The Woman at the Window

To set the scene. It was about September/October around 1998 in the U.K. and the darker evenings had set in. I was still of the age to play out and there was a group of us age ranging from about 13 to about 7. On our estate, most houses were grouped in twos and the way the orange street lights would shine would create the darkest places ever, you could stand in the driveway of the houses and nobody from the street could see you it was that dark. One night a group of us were out and decided to knock for my mate who lived in the next street. From his house, the way it was situated you could see the back of my house and all the houses on the same side as mine too. Think of it like a V where he lives on the left and I live on the right. His house would be situated just as his street starts and mine would be at the end on the right. It was as we were stood on his doorstep that we noticed that a few houses down from mine, one that had recently been made empty had its bathroom light on. We walked back into my street and were all situated outside of this house.
Back then all they did to an empty house was board up the living room windows and the front door windows. This is where things take a weird turn, for me more than anyone. We noticed that the back gate had been left open too so we all dared each other to go down and into the garden. After a few minutes of everyone refusing, being the oldest and the biggest I said fine I’d do it. I walked down the side of the house through the pitch blackness of the driveway and into the garden. I saw right ahead of me they had left their shed open so I took a look inside. Nothing but old paint cans. I shut the door and booted a flat football across the garden. I then turned my attention to the house
I walked to the left-hand side first and peered through the furthest window away from the back door. Nothing, just emptiness, a gap where the cooker was and a few cupboards open. Nothing special so I made my way to the back door. The back door on our houses was made up of a wooden bottom and a big see-through glass window for the upper half. I put my hands against it to block out any light and pressed my head to the glass.
I could see the kitchen door had been left open and there was a straight run from the kitchen down to the front door. But this was pitch black. I waited for a second for my eyes to adjust and as they did, suddenly I could see what I thought was my reflection in the double glazing but my hands were at my head. Whatever I was looking at in the darkness was standing perfectly still with its hands down by its sides. I looked further down and realized I could see its legs which given the fact the bottom half of the door was wooden this would have been impossible! I pulled my head away from the glass in shock, then it hit me! I ran like lightning as fast as I could. I got halfway around the estate before the other kids caught up with me. Not one believed me until they realized I wasn’t joking by the look of terror on my face.
Eventually, we made our way back to the street and as a group, we wondered what the hell I saw. We came to the conclusion with the light being that it was a homeless person. So we went and got bottles of water and poured them through the letterbox in case they were thirsty, sounds stupid but we were young. It makes no sense now. Time went on and some of the younger kids had to go in. It was at this point the lady who lived opposite came out and the second strange occurrence took place.
Her name was Ramona (changed for privacy) and she knew the family who had moved very well. She opened her front door to tell us off over the commotion we were causing and that we were keeping her kids awake. I told her what I had seen in the house so to shut us up she went and got a key they had left her! As she walked across the street I remember putting my hand on her shoulder and saying ‘Ramona you can’t go in there there’s somebody in there’ ‘nonsense!’ She said. She opened the door whilst I waited at the front expecting to hear her scream. Now Ramona was a lovely person and a good neighbor, she had recently lost her husband in a tragic road accident which looking back I assume is why she had no fear. She went upstairs, switched off the bathroom light, walked everywhere in the house, and came out of the darkness to say ‘see, nobody in there now can you please keep quiet’. My mate and I were flabbergasted and I genuinely was speechless that there was no one in there.
Eventually, it was just me and my mate Alan left who I’d gone to primary school with and were now in the same secondary school. We couldn’t think of what had happened. We walked across the front garden and placed our heads on the boarded-up living room window to see if we could at least hear someone. Both of us pulled our heads away fast and he said ‘did you feel that?’ I said yeah I did. The boards pressed back against us. Impossible as there was a Window behind it! We walked backwards across the front garden and onto the footpath and that’s where we saw her.
Looking down at us from the main bedroom was an old woman. She had a dark scarf wrapped around her head and her skin was the whitest I had ever seen. Where her eyes should have been were just black holes and she was slumped to the side against the bedroom wall. We both stared for what felt like forever until we both turned our heads and ran. I was that panicked I fell over into a bush outside my house. I lay awake all night thinking whatever it was was only a few doors down. I can still see her face to this day. The next day walking to school both our descriptions matched and we couldn’t believe what we had seen. To this day I still think about it and I will never get her face out of my head.