An elderly housewife gave her jewellery to three strangers for a blessing ritual in the hope of banishing ghosts from her haunted home to 'the 18th layer of hell', but the ritual was never carried out, the district court heard yesterday. The victim, Choi Shuk-kun, 72, told the court she was approached by three strangers, including the accused, Guo Xialing, one morning in September last year after finishing her shopping at a food market near her home in Kwai Fong Estate, Kwai Chung. Guo, 42, and a mainland tourist warned her that her home was haunted, saying she had seen the problem through the 'magical mirror' of Guo's grandfather. Choi said she was urged to ask Guo's grandfather to exorcise the ghosts to avert deaths in the family. Guo is charged with one count of obtaining property by deception on September 6 last year. The court heard Guo told Choi a blessing ritual had to be performed to avert deaths in her family. She told Choi to hand over as many gold ornaments as possible for the ritual and promised that they would be returned after the ritual. Fearing for her family's safety, Choi went straight home to gather her jewellery, which included gold necklaces, earrings and rings worth $38,000. Choi then met up with the three with her jewellery in a plastic bag. However, instead of being shown to Guo's grandfather, Choi was taken for a long walk and was eventually told to go home. Choi said that during the walk her plastic bag of jewellery must have been swapped with another one. She later opened the bag to find that her jewellery was gone and replaced with apples and bottled water. A police report was filed the next day and Guo was arrested a week later. The case continues.