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Ghosts scared us out of our home!

PUBLISHED: 10:40 26 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

GHOSTLY goings-on have forced a frightened couple to flee their new home - just two days after moving in. It was not so much things that go bump in the night, but seeing silent spooky shadowy figures walking through their bedroom which scared Marcus and Suzy Peel out of their wits and made them leave.

GHOSTLY goings-on have forced a frightened couple to flee their new home – just two days after moving in.

It was not so much things that go bump in the night, but seeing silent spooky shadowy figures walking through their bedroom which scared Marcus and Suzy Peel out of their wits and made them leave.

Now the couple say they will not be going back to the property in Trimley St Mary even if the Ghostbusters are called in – except in daylight to collect their belongings.

"We were in our bedroom when all the lights suddenly went out. Then we both saw seven or eight ghosts walk across the room and into and out of the en suite bathroom, one after another.

"It was really quite scary. The atmosphere was not nice at all and I just knew that I didn't want to be there at all," said Mr Peel.

"I am not going back. I will not stay another night in that place."

It is the latest episode in the chequered history of former old people's home Seven Oaks in Church Lane, owned by wealthy businessman Larry Graham, who is said to know the building has a reputation for being haunted.

"I am not bothered by ghosts at all – and I have seen ghosts. My mum goes to a Spiritualist Church and I have been, too," said Marcus.

"I have seen my nan and I am not scared at all, but then that is my nan and I know her, and it's completely different. When I have seen her, I have seen her face, her hair and her eyes – I know it's her," said Mr Peel.

"But this was different and was very spooky with a bad atmosphere."

They moved in to the 28-bedroom listed 17th century property – which stands just behind the churchyard shared by Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary parish churches – on Friday.

As they prepared for bed the lights went out and five or six "shadowy figures" walked across the room into the bathroom.

"We couldn't believe it. They were whitish, but it was dark and they were not bright white, and transparent. But you could see they were people – though we couldn't tell if they were men or women – and they walked across the room into the bathroom and then out, and then another one followed it," said Mr Peel.

"Then after a few minutes the lights came back on again and everything disappeared. On Saturday night, it happened again – the main light and the table lamp went out – and this time there were seven or eight figures.

"We decided on Sunday to get out because we didn't want to go through that again."

He said other people had also had a bad feeling about the house.

"When my mother in law walked up to it, she was not happy and she felt a shiver going all the way down her spine," he said.

"When we were moving in, a mate who was helping was carrying a washing machine up the stairs when he felt something or someone brush past him going down the stairs, and he is not easily spooked."

Former vicarage Seven Oaks has been at the centre of controversy more than once over the past few years.

Before it closed as a nursing home in the mid-1990s, it was involved in a row with planners after owner Mr Graham built a huge conservatory without permission. There was then concern from villagers after it stood empty for a long while, and the protests when it opened two years ago as a hostel for backpackers – foreign students aged 18 to 30 working and seeing England – again without consent. That use ended abruptly last year.

CHEQUERED HISTORY

* Early 1990s – Seven Oaks Nursing Home in planning row after owner builds big upvc conservatory without permission.

* Mid-1990s – Home shuts its doors and elderly residents moved to other homes in the area.

* Stands empty for two years – village concerned over its future.

* 1999 – Opens as a hostel for backpackers without permission and causes uproar in village with worries over activities of youngsters.

* 2000 – Closes suddenly as hostel and again stands empty.

* 2001 – Permission sought to turn it back into a nursing home but application mysteriously withdrawn before decision.

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