A real-life 'ghostbuster' has been hunting down spirits for the last 20 years - and says he connected with a spirit in a Berkshire castle.

Ron Bowers, 64, became fixated on the prospect of ghosts and ghouls after his father died in 1988 and has been a spiritualist ever since.

He has travelled all over the UK carrying out paranormal investigations in places where ghosts are said to congregate.

Ron believes the best way to interact with a ghost is to meditate and imagine how life could have been during ancient times.

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He says looking at things from his minds eye gives him the best chance of connecting with any surrounding spirt energies.

Ron, from Holland-on-Sea, Essex, said: "I had it drummed into me as a kid that there's no such things as ghosts. But if you see things, and have experiences, you tend to believe yourself in the end.

"Since the day my dad died, I decided spiritualism was the way forward for me - but I wanted to wait until my kids were grown up to start ghost hunting.

"Around 20 years ago I began looking for spirits in specific locations across the country.

"I enjoy the history of the places I visit to look for ghosts, and meditation is a great way to interact with them.

"In the spirit world, I like to think they're the energies of the person they used to be.

"You can sense these energies anywhere, including in modern day homes. It just depends on what was there before."

Ron claims to have have had spiritual experiences at several historic sites across the country.

He recalls hearing French being spoken during a visit to Redoubt Fort in Essex - despite the fact that he was in the fort alone.

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And, while exploring Highclere Castle in Berkshire, he also claims to have connected with a spirit walking outside the grounds.

Ron, a retired electrics engineer, said: "In 2009, the very first time I visited Redoubt Fort, I heard French being spoken while I was exploring the fort.

"There was no one else there apart from me, yet I could hear these faint foreign voices.

"The fort was dug out by French prisoners of war back in Napoleon times, and I'm convinced it was their spirits communicating with one another.

"Another time, walking around the ground of Highclere castle, I connected with a spirit in an area called the Wood of Good Will."

Over the years, Ron has held talks on spirit photography - sharing his experiences with like-minded groups.

He's been invited to speak at venues such as the College of Psychic Studies in Kensington, and the Sanctuary at Arthur Findlay College.

Ron has also appeared on BBC Radio Essex.

But, despite all this, he feels he is still not taken seriously by most.

Ron said: "I've spent a lot of time and money going to places all over the UK, and I do it because I love it - it's a passion, not a hobby.

"If I was faking anything, I wouldn't be faking it for 20 years- but I'm still not widely believed, otherwise I would have been contacted by now.

"Spiritualism will always be a huge part of my life, but now I'm getting older I feel my time ghost hunting is coming to an end.

"That being said, I've had an incredible journey and some amazing experiences that I wouldn't change for the world."