Last week, novelist Jeanette Winterson wrote in the Telegraph about her experience living with ghosts in her 1780s Georgian house.
Among the unexplained instances that occurred, Winterson said she felt three cold fingers on her wrist, taking her pulse, as she was trying to sleep in a basement bedroom.
She became accustomed to the disturbances and now greets the ghosts cheerfully and asks they behave well – “they are my tenants, after all”.
Following her captivating admissions, Telegraph readers shared their own haunting stories in the comments section, which you can read a selection of below.
‘My son saw a ‘shiny man’ at the bottom of the stairs’
Although sceptical about ghosts, reader J L Clarke detailed a peculiar experience while living in his first house with his son. “I felt something pushing on me when I was half asleep or awake in bed,” he explained.
It happened regularly, but Mr Clarke put it down to dreaming.
That is, until, his son who was two or three years old at the time, “saw a ‘shiny man’ at the bottom of the stairs and kept pointing and asking ‘what’s he doing?’”
Mr Clarke remembers his son being unafraid when it occurred. However, since they moved, nothing remotely similar has happened again.
Another reader, Robert George, said his wife, who is “a very sane and rational person”, used to see a little boy sitting on her dresser when she was young, as clear as day. “She used to throw things at him to make him go away.”
Although, he reasoned, “the brain is an amazing organ and can make us believe anything.”
As Jeanette Winterson highlighted in her article, many faiths and cultures observe a 30 or 40 day mourning period, as “perhaps, that’s some sense of the time it takes for a soul truly to depart this place.”
When Rowena Hall’s mother-in-law died, she and her husband were convinced that her ghost visited them for a period of time, as they could smell cigarettes in the room. Ms Hall said: “I never knew about the period of mourning, but we felt that his mother, my mother-in-law, was checking as to if we were OK.”
Reader H Forster also resonated with paranormal experiences during periods of mourning. She shared that some years ago, “I lost a dear friend and during one night just after her death I had what was the most vivid dream of my life. She appeared in front of me and gave me a hug. I could feel her warmth, it was so real. She then smiled at me and then disappeared.
“I woke up, and it took me sometime to work out where I was. It really shook me and I have never forgotten it.”
‘Once, while my children were playing in the living room, the shadow of a man fell across them’
Several years ago, Carole Feeney was living in an Edwardian house where she, her children and her dog “were all aware of the presence of a tall man who used to come in the door and walk up the stairs.”
Although her (then) husband did not believe in such things. One day, he was on his own in the house and felt the presence too.
Ms Feeney also recalled: “Once while my children were playing in the living room, the shadow of a man fell across them as if it had come in to see what they were doing.”
“Whilst it wasn’t exactly frightening, it was unsettling,” she added.
‘A seemingly normal child just disappeared in broad daylight’
“Until you have experienced it yourself, it is impossible to imagine and easy to ridicule,” Samantha Hellawell stated.
Ms Hellawell said she has had a number of supernatural experiences, “including recently seeing a seemingly normal child just disappear in broad daylight. There was no clue whatsoever that it was not a biological form: it looked entirely solid and was moving as a two-year-old would.”
In Chris Latham’s grandfather’s latter years, Mr Latham used to regularly sit by his bed to keep him company.
“One afternoon, I watched his eyes follow something and then stop, to which he asked me, ‘who’s that Chris?’...I asked him who he meant because nobody else was in the room.”
His grandfather frowned, and said, ‘that boy’, to which he replied – not wanting to unnerve him – ‘I don’t know him’. His grandfather’s eyes moved again, seemingly watching the phantom boy as he walked across the room and towards the door. “He turned back to me and smiled: ‘He’s gone now’.”
“At no point did I feel afraid or unnerved,” Mr Latham said. “If anything, I remember feeling quite the opposite – a feeling I can’t quite describe to this day. Of course, a few days later, my Grandad had passed away.”
‘I could feel the weight on my feet and the covers pulling’
Patrick Tyson suggested ghostly presences in a house are not a cause for concern. In Mr Tyson’s household, it “only manifests itself when the house has been empty for a long time, or if there is some sort of threat. It makes itself known by leaving a very distinct perfume in a series of rooms as it moves around.”
He continued that it’s “reassuring, comforting to know someone is watching out, but nothing to worry about.”
Alcina Ward wrote, “Of course ghosts are real; there’s plenty modern science can’t explain.”
Ms Ward recalled she “sat up suddenly, gasping”, while drifting to sleep in a small four-poster room in an old hotel in Aberdeen, where she had flown for a work project.
“Someone was sitting on the end of my bed. I could feel the weight on my feet and the covers pulling,” she said.
The next day at breakfast, “I mentioned this to my job manager, who’d been staying there for several weeks, and he said ‘oh yes, that’s the haunted room’.”
Meanwhile, in a warehouse in Bath, Robin Parkes and a colleague were alone in the building after everyone had gone home. They were chatting together stood around the corner from the double doors to the exit.
Mid-conversation, they heard people opening the doors, talking to each other and walking towards them.
“We looked at each other and stopped in anticipation, but the voices stopped, and after a few seconds no one appeared. As we rounded the corner, no one was there. The double doors were closed. We were both stunned,” he said.