This is Ghosting, the content series where we delve into all things creepy, spooky and unexplained. Stories from all corners of the world, audiovisual evidence, and interviews with people convinced they've been touched from the other side.
The kids would wake up with scratches on their legs, report strange sights and people in their room at night. One time, mum Sonita woke up unable to breathe because something had its weight bearing down on her chest.
It sounds like the beginnings of a horror film, or the far-flung imaginings of someone unversed in vivid dreaming and sleep paralysis, but it was enough for a Sydney mum to up stumps and sell her childhood home, convinced something evil was infecting the four walls, and the people housed inside.
Sonita Singh tells Yahoo Lifestyle that from the moment she moved into her former childhood home with three kids in tow after a breakup in 2010, things felt off.
It would take four years, two exorcisms, and multiple attempts to cleanse her home before Sonita gave up and moved.
No option but belief
It’s easy to scoff at the idea of a ‘ghost’ nudging you from your house.
Maybe you think you would take the rattling breath of a midnight visitor over the fickle Sydney housing market any day.
Maybe you don’t believe in ‘that stuff’.
According to Sonita Singh, the option of disbelieving was never really available to her.
Her and her children repeatedly began to experience strange sensations after moving in.
There were the scratches and bruises, but also horrific visions her children reported, so gruesome we won’t print them here.
A feeling of intense nausea whenever someone walked up the stairs, the niggling belief that someone or something was lurking beneath them meant the whole family took stairs two at a time, or didn’t go upstairs at all.
“I would wake up really sore, and I would have scratches on the back of my heels, on the back of my neck. The smell, the itchiness, the scratching in the roof. It was insane,” the mum tells Yahoo Lifestyle of life in the home once the incidents she describes apparently began to escalate.
“Before I really understood what was happening, it was probably going on for a year,” she explains.
The face in the mirror
“The thing that really, that made everything really clear was I woke up one morning and looked into my mirror, my dressing table mirror, and I saw the face.”
‘The face’ belonged to the entity that Sonita believes was behind the haunting.
She describes her as a ‘witch’ or ‘demon’, saying she even caught her image in a photo of the mirror on one occasion.
She says only some will be able to make out the face in the reflection, and though I internally roll my eyes at the catch-all disclaimer I find myself jump when I do make out a brooding, watching face in the photo Sonita texts me after we talk.
She says it all got out of hand when her three children began waking up with symptoms she couldn’t explain, the face she had seen always in the back of her mind as they came to her with increasingly bizarre stories.
“The kids would wake up terrified,” she says. “In some cases, my kids would wake up with scratches on their backs or scratches on their legs, or someone poking them in their back.”
If ‘vivid dreaming’ is the word floating to the top of your mind it’s probably worth noting that sleepwalkers or scratchers can’t reach their own backs to scratch at them.
Of course, many approach these tales with a grain of salt, as they should.
If you’re a staunch disbeliever of the occult, otherworldly or generally inexplicable it may be difficult to leave your preconceptions at the door, but as far as this world goes Sonita does come with quite a trusted reputation.
She is recognised as one of Australia’s most accurate psychics after appearing on television shows like Seven News and Sunrise and has penned a novel and screenplay, thought this tale she insists doesn’t cross into fiction.
She eventually turned to an exorcist in a desperate final bid but says it didn’t work.
Sonita describes a process that saw her wake up covered in bruises, a further string of months spent on the edge as the incidents got worse.
Then Sonita threw up her hands.
A fresh start... for now
These days Sonita has settled into a new home with the kids, after her attempts to reclaim her space eventually failed.
She sold the place and moved on in 2015, four years after they found themselves at the mercy of the ‘witch’.
She says it settled for years, but recent the old feelings have returned.
And much like the tale of a little boy watched over by a long-dead figure in a haunted mansion, or the creeping ghosts on Sydney’s doorstep who still wander over a century later, this kind f story will spark a sceptic or two.
All I know is a creeping feeling washes over me every time I look at that mirror photo, and this mum says she sold her house over the incidents.
Sonita has detailed her personal experiences, from child to adult chased from her home in her latest work Girl a new script, and previously co-wrote the award-winning Blink film.
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