'I see dead people everywhere, even in shops'
David Fredriks says he's been asked to get rid of ghosts from homes, offices and shops across Northern Ireland
While Halloween and its spooky themed celebrations are just a bit of harmless fun for most of us, one local paranormal expert has claimed that ghosts and witches are not only real but more common than we think.
David Fredriks claims to see ghosts every day. He talks to them and has learned why they are here.
His special powers of communication with the supernatural world means that he is in big demand to rid haunted homes and businesses of these unwanted – and often very meddlesome – guests.
David (52), who is originally from Belfast, gave up his job as a joiner seven years ago to concentrate full time on exorcisms or "clearings" as he refers to them.
He is used to sceptics who will scoff at what he does which is why he is guarded about where he lives and will only say his home is in the north west of the province.
He regards his ability to speak to the spirits of the dead as a "gift". He can also foresee events, an aspect of his psychic powers which he first realised when he was just four years old.
He doesn't advertise his services but through word of mouth he has become something of a legend, not just across Ireland but in the UK where he regularly travels to rid people of unwanted ghosts.
Clergymen call on him to help terrified house holders but surprisingly David also claims that hauntings have become a sinister new problem facing local business.
At least once a week he says he is called on by a local company in need of his help.
He claims witches are being paid by unscrupulous firms to cast spells conjuring up bad spirits to destroy the business of their rivals.
"There are over 44,000 practising witches in Ireland alone and a lot of them are in it for the money," says David.
"Some of them have websites and it is now well known that they are being used by some companies to bring up a spirit with their black magic and put it in a rival firm where it goes on to create havoc.
"These companies are seeing increases in accidents among staff and customers, or maybe just a bad feeling on their premises is putting people off, but the bottom line is their sales take a huge hit.
"There was one bookshop I was called into where books were flying off the shelves and hitting customers.
"It's a big problem and it's happening to big business, small business and local retailers.
"I would have a business related clearing of this kind at least once a week, every week.
"I've worked for every type of business from big companies to small shops, hairdressers and restaurants."
Sometimes the spirits don't want to go and David says the most resistant will put up a physical fight. Indeed, he says he has often sustained cuts and bruises during his clearings.
So who are these spiritual beings and why are they tormenting the living? According to David, it's because some spirits don't move on as they should once the body dies.
"When you die you have seven days to go to your light. If you don't then you get stuck here," he says.
"For various reasons, usually because the person didn't know where they are going – to Heaven or Hell – they have not gone to their light. Most people stay behind to attend their own funerals. They want to see who made the effort to go and also they want to be around their loved ones a little bit longer.
"Usually the ones who stay end up not as good spirits. Spirits need people to get their energy from and so will usually attach themselves to people.
"They are everywhere. I see them all of the time and believe it or not supermarkets are a big place for them."
David says he was brought up in a Christian family and believes in God although he doesn't attend church, except for at Christmas. He has read the Bible from cover to cover twice.
David was four when he first experienced what turned out to be regular prophetic dreams.
He told his mum about a white car crashing into a red pillar box at the corner of the street where he was brought up in Belfast.
His mum insisted that nothing had happened but as they were leaving the house that morning he says there was a screech of brakes and a white car careered into the pillar box.
Events like this continued to happen to him as a young boy but were never spoken about. He recalls another incident when he was 12. He says he often went to the shops for an elderly lady who lived across the street.
"I remember one day mum telling me to go over and check if she needed anything at the shops and I told mum there was no point because she was dead," he says. "Mum insisted she wasn't and she made me go over. I usually let myself in the back door but I couldn't get in because the old lady was lying across the door on the inside and had died.
"My mum never talked to me about these things and I never discussed it with anyone because I didn't want them to think I was some sort of fruitcake."
It was a near-death experience of his own which happened after a bad car crash when he was in his 20s that led to him first seeing and talking to spirits.
He explains: "It was a serious accident and apparently I died for three minutes. When I woke up in hospital there was a priest who I later believed to be a spirit sitting beside my bed.
"He told me that I had seen enough of life's nastiness and that I needed to be doing what I always should have been doing and then he disappeared. I had no idea then what it meant but soon after I started to see spirits everywhere I went.
"They would just come up to me. Many of them came because they didn't want to be stuck here and I was able to help them get back to where they should be."
He describes what he sees as being in human form but with blue lips and darkness around the eyes.
David says he has come across many disturbing hauntings where people have been assaulted by ghosts in their own homes and where children have been thrown about by bad spirits.
He says: "There was one recently where a four-year-old girl was being spun around and around in her room at 4am.
"A lot of people wake up in bed with their clothes undone and don't know why.
"One thing that is very common is for people to be pushed down the stairs. They think they must have tripped but when it happens again they get scared.
"Other people have had things go missing only for them to turn up in places where they know they could never have got on their own.
"I've been asked for help by all sorts of people from the ordinary person in the street to sports personalities, TV personalities, lawyers and medical people."
While not every spirit wants to go, David will not leave until he has succeeded in sending the spirit – reluctant or not – to their light.
How the ghostbuster does it
On entering a house with a spirit to do a clearing, David says he instantly gets a headache which indicates that a spirit or spirits are present: "It's like someone throwing a light switch on, it's just instant and as soon as I send the spirit back to the light the headache also instantly disappears," he says.
He will tour a property with the owner to find the spirit and before carrying out his private clearing he will get the owner to put his or her hands forward to feel the tension or coldness of the spirit's presence.
He says: "This helps them to know the spirit is present and then afterwards, when they can't feel anything, they know it is gone."
David then speaks to the spirit and in every case says he finds out their name, how they died, when they died and what age they were when they died.
It then takes just a couple of minutes to rid the property of the spirit and send it back to its light.
He says: "It's down to the things I say and part of it is the power of my intention. It takes just a few minutes and they are gone – unless I get an awkward one who doesn't want to go and that can take a little longer."
To book David, email him at email@example.com