Initially, I thought it was the stuff of spoof websites but it appears that Brazil’s President Michel Temer did move out of his official residence, Alvorada Palace, because he and his wife were spooked by ghosts.

This year, Sweden’s Queen Silvia said “small friends” and “ghosts” would make their presence felt in the 16th-century Drottningholm Palace, where she and the king reside.

The apparition of the late Lady Li in the bedchamber of the Western Han dynasty’s Emperor Wu might have been a hallucinatory manifestation of his lingering sorrow, or the deceitful machinations of the sorcerer he had ordered to conjure the spirit of his beloved consort, who had died young and very beautiful around 100BC. “Is it you? Is it not you? I stand and look. Why so late do you serenely come?” the emperor poetically declaimed.

To honour Li, who had the perspicacity to refuse to receive the emperor on her death bed in order to impress the most beautiful image of herself in his memory, Wu promoted her brothers and other members of her family to high positions.

Alas, love counted for nought when the dignity and power of the throne was at stake. Within a few years, Wu exterminated the Li family on charges of licentiously corrupting the inner palace and high treason.