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Most Haunted's Yvette Fielding saw the ghost of her father on Christmas Day – all while her husband Karl was tied to a chair.
The paranormal expert was trying out a spirit cabinet in her living room with friends when the spooky encounter occurred, after most of those gathered had already headed off to bed.
As Christmas is a time spirits are drawn to, in order to celebrate with their families when everyone is typically gathered around together, it made sense to Yvonne that it would be the first time she saw her dad since his death.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, Yvette explained: "We were in the front room. The Christmas tree was up and we had friends and family round, just a small group of us.
"There was myself, my husband and two friends. We decided to try out this thing called a spirit cabinet, which dates back to Victorian times."
Spirit cabinets are used to 'attract and preserve' ghosts in a physical space, and have been used by mediums since the 1850s.
"One person sits in a cubicle with black cloth on all sides, like a wardrobe. And then on top there's another blackout cloth," Yvette added.
"So Karl [Beattie] was sitting inside it on a chair, with his hands and feet tied to the chair – which sounds really bizarre!" she laughed. "We were just trying it as an experience – everyone plays games at Christmas, and we just happen to do the spooky side of things."
Yvette said she and her pals were calling out for a spirit to appear when "the whole cabinet started shaking."
"Karl was asking what was going on, and we were like, 'Okay, this whole thing is moving!'. And then the most extraordinary thing happened – we saw a man's head pop up at the top of the cabinet.
"What I loved is the fact that the three of us watching saw it, and there was just an intake of breath. It lasted about three and a half seconds, and it was my dad's face.
"His whole head – solid, and in colour. It blew my mind, I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't breathe. My two friends turned to me and went, 'That was your dad!' And I went, 'Yes!'
"Karl was none the wiser, asking what was going on. It was my best Christmas present."
For Yvette, it was the fact that more than just one person had seen the apparition, which "defies logic".
"Three of us saw exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. I know 100% that was my dad coming to say Happy Christmas, and it was wonderful."
But it wasn't the only time Yvette saw her father's ghost, as he also appeared at her 40th birthday party
"There was a picture taken on an old-fashioned mobile phone. I'm on a stage, and you can just see my head from the side and I've got my hands up," she said.
"And looking at the photo the next day, Karl said, 'Oh look! There's an orb!'"
Orbs are light anomalies, which are often caused by rational phenomena such as light reflections from a camera flash, dust particles or even insects illuminated on film.
But it wasn't until Yvette and Karl zoomed in on the image on the computer that they realised something strange about the orb they'd captured.
"On the main picture it looked really small, just a dot of dust. But we blew the picture up and I couldn't believe it. It was my dad's face, clear as day."
Yvette knows what it's like to struggle with the loss of a loved one, but believing in life after death has changed her perspective forever – and made her a "happier person".
She explained: "From my experience – and it is only my experience, and I have so much respect for everybody else's point of view, whether they believe or are complete sceptics – when I started out I didn't believe in life after death at all.
"I just thought when you’re dead, you’re dead. But after doing all of this I now know – hand on heart – that there is life after death. It’s really changed my life and changed me as a person – I'm a happier person for knowing that I will see my loved ones again."
She advised: "They are with you. Keep your eyes and ears open, even when you dream! I'm a huge believer that spirits can actually come into your mind when your brain is asleep, as it's more likely to soak up energies at night.
"So, come Christmas time, be a little bit more aware of the things that you can’t see, but perhaps might be able to feel."
Yvette keeps her own loved ones close by embracing them as though they're still among us – which, she insists, they are.
"With my dad, I buy him a Father's Day card, and at Christmas I always set a place for him at the table because I know he's with us."
She even plays his favourite Beatles tracks and swears he's dancing along beside her.
"It's very important, if you’ve lost a loved one, to talk out loud to them. Say goodnight before you go to sleep, and say good morning to them. If it’s their birthday, buy them a card!" she advised. "They can see it and they really love it, they love to see us happy.
"They don’t want to see us cry, and so Christmas time when they come and see all the cheer that’s going on for Christmas time, it makes them happy."
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