Two weeks ago, I wrote a story for Inspire about the strange goings on at the house I had just moved into in Brighton. Over the course of 12 months, countless things disappeared, mysterious drawings showed up on the wall, and a paintbrush covered in red paint suddenly turned up on my kitchen table.
At night I could hear knocking on my front door (but there was never anybody there), then puddles of water started to appear on surfaces throughout the house. Not one prone to believing in the supernatural, I was unable to explain the strange happenings, and dreaded coming home at night. At my wits’ end, I contacted home healer Emma Loveheart.
A former HR adviser who only discovered her psychic energy eight years ago, Emma detected my house was full of negative vortexes and blocks. She also identified an ‘entity’ — a gremlin-like creature responsible for all the bizarre occurrences. Over a fortnight, she worked to heal my house.
Four readers shared the strange occurrences at their homes, following Claudia Connell’s experience with home healer Emma Loveheart (file image)
Three weeks on, all is calm and I feel much more relaxed in my home.
The house has a more peaceful vibe and friends have commented on how pleasant the atmosphere is and how much happier I appear.
My story triggered a huge reader response — many had similar stories about their own haunted houses. These strange stories will amaze you. As will Emma’s words of advice…
STRANGER THINGS . . . IN SHEFFIELD
Lesley Ward, 56, is single and lives in an Edwardian terrace house in Sheffield, built in 1910. She moved there with her then husband in 1991, and weird occurrences began the following year.
there have been about two spooky happenings every year, alongside other regular minor irritations, such as things vanishing or moving around.
One of the first was the disappearance of my husband’s leather jacket from the back of a chair — never to be seen again. Shortly after, a wooden flute appeared on the kitchen side, and we used to joke that someone had lost the flute but acquired a jacket!
When my sister-in-law came for tea one evening, she kicked her shoes off under the table. But, when she came to go home, one shoe was missing. It was never found.
Another time, my husband popped out to the shops, leaving a bag of empty wine bottles by the back door to take to the recycling bins later. When he returned, all the bottles were out of the bag and lined up like soldiers at the side of the kitchen.
Once, when we had a new kitchen fitted, the workmen left it half done and refused to come back inside the house. They claimed they kept cutting pieces to fit which simply disappeared when their backs were turned, and that some of their tools had vanished.
Claudia (pictured left) experienced 12 months of strange happenings at her Brighton home before receiving help from Emma Loveheart (pictured right)
Pretty much the same thing happened when we asked a young friend to stay for a couple of weeks, to look after the house while we were on holiday.
When we returned, she admitted she had only stayed two nights. She said she hoped we didn’t think she was mad, but things had moved around and disappeared. ‘That will be the poltergeist,’ my husband told her. She never spoke to us again!
There have been too many happenings to list them all, but I don’t even see them as odd any more — it’s just what happens. My husband no longer lives with me, but I do not consider myself to be living alone. I certainly live with something, I just cannot see it.
Yet it doesn’t frighten me — I am used to it, and it can be helpful. If I’ve lost something, I just shout up to the ceiling, ‘Where is my…?’ and it is generally in the middle of the dining table when I get home from work.
BLAZE TRAGEDY IN MY FRENCH FARMHOUSE
Sophie Barratt*, 69, is retired and lives in a 200-year-old farmhouse in the Dordogne, France, with her husband, 71-year-old Peter*. They moved there in 2015, which is when they first noticed items vanishing.
The previous owner told me about mysterious events she’d experienced — but only after the sale had been completed. She said items would disappear at odd intervals, sometimes for ever. So, when things started to happen to me, I wasn’t surprised.
The first happening occurred when I was alone in the kitchen cooking on the Aga, with my back to the room. Suddenly a champagne cork came flying past my ear and landed in the wood basket next to where I stood. I love champagne, but there wasn’t any in the house, and certainly no corks lying (or flying) about, either.
For the next odd occurrence, my husband was with me in the kitchen, near the front door, which looks directly onto a walled and secure courtyard at the front of the house.
Sophie Barratt lives in a 200-year-old farmhouse in the Dordogne, France. She has experienced regular unexplained banging and crashes (file image)
We were expecting a friend and so, when we heard a knock at the door, we assumed she’d arrived. When we opened the door, there was no one there, but my friend was just driving in through the gates. It was as if our resident spirit was trying to be helpful, alerting us to our friend’s arrival.
We still hear regular bangs and crashes from the guest bedrooms above the kitchen which, when we investigate, have no apparent cause.
I also often feel as though there is another presence with me in an otherwise unoccupied room, but I never feel scared or threatened. I do not detect any malevolent presence. This is definitely a happy house.
Our ‘visitor’ likes to remind us that she’s still here from time to time, by hiding my shoes (usually just one, irritatingly) or other personal items.
I say ‘she’ because an elderly neighbour told us a horrifying tale of an accident that befell a previous occupant of this house.
Apparently, this poor, infirm lady, the mother of the then owner, fell onto an open fire in the hearth which now houses my Aga. She suffered terrible injuries and died in hospital.
I sometimes talk aloud, in French, to old Madame DuPont, just to let her know that I know she’s there and that’s OK by me.
OUR MYSTERIOUS SEASIDE LODGERS
Ron Sewell (ex-Royal Navy), 75, lives with his wife Sheila, 76, in Essex and they have four children and five grandchildren. In 2002, they moved out of the ground-floor flat of an 18th-century ex-coastguard office, near a beach in Edinburgh, which they believe was haunted.
A strange visual feature of the building was the number of chimney pots. There were 12 fireplaces I know exist, but 13 flues project from the roof. The 13th fire remains a mystery.
The spare bedroom, which became my office, was always the coldest. Most of the time, when working at my computer, the temperature would drop to the point where I shivered.
One day, sensing a presence, I said aloud, ‘I don’t know who you are, but clear off,’ and the room warmed up straight away. I laughed at the thought of talking to thin air. Every time ‘Harry’, as I named him, arrived, I asked him to leave, and he did.
Ron Sewell and his wife moved out of the ground-floor flat of an 18th-century ex-coastguard office, near a beach in Edinburgh after their haunting experience (file image)
On other occasions, every room filled with an old-fashioned flowery perfume. I thought my wife had spilt a bottle, but she had not. The scent would vanish in seconds.
On my wife’s dressing table were a few cut-glass bottles which once belonged to her mother. One day she asked me why I had repositioned them. I hadn’t. If she put them back to the original position, they would move in her absence. We decided to leave them where they were. They remained in place until we sold the property.
Often I thought my wife was in the hall only to discover she was not, but I saw the movement of something dashing past. We both sensed it was female, possibly a housekeeper, and we called her Annabelle.
After redecorating the spare bedroom, we repositioned the headboard on a different wall.
Later, my wife called me into the room. I found her next to the bricked-up fireplace, standing as if warming her hands.
On other occasions, every room filled with an old-fashioned flowery perfume – Ron Sewell
I also felt the radiated heat. Yet this was an external wall, so where did the heat originate from? Harry must have liked this change, as the room was never cold again.
Harry and Annabelle became part of our lives.
In spite of the unusual occurrences, our home had a welcoming ambience. We concluded that somehow they belonged to the house, and were part of its history from different times.
When we went on holiday, I always asked them to take care of our home, and I think they did.
On putting the house up for sale, the initial viewers, a young couple, loved it, but the first question the woman asked was, ‘Do you have ghosts?’ My wife and I looked at each other and smiled, answering, ‘We think so’.
The couple still bought the flat.
FRED, THE NOISY, FRIENDLY GHOST
Pamela Stewart, 63, is retired and lives in Devon. In 1974, she rented a Victorian townhouse in Guildford with her boyfriend (now ex-husband) Stewart, for two years, where several strange things took place.
Many years ago, in my first rented house after leaving my family home, I had a ghost I called ‘Fred’.
I was 18 and living with Stewart, in a tiny two-up two-down. My brother and his wife lived next door on one side, and on the other was my sister-in-law’s sister and her boyfriend — it was a family row of houses. We used to visit each other frequently.
Pamela Stewart, 63, recalls items going missing and banging while renting a Victorian townhouse in Guildford (file image)
We all had ‘hauntings’, with ‘somebody’ noisily using our stairs to the kitchen and rattling the doorknob, when there was nobody there and the back door was locked.
We kept losing things and finding them in obscure places, too. Once, I was putting away the washing-up, and while my back was turned, all of the glasses were taken from the open cupboard and placed silently in a line against the skirting board, 8ft behind me. I told off ‘Fred’, saying he was wasting my time.
He liked to bang and crash around upstairs, knocking things to the floor and pulling bedding off to put it into a heap. Often, when I returned from putting the vacuum away after cleaning, I would find a neat pile of soot on the rug in the middle of the room.
However, I was never scared, and I didn’t feel lonely because I always knew ‘Fred’ was there. I would talk to him sometimes, and hear knocking from upstairs in reply.
When I moved out, I called out ‘Bye Fred’ and was answered by a very loud thump from upstairs.
HOME HEALER EMMA SAYS:
What I loved about these stories is that many readers had learned to live alongside their resident spirits, and even developed relationships with them.
If you are unhappy with a spirit living in your home, there are steps you can take to move them on, but if they aren’t acting in a harmful way, why would you need to?
The spirit I found in Claudia’s house wasn’t of human origin, but it seems these ones all are. Ron mentioned the smell of perfume, and that’s a good indicator of a human spirit. Often, people smell cigarette smoke when nobody in the house is a smoker.
I suspect Ron is right in his assumption that ‘Annabelle’ was part of the history of the house. Her story is something he could explore further with the aid of a psychic.
Home healer Emma says removing unwanted spirits involves learning their story and why they are there (file image)
When people tune into the energy of a human spirit, they are usually able to detect whether it’s male or female, as Pamela did with ‘Fred’. It sounds like they struck up a good connection, especially if he listened when she told him off.
The story Sophie mentions about Madame DuPont, a previous occupant of the house who fell into a fire, was fascinating. Knowing the history of your home can provide clues. If somebody died in a horrible way in the property, sometimes their spirit can get ‘stuck’ through trauma and need help moving on.
Often, people can pick up on the trauma that spirit felt when living, and experience a physical pain.
The only spirit that sounded too naughty at times was Lesley’s.
She refers to it as a ‘poltergeist’. Poltergeists generally come with a very dark energy. Lesley appears to feel comfortable in her home, so I would rule out a poltergeist, as their aim is to unnerve you.
The fact Lesley can successfully demand that her missing items are returned sounds as though they’ve built up an understanding.
Significantly, these letters show ghost stories don’t have to be scary, and that you can happily live side by side with spirits.
If you do want to remove them, it wouldn’t be a quick fix. It’s a case of tuning into the energy of the home, finding the spirit’s story and learning why they were there — some have a message they want to pass on — and then helping them move away if they want to.
The people I help all want their homes to be cleared, but it’s perfectly possible that some spirits may just leave of their own accord when they feel their work is done.
*Names have been changed.