ANNE Diamond has revealed she was once scared off buying her dream home after coming face-to-face with the ghost of its previous owner.
The TV presenter said she could not bear to live in the house with her children knowing it was haunted and so gave it up even though it was perfect in every other way.
The ghostly encounter came shortly after the traumatic end to her 10-year marriage to TV producer Mike Hollingsworth in 1999.
Miss Diamond, a regular guest on Channel 5’s current affairs show The Wright Stuff, re-lived the scary encounter for a television show.
The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant was house hunting and fell in love with the “wonderful old Victorian house” in Warwick and planned to move in with her four boys.
She visited and was greeted by an elderly lady who had been born in the house and lived in it all her life, raising her own family there.
“She showed me around and said she was sad to leave but that her grown-up children were pressing her to sell and move to a modern flat,” she said.
“I thought she rather liked the look of me, and liked the idea that we were a big family who would fill it with joy and laughter.
“I rang the agent and offered the asking price – only to be told that the lady had decided not to sell after all.”
Six months later Miss Diamond, 56, received a call from the estate agent saying the house was empty and back on the market.
She collected the keys and went back to the house with her mother.
“At the front door, I was fiddling around trying to find the right key when the door opened and there was the same little white-haired old lady who’d first shown me around,” she said.
“She left us to explore the place. But this time the house was bare and empty.
“Everything had been moved out – except what seemed to be a large wooden box lying in the centre of the living room. My mother sat on it then jumped up, saying, ‘I don’t like this… it’s the shape of a coffin’.
“We both had tingles running up and down our spines so, not being able to find the old lady again, we quickly left.
“When I returned the keys to the agent, I told him the old lady had shown us round and he said, ‘That can’t have been her because she died a couple of months ago. The children are selling it now, and you had the only keys’.” Miss Diamond, who also starred in 2006 Celebrity Fit Club after openly battling her weight for years, went back to find the wooden box in the middle of the room had disappeared.
She said: “I can only believe that it was the old lady’s ghost that showed us round and that there was indeed a coffin on the living room floor.
“I can’t get my mind off that. In fact, I believe she is still there in the fabric of the house. Talk about spooked. I decided not to buy the place after all.” But according to local paranormal investigator Duncan Curtlin, of Paranormal Nights, the story is entirely plausible.
He said: “Warwick is a particularly haunted area.
“It is probably something to do with the presence of Warwick Castle and Guy’s Cliffe House (a dilapidated country house) which both have a lot going on with them.
“It is certainly not unusual to come across a ghost, and I do remember this story when it happened.”