The concept of ‘demons’ is not something I ever imagined I’d be writing about on my blog. It belongs to Dan Brown blockbuster territory, not the life of the world’s biggest coward, the woman who can’t even look at the word ‘vamp*re’ without throwing up and lapsing into a coma. However, the ‘demon’ in question is indeed a reference to something that played a significant part in my life last year. As a result, my blog posts have been in a virtual holding bay since March/April 2015 because I’ve been rather preoccupied. I’ll explain why.
It’s probably best to go back to July 2014, when I’d gone to have a reading with Tattoo Rog, my lovely medium/healer friend who teased out my healing ability back in 2004. I’d first met Rog in June 2003 when I was having difficulty sleeping in my (then) house. Earlier that year, I’d been told by another medium that I had a dead woman in my bedroom who was waking me up each night. The whole ‘dead-woman-in-my-bedroom’ scenario had completely messed with my head and the possibility of sleep was out of the question. Rog had been recommended to me as somebody who’d be able to come to my house and perform a quick ‘dead-people-in-the-house’ head count. I didn’t know anything about him and was quite surprised when a short, stocky Bristolian, covered in tattoos and sporting a Kevin Keegan curly perm, arrived at my door. (Turns out the curls were natural.) I was even more surprised when the first thing he said when he arrived was that I was surrounded by four archangels. Not just any old angels, mind, but the Big Four – Michael, Uriel, Gabriel and Raphael. The celestial A Team of henchmen. I was so shocked by this unusual introduction that I never got around to asking why ‘the cavalry’ had shown up.
During that initial visit, I discovered that Rog was in fact a medium and healer. He stayed for over three hours and utterly blew me away with his knowledge about me, my husband, my brush with death in the mid ’90s and what might occur in my future (80% of which has panned out correctly during the past 11 years). He also brought through my late father with incredible, poignant accuracy and was the first person to make me aware that objects and items of furniture – antiques are a prime example – give off the vibration of previous owners. I was so enthralled by my encounter with Rog that at least it momentarily took my mind off the dead woman.
Since then, Rog and I have become very good friends and he’s helped me out with all sorts of challenges, from practical, everyday situations to more esoteric ones.
I’d decided to pay Rog a visit in July 2014 because there were a number of things really bothering me, especially my mother, who’d just turned 90 and was becoming increasingly frail. I was hoping for a smidgeon of clarity about these matters and so I pitched up one lunchtime, knowing that I’d receive information and guidance that was entirely appropriate for my situation.
My derriere had barely skimmed the chair when Rog immediately kicked off with, “Delays, delays, delays: there’s a lot of commotion around you, Rita. Why am I seeing you with your bags packed? Are you moving? I thought you really liked where you’re living?”
I informed him that he was correct, at one level, because we were going to be moving temporarily from our house in a beautiful Georgian square. The house was due to undergo at least 9 months’ extensive renovation. However, I loved the house and had no intention of not returning. I assumed that’d be that and we’d move onto another topic.
Rog was like a dog with a bone and couldn’t leave it alone. He was being told that apparently I wouldn’t be moving back to the house. For starters we were being massively ripped off by the contractor (we’d already suspected that) and the situation would continue to escalate into tens of thousands of pounds. He was shown that something very lovely would crop up in the vicinity. I’d weigh up the situation and, in the end, I’d probably plump for moving to the new (Georgian) house.
The thought bubble coming out of my head was, “Bollocks to that, mate. That’s never going to happen.” Why would I put myself through all that hassle? I already had enough to contend with. My virtual thought bubble was clearly being registered because several times Rog said, “Rita, they’re telling me that you really have to listen and take this seriously.”
Two months later we moved out and for several weeks the house to be renovated was empty, waiting for the work to commence. It just wasn’t happening, but there was no obvious reason for the delay. It was early October and, one afternoon, Jeannie the ironing lady came to the house where we were temporarily living (a house I’d bought in 1989 and had been renting out for a decade and a half) and set to work on my husband’s shirts. I wish to point out that paying somebody once every three months to iron Dominic’s shirts is an absolute necessity, not an extravagance. I’m really rubbish at ironing, forcing creases into places where they have no right to reside. Jeannie takes less than an hour to iron fifteen shirts. It would take me five hours, a lot of cussing and tears.
Jeannie, a busty, Bristolian ‘salt-of-the-earth’ character, stayed for a cup of tea, something we’d never normally do. At the end of the conversation, she casually mentioned that the people she worked for in ‘the square’ had just put their house on the market. My body went into an involuntary, juddering spasm, my own peculiar form of body popping, which usually flags up that I need to pay attention to what I’ve just heard. It’s the same sensation as the feeling people experience when they say that ‘somebody has just walked over their grave’.
I knew, somehow, that this was the house that Rog had been shown. I’d never been in it but had lusted after it for 4 years. It was diagonally opposite our house, slightly set away from the other houses in the corner of the square, with its own private pavement, bijou back garden and back entrance. It was beautiful, elegant and calling to me.
I rang the owner, introduced myself and told him my weird story about the reading with Rog. I half expected to hear a barely audible click as he nervously hung up, most likely ripping the phone out of the wall. It’s not every day that a total stranger rings to say that a medium has told them they’re going to buy your house. To my amazement he said, “What an enchanting story. You simply have to have this house. I don’t want anybody else to buy it.”
I hadn’t even stepped inside the house but had a powerful feeling that it would become my next home. First of all I had to break the news to my husband, who was out of the country, that we might be moving to an entirely different house.
He was not pleased. Actually, he was extremely furious. It was vastly more expensive than the house we were renovating. However, I had come to the negotiation well prepared and had ‘done the math’ – it would be a far better investment to sell both the house to be renovated and the rental house and invest in the dream home.
Fast forward to April 2015. (In the interim 5 months I’d had to market and sell both houses – one of the house sales fell through twice – and spend every available second looking after my extremely sick mother, sorting out very complicated care, tearing up and down the M4 to Wales to visit her several times a week. I was a shattered, spectral bag of bones.)
Within the space of seven months we’d moved house three times and had several financial hiccups along the way – the mortgage only came through a couple of days before we were due to exchange.
Finally, after a great deal of exhausting kerfuffle, we moved in. However, within a couple of hours, I knew that something was drastically awry. It had nothing to do with all the hassle of moving. I’ve done it so many times and it doesn’t faze me. This was something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on but I knew that I had company in the house of a most unwelcome esoteric kind. It was something that only I could pick up on – we’d had several visitors who’d immediately fallen in love with the place. I’d even invited a couple of mediums to check out the gaffe before I’d bought it and they’d assured me that there was nothing unpleasant and definitely no ‘dead’ people who were going to give me the run around.
After 48 hours in the house, I had become hysterical and kept having lengthy panic attacks. These were happening several times a day. I couldn’t eat or sleep – tricky for a chronic insomniac plagued with even worse chronic fatigue. Every little sound was magnified and causing me to flinch. I couldn’t rest and felt as if there was something malevolent watching me. By the end of the weekend I was shattered from crying and hyperventilating and was seriously considering moving. Dominic was horrified. Of course he was distressed to see me in such a state, but his (understandably) pragmatic nature was more concerned with the financial implications of such a move. We’d get absolutely hammered on the mortgage front and he begged me to try and hang in there for a couple of years. I didn’t see how I could last a couple of weeks, let alone years. He knew that things must be pretty bad for me to want to desert the dream house, especially given the hell I’d put us through to get here.
Following a further two and a half weeks of not eating or sleeping, during which time my mother had been rushed into hospital and diagnosed with cancer from head to toe and multiple aneurysms, I decided to contact Tattoo Rog and see if he could work out what was going on. The next day I slumped over his kitchen table and filled him in with my fortnight from hell.
Very rapidly he discerned that previous inhabitants had been using drugs and alcohol – he also picked up that a ouija board might have been involved. This had allowed something of a demonic nature to enter the house and my acute sensitivity was being extremely affected by this unwelcome presence. I recall that he barely even whispered the word ‘demonic’ because he knew I was such a wuss. I couldn’t understand why mediums who’d visited the house hadn’t tuned into this presence. It seems as though it was mine to discover and this was part of my journey. Bloody great. Just what I needed. Could anything else go wrong? I forgot to mention that both cats had gone AWOL within hours of moving in – it took nearly two days to find them. (They’d returned to their former home across the square – who could blame them?) Plus Wicca, the younger cat, became very ill the day that my mother went into hospital and so I had to take her to the vet for an emergency operation.
Rog reckoned I was more than capable of expunging the unwelcome presence and sending it on its way. Preferably next door! (Just kidding.) I had all the essential components of the layperson’s Uninvited Spirit Banishing Kit at the house; Tibetan chimes, bells and singing bowls, dried sage sticks, Basilica and Sanctuary incense from Prinknash Abbey and dowsing rods. I’d already gone through the process in the house across the square with a house whisperer from London and so I knew what to do. I was ready to rock. Well, not exactly, but I didn’t really have much option, plus I couldn’t afford to fork out £1k to get the bloke back down from London.
I was so exhausted that I probably didn’t give the house clearing process my full concentration. I barely had the energy to trudge up the five flights of stairs, ringing the bells and chimes, opening all the windows and blowing thick smoke into the corners of all the rooms. I was more concerned that I’d set off the smoke alarm than I was of pissing off any recalcitrant demons. It took all my courage to implement the clearing ritual in the cellar which is a large and quite spine-chilling space. I felt like an under-rehearsed Little Red Riding Hood, rather weedy and insignificant, as I tiptoed from room to room, repeating my pathetic refrain to bring in the light and take away anything dark and negative. I can’t say the house felt any different a couple of hours later, but at least it had been aired and smelt slightly cleaner.
I happened to email the details of my reading with Rog to a good friend of mine called Paul. He’s a chap in his late 70s who’s helped me over the years when I’ve been bothered with unwelcome, invisible guests. Unbeknownst to me, Paul was most intrigued by what Rog had flagged up and decided to do some remote investigations of his own. He loves a challenge and knows that I’ll always present him with something slightly different. He lives near Cheltenham and never actually visits anybody’s premises. He does all his work from the comfort and privacy of his study.
The following day he rang and told me that he’d just carried out some clearing work on my house. He’d concurred with everything that Rog had picked up and discovered that a demonic portal had indeed been created by the activities of previous owners of the house. I’m never exactly certain how Paul goes about his work but I know that in the first instance, he dowses with his pendulum through a set of questions. This is how he was able to establish that I did have a maleficent sitting tenant. Quite what he did next is unclear, but it definitely involved getting on the blower to Archangel Michael and delegating the task of banishing the demonic presence to AAM and his mates. After a period of a few minutes, Paul then re-dowsed to ask if the task had been accomplished. The pendulum said Yes.
I knew immediately that the atmosphere had completely changed. It was much lighter and I no longer had the sense of being watched. The panicky feeling disappeared and I didn’t feel constantly on edge. I was beyond overjoyed because I definitely knew that the house would be fine.
I was baffled as to why I’d had to go through such a horrible ordeal, having to confront my worst fear, especially when I already had far too much on my plate. I realised that it was, perhaps, the ultimate test for me. If I could cope with standing up to a demon and successfully booting it out of my house, then I could deal with anything. Also, as well as healing people and animals, I was now able add houses to my list, although obviously none of this would have been possible without a little (or a lot) of help from my friends. It always comes down to team work. It’s no wonder that I was so magnetically drawn to this house. It needed me to set it free and, by not running away from the crisis, which is what all my friends admitted they’d have done, I learnt something valuable about my own burgeoning abilities.