A man haunted by his own slippers? The trade in spooky dolls? Has the world gone mad?
Here we’ve rounded up some strange and ghostly tales from across the British Isles and beyond.
We’ll let you decide whether they’re evidence of the supernatural or evidence of some very dotty imaginations.
Man haunted by slippers
Strictly speaking, Ted Wiseman, 79, is less haunted by his choice of mens slippers than by his dearly departed wife who, the man says, shouts at him to take them off. But aren’t wives and girlfriends usually yelling at men and children to put their slippers on in the house? If we were to tell you Ted has taken to wearing his wife’s slippers, perhaps you can see why the spook is getting hot under her collar. It’s a ghostly case of “wear your own slippers”.
Slippers aside, the former Mrs Wiseman also gives her hubby a telling off for his other irritating habits: sniffing in bed, flicking his fingers and sucking his teeth. All things considered, you couldn’t really blame her if she wished it had been a case of death us do part.
A deadly demand for haunted dolls
A search of ebay reveals a host of the undead in the form of “haunted dolls”. It seems there’s a thriving trade in the children’s toys – particularly if they have the added bonus of being a “spirit vessel”. True believers think the spirits of dead people attach themselves to the dolls and there are plenty of Youtube videos that purport to back up the claims.
The Huffington Post put the figure achieved by one “nasty, perverse, possessed doll”, at $1,526. Not a bad haul for a child’s plaything. As you might expect, Ebayers have been quick to get in on the action and Ebay is now host to nearly 500 haunted dolls. Few, however, have attracted bids, leading us to think perhaps they’re not haunted enough.
Terror in the toilet
The toilets are haunted by a spectral presence and people hear voices in the attic when there’s nobody there. In fact, Call the Midwife newbie, actress Charlotte Ritchie talking to the Daily Mirror, explains that the set of Nonnatus House, the fictional setting for the hit BBC series, is such a spooky place, she’s unwilling to venture to the loo on her own.
And perhaps it’s no surprise that Nonnatus House is haunted. The real life location is the crumbling St Joseph’s Seminary on the outskirts of London. Abandoned by the priests and their trainees, there could be a spook of two in flowing robes lingering in the cloisters. Then again, maybe someone’s pulling Charlotte’s chain…
I see dragons
Imagine if every time you looked at anyone’s face it changed into the sharp snouted, scaley, pointy eared face of a dragon. A strange tale, but that’s what happened to one Dutch woman. Ever since she was a little girl she’d seen scary dragons everywhere, and though she still managed to get married and hold down a job, the problem worsened to the point where she was too scared to talk to anyone.
Proof of demon possession or evidence of a more earthly disease? Scientists scanned the woman’s brain in the hope of discovering what might be causing the hallucinations. Results revealed only a very slight abnormality, but doctors were able to diagnose prosopometamorphopsia, a disorder that affects facial recognition. Drugs have since helped control the symptoms – good news for the lady in question, bad news for Harry Potter fans.
A case of creepy cordial
Low ceilings, rustic beams, the crackling fire – ghosts – every British pub has its spooky story. Far be it for us to deny the existence of the spiritual realm but surely most of those tales can be put down to the “visions” of a punter who’s had one too many.
You’d think so but now one pub has hard evidence of haunting. The Daily Mail recently published a piece about a 14th century Birmingham hostelry whose resident spook decided to make its presence known to astonished punters by pushing a bottle of cordial onto the floor. Better still, CCTV caught the action. Proof positive of ghostly goings on, or should spirits prefer spirits? Judge for yourself.