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Shivering Mechanic (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Shivering Mechanic!

One pound a week, that is all we had to pay for the one bedroom flat we were living in, and that included electricity and telephone! We had recently moved from a rented three bedroom house, along with our two young children. It was going to be more than a little cramped with a two year old boy and a three year old girl, but this was the opportunity we were waiting for to save the deposit for a house of our own. The garage I was working for had decided to appoint a resident breakdown mechanic and I had taken the job. Little did I know then, that this was not only going to be the start of thirty years in the breakdown industry, but I would also have to share these premises at night. But today, all that mattered was fitting the contents of a three bedroom home into two rooms and a kitchen! We had lived in three different houses in the last four years so we were no strangers to moving house, but this time we were shrinking not growing.

So that is how we now became residents in a very large main dealership’s garage that had been built over the site of an old church and graveyard, and would you also believe, an old derelict brewery. For the next year, we managed well, having the run of the garage at night to do private work (unofficially), and both official and unofficial breakdown work. I could generally be found until late at night inside the garage working on ‘friends’ cars to supplement our income. But from the very first night I set foot in this place, I knew that I had unseen company.

The garage was divided into several parts and also had a second floor. The service bay had heavy wooden roller-doors across the rear entrance of the garage. A ‘tunnel’ joined this to the main workshop, which in turn was linked to the main car showrooms and stores. A ramp led up from another steel roller door at the side of the building passing a ‘car lift’ to the second floor. The main exit of the garage was next to the showroom which also housed the burglar alarm controls, for which I was the main key-holder.

Each part of this building had its own very different ‘residents’. The feelings of pure contentment in the workshop (the old church building), where I spent many late hours, were amazing, like having all your troubles soothed and perfect peace. The service bay was a pleasure to be in, with the sounds, feelings, and occasional glimpses, of children playing. The times that these ‘children’ had made me go and look, when I ‘knew’ I had heard the huge wooden doors rolling open, only to find they were still locked just as I had left them!

The showroom and upper floor were a different matter, just entering the showroom to set the alarms made shivers run down my spine and my hair stand on end. But this was nothing compared to the upper floor, I only once went up there at night and the feeling of foreboding was unbearable. There is not a lot I will not face up to, but I still feel the evil of that place to this day, one visit at night was enough… never again!

Of course, this was only my own perception, except for the time one afternoon, when a group of mechanics heard someone scrambling on the tin roof of the ‘tunnel’, then despite sending people up on the roof to look, while they stayed immediately below listening to the footsteps, nobody could be seen. I loved those ‘children’, and they loved to have fun! But yes, it was still only ‘my’ perception until the day they employed another breakdown mechanic and moved him into the flat under mine.

Now to understand what was to happen two days later, you have to appreciate the security of the building. The flats were situated by a small side door alongside the service bay and a double flight of stairs led up to our flat. The side door had a double security lock that had to be turned two revolutions with the key to open or lock it. There was a similar security lock on the wooden doors. The keys to these locks were difficult to insert and although they looked the same, only fitted their own lock.

Well that night, with the children in bed, we were watching television and relaxing, when all hell broke out at our door. Banging and thumping, It sounded like somebody was trying to break the door down in a terrible haste. I went to the door and opened it, at first I thought that nobody was there. Then, hearing a whimpering at my feet, I looked down to find Neil, our new breakdown mechanic, huddled in a foetal position and shaking so violently I thought he was having a fit! He couldn’t speak and was actually dribbling through his chattering teeth and I could not get a sensible response from him.

Thinking he may have been attacked I ran down to the garage to investigate but could find no signs of anybody or anything wrong. His car had been parked in the service bay properly and nothing seemed out of order. I hurriedly returned to my flat to find out what the problem was. Joan, my wife, had by this time coaxed him into our flat and was trying to console him with a cup of tea (English ‘cure all’ for any situation). However, he still couldn’t speak coherently, was babbling on about something ‘white’ getting him and was still shivering like a jelly. It took us about half an hour, and two cups of hot tea, before we finally got the story out of him.

On returning to the garage he had opened the wooden doors and driven his car inside and parked it. After locking the roller doors, he had started to walk towards the side door when a ‘shining white lady’ had appeared through the garage wall by the door and floated straight at him. Well he totally lost it!... screamed, closed his eyes and ran straight through her to the door, as this was the only way out. He said he actually felt her go through him! Unfortunately, when he reached the door he was shaking so much he couldn’t get the key in the lock. He had locked himself in the garage with a ghost!

Eventually, by steadying his shaking hand with his other hand he managed to get the door unlocked, but insisted this had taken him about half an hour to achieve, whilst all the time the white thing had been floating around him This was made more difficult because he was afraid to open his eyes! On finally escaping from the garage, he ran straight past his own front door, up the stairs as he thought the ghost was still chasing him, and didn’t want it to get into 'his' flat!.

I am ashamed to say that on finally calming Neil down and returning him to his flat, both my wife and I broke down into hysterical fits of laughter. We are not proud of this, but Neil was a strange sort of guy and it couldn’t have happened to a better person! I had, of course, by this time become accustomed to the pranks the ‘children’ in the service bay played and I was sure that they had had something to do with it. I felt sorry for the ‘ghost’ though, as she was probably the innocent party in all this.

Well, from that day on, he never, ever, took his car inside the garage at night. He would to stop in front of the wooden doors and then ask me to park it inside, and even lock up the garage for him. Each time he was on ‘call out’ for breakdown he used to ask me to open the garage and get the recovery van out for him. If I was not there, he used to take his telephone off the hook to save him having to go in the garage! Needless to say, he didn’t stay long in the flat and, in fact, soon left to work for a national breakdown company.

Me, well I loved the place (except the showroom and upper floor) and made a few ‘extra’ pounds while living there. I got used to the many funny goings on, but will always remember best, the many happy hours I spent repairing cars, at dead of night, while listening to the happy sounds of ‘children’ playing… and trying to wind me up!

Sweet Dreams,


Beatrice Boyle

Senior Member
Well surely know how to tell a story!

I will make certain to look under my bed this evening...and if I find any "apparitions"...I'll know you sent them! (Friendly ones of course!) :wink:


P.S. Welcome to the forums!


Senior Member
nifty little ghost story as could only be told by an englishman!... you folks do have the most well-behaved ghosts... must be the upbringing...

hugs, maia


Hi Ivor

I dont remember getting any frights there, but I do remember watching the colour adverts on your new TV in amazement..... mostly it was only the adverts that were in colour in those days....



This a fun story and the stuff about Neil is very funny! My suggestion is to start this piece with more atmosphere. I realize this is a non-fiction forum, but what you have here is literary non-fiction, not an article, and it still needs to pull us in right from the beginning. You have great stuff about the flat over the graveyard and the derelict brewery. If you could start off with a very descriptive paragraph, then fill us in later about why you are there and being in cramped quarters with your wife and two kids, it would make for a more interesting start.