'I lived above a room where a man died. As soon as I heard creaking, I knew it was haunted.'

My story starts when I decided to leave my husband, and I began looking for a place for me and my toddler to rent. Just something small, simple, and within the budget of a 33-year-old newly single mum.

I noticed an ad for a two-bedroom guest suite with kitchen, on a property in the next suburb over. The house looked gorgeous; it was described as “20 plus rooms with an entire upstairs wing fully-furnished as a guest suite.”

I liked the idea, because it would feel like we were moving into a home, which was a huge plus in terms of the transition for my son, Winston. And apparently, we would get full use of the extensive gardens.

All for just $275 a week. (Yeah, I should’ve known – right?)

Psychic Debbie Malone, on how to know if there are spirits around. Post continues below.

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The woman who showed me around when I went to inspect was Evelyn, the owner. She seemed lovely, in her 70s, and had a good sense of humour. She took me to the side of the house, where we would have our own entrance.

As we walked in, there was a flight of stairs, leading to the upstairs apartment. I loved it immediately.

As we walked back down the stairs, Evelyn stopped at the bottom and pointed to a door I hadn’t noticed on the way in.

“Don’t worry, I will lock this door if you move in,” she promised.

“It leads to my husband’s bedroom. He had cancer and died in there a few months ago.”

She opened the door. It was furnished with a massive hospital bed, and I noticed a wheelchair and other support equipment – and an eerie sense of stillness – as if someone very wealthy had been ill and died there. Because they had.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I said.

“I’m really lonely in this big place, that’s why I wanted someone here with me,” Evelyn explained.


“Barry wouldn’t have liked me inviting someone to stay, he wasn’t the most generous person, but I can’t bear being alone in this big place.”

I really felt for her. Considering our life stages, I thought we’d be a great fit. Winston and I moved in the next week.

Evelyn was great company. At first, I only ran into her occasionally as we were coming and going through the front gate, but then that progressed to sharing wine on the patio whilst watching Winston play in the garden. I learned about Barry, who seemed to be a difficult man, perhaps entitled because of his money.

I’ll be honest – I noticed a few weird things about the apartment (the staircase creaked inexplicably at night and its light always flickered), but those things were easy to dismiss because we were having such a great time.

I threw Winston a massive third birthday party in the garden, complete with a children’s singer and jumpy castle. I attended Evelyn’s (very drunken) Melbourne Cup lunch on her lawn – a fully-catered affair with 50 of her closest friends – and won $300 on my first ever bet.

Living in the guest suite was the first time I’d been the only adult in my home – but because of Evelyn’s presence, it didn’t feel like it.

But there was another presence I soon began to be concerned about. You guessed it – Barry.

At first, I wasn’t worried hearing creaking on the stairs in the middle of the night – until I realised the stairs did not creak when we stepped on them. Ever. One day, I carefully stomped on each carpeted step, and there was silence.

What was making the stairs creak as though someone was walking on them during the night?

I’d seen enough Paranormal Activity to know; freakin’ Barry.

I double-checked the door leading to Barry’s death room. Definitely locked. But I stacked a pile of suitcases in front of it like a weirdo just to be safe.

The night I did that, I began to hear thumping from the room. The first night, you guys. It woke me in the middle of the night. I crept down the stairs, following the noise, pushed the suitcases aside and put my ear to door.

Thump, thump, thump.

So I did what anyone would do – I raced back to bed and hid under the covers.

Thank god I had not watched The Babadook at that time.

The next time I saw Evelyn, I asked her about it.

“Oh, sometimes I go in there just for the memories,” she explained, a little defensively. Sure, it was her house, she could do what she wanted to.


I also told her the lights on the staircase flickered a lot, and she dismissed that, too, saying that’s what happens in an older house.

But one night soon after, things escalated. I was woken by a jiggle on the bed. Assuming it was Winston crawling into bed with me, I sat up to help him in… but there was no one there.

Listen to Mamamia’s podcast, No Filter. In this episode, Mia Freedman speaks to Psychic Investigator, Debbie Malone. Post continues below.

Yet, my bedroom door was wide open, when it’s normally just slightly ajar…

I started to feel tingly; something wasn’t right.

I got up to check on Winston in his room, and he was fast asleep.

And then something told me to check the staircase. Of course, the light was flickering as it usually was. But I was a grown up (and dear god that sucked in that moment) and had to ensure all was okay.

I crept to the top of the stairs and looked down. The suitcases were piled against my entrance door, and the door to Barry’s death room was wide open.


I don’t think I’d ever felt a fear like it.

It was 2am. I couldn’t go back to bed and leave the door like that. I had to go down the stairs and close it.

Although, really, what was the point? It was clear Barry’s spirit was trying to make his presence known and let me know he was not amused by ours.

Fairly certain I’d hear a creepy voice crying, “Geeeetttt Outttt!” as I bolted down the stairs, I grabbed the doorknob of the death room and slammed the door shut, avoiding looking into it.

Then I grabbed Winston from his bed, and hid him under my covers with me, after I had pushed my dresser up to my bedroom door.

I never worked out what happened that night. Why was I woken by my bed moving? Why was my door open? Why were the suitcases moved?


Look, it might have been Evelyn doing some shit in her own home. Or it might have been the evil spirit of her husband trying to scare us into sodding off out of his home.

I’ll never know. We moved out soon after. But you’ll be pleased to know Barry’s spirit didn’t come with us in our suitcases.

Feature Image: Instagram/@namawinston.

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