Thanks to Andrew in South Wales, UK for this in-depth account of the haunting of Gladstone Villa (edited for length). — Kat
Strange things began happening …
My family and I lived at a property called Gladstone villa in the former mining town of Bargoed in the South Wales valleys during the 1970’s. They were my maternal grandparents, Mr and Mrs Higgs and their only daughter Caroline, who is of course my mother. My mother met my father when she worked regular day shift at the local bake house in Baldwin street. They stayed at my grandparents at Gladstone villa. My mother said that strange things began happening soon after I was born in August 1969. My mother told me it started off quietly in the attic then it gradually increased.
One day they heard a noise that sounded like someone jumping onto the landing, thinking that someone had broken in they went to check it out. They found nobody there, but the hatch to the attic was open!
It eventually occupied itself in the main bedroom which was my grandparents’ room. Noises would be heard that simply defied rational explanation, like regular footsteps in the bedroom, mostly in the evening. The sound of objects like furniture could be heard and there was the occasional loud bang!
“The place was haunted.”
My grandmother told a family friend, Mrs France, the place was haunted, but she didn’t believe my grandmother at first, she said it was the vibration from the traffic outside causing it. Her opinion was soon to change when she experienced it for herself. Mrs France said she knew of a local medium, John Mathews and she contacted him.
When John came to Gladstone villa he asked the family a few questions, then he challenged the spirit to perform by knocking on the ceiling, sure enough it knocked back at him! John then went into a trance to try and make contact with it, but he failed to get a name, though he later confirmed that there was indeed a presence there and it was an earthbound spirit. He went upstairs to sprinkle powder on the floor and sealed up the bedroom door. When he returned the next day, he found footprints on the bedroom floor!
Another time, my mother told me that she found that the pillow in my cot was torn right in half! My father worked night shift at the bake house, and one afternoon she told me that she got him up to get ready for work only to find that his slippers were thrown out on to the landing, and the ironing board was placed over his body, it was amazing he slept through that.
A priest is called to bless Gladstone villa.
A priest by the name of Graham Jones was also called to Gladstone villa, he said some prayers and blessed the place, before he left he told the family, ”Watch the baby.” The baby of course was me. When the priest was gone it was quiet for a few short months, but it did return!
As I got older I began to experience it for myself. I also heard the footsteps in the main bedroom when we would all be downstairs watching TV and I still remember my grandfather trying to point out exactly where it was by saying, ”He’s by here” and, ”He’s by there now.” One of us would turn the TV down to hear the footsteps more clearly.
There was also some sightings, though this was very rare indeed.
One night my mother, grandfather and I was watching TV, my grandmother was reading a book on the sofa, my mother just happened to look towards my grandmother and she saw the apparition of a monk near the doorway, … in perfect detail, brown habit and hood.
There was also poltergeist activity … electrical cables pulled, lights going off and on.
One night I was in the main bedroom, with the light on, lying on the bed facing the window over looking Cardiff road, it was quiet, then all of a sudden I felt something jump on the bed, it was only the once! It felt like an animal! I didn’t look straight away, but when I did, I didn’t see anything. I went back down stairs to tell my family, we all went back up and we saw claw marks on the bed!
Another family friend Fred, my grandfather’s work mate from the mines, would visit every day. It was during the day time that we had yet another incident. Fred sat by the open fire, I was playing by the sideboard, and all of a sudden an unexpected loud bang was heard, it was so loud that Fred ducked his head, thinking that what dropped on the floor was going to come through! It frightened me so much that I ran to my mother. When it was quiet again we all went upstairs, my grandfather was always the first to go up, and I was the last, when we got to the bedroom, we could find nothing that could be accounted for that noise. One time my grandfather claimed that he was lying on the bed and he couldn’t move, he couldn’t even shout for help.
The haunting got so bad, we slept on sofas downstairs with the lights on!
We had the ghost for so long, my grandmother gave him a pet name, Johnny. On occasion my grandfather would try to mock the ghost by shouting ”Johnny oh” to try to get a reaction, but nothing happened! One night, my grandfather said he couldn’t get into the bathroom, we were all in the kitchen, to this day I can still remember hearing what I can only describe as a Gregorian chant!
We finally left Gladstone villa in June 1978, I was almost nine years old, but before we moved we had a good sort out.
One of the last incidents we experienced was when we had all our belongs packed in the hallway, we were getting ready to sleep on the sofas, when all of a sudden we heard noises in the hall, our bags were being moved about and the old fashioned door knob was being tried, as if he was trying to get in.
Gladstone villa converted into a hotel.
Two Italian businessmen bought the property and Gladstone villa was eventually converted into a hotel during the 1980’s. I had my 40th birthday there for old times sake in August 2009, and the female staff told me of their own experiences, and there have been sightings in Room 5, Johnny the ghost is still there!
Cardiff Road history.
I have done some research and discovered the whole area of Cardiff Road has quite a history! Directly opposite the hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Bargoed, it dates back to the 17th century. There are rumours that there is a tunnel that goes from Cardiff Road to the village of Gelligaer and a Roman fort. …
What I have said here is the truth, I would have nothing to gain by lying. … Anyone who says we’re crazy are not even qualified to make such a judgment, and I would challenge any skeptic who doesn’t believe me to spend a night or two at Redz Parc Hotel, Cardiff Road, Bargoed, South Wales, UK. Just ask for Room 5, they will most certainly question their belief system.
— Andrew in South Wales, UK