Renata Daniel, 62, from Newcastle, NSW, shares her spooky story:
Pain and anger whirled around the quiet restaurant as I stood calmly in the middle.
“I’ll keep all of this a secret,” I vowed to the ghost, “If you promise to settle down.”
I’d taken a tour through a haunted restaurant and the ghost had ended up revealing far more to me than he was comfortable with.
With the spirit in a rage, the owner of the restaurant couldn’t so much as enter the building, let alone serve meals.
After a few more gentle reassurances, the energy in the room mellowed again.
It proved what I’d known for years – if you treat ghosts with respect you won’t have issues.
I’d been able to see dead people my whole life.
As a child, it terrified me.
I grew up in a strict Catholic household and didn’t understand the figures that no one else could see.
It wasn’t until adulthood that I leaned in to my abilities and made a career out of psychic readings.
It took years for my fear of ghosts to fade.
Finally, at 50, I started Newcastle Ghost Tours.
Shortly after, I met Anne, another Newcastle ghost lover who ran Oz_Para_Tech – Australia’s largest online paranormal equipment store.
With a shared passion, our friendship blossomed and six years later we created Frightfully Good, a community that hosts ghost tours, events and classes.
Over the years, Anne and I have developed connections with lots of spirits, especially around Newcastle.
Some of my favourite ghosts are the female spirits who live at Miss Porter’s House.
The home saw one person die of influenza during the 1919 pandemic but despite the tragedy, the ghosts are kind and beautiful.
Anne’s favourites are the inmates in Wing A at Maitland Gaol.
The rough and tumble men have been known to call us naughty names and goad us but it’s all part of the fun.
When you’re dealing with ghosts, you never know what you’ll get.
But all I have to do is treat them like a friend who’s overstayed a dinner invitation.
“It’s time to leave,” I tell them. “Go to your home.”
Ghosts used to terrify me but now I understand there’s nothing to be afraid of.
They’re simply free spirits, just like me.
Anne Rzechowicz, 55, from Newcastle, NSW, shares her intriguing story:
Goosebumps spread along my arms as I tied the blindfold over my eyes.
“You’re a coward!” I jeered into the darkness.
“I know what you did to that girl.”
With my sight gone, my other senses were heightened and I eagerly waited to feel a change in the room.
Renata and I were in East Yorkshire, at a red brick house that happened to be one of the most haunted homes in the UK.
The Black Monk of Pontefract, who was hanged right across the street for the rape and murder of a little girl, had driven families, ghost hunters and exorcists away.
I’d been obsessed with ghost stories since I was little but I’d always believed to work in the industry you had to be psychic.
It wasn’t until I read about ghost-hunting gadgets like electromagnetic field readers and proximity sensors that I realised regular people could interact with spirits, too.
Most of the gear was only sold overseas so I set up Oz_Para_Tech, that brought the tech Down Under.
When I met Renata, I knew we were the perfect duo.
With her clairvoyance, she could sense where ghosts were and would point me in the right direction so I could interact with them through gadgets.
Even without them, I’d had spooky experiences on my own.
At the Quarantine Station, in Manly, I saw a lid fly off a pot in the gravedigger’s cottage.
And while hosting a tour at Maitland Gaol, a figure walked in front of me then suddenly disappeared.
Renata and I loved working together in Newcastle but travelling overseas was a thrill.
In East Yorkshire, I had a blast goading the Black Monk.
After a few minutes of name calling, I felt a shift in the room.
Something threatening was coming towards me and if I didn’t withdraw, I’d be the monk’s next victim.
Renata and I spoke about the experience on our podcast, True Hauntings, where we investigate the truth behind the world’s most famous poltergeists.
When I was young, I never thought I’d be able to live out my dreams of interacting with the dead.
With Renata by my side, I’ve dealt with enough ghosts to last a lifetime.
Anne and Renata’s podcast, True Hauntings, is available on Spotify, iTunes and all other podcast apps. Head to anneandrenata.com to find out more
“Paranormal, Ghosts, Hauntings” – Google News