A married couple has opened up about spooky goings-on at a Devon home – which they say they snapped up after a psychic medium made contact with ‘the other side.’
Frances and Stephen Lee moved into their cottage in Beer in the late 1980s, however, when they did they realised they weren’t the only ones living there.
The pair, originally from Kent, moved to Devon on advice from a psychic medium – who told them those in the afterlife were guiding them to their forever home.
“She told us that we would only look at 1 house and fall in love with it straight away and that we’d be very happy there,” explains Frances,
“My husband lived in Brandscombe for two years as a child so we came and had a look around and drove around Seaton.
“We saw a house and loved it immediately, Suddenly we realised it was the village the medium had described! We rushed back up the street and knocked on the door and said we would buy the house.”
However, it wasn’t until two weeks after moving in that they had their first “paranormal encounter.”
Frances and her husband were laying in their bed when they heard a large crash from a trap door at 1:20am, which continued every night at the same time.
Another medium told them soon afterwards that a ghost that was living in the house with them.
“She said that it was a fisherman who was also a smuggler. But he didn’t realise that he had died so thought that we were in his house – so he was trying to scare us out.
“She came to the house and told the fisherman that he had died and it was time for him to leave. But he said that he really liked the house and asked if he could visit if he didn’t slam or scare us anymore, which we didn’t mind and then we didn’t hear it again.”
Although they couldn’t hear or see the fisherman, they say they would smell his tobacco pipe smoke and his whiskey.
They would smell him in their bedroom and living room but after a while, the smell eventually faded out which indicated that he had ‘moved on.’
“We got used to it when we knew who it was, it’s the unknown is when it’s scary. Weirdly, when you get used to having a ghost in your house you’re no longer scared”
Although the fisherman had left their cottage it seemed that his wife was a bit more stubborn as she didn’t leave at the same time.
Frances kept smelling boiled fish every time she entered a bedroom in her room which she said was odd as she didn’t cook it.
Speaking to her medium friend, she told Frances that the fisherman’s wife had tried to speak to them but as they couldn’t hear or see her she was communicating through smell.
“I had to go into the room everyday and say that I don’t like it and don’t want that smell anymore. Every day I would say ‘you’re not meant to be here anymore’. Although I was told she was a very nice ghost I realised after a while I couldn’t smell it anymore”, Frances said.
Although Frances hasn’t seen any of the ghosts in her house, her husband Stephen woke up to find a little girl standing by his bed.
While it was half-term Frances took their little girl away to go and visit family, leaving Stephen alone. When he woke in the middle of the night he first thought the little girl was his daughter, however, he quickly remembered that he was in the house alone.
“He heard a scratching noise and woke up to see a little girl standing there with long brown hair, a rust coloured dress, brown belt and black lace-up boots.
“He was scared and told her to go away but then he said she looked so sad that she felt bad and was saying to come back- but she didn’t.
“Months later we had both gone to bed and he had fallen asleep first. Then around 10 minutes later he sat up and looked straight past me and said ‘hello’. He told me to look and that there was a little girl standing beside me but I didn’t want to!
“It was a different girl though, she was in a white dress had a white cap on and blonde curly hair.”
Although Frances never saw the two little ghost girls, she felt them frequently and they saw her as a maternal figure to them.
“The medium told me that they wanted me to be their mum but I knew they needed to be moved on as ghosts aren’t meant to be stuck here so I went to a healing group to try and get them moved on, but I could feel them just come back in the car with me.
“When I was busy I wasn’t aware of them but when I sat down I’d feel their arms around me and because they were children I wasn’t afraid. They both liked me and wanted them to be their mother. The only way I could tell them apart was one felt extremely cold and the other was warm.
The medium Frances often spoke to informed them that the little girl who felt cold was the 17th-century girl who Stephen saw dressed in white with blonde hair and she had a hard life growing up.
However, the other little one the medium couldn’t understand why she hadn’t moved on as she had had a happy life.
“I would feel them when I was laying down in bed it was incredible! The one that was warm must’ve been around 10 as I could feel the length of her. One night I felt the other one who was so cold lay on the right side of me and although my husband was dubious when he got into bed he jumped out and shouted it was freezing, that was because she was cold!”
Frances knew that she had to try and help the little two girls move on and went to another spiritualist group.
She continued: “I was in the circle one day and was sending healing prayers then I had this vision of a little girl with blonde hair and the that was the only time I saw her, she was wearing a blue party dress and had a big halo of light around her- then she had gone but the other little girl who was warm stayed with me.”
“I didn’t mind her at all but you know ghosts are not meant to be here as they’re meant to be doing their own destiny and not stuck here. I had to be firm with her so I talked to her and said to her ‘I can’t be a proper mummy to you as I cant see or hear you only feel you’.
“I could feel her clinging onto me, I felt awful, I loved her as much as my own children but I knew it was the right thing to do. I said to her that my grandma is a lovely lady and she would look after her.
“I said to her that I promised when I come to heaven I will come and look after you when it’s my time. I said I will still love you and still see you and told her to go to my grandma. Then suddenly she wasn’t there and had gone.”
Over the course of 10 years living in their house, Stephen and Frances had encountered many different ghosts, including one that was giving them a warning relating to death.
In their cottage there is a wooden spiral staircase that leads to the attic.
Frances said that every time she would go past them she got an awful sense of dread and was always scared to go up the stairs.
One day, she put her fears aside and walked up to the attic where she then felt joy and a sense of calmness.
Speaking to a medium, it was discovered that a woman was haunting the stairs to the attic and was warning them that they were how she died.
“She told me that a lady had slipped and had fallen down the staircase which is how she died so she was warning us about these stairs that they were slippery and dangerous which they are!
“We also got told that in the attic there was a lovely elderly lady who loved living in the house. The medium saw her making something with white thread and it wasn’t until a while after I realised that Beer was a silk making town so that must’ve been what she was doing.
“People that have stayed in that room have told us they’ve felt someone sit on the bed with them or touch their forehead but all felt really warm so she was very nice but didn’t want to leave! My youngest daughter met her once when we first moved in but didn’t realise it was a ghost until she was older. She said that the lady told her I had put her toys in the cupboard.”
Since moving to Devon not only has Frances seen ghosts but she’s also discovered one of her past lives.
While sitting on a beach when she first moved to the county, she was watching her children play in the sea when a sharp wind blew over her and she thought to herself ‘If I pin a broach to my shawl it won’t blow away’.
When she looked down Frances was not the same person.
“I was wearing black lace boots, a long black skirt, brown hair in a bun and a horrible crochet black shawl. I remember thinking to myself: ‘What is going on?’ I could still see my children but I wasn’t myself and it only lasted around 30 seconds. I rang my medium friend straight away and she told me that it was my past life that I was seeing.
“She told me that I was in mourning for my father which is why I was dressed in black. I also learnt that my best friend now has been my best friend and even twin sister in many lives before this one. It’s incredible because as soon as we met we had this instant bond so it made sense.”
Frances told us that since the late 1990s they haven’t had any ghostly encounters and believes that they have now moved on.
However, all of their experiences has turned her husband who was a sceptic into a believer after what he saw.
She continued: “I was really pleased and do hope that as a result of these experiences I have become a spiritualist.
“I believe it’s extremely comforting as we now believe in life after death even though ghosts aren’t meant to be suck here. It’s amazing, I would recommend looking up the name of a good medium.”