A mum says her house has been haunted by a ghost called Malcolm who puts the kettle on for guests and mimics her voice.
Karen Wakefield said Malcolm – whose name was revealed via a Ouija board – smashes photographs, slams doors and also pretends to be her partner.
For 13 years the spectre has wreaked havoc on her home and still leaves her terrified.
But the 52-year-old said she’s learned to live with the ghost and has now accepted him as “part of the family”, even signing his name on Christmas cards to family and friends.
She chats with Malcolm – who died aged 57 in 1858, according to the Ouija board – and tells him off when he “acts up”.
Karen, who is unable to work because she’s disabled, said: “I still won’t be alone in the house because I’m so scared, but I’ve also come to accept Malcolm as part of the family. I even sign his name on cards from us all.
“I’ll chat to him and tell him off if he’s acting up. It’s the best way to be.
“He loves interacting with people. He even puts the kettle on when we have guests.”
Ever since she was little, Karen has felt a connection to the spiritual world.
Describing herself as “very psychic,” she was convinced the house she grew up in was haunted after hearing mysterious knocks, bangs and footsteps when nobody else was home.
As she grew up and moved out, she lived in a number of houses where there were no paranormal goings-on whatsoever.
Then, in 2004, she moved into the Manchester home she still lives in today with her partner, 52-year-old carer Paul Dawson – and everything changed.
She said: “At first, I’d just hear odd smashes, or come into the kitchen to find all the drawers open, with their contents on the floor.
“One time, I felt a tug on my dressing gown, but when I turned around, there was nobody anywhere near me.”
Then, things escalated one night when Karen had been to a friend’s house. Getting home around 10pm, a sense of uneasiness washed over her.
She said: “At the time, one of my doors was off its hinges, and I felt a bit scared somebody would be able to look in and watch me, so I dragged it over the doorframe to block the view.
“I’d just sat down when I heard a huge bang, and turned around to see the door shaking and moving.
“My dog, whose sadly now died, was growling away, then shot off upstairs. I was absolutely frozen with fear. I phoned my friend and kept saying to her, ‘You need to come around, something is in the house.’
“At first she thought I was joking, but hearing how panicked I was, she soon realised I was serious. As I spoke to her, the banging stopped – but then I heard the kettle flick on, and cups clang from the other room.
“In my terrified mind I thought, ‘Is this thing making me a brew?’”
Confiding in family and friends, Karen said they initially didn’t believe her – which wasn’t helped by the fact that the ghost “went quiet” for a little while after the door incident.
Then, when Paul moved in, he, too, had a paranormal experience.
Karen said: “Paul has always been a huge sceptic, not believing in anything like that at all.
“Then, he was watching a film one day while I was in bed, when he said he kept hearing whistling and seeing something flit across the screen.
“He wasn’t frightened at all though. He just came upstairs and said, ‘I’ve met your spook friend’.”
In a bid to know more about the spectre haunting her home, Karen invited over a number of mediums, all who picked up on a strange energy in the house.
She also enlisted the help of a group of paranormal enthusiasts who run ghost hunts in a nearby park, inviting them over to film footage which captured a mysterious shadow descending the stairs, and a CCTV camera set up in the home being knocked to one side.
Karen said: “I don’t like to tell people too much about what’s happened before they come around, as I want them to make their own mind up, but every medium agrees that there’s something going on.
“I know people can be very sceptical about this sort of thing – I, myself, am a ‘got to see it to believe it’ person – but even my friends who don’t believe in ghosts say there’s a definite energy in the house.”
As her home was only built in the 1930s, Karen believes Malcolm lived in whatever property stood there before – something she plans to research at some stage.
She’s unsure as to exactly what the spirit wants, but friends have suggested he’s especially drawn to her as she may remind him of his wife.
Now, she and Paul stream ghost hunts via Facebook Live, along with their daughter Madison, 16, where people from all over the world tune in to try and catch a glimpse of Malcolm.
Karen said: “People will comment saying what they’ve seen. Often it’s things like lights flickering, or shadows behind us that we wouldn’t otherwise have noticed.”
Even after the family got to know Malcolm’s history through the Ouija board, and adopted a more welcome approach, his supernatural antics haven’t calmed down.
Karen said: “I can be really unsettling. Nowadays, I won’t sleep at home alone, or go downstairs by myself.
“Malcolm even manages to mimic us. Once, I heard my own voice out on the landing while I was in bed. Another time, Paul kept shouting for me, but when I went downstairs, there was nobody there and his car was gone. He was out, but I’d heard his voice 100%.
“I know people may not believe me, but this is what’s happening. Loads of my family and friends have seen it, and if sceptics come spend a night at my house, they will too.”