Nikea Rivera, 45, was arrested and charged with arson following a huge blaze at her home in Dorchester, Boston, shortly after 11am on Tuesday (December 27).
According to Boston 25, Rivera admitted that she started the fire and told booking officers: “I had to do it. That house is haunted. I lit the house on fire.
“The Devil made me do it, there are ghosts in my house.”
She also reportedly told a witness: “I’m sorry, I had to do it,” as she was walking away from the blaze.
The property – 74 Mora Street – has three floors. There were two people on the second floor at the time of the fire who were rescued by emergency responders using ground ladders, the New York Post reports.
One of those neighbours has been treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital.
Images from the scene show shattered windows and one side of the house completely charred. Fire crews were later spotted boarding up the house.
According to District Attorney Kevin Hayden, Rivera was arraigned on Tuesday and is due back in court on January 13.
Hayden said that a judge ordered her to undergo a mental health evaluation at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital.
“It’s fortunate that this woman’s actions did not result in any residents or responders being seriously injured or killed. Her statements are obviously disturbing and an immediate evaluation is the proper next step,” Hayden said.
For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.