“I just felt that I had no other choice – these trousers were making my life unbearable,” thirty eight year old Nobby Hobbs told The Sleaze, as a Catholic priest knelt in front of him, waving a crucifix at the open fly zipper of his trousers whilst reciting the Lord’s Prayer. “Once it became obvious that these strides were haunted by the restless spirit of a sex offender, exorcism seemed the only logical solution.” The process, however, has turned out to be more complex than the Wokingham supermarket shelf stacker expected. “I thought that it would just be a case of some priest sprinkling them with holy water and incanting some mumbo jumbo for a couple of minutes – but this has been going on for four hours already,” he explained. “The fact that this geezer has insisted that I have to be wearing the trousers has just made it even worse. But, apparently, the spirit possessing these trousers is very powerful and difficult to cast out – he’s tried everything: waving a smoking censor in front of my crotch, invoking the Archangel Michael to intervene (I felt a very strange sensation round the back when he did that – like someone had thrust their hand into my back pocket) and even thrusting his hand through the open zipper and rummaging around in there (he said he was performing some holy gestures to ward off evil). He reckons that it could take several sessions over a period of weeks to fully exorcise these trousers! I knew I should have got someone from the C of E to do it, but I figured that the Catholics are better at all this mystical bollocks!”

Hobbs ordeal began two months ago, when he purchased the perfectly ordinary looking pair of brown flannel trousers from a charity shop. “Not only were they a perfect fit, but they were only a fiver,” he says, as the priest bellows ‘Get thee behind me Satan’ at his groin. “That’s when the alarm bells should have started ringing – even charity shops don’t flog trousers in such good condition so cheaply. That and the fact that I had to try them on in the middle of the shop, whilst the assistant looked on as the allegedly didn’t have a changing room, should have raised my suspicions.” At first, the trousers seemed perfectly normal, but after a couple of weeks, Hobbs began to notice strange phenomena occurring whenever he wore them. “At first it was the ‘tenting’,” he explains. “The fabric around the crutch area would start to rise up – like a ghost under a sheet. It would just rise higher and higher, before collapsing! But there was nothing there – if you touched the bump, it felt hard, but a couple of times, I managed to unzip my flies before it collapsed and there was nothing there!” This bizarre phenomena started manifesting itself at highly inopportune moments. “At first, it only happened at home, when I was sat on the sofa, watching TV, but pretty soon it started happening when I was out in public,” he recalls. “Several times, it happened in the park, when I was sat on a bench, minding my own business, watching the joggers run past – it was bloody embarrassing, I can tell you, the looks I got from those joggers! In desperation, I whipped the zip open to show them there was nothing there – they just screamed abuse at me and ran off!”

The situation worsened when Nobby’s trousers started to bulge at work. “I was stacking shelves in the tinned meats aisle with Maxine Prodgely – she’s this nineteen year old work experience girl – when the fabric of my trousers just shot up into a cone over my groin area,” he reveals, as the priest thrusts a burning candle toward the gusset of his trousers. “She clearly saw it – it was pointed right at her, after all! Her eyes were bulging – she looked terrified! I tried to tell her it wasn’t me, it was the trousers – I grabbed her hand and tried to put it over the bulge, so that she’d be able to feel that it wasn’t a normal erection, but she just screamed and hit me in the groin with a tin of Spam!” Finding himself suspended from his job at the supermarket, accused of sexual harassment, Hobbs thought that things couldn’t possibly get worse. But he was quickly to be proven wrong. “I was out walking in the park – I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands – when the bloody things just fell down around my ankles,” he says. “Somehow, they took my underpants down with them, so there I was, standing in the middle of the park, naked from the waist down!” To make things worse, a group of schoolgirls, accompanied by two nuns, were passing through the park at the time. “There was absolute pandemonium: some of the girls screamed and ran, others pointed and laughed, one of the nuns fainted while the other one kneed me in the groin. It was agony,” he says, wincing at the memory. “Inevitably, the police were called and I was arrested. In the end they let me off with a caution as they couldn’t prove that I’d deliberately exposed myself. Which, of course, I hadn’t. The trousers had acted entirely independently, as if they were possessed by some outside agency!”

Suspecting a supernatural force was behind the misbehaviour of his trousers, a desperate Hobbs decided to try and return them to the charity shop he’d found them in – and secure a refund. “When I tried to go back there – the shop had vanished,” he told The Sleaze. “There was no trace of it – I asked the locals about it and they all denied that there had ever been a shop on that street!” Deeply disturbed by this development, Hobbs now sought help from a medium. “She’s a friend of my mum’s and, from the first time she set eyes on the trousers, she told me that she felt an evil presence,” he says. “She immediately organised a séance so as to try and contact the entity she suspected was haunting my trousers.” This proved to be a terrifying experience for the shelf stacker. “We were sat around the table in my mum’s front room, with the curtains drawn, me, my mum, the medium and two of the neighbours,” he recalls. “Everyone had to hold hands – except for me and the medium. She insisted that she had to place her left hand on my groin, in order to properly channel the spirit energy as she went into a trance. Well, she started saying ‘Is anybody there?’, at first nothing happened, then the crutch of my trousers suddenly and violently jerked upwards under her hand and what I can only describe as ectoplasm started oozing through the material as the medium started groaning and rocking backwards and forwards!”

Eventually, snapping out of her trance, the medium was able to tell Hobbs that his troublesome trousers had previously been owned by a notorious local sex pest, who had recently died. “Apparently, his spirit felt that it couldn’t move on until he’d completed his life’s work of exposing himself to at least a hundred women,” explains Hobbs. “So he naturally took possession of his favourite trousers in order to complete the task!” Now knowing the truth about the trousers, Hobbs did his best to divest himself of them. “I tried throwing them out, donating them to Oxfam, even giving them to a tramp,” he says. “But every time I thought that I’d gotten rid of them, they came back! I’d walk into my bedroom and there they’d be, across the back of a chair, or on a hanger in the wardrobe!” The strange phenomena associated with the trousers became worse as Hobbs tried to dispose of them. “These strange stains and marks started appearing in the seat of the trousers,” he reveals. “Even worse, I’d find myself wearing them, with no recollection of having out them on – in fact, I’m sure that I’d actually put on a different pair before I left the house!” He was finally convinced to attempt an exorcism after waking up in the middle of the night to find himself, wearing nothing but the trousers, with his manhood dangling from the unzipped flies, standing in the garden of a local young widow. “Well, it looks as if we’re going to be back here next week, then” a resigned Hobbs tells us, as the frustrated priest starts packing up his accoutrements, a blazing crucifix suspended from the fly zipper having failed to exorcise the trousers. “He reckons he might have to resort to crucifying them next time. If that doesn’t work, he’s talking about getting someone in from the Vatican…”