The Empty Room
From Alan's Blog on www.hemelmoviemakers.org
By Alan French
THE EMPTY BUILDING MYSTERY. (A BLOG THAT ALL RECENT MEMBERS SHOULD READ)
Recently, I rightly or wrongly embarked upon an interesting trip in Hemel Hempstead. The weather had changed for the worst, but by 7.30pm it improved. I saw a group of people waiting patiently for a specialised walk. Prior to returning to my humble abode, I rightly or wrongly decided to join them.
At the first port of call were two old buildings, standing in the same grounds. Their dark, shadowy appearance was slightly relieved by the present nearby street lighting. We all entered the grounds, but we did not gain access to the inside of the ageing Victorian buildings.
The person who was in charge of this walk addressed everyone. We were all standing still, fascinated by what he said. I was perhaps a little more fascinated, arguably more than some, if not all, of the others who were present. This will become more clear to you later.
He briefly told strange tales of believable or unbelievable happenings that had occurred on the premises. Tales that had stimulated uneasy fear in the hearts of those people in the past, who were involved in the stories. He told of the cleaner who, going about their business, witnessed a strange apparition. It was believed to be a vicar. The terrified cleaner exited the building very fast and is said never to have returned.
In the larger building, there had been reports of people claiming that they had the feeling that they had been touched upon their shoulders, as though by a mysterious, unseen, very cold hand. Rumour, or belief, has stated that it is that of a woman, welcoming people.
The building’s kitchen has also been the subject of speculation. It has been known to have the sound of joyful merriment within its bounds. But, when investigated, no-one is present. But the incidents do not endeth here. For next to the kitchen there is a room or hall, where a strange figure of a girl has trod. She has walked into the room by entering through, not the door, but the wall. She has left also by passing through the other wall thereof. And in some cases been seen afterwards from the outside, gazing through the window.
My personal interest in all this is that kitchen and room/hall was the former venue for meetings of The Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers, of which I am a member. But, dear membership of past, present and future, please do not be complacent about our new dwelling in the Buglass Room in Leverstock Green Hall. For Leverstock Green has had strange situations occurring within its boundaries. A strange figure was seen in the vicinity over one hundred years ago prior to this write-up. It is diligently recorded in The Hemel Hempstead Gazette, a journal of good repute.
But our neighbouring establishment, only yards away from our new meeting abode, The Olde Leather Bottle, has had many strange happenings within its boundaries. I do not know if the present management of this famous drinking establishment are aware of this. But more than one manager or landlord has had cause to believe that this pub has had alternative spirits other than whiskey, gin, rum or brandy inside its precincts. In fact, I gather that an exorcism has even been performed there. The spirit was believed to be that of a mischievous little girl.
There was talk that there was a former barmaid named Mary who mysteriously disappeared and was subsequently bricked up in the wall. Though strong doubt has been cast on the bricking-up aspect of the story in recent years. But one manager did descend the staircase during the night, wishing to have a drink of water from the kitchen. Before his descent was completed, he claimed to have espied a man wearing a top hat. The man at this point vanished.
However, when we were at the Carey Baptist Church Hall, I did have a UFO experience, after a meeting, whilst leaving. This has been documented elsewhere on this blog spot. It is also documented on the websites Our Dacorum and Herts Memories.
As far as strange, terrifying sounds emanating from our then club room, this could have come from me. For if I arrived early, after putting the chairs out, I would play the piano until the members arrived.
As far as Leverstock Green Hall is concerned, I used to belong to The Leverstock Green Players. In some of their stage shows, I used play the piano and sing as well, whilst performing my rock ‘n’ roll act. That could have been a most dreadful experience for both audiences as well as passers-by. The Leverstock Green Players’ shows have improved since I have left. I have no idea why.
So there we are. So be warned!
Useless information survey:
Hands up and vote for what you think is the most frightening scenario in the aforementioned blog. Let’s see…..Hmmn! The pian …. What!? Does no-one like music anymore?
copyright Alan French 2014.
I have only recently seen the added comment from Richard Ford. Good to hear from you again.
Alan French 2016.
Editor’s note: Hemel Movie Makers is being brought to an end in 2021.