A young Melton man, who lost both of his parents as a teenager, has sought solace in a gift he says he has to contact people from beyond the grave through possessions they once owned.
Ben Canham (21) has a collection of around 40 household objects and dolls he has bought at sales, markets and online.
And he says he is able to communicate with their former owners using spiritualist equipment he keeps at his home in the town.
The former pupil of Brownlow Primary and Birch Wood Area Special Schools said: “I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal and I really enjoy making contact with spirits.
“I’ve lived on my own since I lost mum and dad and I find it’s a way of coping with things.
“I buy different objects, I research them and then I communicate with people who owned them.”
Ben, has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which means he is often anxious, confused and wary of large crowds, but he says his interest in the spirit world helps him cope with it.
He has made contact from beyond the grave with his parents, Dennis and Jean, and says it has helped him come to terms with their loss.
“I’ve also helped lots of other people who have lost loved ones and I’ve been on radio programmes in New Zealand and America talking about what I do,” said Ben, who is also a former Brooksby Melton College student.
He spends some of his spare time volunteering at the world’s first paranormal research centre, which opened this year in Hinckley.
But Ben is happiest when he is at home contacting spirits through the various artefacts he has picked up.
He added: “People say to me ‘I don’t know how you can live with all those haunted objects in your house?’
“But I really enjoy being involved in the spirit world and I consider it is a gift I have been given.”