Julie Cockroft, 55, had visited a house in Doncaster to see what the granite work surfaces would look like when she noticed a lady stood in the daughter’s house who lived next door.
When they realised it was not the kitchen seller’s daughter they caught two snaps of the spooky figure, which Ms Cockroft says has the clear shape of a black cat sat on her shoulder.
Most eerily, when Ms Cockroft then visited the daughter’s house for a paranormal investigation to get to the bottom of the mystery, she discovered that the face matched that of a distant relative called Annie.
Ms Cockroft, who runs Equinox Paranormal in Wakefield, West Yorks, said: “I was only there looking at granite for my kitchen. I wasn’t even thinking about investigating anywhere – it was my day off.
“It was a man in his late 50s who dealt in kitchen worktops and said he had the one I wanted installed in his house so I went round to see how it looked.
“His daughter lived in the bungalow on the other side of the fence. Suddenly when we were stood looking at the worktop he said he could see a woman in her house.
“He was obviously quite unsettled by this as it was not his daughter.
“I suggested we just watch her to see what she would do. But she wasn’t moving.
“So I suggested we take a picture of her and I got my camera out but it wouldn’t work at all. No matter how many times I tried it wouldn’t take a picture.
“Sometimes cameras can be affected by spirits in this way – they can affect electronic devices and make them not work like this. It must have known I was there.
“In the end he and his wife had to take the pictures for me as my camera wouldn’t take a picture – but it worked fine when I left.
“But for 10 or 15 minutes she just stood there and didn’t move. It was very odd. When we eventually went for a closer look, she was gone.”
It soon emerged that this was not the first sighting in the bungalow, where the family had apparently been left spooked out by repeated strange sightings and unusual sounds in the night.
The kitchen seller put Ms Cockroft in touch with his daughter to arrange for her to investigate.
Ms Cockroft said: “Afterwards I rang up his daughter and asked if it would be OK for me to go round for an investigation based on what we had seen and she kindly obliged.
“Apparently she had all sorts happening in the house. Strange goings-on and people seeing things, or items being moved around.
“During my investigation I got the name Annie – I don’t know where it came from. I asked her who Annie was and they said it was an old relative from the late 1800s.
“They gave me a picture of her and said she was known for having a black cat.
“What is most shocking is that in both pictures of the woman she has what is clearly a black cat on her shoulder and she looks just like the picture. I recognised her in the photo straight away.
“I think it was meant for me to see it. She would have been there anyway that day but it is most likely no one would have noticed her if I hadn’t have been there. I think she wanted to be seen in a way.
“After my two visits to the property I heard the strange goings-on had stopped, which they were pleased about. However I would not say it was because of our investigation.
“I think the family may have had things going on in their own lives at the time that may have prompted the spirits of family members to be drawn in and once these were resolved then they had no reason to be there.
“This is not uncommon to happen with spirits.”