A mother-of-four has revealed how she will be spending Halloween trying to communicate with the spirits she claims have invaded her home through a “demonic portal" in her living room.
From the outside, Steph Harper's two-bedroom house in Flint, North Wales, looks like a typical suburban property.
But she claims that inside it has become a hotbed of paranormal activity, with unexplained bangs, strange smells and spooky visions now the norm.
Rather than running for the hills, Steph, 39, who is married to Colin, 40, a disc jockey, and has always suspected her house was haunted – is hoping this Halloween to communicate with the specters that frequently visit.
The stay-at-home mom said: “I've lived in my house for almost 12 years now, and first noticed strange goings on about three months in.
“We spoke to a medium earlier this year, and she told us that there's a portal to the spiritual world right in our living room. That's basically a door for the spirits to come and go through."
Steph and Colin (PA Real Life/Collect)
She continued: “The idea scares me when I'm home alone, but other than that, it really it doesn't bother me – the spirits have never done any harm.
“In fact, I would love to be able to have a conversation and build a proper relationship with them."
Steph, who has four children – Harvey, 14, from a previous relationship and Thomas, nine, Charlie, eight, and Paisley, seven, with Colin – first “meddled with the paranormal" when she was a teenager.
After reading about the subject, at 16 she decided to use a Ouija board in a bid to communicate with the dead.
She recalled: “Nothing happened – but that night as I tried to get to sleep, a mist came into my room and it manifested as a figure standing over my bed.
“It stood there for a good minute before stepping back and disappearing into mist again."
Charlie, Paisley and Thomas (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I knew 100% what I saw was real, but something stopped me telling people at the time," she continued.
“I didn't want to say anything that would upset or scare anybody. I suppose part of me didn't want to be mocked either.
For years, Steph kept her brush with the supernatural to herself.
But then, everything changed in early 2008, when she moved into the council house in Flint where she still lives today, to be nearer to her mom, Gwen, 65, and dad, Terry, 71.
At first, everything seemed perfectly normal, but within three months, she began to notice peculiar things happening.
Recalling the first eerie incident, she explained: “It was just me and Harvey in the house at that time, and he was tucked up in bed."
“All of a sudden I heard all this violent banging coming from his room," she continued.
“I ran upstairs and found him fast asleep in his bed, but the weird thing was, the bed had been pulled about two foot away from the wall where it usually was.
“Now, looking back, I realize it was the beginning of the haunting."
Not long after, just a month after Thomas was born in November 2009, Steph became even more sure that she was sharing her home with something 'other-worldly.'
She continued: “It was in between Christmas and New Year and we heard a few loud knocking noises that couldn't be explained.
“It didn't sound like our house – you get used to the noises your own home makes."
Colin and Steph (PA Real Life/Collect)
“The bangs kept getting louder and louder, closer and closer. In the end, we went to my mum's house that night," she continued.
“The next day, Colin did some investigating and started tapping different parts of the house upstairs to see where the noise was coming from.
“When he started banging on the banister, it made the exact same sound, and that's when we knew something unseen had been making the sound right from the top of the stairs."
Since then, Steph said she and her family have experienced so many supernatural encounters that it is “hard to recall them all."
Not only will she hear crashes and bangs, but she also gets whiffs of peculiar scents – including on one disturbing occasion, rotten flesh – and regularly notices her belongings going missing mysteriously.
She explained: “Colin had his work phone go missing once – we blitzed the whole house looking for it – but it was a no show."
She continued: “Then, six months later, there was a T-shirt thrown on the floor and I lifted it up, and there was Colin's phone right by the bedroom door – somewhere we'd walked past loads in the time since it had gone missing.
“Another time, I was in the kitchen and looked outside, and I saw soldiers who looked like they were from centuries ago marching by with metal helmets and swords pointing to the sky.
“All sorts has happened – even vases flying across the room and smashing. We did consider moving out at one point, but we've learnt to live alongside it all."
Earlier this year, following a particularly unpleasant week when the house filled with the “stench of burning flesh," Steph and Colin spoke to a medium.
After recounting the unusual goings on they had experienced, the medium broke the news that Steph has a “portal to the spirit world" in her living room.
“The house was built in the 50s or 60s. We've researched the area and we can't find anything connected to the paranormal, apart from the fact we're very close to the ruins of Flint castle – there were most likely battles where the house stands now," she said.
Harvey and Colin (PA Real Life/Collect)
She added: “We haven't directly talked to the children about it but they know for sure some unusual things are going on but – like us – they're not too scared."
Shortly after speaking to the medium, Steph managed to capture a video clip that she believes is proof that ghosts are inhabiting her home.
“Colin had heard about spirit orbs, when spirits can be seen in the atmosphere through a camera, after doing some research and decided to try and catch one on camera," she said.
She continued: “He was stood there for about 15 minutes and then we saw it – a blue orb flying up and out across the screen.
“We blew the photo up after and you can see a face in the orb, there's no doubt about it.
“Not long after my neighbor and friend, Michelle, 30, came round and Colin caught another orb on spirit brushing past her ear."
Now, Steph and Colin, who fancy themselves as novice paranormal investigators, are determined to make further contact with their transcendental tenants and have bought extra kit to help them this Halloween.
“Halloween is when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, so we've bought a dictaphone, a temperature gauge and a frequency tester to try and help us communicate further," Steph continued.
“We'll have some friends round for support and see what happens as the night draws in."
A blown up image of the orb, supposedly showing a face (PA Real Life/Collect)
She concluded: “We're not scared though – we're excited.
“After all, who doesn't want to know who they're sharing their house with?"