I’m actually an agnostic when it comes to ghosts, but if I hadn’t experienced what I’m about to tell you then I’d probably be a fully-blown sceptic.
Sitting on the Scottish coastline in Troon, Ayrshire is a nineteenth century villa called Crosbie Towers, beautifully crafted and in the Italianate style. It is well-known in the local area and you can find pictures of it online, both in its current and former state. Even when it degenerated into a derelict and poorly-maintained building, the mansion still looked quite elegant. And scary.
When we ventured inside on a calm evening in May 2012, it really was your proverbial haunted house: dusty floors, wooden panels, boarded-up windows, a broken-down elevator, a creepy dentist’s chair, and a spiral stairacse leading up to a square tower. There was debris everywhere, old chairs and furniture, and the air was rather heavy and musty. It smelled like an old library.
My friends were just approaching the foot of the staircase when a loud, crashing bang sounded from the top. I was at the back of the queue, admittedly not the bravest of the bunch on this occasion, but the noise and shock will stay with me forever. We bolted out and returned several nights later. You could say that a homeless person or another explorer orchestrated the bang to scare us away, but that would seem an unnecessarily severe measure to take. That bang was angry, sinister even. It wasn’t like an object was just dropped or thrown casually; there was great force and will behind it. Still, I would have granted a human cause as the likeliest explanation were it not for what we would soon discover. . .