A Stranger Than Fiction Story

“I had this awful dream last night,” said Emma Barnes over breakfast. “I dreamed there was a woman in black leaning over my bed. I couldn’t see her face but I knew she was going to hurt me. I screamed and the woman went away.”
Her mother, Victoria Barnes, involuntarily dropped the spoon she was holding and then gathered all her self-control to behave as though nothing had happened. In fact her daughter’s story was spine-chillingly familiar.

She, too, had had a similar dream that night which featured a woman in black leaning over the bed of her daughter. She, too, had felt an aura of evil generated by the shrouded figure. But she had no intention of sharing her secret with her daughter.
“Try to remember it was only a dream,” she said. “It’s absolutely nothing to worry about.”

The Barnes family were staying in a furnished flat in Hampstead, London, during the winter of 1960 while Victoria, an actress, appeared in a pantomime, of which her husband, Tony, was assistant director.

Emma, on holiday from boarding school, was enjoying seeing London friends. Now this had happened and Victoria was seriously thinking about giving up the short-term lease on the attractive flat and moving out as soon as possible.
Years later, after returning from a tour of Australia, Victoria Barnes recalled the disturbing events of January 1960 when she feared that her daughter’s life was in danger from something from another world.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own