Medium was inspiration for Mike

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We had a great response to our Christmas ghost story competition, with lots of you coming up with spooky festive tales.

Mike Chivers got the inspiration for his ghost story from two sources - a book he'd just read and a spooky tale told to him by his father.

The 42-year-old, of Durley Avenue, Cowplain, said: 'I'd recently read a book about the medium Helen Duncan, but the story of the two brothers came from my father.

'He claimed something similar happened to him and he wasn't one for inventing tall tales.'

He added: 'I decided to put the two things together and then the story came quickly. The hardest part was cutting it down.'

Mike, who works for Hampshire County Council in a day centre for people with learning disabilities at Leigh Park, had never entered a writing competition before.

He explained: 'I've written before but I rarely finish things. But after writing the ghost story, I've already started another story. This one has also got a medium in it, but is set in the 1960s and features a character that's a bit like one of the Kray twins.'

Mike, who receives a 25 gift card to spend at the Portsmouth branch of Waterstone's, said being judged runner-up in the 16-and-over category of our Christmas ghost story competition had spurred him on.

'It has definitely given me some encouragement.'