It’s the time of year when people start to play scary tricks on each other – but for one family nearly 30 years ago, the spooky terror appeared to be very real.

Back in 1994, the story of a spirit that was terrifying a young family made the news, and it led to interventions by priests, nuns and ghostbusters, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The story – which at the time was covered on the front page of the Manchester Metro – surrounded the terror experienced by Clare and her seven-month-old son, who had recently moved into a house with her boyfriend and sister in Wythenshawe.

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Soon after they arrived, Clare said a malevolent presence in the house made itself known. She reported seeing the sinister “monk-like” figure accompanied by a ghostly child peeping out from his long robes.

The terrified family said the apparition hurled plates, ornaments and shelving at them. On one occasion, Clare said she was pushed down the stairs by an icy hand, and she begged the council to rehouse them.

Clare told the Manchester Metro: “At first I thought it was nothing, but slowly it got worse and worse. I'm just so frightened, we all are.

"I like the house and I like it round here, but I just can't live with this. I can't take much more."

She added that the ghostly monk looked as though its face had been burned.

The Rev David Thomas, of St Luke's Church, said: “We said some prayers in the house, but that's all I could do. I think she's very genuine about what she feels.”

Fr Michael Murray, from St John's Roman Catholic Church, also visited the house to bless it with holy water.

But the council took a less sympathetic view, it seems, and said it had no policy to deal with poltergeists.

At the time, a spokesperson for the council said: "She needs to go back down on the housing list, but I don't know how long it will take.”

Soon, though, members of the Stockport Ghost Society began an investigation.

One of the investigators, called Angela, said: “I'd say there's definitely something there, and it's not like a poltergeist. It's a ghost that does things like a poltergeist for attention."

Investigations into several rooms were said to have detected a "presence", resulting in one of the investigators becoming dizzy and light-headed.

Angela felt the monk was not malevolent in nature, but Clare said: "I really like this house and I don't want to leave it. If they can get rid of it I'm happy to stay, but at the moment I'm really frightened."

But that was that – the fate of the family and the ghost from that point onwards remains a mystery.

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