Cuckfield is a large village in the district of West Sussex, England. It lies 34 miles (55 km) south of London, 13 miles (21 km) north of Brighton, and 31 miles (50 km) east northeast of the county town of Chichester.
Its in the Village of Cuckfield where our latest personal account comes from courtesy of Kevin Conway.
Many years ago I had been invited to a friends house in a little village called Cuckfield. I had stayed at the house before with no unpleasant experiences. So this was quite a surprise. The names I’m going to give are all changed as I have my own theories as to what happened and frankly I don’t believe my friends would thank or believe me if they were to learn of my suspicions.
One weekend I traveled down as a guest at a party for my friends two year old son, we’ll call him Ben, his parents, particularly Mike the father, had been a friend of long standing, but I had now known Sue his wife for several years. It was summer and the majority of the party was staged outside in a quite large garden, the weather was great, the sun was out, there was no breeze. What took place however happened in the house so it’s perhaps best to give a general impression of what this was like.
Although the house was double fronted (window on each side of the front door) the house was in fact semi detached. I’m thinking it was of early Victorian build because of the styling of the front and the fireplaces etc inside. The front door opened to a hall way which rose at the end into the stair way. Facing in there were two doors on the right, the first was a small study and the next was into the kitchen. On the left was the door into the living room, this room ran the length of the house and had a sash window at the front and French windows at the back. Neither of these were open.
The party was going well, Ben and his friends were all running about as kids do at parties and the adults were helping themselves to the food and beverages available. Sue and I were both smokers so at various intervals we would retire inside the house for a crafty cigarette. We would quietly disengage from the party and go into the living room shutting the door for privacy. On this occasion we were just talking generally, catching up and enjoying our cigarettes. Sue was in a chair to the right of the door and I was sitting on the sofa to the left of the door. Suddenly, without warning – there was no noise, the door dramatically burst open. At first I expected to see Ben with his hands outstretched, standing giggling in the doorway.
From my position I could see the hall and the stair case, Sue could see the hall up to the study door and into the kitchen. There was no one there and there had been no time for anyone to throw the door open and not be seen. It gets better. At the speed that the door opened it should by rights have swung completely on its hinges and straight into the wall. It didn’t, the door came to a sudden full stop half way through its turn, as if someone were holding it. I have to admit that I didn’t know what to think, I looked at Sue who was gauging my reaction but not saying anything. I felt it odd that there was no shared look of surprise on her face, after a pause we merely picked up the conversation from where I think we had left it.
That night I was given the front bedroom to sleep in, this was over the living room. I don’t remember it being very late by the time I got to bed, but despite being summer it was nevertheless dark. I was quite tired and lay in bed and turned off the light. There was a street lamp on the road nearby so there was still some light. As I shut my eyes and tried to drift off I suddenly became aware of something a rapidly developing and irrational sense of foreboding. It’s difficult to explain but it felt like there was something in front of my bed hovering near the ceiling defying me to sleep because if I did….
I switched on the light and sat upright. Whatever it was I could practically hear its thoughts, this was a heavy threatening malevolence I had never encountered before. I knew if I shut my eyes I would find out what true terror was. It seemed to want me to understand that sleep should be the last thing I should do but tormenting me at the same time with its inevitability.
As time went on my eyelids began to get very heavy as I resisted with all my strength the urge to sleep, I could actually hear them closing slowly and had to force myself to keep them open. I was really desperate for the morning to come. At various times I felt myself drifting off only to feel the entity reminding me of its presence and I jolted myself back. I tried to distract myself by reading but realised quickly that lowering my guard was not the best thing to do. Then after several hours of feeling this impending threat I noticed the atmosphere suddenly became acutely more oppressive. A kind of heaviness, a change in pressure, the gnawing exertion and anxiety of staying awake. Perhaps this was it making its move? I was hit by a wave of nausea that demanded I immediately use the bathroom.
To say I was scared is to put it mildly, I have never run so fast or so blindly. I was violently ill and would be so on two more occasions during the rest of the night as the thing continued its hostilities. When the morning light started to show, I felt a tremendous relief and a lifting of the sense of threat. I never mentioned any of this to either Mike or Sue, but tried to restrict my overnight stays afterwards. Subsequent visits became easier when Ben outgrew his cot and moved into the front bedroom.
I never heard of Ben having any problems. My visits to Mike and Sue have gradually petered out over the years, Ben will now be in his teens. The reason I have not seen so much of them is that wherever they have lived since Cuckfield, they have moved a couple of times, I have always felt uncomfortable and unable to sleep. The visits in any event were fraught, Ben has an unrecognised (by his parents) hostility towards me which was demonstrated at every visit.
It became formulaic, I knew beforehand that Ben would misbehave to gain attention, there would follow loud angry voices of parental remonstration and Bens temper tantrums in reaction. I may be paranoid but I knew that Ben resented my intrusion and this was his way to get back at me. I can’t in closing this story, not ponder on whether there is something of the Damien about him, it’s an idea that has just occurred to me. Ben was conceived in the house in Cuckfield and it may be that the entity in the house considered me some sort of threat and continue s to have some kind of connection to him.