Feb 13, 2008 at 07:48am IST

British municipality pays to exorcise ghost

London: British officials paid a psychic to exorcise a suspected poltergeist from state housing after the distressed occupants said they would rather become homeless than stay, a council said on Tuesday.

Easington Council in County Durham said the family could not be persuaded to stay in the house, and that through paying half the psychic ghosthunter's 120-pound ($234) fee they were saving money as otherwise they would have had to pay for emergency housing.

The Fallon family told reporters they heard banging from the loft, saw items fly across rooms and had doors slammed in their faces. They called police, who found nothing. Then they called in psychic Suzanne Hadwin and asked the council to help pay.

SPOOKSVILLE: A Durham family told reporters they heard banging from the loft & saw items fly across rooms.

"This is the first time we have had to take such a measure," a council spokeswoman said. "However, the tenants were extremely distressed at the time and we therefore believed it was the most appropriate course of action."

Hadwin told the Sunderland Echo she used her Russian spirit guide and some angels to help rid the property of evil, which she said was linked to the murder of a woman in the house years earlier.

The council said the family were now happy to stay in the house and therefore they believed their money was well spent — although they had never taken similar action before.

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