A call came through to a local spiritual centre in Woodford, Essex, that a house had been having some strange supernatural phenomena that was causing the two elderly occupants some distress.
The phone call for me to check it out came at a busy time for me, so I asked to get someone else. Then I was informed that this was a “Red Code 5.” These come up once in a blue moon and are rated as the very highest category in spirit infestation.
So on asking for what was happening:
(1) I was told that food would go missing in the night,
(2) Things would be moved about inexplicably,
(3) Dark shapes would be glimpsed quickly that disappeared,
(4) Footsteps could be heard walking round the ceiling for much of the night .
(5) The old couple swore that they heard muffled unintelligible spirit voices.
Now the average haunting had just 2 or 3 of these phenomena, but this had 5, so I went as soon as I could.
The old Scottish couple had been in dispute with another Scottish clan and believed the haunting was connected to a clan battle going back some 300 years, and as the old chap spoke about the dispute, he jumped up and took an old sword from above the fireplace and was shouting; ” If it be anything but ghosts, I would slay them with ma claymore as we did before ye ken”
This excitable old chap was at his wits end, and as my accomplice and I set about a close examination for spirit contact, we drew a blank. We could find no signs of a malicious haunting.
It was actually a relief to me, as I was anxious of a long drawn-out battle with a whole nest of spirits which may have to be exorcised. So on asking if they were on any medication, something perhaps that would cause hallucinations, they seemed pretty well balanced and not in dementia, and no signs of nocturnal cerebral anoxia, night-time oxygen starvation in the elderly that can bring on realistic imaginative dreams. Many sleeping tablets, particularly the soporifics of the Benzodiazepan variety, can instigate strange dreams. We decided to spend a couple of hours quietly in the bedroom, where most of the footsteps were heard.
After a time, yes, we heard them too. The spiritual centre was contacted, and Colin and his wife came for the night watch, and we went home, content that an experienced medium and her husband were there over night at the Scottish couple’s troubled home.
The weekend intervened and then I had a brief, but stern, call to come by the spiritualist centre. I thought I had seen it all, and wondered what had happened in the night, but what occurred had me stumped !
It turned out that after an examination of the loft to investigate the footfalls, a bunch of asylum seekers had broken through the attics from the empty house 2 doors down and were creeping out at night and stealing food from the Scottish couple and the people next door!
The police were called and no less than ten people had been living in the loft spaces ! This was seen as hilarious, “Haunted by Refugees” was the headline on the monthly Woodford spirit newsletter, that took some living down, but it is true that most so called “hauntings” have a very physical explanation.
The funniest thing of all was that the old Scottish chap really believed, and absolutely insisted, that the foreigners were sent from a rival clan to spy on him !