My grandparents grew up in England and moved here after they got married. Both are very intelligent and are not prone to bouts of idiocy or live in a fantasy world. But my grandmother told me of something strange that happened to her when she was a little girl. She swears it really happened, and I believe her to the fullest.
When she was around the age of 8, her family moved into a rather run-down neighborhood. The house next to hers stood vacant and she never remembered anyone living there at all the entire time her family lived next door. The kids in the neighborhood would make up stories, as kids do, and call the house haunted. She said that even at one time, there was a family of squatters that resided there, but they didn't stay long, only a couple weeks and seemed to leave in a hurry.
One day, for reasons that she cannot recall, her older brother took her into the house to explore. There wasn't much to it, but she says she distinctly remembered a room upstairs that had yellowed wallpaper. On the wallpaper were vertical lines of vines and leaves with doves or pigeons sitting in them. For some reason, the room felt eerie and they left soon afterward. She said that when her parents found out that they had gone in there, they were very angry with her brother and told them never to go in there again in case they fell through the weakening floorboards.
Some days later, my grandmother and her brother were walking home from school. As they neared their house, they heard a strange fluttering sound, and to their astonishment, what seemed like hundreds of doves or pigeons were flying out of one of the upstairs windows of the vacant house. The next day, curiosity got the better of them and my grandmother and her brother again went into the house. But they couldn't find the room with the yellowed wallpaper and doves. They checked everywhere twice over, yet never found the room.
Confused, the children left the house, and that's when her brother noticed he had accidently dropped his toy truck somewhere. He told her to wait while he dashed back in the house to look for it. A few minutes later, her brother returned, looking very pale. She asked him if he found his truck and he simply nodded, but didn't say anything, and they walked back to their house.
Later in the evening, my grandmother asked him if she could see his truck and he said that it was back in the vacant house. Miffed, my grandmother demanded to know why he didn't retrieve it and her brother turned to her, wide-eyed, and stated that the truck was on the wall in one of the upstairs rooms. On the wall? What did that mean? He tried to explain that it seemed to be painted on the wall and got angry when my grandmother continued to ask him to explain. He never did truly explain what he meant and soon got so angry with her frequent questions that she stopped asking them.
Whether he was telling the truth or not, she wasn't sure, but it seemed like he had been. They never returned to the old house and eventually moved out. My grandmother told this story to me when I was younger and I have always associated England with this story. Has anyone else had similar experiences such as this in England?