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TEAM ZOELLA OCTOBER 30, 2021

Real-Life Ghost Stories: We Spoke To People Who Have Lived In A Haunted House

Items mysteriously disappearing, drops in temperature, TVs turning on and off randomly, footsteps in the hallway - the thought of staying in a haunted house would have most of us running for the hills but is all that just a load of Hocus Pocus brought to us by the ultimate myth-maker aka, Hollywood?

Trigger Warning: This article contains violence, depression and suicide.

Items mysteriously disappearing, drops in temperature, TVs turning on and off randomly, footsteps in the hallway – the thought of staying in a haunted house would have most of us running for the hills but is all that just a load of Hocus Pocus brought to us by the ultimate myth-maker aka, Hollywood?

Astronomical rent and eye-watering gas and electric bills are scary enough to deal with, throw in a Victorian ghost with a spooky vaporous tail and it’s a hard pass from us. Unexpected roommates and pets behaving strangely does not real estate heaven make. No thank you.

That said, we are a nation truly gripped by ghostly goings-on – just not when it’s happening in our home, amiright? – and with haunted house reports on the rise since the pandemic, we thought what better way to investigate than by talking to the people who have lived in a haunted house and survived to tell the tale.

Anyone else lighting their sage sticks rn? Scroll on down if you’re feeling brave enough…

Katy

First up, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do!

My name is Katy, I’m 21 and from Devon and a Digital Marketing Executive.

Where do you stand on the supernatural, is it something you’ve always believed in or is it something that you became engaged with or interested in once you’d experienced it first-hand?

I’ve always been very open with the supernatural. I’ve always believed that there had to be some sort of life after death.

What property were you living in at the time and were you aware of its interesting history?

The house I was living in was called The Old Mill. My parents and I moved there when I was 14. It was a converted mill that still had a water wheel on the side (it didn’t move, it had been inactive for some time), along with all the cogs and workings of the wheel inside. It’s been various different mills in its time, a sawmill, a paper mill, a flour mill. It was converted into a house in the 1950s, but the oldest parts of the house date back to the 12th century.

Did you ever experience a ‘feeling’ when you were viewing the property, prior to moving in?

I never really sensed anything when we viewed the house. I just found the history of the building fascinating, and it was a beautiful house so I was excited to move there.

When did you first suspect the property you lived in was haunted and that it wasn’t just a one-off incident?

It was about 6 months after we moved that this man first appeared to me in my bedroom. I remember the first time I saw him, I thought someone had broken in! I remember screaming and yelling to my parents ‘There’s someone in the house!’. But by the time they got there, he had vanished. We searched the house, nothing. No signs of him. I was a bit freaked for a while, and I thought maybe my mind was just playing tricks with me. But then I saw him again, about a week later, in the exact same spot in the corner of my bedroom. I remember I was home alone, and screaming ‘What do you want!’, still at this point thinking it was someone breaking in.

I always found it strange that he appeared in the exact same spot in the corner of my room. I also noticed he had a lot of bruising around his neck.Katy

I remember scrambling for my phone, ready to dial 999. But then he spoke to me and said ‘I just want to be friends. I used to live here, I just want to visit and see what you’ve done with the place’. So I asked him when did he live here, and that’s when he said ‘1874’. I thought he was kidding but then I noticed his clothing and it was very old fashioned, very Victorian era. In a brown suit, holding a top hat. I screamed again and ran out into the garden. Then when I went back in, he was gone. I was so freaked. I didn’t tell my parents because they would think I was out of my mind and seeing things. The next time he reappeared he told me his name was Arthur. I always found it strange that he appeared in the exact same spot in the corner of my room. I also noticed he had a lot of bruising around his neck. I asked him about it once, but he looked very sheepish and then disappeared. He didn’t look that old, maybe in his mid 40s?

At the time I was going through a rough spell with depression. He started appearing every time my head was in a dark place, and he started encouraging these negative thoughts and feelings. This is when I realised he wasn’t just a spirit visiting somewhere he used to live. I felt he had caught on to the negative energy around me and encouraged it to make him stronger. This is when I told my parents. I think that they thought it was just voices in my head to do with my mental health. We sought medical help but I just felt that nobody took it seriously. That’s when we decided we needed to move out of the house. The thing was, as soon as I left the house, it all stopped. He left me alone, the voices stopped. That’s how I knew I wasn’t simply going mad or having some sort of episode.

When I told him we were moving, he was very angry, and told me “You’re mine”. That’s when the figure of two girls appeared. Every time they appeared, he would disappear. They were about the same age I was at the time, 15/16? One of them spoke to me, her name was Mary, and she just said that I needed to leave, to get out, and to save myself from ‘him’. I believed her. There was even one time where Mary possessed me. I have no recollection of any of it. So I’ll just tell you what my parents told me about it as they witnessed it. I was lying in my bed crying, and they were there comforting me. Apparently, my body went stiff for around 5-10 seconds. And then I started talking, but it wasn’t my voice at all. I was saying “get out, get out! You need to protect yourselves from him, save yourselves”. And then I had a coughing fit and came to.

How did you feel when leaving the property, were you concerned that the energy would move on with you?

When my parents and I eventually moved out of the house, it felt like a breath of fresh air. Like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. Luckily the sale of my parents business meant we could buy and move into a new house before selling The Old Mill. I’m very appreciative that we managed to do that because I was just at the point where I needed to be out of that house.

Did you end up enlisting any help from a medium to clear your house or perform blessings to rid the house of any negative energy?

It turned out he had held two girls captive there, Mary and Elizabeth, and he accidentally killed them. He felt so guilty and ashamed of what he did, that ended up hanging himself, you guessed it, in the corner of what would become my bedroom.Katy

When we moved into our new home, we got chatting to one of our neighbours and it turned out that he was a medium. We told him about all of our experience with the old house, and he offered to go down there with one of his medium friends to see if they picked up on anything. Now we didn’t tell him all the details, but what he and his medium friend found out was amazing. Turns out Arthur was a priest who lived there in the 1870s. It turned out he had held two girls captive there, Mary and Elizabeth, and he accidentally killed them. He felt so guilty and ashamed of what he did, that ended up hanging himself, you guessed it, in the corner of what would become my bedroom.

Were the new occupants made aware of the supernatural history of the house once it was on the market?

We managed to sell the house a year ago, we did tell the new owners that we had some spiritual activity but we didn’t tell them the full extent of it all. We didn’t want to sell the house to a family who had any young girls as we didn’t want them experiencing anything similar to what I did. Luckily it was a lovely elderly couple who bought it, and when we told them about it being slightly haunted, they thought it was ‘rather splendid’.

We’ve got to ask, would you ever live in a haunted house again or have you been there, done that and got the goosebumps?!

I’ve now become very aware of the fact that I can sense spirits. Even in the home we live in, I sense my grandparents who passed away a few years ago. I wouldn’t say I would never again live in a haunted house because I feel all houses have history to them, even new builds, as there will be history to the land they’re built on. Just as long as the spirits are friendly and wish me no harm!

Hannah

First up, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do!

I’m Hannah, I’m 24 and I’m an HR admin at a mental health and physical health Hospital in East Sussex.

Where do you stand on the supernatural, is it something you’ve always believed in or is it something that you became engaged with or interested in once you’d experienced it first-hand?

The supernatural has always interested me, I grew up watching most haunted and ghost hunters, and now I love Buzzfeed’s supernatural series! I don’t think ghosts are real in the sense that you can see an apparition of someone who died, but I do believe you can communicate with other spirits who would go through a journey to be able to communicate. I also believe In being possessed, and objects having spirits attached to them.

What property were you living in at the time and were you aware of its interesting history?

When we experienced the odd ‘imaginary friend’ situation and heard footsteps in the house etc, we didn’t jump to ghost until quite late on. Was one of those things where if you’d watch it on a film you’d say ‘why wouldn’t you move out when you can hear things in the attic or running around upstairs’ but we really didn’t think much of it straight away!

Did you ever experience a ‘feeling’ when you were viewing the property, prior to moving in?

One of my cousins who I lived with was only a tiny human when it began, and he was somewhat mischievous but when he began to say “Bella Lucia made me do it” we were like ummmm who??

When did you first suspect the property you lived in was haunted and that it wasn’t just a one-off incident?

Bella Lucia was someone only my cousin Tom could see and talk to, apparently, a girl who I think was about 5 years old.

How long did the paranormal activity go on for and what went down?

So here’s the story :

For context, when I was about 13 myself, my sister, and my dad moved into a bigger house with my auntie, uncle, and my two cousins who were 3 and 5 at the time. It was a house that was relatively old but nothing ancient. My sister and I shared a room on the bottom floor and my dad was also in the room next to us and we had our own bathroom. Upstairs the kids had their own rooms and my auntie and uncle had a room upstairs.

My youngest cousin Tom was a mischievous kid and there were stories where he saw people and once said to his mum ‘who’s that man in the kitchen’ and on investigating there was no one there. When he moved into this house with us he would start to misbehave and would say “Bella Lucia told me to do it”. It was such a specifically odd name that thought, what 3 year old would come up with that name? Then my sister and I started getting bruises and hearing noises that spooked us but we hadn’t put two and two together.

One night I heard running upstairs and I said to my auntie the next morning that I heard Tom run around and asked if he’d had a rough night and she said no he slept all night in his bed, and I was like no I 100000% heard a little kid run about last night and they said he didn’t wake them up at all which he typically would.

We started to ask Tom who Bella Lucia was and he was saying she’s a little girl who likes to play but we can’t see her.Hannah

Bella Lucia would then start talking to Tom more and more and he would say “Bella Lucia said it’s time to go play upstairs now”. We started to ask Tom who Bella Lucia was and he was saying she’s a little girl who likes to play but we can’t see her, we kind of thought he had an imaginary friend, that’s cute! But he would do really obscure and dangerous things that weren’t like him, like trying to throw himself down the stairs, chewing through electrical cords, hitting himself etc.

I kept thinking I could hear people in the kitchen and when I’d go to look no one was there. There’s been a few people who experienced the kitchen and thought someone was with them in there when there wasn’t, and Tom told my sister there’s someone in the kitchen and there wasn’t. I’d think I could hear stuff from the attic when I was upstairs and we even got someone to inspect the loft thinking there were animals because it was so noisy but there was nothing.

I asked my sister what she remembers and she said she remembers a balloon that wasn’t helium floating upwards and staying in the air and then being pulled about a bit and Tom said Bella Lucia was holding it.

We became terrified of Bella Lucia and who she’d ask my cousin to hurt nextHannah

When we started to feel more creeped out in the house we googled Bella Lucia. The name translates to beautiful light, which is often to do with angels / angelical meanings. We couldn’t find anything too other than a book called the haunting of Bella Lucia, but after we had that thought we became terrified of Bella Lucia and who she’d ask my cousin to hurt next (it was minimal violence, not much a 3-year-old can do). We moved out a year or so after and my cousin hasn’t had any weird contact with Bella Lucia since and doesn’t remember a thing, which is normally weird because kids tend to not forget imaginary friends!

Were the new occupants made aware of the supernatural history of the house once it was on the market?

It never got to the point where we were too scared to stay there, we kind of laughed about it, but when Tom turned creepy we all would start to freak out a bit! We were more worried about him being hurt honestly, but he seemed to have a good pact with Bella Lucia that would mean they’d play together and sometimes be naughty. I never thought about the fact that the next tenants might experience it because I assumed that whatever it was, it was attached to my cousin.

We’ve got to ask, would you ever live in a haunted house again or have you been there, done that and got the goosebumps?!

I don’t think I could live in a haunted house but I’d love to experience it for a night in a properly haunted place! I always think though, when you know what kind of ghost/experience to expect you create the fear yourself and every noise you hear you assume is a ghost haha. I think if I lived somewhere and it had a friendly spirit in there I wouldn’t mind, but the first sign of a paranormal activity moment and I think id be out, although that’s easier said than done and would make a great viral video 😂

Aimee

First up, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do!

My name is Aimee and I am currently in school studying biology, chemistry, psychology and English lit

Where do you stand on the supernatural, is it something you’ve always believed in or is it something that you became engaged with or interested in once you’d experienced it first-hand?

I have always been interested in the paranormal from a young age. I was always the weird kid who instead of loving unicorns would be interested in a tragic accident involving the dead and the hauntings that followed. I was particularly interested in the sinking of the titanic in 1912

What property were you living in at the time and were you aware of its interesting history?

I was living in a 3 bedroom house with my parents and I had heard rumours from the neighbour’s kids.

Did you ever experience a ‘feeling’ when you were viewing the property, prior to moving in?

I remember as soon as I walked in I was on edge the whole time and was particularly drawn to the garden

When did you first suspect the property you lived in was haunted and that it wasn’t just a one-off incident?

It was when my brother had told me he felt breathing on him in his sleep and later that day when I was home alone I heard a man’s deep voice coming from his room

How long did the paranormal activity go on for and what went down?

It has happened in every house I have ever lived in.Aimee

For as long as I can remember. It has happened in every house I have ever lived in. We would smell cigarettes ( we have a non-smoker household) technology would mess up, our Alexa would play really old music while we were out and we would come back and it would be playing. Things moved by themselves. Running noises in the middle of the night. Laughing, shadowy figures and so much more.

Did you ever find out why they were there or who they were?

No, although I have wanted to, my nan had a bad experience with communicating with the dead and has warned everyone in my family to never do it.

Did you end up enlisting any help from a medium to clear your house or perform blessings to rid the house of any negative energy?

Mo we haven’t. I don’t believe this energy is negative and I like having them around. I reckon they are just playful.

Were your friends and family ever reluctant to visit/stay at your place?

My brother would not sleep in his own room for a very long time. my parents are not very bothered by it

How different was the experience to how horror movies portray haunted houses?

They depict it to be a terrifying experience, I disagree. I believe spirits are harmless and just want to have a bit of fun

Was any part of your personal experience comforting rather than creepy?

Yes honestly, this spirit would do things like turn off plugs I had left on and it made me feel it was looking out for my safety!

How did you feel when leaving the property, were you concerned that the energy would move on with you?

I was hoping it would ( which it did!) I was honestly sad to leave that house.

What was the scariest thing that ever happened in your home?

It would have to be hearing the giggling at night that freaked me out the most.

Were the new occupants made aware of the supernatural history of the house once it was on the market?

No, I don’t believe so.

We’ve got to ask, would you ever live in a haunted house again or have you been there, done that and got the goosebumps?!

I would! I believe I still do and I love every second of it.

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