New Freedom of Information data has revealed that Avon and Somerset Police received 52 complaints regarding ghosts and unidentified flying objects (UFOs) between June 2014 and 2015.
“I’M expecting a ghost baby”, “I think I have summoned a ghost”, and, “I’m being beaten up by ghosts” are just three of the supernatural related 999 calls picked up by police.
The list of bizarre calls, which have come from across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and Taunton, is proof that belief in a spirit world is alive and thriving in the South West.
Supernatural related complaints peaked in May last year with nine cases reported, while the undead remained least active in July 2014 and April last year – with just one report of apparitions respectively.
Each emergency 999 call is picked up by a specially trained police handler who makes a note of the nature of the of the incident so it can be directed to the relevant team.
And the list of paranormal police problems makes for an interesting read.
One person rang officers to say they had turned in to a ghost and was scared that no one would be able to find them.
Three complainants claimed to have been assaulted by spirits, and one woman from North Bristol feared that she had fallen pregnant with a ghost baby.
Two televisions were reported as haunted after both turned on by themselves, and one diligent citizen rang to report a property which looked like a “ghost house”.
A frightened parent thought that UFOs were planning to abduct him and his daughter, while another person from east Bristol became scared after spirits started “floating in through all the gaps in the doors and windows”.
And one poor South Gloucestershire resident told officers that she had been living with a ghost for ten years.
South and central Bristol were most prone to otherworldly attacks, with 11 reports respectively during the one year period.
East and West Bristol were the least haunted, with no reports of spectres or UFOs.
While the curious calls might seem comical, police are keen to point out that they could be preventing real emergency calls from being picked up.
A spokesman from Avon and Somerset Police said: “The nature of policing today means we must place calls about threat, harm and risk at the very top of the list for our officers to respond.
“We want to encourage people to help us in protecting those people who are most vulnerable by thinking before they call us and asking themselves, is their call really important and necessary?
“The key thing is that these inappropriate calls may prevent or block someone from reporting a genuine emergency which requires an immediate response.”
Speaking to the Bristol Post in October, Simon Bampflyde, from Bristol Ghost Club, said: “I can understand why the police find it difficult to respond. It can be really difficult, because sometimes it’s psychological issues but sometimes it could be true.
“I have been investigating for about 10 years, and I must say, about 70 per cent of them have been genuine cases, but sometimes they are just figments of the imagination.
“I think some people just want to be reassured or talk about their experience.”