This is our Secret

Client:          Valerie Wells                                                           


Location:      Edinburgh

Team:          Innes Smith


Initial Telephone Interview    by Innes Smith        18/7/07


The Client was essentially referred without consent to the SSPR by a third party, but the client was happy to share her experiences. Only one witness was interviewed as the corroborating witness had just left the country. Suggestions were made to the client – and are assumed to have been successful – as the client has not responded to further communication.

Initial Telephone Interview:

Innes Smith was contacted by Tricia Robertson who had received a message on her answering machine from a healer known to her. The healer had been previously contacted by Miss Wells regarding paranormal phenomena. Innes Smith contacted Miss Wells who was willing to talk about her experiences and appreciated the contact from the SSPR.


Valerie Wells has lived in her present property for two and half years. She lived alone until her cousin Michael Smart moved in approximately eight months ago due to the stressful break up of a relationship. Within the past few months Miss Wells had a failed pregnancy and split up with her boyfriend. By her own admission, “there was a lot of stress” in the flat and “lots of late nights” talking with Michael. Approximately two and half months ago both flatmates noticed something unusual, but didn’t share their observations. Then Mr Smart experienced a ‘nocturnal supernatural attack’, which when repeated the following week on the exact same day and time, stimulated the flatmates to seek outside help. They called in a ‘healer’ called Iain Smith who performed some kind of ‘cleansing’ ritual. According to Miss Wells things were quiet for a few weeks until the 16th of July, when Miss Wells experienced a ‘nocturnal supernatural attack’. Michael Smart moved out the flat just before the 16th – having emigrated to Canada.

The Phenomena

  1. Door being found open. A walk-in-cupboard in the hallway would be found wide open. This was unusual because the door does not swing open at all: there being grooves on the floorboards where the bottom of the door has carved tracks. It therefore takes some effort to open the door. This started to happen mid-May 2007 but both flatmates did not discuss it until some time later.

2. Apparition in Hallway. Michael Smart saw an apparition in the hallway on Monday the 4th of June. Valerie Wells reports that Michael described it as a “tall, wide figure” – “a man standing in the hallway”.

3. Nocturnal Supernatural Attack. At 5.30 am on the morning of Monday the 4th of June, Michael Smart awoke to find himself being strangled. According to Miss Wells the “strangling sensation lasted for 20 seconds” and “started in the neck” but “moved to the chest”. He felt “digging in the arms” and heard a male voice whispering in his ear saying, “this is our secret”. Apparently the voice was saying other things, but he could only make out the phrase ‘this is our secret’. The Following week the same thing happened again – on Monday the 18th of June at the same time in the morning.

There was some remission, then on Monday the 16th of July, Valerie Wells describes being woken up at 5.30 am with the feeling of being strangled. During the experience that lasted 5 or 10 seconds, she was “totally paralysed” and felt “an incredible pressure”. It was “so real – I know it wasn’t a dream”. And “when the pressure stopped, I made a big noise”. Miss Wells also heard a voice say “this is our secret”.

Client’s Health

Neither Miss Wells nor Mr Smart is on medication, or has any relevant medical condition.

Miss Wells takes no recreational drugs apart from tobacco and alcohol – and has never taken illegal drugs. This is also (to the best of Miss Wells’ knowledge) true of Mr Smart.

Client’s Beliefs

Neither Miss Wells nor Mr Smart has had a previous anomalous experience. Nor have they been particularly interested in the paranormal. Indeed, according to Miss Wells, Michael Smart didn’t believe in such things before – but he does now.


Innes Smith told Miss Wells not to worry as such experiences were surprisingly common, and although the experience was unnerving there was no permanent injury or harm.

Innes Smith asked Miss Wells to see if she could video record her lying in bed on the following Monday morning. This may record something anomalous, or even show an irregularity with her breathing – or record nothing at all (as the presence of equipment often acts as an effective inhibitor of paranormal phenomena).

Miss Wells was asked to contact Innes Smith if anything happened – and if need be, an investigator would be assigned to visit her.


Innes Smith called the client on the 27th of July 2007 and left a message on an answering service. There has been no contact with the client since. We might assume that the phenomenon stopped.

The Scottish Society for Psychical Research
This report has been anonymised.
Permission to copy for education – not for resale or profit.
Copyright the author.