Persephone Swales-Dawson has made a surprise return to 'Hollyoaks'.

Persephone Swales-Dawson as Nico Blake

Persephone Swales-Dawson as Nico Blake

The 21-year-old actress' alter ego Nico Blake was seemingly killed off in the maze fire 18 months ago, but a shock twist on the E4 episode on Monday (14.05.18) saw her unmasked as her mother, Sienna Blake's (Anna Passey) mystery stalker.

The episode saw panicked Sienna accusing various villagers of being her tormentor as the countdown clock on her laptop rapidly approached zero, and when the time ran out, there was a knock on her door and a sinister toy monkey had been left in the hallway.

But when Sienna rushed outside, there was no one there, so she returned inside - only to find a mysterious hooded figure holding her baby son Sebastian.

Nico then turned around and said: "I thought I was your baby..."

However, with Sienna - who unknowingly slept with her own twin brother, Dodger Savage, to get pregnant with Nico - having a history of mental illness, some fans weren't convinced the killer teenager really had made a comeback from the dead.

One wrote on Twitter: "I hope Nico being back is just Sienna's hallucination #HOLLYOAKS (sic)"

And after Sienna was recently convinced her former fiance Warren Fox had returned with their twin daughter Sophie, only for it to tragically be revealed to be a hallucination, another posted: "Wait! Is Nico actually Sienna's stalker or is she imagining it like she imagined she found Sophie? #Hollyoaks (sic)"

A third fan pondered: "Is #Hollyoaks actually joking about Nico?? I'm hoping it's just an hallucination or something... (sic)"

However, the show's official Twitter account seemed to suggest that Nico - who Warren left to die in the maze because of her evil antics, including plotting to kill Sienna, smothering her terminally ill grandfather, Patrick Blake, and murdering her mother's lover Trevor Royle on his wedding day - is well and truly alive and kicking.

They posted: "She's back! What will #NightmareNico's next move be?! If her past is anything to go by, it ain't looking good! #Hollyoaks (sic)"

And if Nico does turn out to be more than just a figment of Sienna's imagination, it won't be the first time her existence has come as a shock to her mother, as the troubled former shop worker was initially told her daughter had died at birth by her abusive father Patrick, only to later discover she'd been adopted by another family.