PARANORMAL investigators say they have successfully exorcised a haunted Wigan flat after a terrifying all-night vigil.
The Dead Connections team offered their services to Pemberton young mum Holly Taylor after reading in the Wigan Evening Post about how she has been plagued by ghostly goings-on at her new home in Woodford Street, Pemberton.
She and toddler daughter Willow were refusing to spend the night there, having endured inexplicable happenings such as:
Plates flying off the kitchen work surface;
Ornaments and other objects being moved or knocked over while they were out;
Footsteps and knockings;
The smoke detector sounding without reason;
Lights coming on.
Neighbours had suffered from unexplained noises too and the flats’ predecessor – Pemberton Police Station – also had a reputation for being haunted.
An officer who used to serve there told the Evening Post that the footsteps and bangings that staff used to here were put down to the ghost of a former inspector, who had hanged himself in a cell many years ago.
But the investigators say that they believe the ghost was that of a woman, who had died in a fire.
Dead Connections team members Emma and Adam Butler, Robyn Davies and John Strickland spent the night in the flat with a variety of technological instruments including an electromagnetic field meter (which at times almost went off the scale despite being nowhere near electrical appliances), and a voice recorder.
Emma said they had spent many nights in allegedly haunted buildings, but this one had proved one of the most frightening and eventful.
The team, who were joined by Holly, Willow and Holly’s boyfriend Jordan O’Neill, heard breathing and clicking noises and also a series of tappings by which they attempted to communicate.
The taps appeared to be coming from Willow’s bedroom which was empty (the youngster was sleeping in another room).
And as the questions they asked about who was there were answered, the meter would leap from green to red.
They also used what is known as a Frank’s Box, which picks up radio station white noise and occasional words.
And through these two forms of communications, Emma and her team concluded that they were talking to a woman who had died in a fire and needed help to “cross over” – although, perplexingly, the name Simon kept coming through too.
Photographs taken during the night also showed grey orbs, about the size of tennis balls, floating in the air which no one had seen at the time.
Emma said: “We always go into situations like this trying to explain things normally first, but really there was a heck of a lot happening that we could not account for.
“There were all kinds of noises. A cupboard in Willow’s bedroom, which doesn’t have a weak catch on it, popped open at one point and the smoke detector kept bleeping even though there was no fire and there were new batteries in it.
“At one point, there was a very loud bang which took us all by surprise and it was tempting to run away.
“There has also been something weird happening with memory lapses.
“Robyn and I went to look round the flat a few days before we spent the night there, and then went back home and apparently had a long conversation with Adam and John about a cat.
“But when the lads reminded us of it the next day, neither of us had any recollection of the conversation.
“We mentioned this to Holly and she said that it was always happening to her too.
“Twenty-minute passages would just vanish from her memory.”
At the end of the night, the team carried out an hour-long blessing ceremony, which involved the use of sage – a herb associated with exorcism – and calling on the spirit to leave the family and the flat and move to the other side.
And it seems to have done the trick.
Emma said: “Holly says nothing has happened since.
“Her daughter has just spent her first uninterrupted sleep in the flat, the smoke alarm doesn’t bleep any more and even the clock which stopped after it fell off the wall has started working again.”
Holly said: “All the noises have stopped. It’s amazing and I’m very grateful to them.”