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Staff at New Look store in Sidmouth fear prudish ghost is haunting shop

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 27, 2014

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Frightened fashion shop staff called in a medium amid fears their store was haunted by a Victorian granny who disapproves of the skimpy outfits on sale.

Workers at the New Look branch in Sidmouth, Devon said they had heard mysterious bangs, footsteps and ghostly whisperings.

They were convinced the bizarre goings-on were linked to a former local named Gladys whose prudish taste clashes with the chain's fashionable clothes.

Staff were so scared they called in spiritual medium Linda Helliker who poured cleansing salt on the shop floor and attempted to communicate with the old-fashioned OAP.

And since the visit they claim the paranormal activity has quietened down - although they still say hello and make polite conversation with Gladys in case she gets grumpy.

The strange happenings started in April when staff entered a previously unused store room on the top floor.

They later learnt it used to be Gladys' bedroom long before the building on the site of a former hotel became a shop around three decades ago.

Manager Lisa Jordan said: "That room is normally out of bounds but we had to unlock it because a health and safety visitor came to check it out.

"Ever since then we've heard banging noises even though nobody is up there.

"When we've been in the stockroom we've heard footsteps coming down the stairs. We've even heard a strange swooshing that almost sounded like a disapproving sigh.

"One girl heard a whispering in her ear and she got so scared she ran into a table. Another of my girls felt someone breathing on their neck.

"It's really weird and quite frightening."

Lisa, whose son Deej is among the other six members of staff, said she felt the "energy of an elderly lady".

She said: "I saw a woman dressed all in black. I got the impression she was a widow and that she was there in her own lifetime because she had fallen on hard times.

"She felt she wasn't getting enough respect and the place was being neglected.

"I think she disapproved that it was a shop and in particular the type of shop, the fact that there were too many inches and bare bellies on display.

"But she was from a different time, perhaps the Queen Victoria era, so that's understandable.

"I asked her to talk to me if she wished, that her time there had finished and that she should move on to her loves-ones."

Lisa added: "Before she left, the medium asked us to put some flowers out as a nice gesture.

"When we checked on them later on the flowers were on the floor and the cup we put them in was smashed.

"Thankfully it's been fairly quite since then so hopefully she's made her peace with us.

"Apparently Gladys had a Yorkshire terrier - so if he we see clothes hopping around the store by themselves it's just the dog wanting to play with us."

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