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The House on Station Road

In an ancient town like Thetford, there are many tales of ghosts. Zanny Jode recalls a story from growing up in the house on Station Road…

I spent the first 12 years of my life living in Thetford. I was born on Station Road in a small, semi-detached house that seemed to stand out compared to the rest of the street.  It boasted a white, front-facing exterior and a beautiful bay window that sat perfectly behind a small red brick wall. A curved black finish separating the path to the steps leading up to the well-presented front door, which was always painted black, complimenting the black border with a white pattern, set inside it, sitting just above its arch. From what I remember, it really was a beautiful looking house.

As children growing up, my sister and I shared many happy memories living at Station Road, spending hours sitting on the wall out front over the years, playing our recorders in the sun to passers-by, whether they liked it or not!

I believe the bay window to be the where my enjoyment of people watching and day-dreaming first appeared. Many people walked past our house on the way to and from the train station and I used to imagine who they were and where they were or had been travelling. I would name many of them and recreate my ideas of their lives into my Lego building and when playing with my ever-growing Cindy dolls or Action Men collections.

I was lucky enough that mum could make little outfits for the dolls so Action Man could easily become ‘Mr Ruffle Man, traveling onto another adventure to London looking for treasures for the big museum,’ with his ruffle scarf that blew behind him in the wind as he ran past the house. I imagined he would be chasing after the moving train to jump onto it and climb in through the window when, in reality, ruffle man was most likely commuting to an office job in Cambridge, or indeed in London.

The little white house on Station Road stores many of my happier memories as a child, it was a happy home for me by day however, by night, it seemed to be tainted by my fears of the afterlife.

Our house was old, and I recall a conversation that it was situated on top of some old tunnels that run underneath a vast area of Thetford as a secret access point to Castle Hill and the Nunnery where the three Nun’s Bridges are. Whilst we lived there, the back side of the building, the bedroom my sister and I shared, began to slowly subside into the tunnels underneath it. The more the house tilted towards the tunnels, the more spiritually active it became. In our bedroom, my sister and I would hear many bumps in the night, our toys would be moved and our animals spooked. I had made what my family called an ‘imaginary friend’. He was a little man who sat on the end of my bed when I was frightened. He never spoke to me and had what I first thought to be a cone hat on but later discovered this was the deformity of his cone-shaped head.

By the time we decided to sell, my parents had experienced many items going missing and moving around the house, hairbrushes were found in lunchboxes and other random objects got hidden in many random places, sometimes causing arguments between us all. My dad was particularly spooked by seeing a group of many men marching through our home, their legs sunken into the ground. The house was put up for sale.

I was around 10 years old when we moved to a house on Ford Street, right opposite the Nunn’s Bridges. Needless to say, with the history that Thetford has, the activity continued at this house too, but that’s another story…..

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