You can’t say that the Bingergread Cottage (upside-down Gingerbread Cottage) is haunted because that would mean that the spirit came with the house. Like everything else, I do it back to front and I brought my apparition with me 10 years ago when I bought the house.
Ali is a Djinn and he has been with me since I was about seven. My aunt Helen, who lived in the Sudan, brought him back when she came for a visit and he decided to stay. Ali is not a ghost, nor a poltergeist but he is a thief.
Ali hides things. I used to worry about it but these days I just accept him as part of the household, as much as the dogs. My husband was initially freaked out but finally came to realise that I wasn’t lying or having “delusions”. You can always tell when Ali has taken something. You look several times in the place where it should be and then you find it lying where you could NOT have missed it.
Example? I lost an earring when we were away camping in the caravan. I am absolutely sure that it slipped out when I was removing my jacket in the café but, having missed it, I asked Ali and it was found in the centre of my pillow, plain to see, where one would notice it instantly. That was what convinced my other half.
So now, even though he is still sceptical, he will lose something and call out “Ali! Could I have it back please?” I laugh because I can SEE Ali – he is a little boy, about nine years old, in baggy trousers and a short waistcoat with a fancy skull cap. He laughs all the time because he is amused by hiding our stuff. He also finds it hilarious when we get cross… so we try to be pleasant and ask him nicely…but it is an effort.
“Ali! Sweetheart! Could you bring back my belt loop, please? I would appreciate it because the damn thing is new and I need it. Would you please?” …. all the while fuming because I really want to wear my nice new belt with the skull and crossbones buckle. But we have to ask Ali and wait til he feels like returning it. (PS – my Aunt Helen was apparently very pleased to dump him on us, but I wouldn’t be without him… he is very good at finding things.) Ali the thief, son of Ali the thief, son of … well work it out for yourself!