But my mother was not the only person to be so affected.
The house’s most oppressive room, overlooking the garden, we still do not venture into.
My grandmother bedded down there next, innocent of that summer’s events, then refused to ever again. Somehow this was – and remains – the most horrifying thing I had ever heard.
READ: Ghost stories: A night in England's most haunted bedroom Still, the part of the narrative that brings most fear to the few friends in whom I’ve confided it is this.
After the second time it happened, we had it disconnected. (And, believe me, as I write this, I too think it is mad.) Matters became worse.
One night, the boarded-over fireplace in my room ripped open with a clamour.
We refused to recognise it, of course, being sane, a family of atheists and, above all, British.
One night, my furious doctor father, up book-writing in the early hours, bellowed: “Whoever’s charging up and down the stairs, will they stop?
We would return home to find the taps turned on full-force, requiring wrenching back into inaction.
An oven, on the third floor, would have its rings switched to red hot, making the house’s already airless attics crackle dangerously with heat.