or even after life.