Demonic repossession: council threat as family flees 'evil spirit'
A YOUNG couple who are refusing to live in a council property which they claim is haunted by an evil spirit now face the threat of having the property repossessed.
Laura Burke, her partner Ritchie, and their son, Kyle (4), are refusing to live in the three-bedroom house at Hollywood Estate in Hollyhill on Cork's northside after a bizarre series of events between December and March of this year.
The couple are still paying rent to Cork City Council on the property -- but they are refusing to live there and currently reside at the home of a family member.
The house has now effectively being lying empty for the past six months.
The couple are pleading with the council to be re-housed, though locals in the Hollyhill area have become increasingly sceptical of their supernatural claims.
Cork City Council warned last week they have no way of verifying the couple's claims and will not be providing them with an alternative property.
However, the council has offered to refurbish and repair the property, but stressed that, because the house has effectively been abandoned, it is now within their right to repossess it unless they take up occupancy.
Last March, a special 'cleansing' ceremony was performed on the house -- with one spiritualist claiming he could sense "an angry spirit" in the property.
The young couple, who only moved into the house in August 2009, insisted they are too afraid to remain in the building after the unexplained incidents.
"I really can't [go back]. We don't want to go near the place," Laura said.
Special prayers were said at the house to placate the spirit earlier this year, and a 'New Age' shaman even performed the 'cleansing' exorcism there.
Laura told the Sunday Independent that holy pictures were routinely knocked from the wall, screams were heard in the dead of night, their son was once flung from his bed, and both furniture and furnishings were discovered re-arranged despite being left in an empty room.
The family received their greatest shock when they spotted what they described as "glowing orbs" hovering in mid-air in certain rooms in the house. Their son claimed he could see 'eyes' following his every move in his bedroom.
"It's an evil spirit -- I just get the feeling that it is something evil. Whatever it is, I don't believe it means us well," Laura said.
The publicity surrounding the haunting attracted hundreds of curious onlookers when the story first hit the headlines last February and March.
Clairvoyant John O'Reilly was invited to inspect the house and he said he immediately felt "a presence".
"There is someone here. I am getting [a feeling] of a younger man who would have hung himself," he said.
Spiritualist and shaman, Paul O'Halloran, said he felt there were numerous spirits in the house, and believed they may be from children who were buried in unmarked graves in Cork.
However, locals are increasingly dubious about the haunting claims -- and pointed out that no one recalls previous incidents at the house, or any tragedy fitting the descriptions being cited.
A group of local children who at one point mounted a vigil to watch outside the house earlier this year for 'ghost-busting' activity gave up in disgust after four hours of seeing nothing unusual.
"A dog fell asleep on the front doorstep -- and animals are supposed to be the first to sense spirits and ghosts," one local girl said.