(Happened to my father and his siblings but I have heard the account several times from them, my great uncle and the kitchen help who were all there)
Imagine a little town in late 60s, where everyone knew each other, the walls were low and gates and hearts were always open for visitors.
My grandfather was the town mayor and normally had people travelling from rural areas and such to meet him and tell him about their problems.
Seeing strange faces in the house were not out of the routine, as my grandfather had offices in the front of the house and my grandmother counselled women in the backyard.
There was a private garden and residence wing where only close family members were allowed to visit.
Also, relevant to the story, there was a huge plot of land on the left side where quarters were made for the help.
On the backside of the house ran a small street, parallel to the Main Street on the front. I know the house lay out very well because I was born and raised in that house.
One day my grandmother was off to get some groceries and my grandfather was travelling.
My great uncle had taken my younger aunt and uncle on a ride and my father, my older uncle and an aunt were all at home playing in the resident wing.
My younger aunt (who was out with her uncle) described the incident like this:
"We were all crammed in the back of Uncle S's car and I remember it was in the middle of June and was sweltering hot in the car. "That's a weird looking woman.
" He suddenly commented, pointing at a woman who stood out in the crowd. She was very thin, emaciated and had a long sheet of dirty black hair down to her feet.
As we craned for a better look, she disappeared in the crowd.
We were soon distracted by the heat but Uncle won't let us roll down the windows and cautioned us to stay in the car as he parked it in the market and went to get some ice creams for us.
I started playing a game if I See with my younger brother when we felt the car shake a little. We looked around and saw nothing so we resumed our game.
A few moments later, someone slammed in the car door. It was the same woman, that our uncle had pointed out earlier.
She cupped both hands on the window and peered inside as we both clutched each other, scared. She then tried to hook her hands around the car window trying to pull it down.
We screamed and she suddenly turned and walked away as our uncle came in view. He started the car and we didn't say anything to him because we were still too scared. "
Meanwhile at the house, two streets away from the market, the old guard saw a woman wander in. He told her my grandmother was not at home so she should come back later but the woman did not answer.
She instead ran towards the resident wing where my father and his siblings saw her coming and barred the door. She banged at the windows and when the guard caught her, she bit him on the hand.
From their description, it was the same woman as seen earlier in market.
Nobody knew what she wanted, who she was and why she was in the area as she did not speak a single word. She then walked towards the empty ground with the help's quarters there.
It was lunch time and thinking she was a homeless woman they invited her to lunch. According to the cook, she ate 4 full loaves of bread and a potful of soup before leaving. Nobody saw her again.
All accounts were matched and later told to my grandparents who thanked the heavens that their family was ok.
The first time I was told the story, I found it hard to sleep that night, worried she would wander in even though it had been some 40 years since.
Fun fact, I lived for 17 years in the same bedroom she tried to get into.