Lagoa After Dark.

Actually, we always knew when it was midnight without having to look at the clock!

As the town lay quiet we would hear the distant rumbling of the wheels as it entered the town. The screeching mechanism echoing loudly down the centre main street, signalled the approach of the "Midnight Stagecoach"!

The noise reached its peak as it passed the end of our road; the long, ancient, rusting juggernaut creaked and rattled its way, with one back wheel (always) wobbling precariously as it lumbered on somewhere out into the dark countryside, to who knows where.

One late summers night as I cleaned and tidied the bedroom I heard noises from outside which sounded very much like a fight! It was getting dark but as I peered out the window I could just make out a figure in white striding up and down the flat roof garden below us; he was lashing out with arms and legs attacking some invisible enemy and with each blow came a loud exclamation! I called Hub; he informed me that the young man was performing "Kung Fu". He was alone but very serious and seemed quite expert in the martial arts.

As we went to bed I couldn't resist one last look. With only moonlight to see by, I looked down and saw stretched out on the low stone ledge the figure of our young "Bruce Lee". The heat and Kung Fu fighting had taken its toll and he'd fallen asleep under the stars.

On the hot summer nights, children could often be heard playing on the street until midnight and beyond.
One night, our son called from his room, "Oh God. Look at that!"
We looked down at the street below and saw, to our astonishment, a fire blazing in the middle of the road. Young children were shouting excitedly as they dared each other to jump over the leaping flames. Our hearts were in our mouths especially for the little girls whose trailing nightgowns came perilously close to the rising orange flames. We tried calling to them but they couldn't hear us above their own shouts. Finally, Hub went down the three flights of stairs and into the street to warn them against this very dangerous game. But luckily, the father came out to call them in for bedtime. We all breathed a sigh of relief!

I've never yet had an explanation for the "unearthly" sound that would, now and then haunt our apartment in the hours between one and two in the morning. It was the most chilling, creepy sound I've ever heard and as I write this, I can still recall the real fear it sent through me. For a "spooky" sound it was very human-like; not the sound of an ordinary being but that of a colossus that strode the dark streets. A giant exhaling long mournful sighs that floated window high, reaching every corner of our 3rd floor apartment.

One night I was alone and reading as usual before sleep. Hub was in the UK on business trip, so I was left in sole charge of workshops, the apartment and most precious of all, our young son. I was just beginning to drift off when I heard "it" coming. This time, however it was louder than usual and though I tried to stay calm my heart was racing, my mouth dry with fear. Looking down I noticed my arms were covered in "gooseflesh" as though freezing, yet the temperature was at least 30C. Thinking of my son, I dragged myself from bed to see if he was okay. I took a quick, hesitant look out the window. The back street was deserted; no sound except for the loud sighing protracted breaths that filled the dark emptiness. I panicked, quickly closing the window; as I did so my son cried out in alarm and as I rushed into the sitting room we almost collided. He was terribly afraid; absolutely convinced that there was someone there in the dark corner of his room. I tried to hide my fear (I felt extremely vulnerable without Hub around) by turning on the TV to try and "drown out" the noise of our "uninvited guest". Then made us mugs of hot sweet tea.

We did eventually get to sleep but not in our beds. Instead, wrapped in a blanket, we curled up, each in an armchair and the TV full on! Without the sound of TV, our sighing "ghost" was still with us.
When Hub returned, we told him what happened but he only laughed; he'd only ever heard the sound once. But then he's asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow!
We still wonder "who" or "what" it was out there. My son has a theory that it may the "spirit" of Lagoa itself; perhaps re-enacting some strange, bizarre happening of long ago!

But whatever -- it remains a complete mystery!