Horrific experiences as a child growing up led a Coalville man to become a spiritual medium.
At the age of nine, Andrew Hopkins remembers being pulled out of his bed by a ghost, and also seeing an old lady standing over his bed and a girl playing with a doll outside his bedroom.
Those experiences may have terrified him, but his life since then has involved embracing the spiritual world and seeking out ghosts and apparitions, as well as holding seances and readings to help people contact the dead.
Describing the scariest incident at his family home in Park Road, Coalville, Andrew, 37, said: “Our home in Coalville was very haunted and one of the spirits seemed to delight in feasting off my fears.
“When I was nine, I was in bed and my mum had just got back from the pub.
“Her ex-boyfriend was hammering at the door and it woke me up. I remember lights flickering and then the spirit literally grabbed my ankles and pulled me sideways out of the bed and onto the floor.
“I thought I was going to die as I lay there. It was horrible.
“The whole room felt very cold. There was so much going through my head but I couldn’t scream or shout and every second seemed like an hour.
“It was just very frightening.”
The man pulling him out of bed was not Andrew’s first experience of weird apparitions.
He said: “The very first was when I was four and there was a lady standing over me as I woke up.
“She just stared at me. The room was dark, but she was glowing.”
He thinks that may have been a woman who had died in the house some years earlier.
The young girl he saw was also a night time experience. He said: “I was in my room playing with my toys and I heard giggling and then a hushing sound.
“I wandered out onto the landing and there was a girl leant over a doll. I went to play with her but she ran off into my mum’s room and I couldn’t find her.
“I went downstairs and told my mum and sister what had happened and they told me not to be so silly – there was no one else in the house.”
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He also had experiences of sensing dark shadows moving around his bedroom and every time they passed over a poster with a person on it, the person in the picture seemed to come alive and look around the room.
Another night a loud noise was heard from downstairs and Andrew’s step-father rushed to the kitchen to find all the cupboards open and food pouring out of the fridge, which upset the whole family.
Andrew said: “It caused this real depression in the house.”
For more than a decade now, Andrew has been earning a living carrying out seances and doing Tarot card readings. His experiences from the first 17 years of his life have not put him off seeking out spirits.
He said: “There are spirits who are angry that they are dead but I don’t think they can actually hurt me.
“I go to a lot of old castles, asylums and other haunted places.
“It does still scare me but it’s part of the fun.”
Now Andrew, who lives in the village of Oakthorpe, near Coalville, has written a book about his experiences at the house in Park Road.
The book, The Haunting on Park Road, is currently available on Amazon costing £2.16 for the Kindle version and £9.34 for the hardback copy.