But suddenly, the eerie calm was pierced by a police whistle and officers piled into the house, in Portsmouth, Hants, to arrest Britain's top medium.
The following morning Helen, known as Hellish Nell, was charged under section four of the 1735 Witchcraft Act.
It was 1944, and, astonishingly, officials had ordered her arrest because they were afraid she would reveal top-secret plans for the D-Day landings.
They had been monitoring her since she had revealed the sinking of a British battleship earlier in the war - even though the government had suppressed the news to maintain morale at home.
It took a jury just 30 minutes to find her guilty and she became the last person to be convicted of witchcraft in Britain.
Read the whole thing, via Broadsheet.