General opinion in my lifetime has split the debate on whether ghosts are actually real. It comes down to the experiences of people. Basically if you’ve experienced super natural goings on you’ll be a believer or if you’re lucky enough not to then obviously you won’t believe. Then again there is always the few who constantly come across the unexplainable but refuse to believe and will come up with any excuse as to why what they have just witnessed wasn’t supernatural – the skeptics.

I started out as a young boy hoping ghosts weren’t real – unless they were like Casper the ghost. They seemed very scary from the movies and TV shows and the playground gossip of kids in general.

I found out when I was around 10 that my dad had lived in a haunted house – he claimed – and it was a very angry ghost. He experienced lying in bed and the sound of someone smashing a sledgehammer onto the joists above him. And smashing glass in other rooms but with nothing to show for it after investigation. I was horrified at these stories being a child and couldn’t sleep for days, but my mum managed to convince me that it was lies so I could sleep again.

I didn’t’ experience anything ghostly after that until I was 16. I was out with my mates in the front room of one of their houses and we were all watching TV. My mate Mike was sitting to the left of me on a chest of drawers in front of a DVD cabinet that was sitting on top of the drawers.

There was no wind in the room, there was actually no windows because they had been boarded up tight – but that’s another story – and the front room door was closed. Suddenly the DVD cabinet flew off the drawers and into the door with such force as if someone had kicked it off the drawers as hard as they could. Mike jumped up and we all froze, wide eyed looking at the cabinet – except Tasha (who lived there) who got up with a wry smile and started picking up the DVD’s and putting them on the side. ”What the fuck was that” someone said, ”didn’t you know? This house is haunted”, Tasha replied as if it was the most normal thing she could have said at that moment. We all quickly left the house and the incident was never mentioned again – like a joint subconscious agreement that we didn’t want to give it any other thought so it would somehow not have happened.

I did live large parts of my life with no activity at all. I was lucky that the houses and flats I lived in from being young to adulthood weren’t haunted. But my luck was then to swiftly run out when it came to moving into a house with my fiancé and kids.

It was a really nice house in a good area although in serious need of a refurbishment as the previous owners were old and had been stuck in the 60’s. It had a homely feel to it and we were looking forward to moving in after the work was done.

The house was overhauled and we couldn’t move in for another few weeks with a few finishing touches needing to be done. When we finally got all of our stuff in the house I felt slightly different. I remember feeling a bit of an atmosphere – like this wasn’t our house and we shouldn’t be there. But I thought it was just because it was new and carried on as normal.

I woke up in the early hours to go to the toilet one morning. When I got back in my warm bed to try to get some more sleep before work all of a sudden I heard footsteps above me which sounded like they were coming from the attic. There were 4 steps then silence. I opened my eyes immediately trying to decipher whether I had just dreamed the sound in my half asleep state or whether it had actually happened. But then the footsteps walked back 4 steps! I was in no doubt that this wasn’t a dream.

My whole body filled with adrenalin but I kept my eyes closed and tried to forget about it.

The next day I thought it could have been my stepdaughter in the room next door, but because I was half asleep my mind was playing tricks making me think it was above me. But it happened the next night as well, the same 4 steps one way and 4 steps back the other. This would go on around 3-4 nights a week. The same footsteps in exactly the same place. I decided not to drink as much water before bed so hopefully I wouldn’t be awake to hear it as it was only after I’d been to the toilet. But then I started waking up to the sound of our boiler, which was in the attic, as it would come on by itself and go off again with a shudder like what sounded like the pipes underneath. Sometimes I’d wake up to it coming on and off constantly and I’d have to get up and mess around with the thermostat to get it to stop.

I hadn’t mentioned anything to my fiancé as she had just given birth to our son and she would be in the house by herself all day and didn’t want her to be scared. But she said to me one day that she keeps hearing something which sounded like rats scurrying around in the attic – I thought as long as she thinks it’s that it’s ok but she wanted me to go and have a look.

Begrudgingly I went up to look for any evidence of rats knowing full well no rats could make the sounds I was hearing. I didn’t find anything, except some creaking floor boards which were around the same place I’d pin pointed the foot steps I was hearing.

I was very spooked at this point so decided to confide in my mum. Her stance on ghosts was that she didn’t want to believe in them – out of sight out of mind as she was petrified of the thought. She said I should put flour down in the attic to see if anything came of it. But I couldn’t see the point of this because if there wasn’t footsteps then that wouldn’t explain anything, and if there was that would be terrifying – what if I found hooves or something!? I’d never step foot in the house again.

I started feeling like I was being watched as I walked around the house. I’d catch things in the corner of my eyes moving and as soon as I looked towards that direction everything would look normal. I would be changing my 6 month old son on the bed as he looked at the ceiling and he would be laughing and almost interacting with the ceiling above me. It was very eery like something invisible was keeping him occupied – which actually helped in a way as I could easily change his bum – although it was a help I’d rather not have.

I hoped it would just go away but it actually got worse. I would be cleaning the bathroom and hear someone run up the stairs behind me, I’d turn around expecting my step daughter to be there but there was never anyone. One night I awoke to see someone in my bedroom and sat up but it was only my stepdaughter – she looks quite scary as a little girl silhouette against the wall at night! I asked her what was up and she told me she heard something downstairs like glass smashing. I reassured her it was probably next-door and to go back to bed. I closed my eyes and listened to see if I could hear anything, but it was silent. Then all of a sudden I heard a very loud crash – like someone slapping their hand down full force on the kitchen worktop – from downstairs. My whole body exploded with adrenaline and my eyes were wide open. I grabbed my baseball bat, which I kept under my bed (burglaries in my city are quite common, and machete wielding robberies weren’t uncommon so I always kept that there for security) and jumped up. I sat at the top of my stairs listening intently for something, anything. After all it could be a burglary rather than a ghost so I couldn’t rule that out.

After hearing nothing for 10 minutes I tentatively made my way downstairs and proceeded to check every room and outside and obviously didn’t find anything, so tried to get back to sleep. The next morning I went downstairs to have my breakfast ready for work while the rest of the house slept – and I felt like I was being watched more intently this time. I drove to work constantly thinking about it, going through my mind what else it could possibly be. I stopped outside the office and sat there for a second and I just happened to look at my mileage trip – that I used to set each time I filled up the van and it was reading – 666.

Now I don’t necessarily believe or disbelieve in god or Satan. Not enough evidence is present to prove it in my eyes but then again I wouldn’t rule it out – but this did seem like a bit too much of a coincidence.

I spoke to a lad who worked at my place about it as he had ‘found god’ and was a born again Christian. He said he believed in ghosts and asked if we had been watching or conducting ourselves in negative ways such as watching loads of horror films – he had a friend who was haunted and this was the conclusion they had come up with. He talked about saying a prayer for him and experiencing an out-of-body crazy feeling where his head was spinning, but wouldn’t go into too much detail. He said in the holy book that a man needs to be the man of the house. If there are ghosts present you need to show them that you are the boss – which all seemed pretty crazy to me, how can you show a ghost who’s boss as you can’t even see them!? Failing that he said find a Pentecostal church and get the priest to come round and bless the house.

I needed to do something as this was all getting was too much for me, but I didn’t get round to it as I was so busy with work. I was just glad to be out of the house altogether. My fiancé hadn’t said a word so I started to think maybe it was just me it was targeting (the ghost). Every now and again I would get home with my fiancé not being there and I was scared, I’d hear all kinds of noises – creaks and knocks from upstairs, so I tried to limit the amount of time I was home alone.

One morning my finance wanted to go shopping and was going to take the kids with her to give me a lie-in. I was half asleep so agreed, as I was knackered from a long week at work. I heard them leave through the door and went to go back to sleep. I suddenly thought I’m home alone and vulnerable lying here in bed and I need to get up. But I was too comfy so thought oh well it will be alright, then my whole body filled with adrenaline and I opened my eyes and went to get out of bed but I couldn’t! I was paralysed lying on my side with only my eyes moving. I tried with all my power to get up but to no avail. It was like my mind was fully active but my body just wasn’t responding! The boiler started coming on and going off again shaking the attic, and I heard the footsteps going back and forth. It was like the house was alive. I could only see as far as my eyes would turn so just the window with sunlight shinning through and the wall. I knew I wasn’t dreaming as I could feel the bed underneath my heavy static body. The door was behind me and it sounded like the footsteps were getting louder! I was frantically trying to move my fingers, toes, anything. Suddenly I could move and shot up out of bed breathing heavily feeling the adrenaline pulsing through my body. But I wasn’t in the house alone as I could hear my fiancé and kids downstairs talking and the TV on. It was the weirdest feeling ever like I was in an alternate universe in my own bed.

This was the last straw, I could kind of deal with sounds and weird things happening, but actually paralysing me was a step too far – I had no control over that and what if it happened to anyone of my family? I couldn’t allow that to happen.

I came down that morning onto the sofa with my fiancé and got my laptop. I decided to Google ‘how to get rid of ghosts’. I literally typed in: How to get rid of – then I heard a big bang in the kitchen! An apple had made its way out of the fruit bowl to the other side of the room. I instantly stopped typing, closed the laptop and waited till I was in work the next day.

I found numbers for Pentecostal churches and rang them but only got answering machines, so I left messages. I was starting to get a little pissed off with the ghost in my house. I was being mugged off in my own property and I think something snapped inside me.

I changed my attitude towards the weird things. Every time I felt something watching me or something move in another room I’d walk straight into it and stare for a few seconds and look around – with the intention of showing I’m not scared anymore. If I was downstairs and heard something from upstairs id run straight up and walk in all rooms and stand there for a while waiting for something – anything to happen but nothing ever did.

I asked the next-door neighbours if they had heard anything or were aware of anything strange – they had lived in that house for 40+ years so if anyone would know it would be them. But they were oblivious. So I asked about the previous occupants of the property and they said a woman called Gina and her daughter lived there years ago. Her daughter died young in the house of cancer and the mum died not long after in that house of ill health to.

So we now kind of had an explanation and a name. I started addressing the ghost as Gina. If my son was playing up I’d actually say help me out Gina! Nothing would happen but it reinforced that I wasn’t scared anymore.

Slowly but surely the strange things stopped happening and there was a much better, calmer presence in the house. I no longer felt like something was watching me and the sounds didn’t happen as often. It’s like the ghost had left or maybe just accepted we weren’t going anywhere. Maybe my friend was right and I was showing whose house it is.

It’s been a year now with only the odd thing occurring, like the footsteps but on a significantly lower scale than before. Maybe Gina had accepted that we weren’t going anywhere and was happy to live in harmony. Maybe she was just annoyed at the wholesale changes we had made to the house. But now we live in a much more peaceful family home. My fiancé still doesn’t know any of this until she reads this blog – ha but I’m confident that Gina has long gone or is prepared to live with us happily so I think it’s safe to share my experience with her and the world.

I have shared my experience with my stepbrother and dad and have had proper conversations with them about their experiences, and if I think I had it bad then I was sadly mistaken because they were dangerously tormented to the point of leaving the house which is about 4 miles from where I live. I drive past it now and again and every few months it’s put up for sale again.

I might get their story one day and post it but it’s not for the faint hearted.

Thanks for reading