On the outskirts of Bolton lies a street with a dark secret.
Wingates Grove in Westhoughton was said to be haunted by a poltergeist throughout the 1990s – terrifying all those who lived there.
The malevolent spirit was said to have attached itself to a row of council houses and tormented families for years.
The hauntings reputedly became so frightening Bolton Council was forced to intervene, but staff couldn’t find a rational explanation for what was going on.
At one stage an exorcism was carried out, and all paranormal activity on the street is now thought to have ceased.
Even so, years after the last ghostly goings-on, one resident was still made to sign a disclaimer form before moving into her home.
It all started in 1993 when one family started experiencing bizarre activity.
It was said that their toddler would talk to a ‘little man’ in his room and an oil-type substance would run down the walls.
The incidents reportedly baffled maintenance workers who could not determine the cause of the issues.
The family eventually contacted a local church and an exorcism was carried out at the address.
Following the ritual, the street fell quiet.
But, just five years later in 1999, a flurry of supernatural activity would begin again.
Just two doors down from the original haunted house, a family started experiencing strange disturbances.
They had not long moved into the address when the unexplained activity began.
Laura was 12-years-old when she moved into the property.
The now 34-year-old said she ‘knew’ something was wrong with the home as soon as the family arrived.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News , she said: “I begged my mum not to move in.
“I didn’t like the feel of it. I didn’t feel comfortable but when we got our stuff in, it faded a bit.
“When things started happening, my mum would say it was the ghost of my granddad. But I said it wasn’t.
“I just knew there was something there. It felt like I was walking into someone’s personal space.
“I didn’t want to walk through the door.”
Laura remembers the first supernatural occurrence like it was yesterday.
She was with her older brother and a friend when the incident happened.
The siblings decided to play a prank on their pal who was sleeping in the living room.
As they ran back upstairs, her brother let out a blood-curdling scream.
He had cut his foot open on a picture frame that was standing on the staircase.
It had been hanging on the wall just moments before and had not fallen down.
“We had literally just walked on the stairs and if it fell it wouldn’t stand up,” Laura continued.
“If he stood on it, it would have slipped. It was like a force was holding it in place.
“That was one of the first scary things that happened.”
Laura also recalls the time her brother’s girlfriend came round to stay.
She woke in the middle of the night to find her standing in her room, staring at her as she slept.
Laura ignored her and went back to sleep.
The following morning, she told her mother about the strange occurrence.
Thinking nothing of it, Laura returned to her bedroom.
But her mother called her downstairs just 20 minutes later, where she found her brother’s girlfriend “looking at her weirdly”.
“She said I did the exact same thing to her,” she continued.
“We got up at different times.”
Strange activity wouldn’t just occur inside the home.
Dozens of dead crows were once found scattered around the front and back garden, including along the ginnel at the side of the property.
Laura said the sight traumatised her so badly she blocked it out of her mind.
And then there was the baby oil-type substance, similar to that found in the original haunted house.
Laura remembers it dripping down her bedroom walls, causing her posters to fall down.
A foul, sulphur smell likened to rotting eggs would also fill the property.
Laura says some council maintenance workers even refused to visit the address due to its reputation.
“My nephew used to speak to someone and called them ‘Big Guy’,” she continued.
“He would sit there in the corner of the room babbling away.
“When asked who he was talking to, he would say Big Guy.
“He kept doing it in the same place and would point right up to the corner.”
Laura also recalls the time she heard an entity imitate her brother.
She was at home with a friend waiting for her sibling to return from work.
They were ready to watch a new episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a show her brother didn’t want to miss out on.
She heard the door open, a set of keys placed on the hook and footsteps into the kitchen.
When her brother still hadn’t come upstairs 20 minutes later, she thought he may have been making food.
But suddenly, her brother walked through the door.
Laura said: “As I got to the top of the stairs, I saw him.
“I asked him if he had just gone back out.
“He said he had literally just got home and his taxi was driving off.
“I ran downstairs and said someone was in the house. But no one was in the kitchen and the keys were still in the door.
“We heard it; it was really clear. We knew the sound of it.”
Laura eventually moved out of the home when she was 16-years-old.
And although she hasn’t experienced anything paranormal since, what occurred on Wingates Grove continues to haunt her to do this day.
“I don’t watch any scary films or anything to do with ghosts,” Laura added.
“I’ve suffered with anxiety since to the point where the whole thing about the street is on my doctor’s note.
“The last five months we lived there I slept in a bed with my mum and dad because I was that scared.
“That’s when things got really bad.
“I kept seeing people stood at the door. I fell asleep facing my wall because I was terrified of turning over.
“If I needed to go to the toilet in the night, I would hold it in.”
These days, there are no reports of ghostly activity on the street.
Caron Walton, who now lives in Laura’s childhood home, says she has ’no problem’ with the property’s history – and actually enjoys its quirky past.
She purchased the home in 2006 and says she had to sign a disclaimer before she moved into the address.
It specified that she was not allowed to use a Ouija board or perform any other type of black magic at the address, she says.
She was also told she was not allowed to move into the home if she had young children, she told the M.E.N.
“I understand there was something going on there,” she said.
“It used to jump from there, to the house next door to here.
“I had to sign a disclaimer saying I wouldn’t use a Ouija board or do black magic or anything dark.
“They wanted me to sign a slip of paper. I quite liked it.
“I’ve heard tales that there’s meant to be an old man walking around on the landing, but we’re quite happy here.
“I think it’s quite novel; I quite like it. It’s a selling point for me.”
Caron hasn’t experienced any supernatural activity since moving into the address.
“They wanted someone to move here who didn’t have very young children.
“I’ve had no issues; I thought it was quite quirky.
“A lot of council workers wouldn’t come here. I’ve not felt anything since living here.
“I’ve had pets, like dogs, and they’ve never been freaked out.
“I’m open to it; I’m not a disbeliever. I’ll believe it when I see it.”