When it comes to ghostly sights and bumps in the night, I'm pretty much a giant skeptic. I've never personally experienced a supernatural event, and my default assumption of the various recordings, photos, and videos is either that they have a perfectly natural explanation -- or that they're faked.
That SAID, the CCTV footage recorded in the English town of Bolton last week is downright creepy. According to believers, a surveillance camera in the Ye Olde Man and Scythe -- known as "Britain's most haunted pub" -- captured real evidence of a spectral presence on the night of February 14. In the clip, lights flicker, and then a shadowy figure seems to appear before the tape mysteriously stops at 6:18 a.m.
I'm not necessarily convinced of the pub's paranormal activity ... but I have to admit, watching this video gave me the shivers.
The Ye Olde Man & Scythe, which dates back to 1251, has quite the spooky history. It's the fourth-oldest pub in Britain, and it's said to be haunted by up to 25 ghosts -- including the Seventh Earl of Derby, James Stanley, who was beheaded nearby during the civil war in 1651. Other spirits that supposedly linger at the pub are that of a woman who committed suicide in the cellar, an 8-year-old girl, and even a dog. In addition to the various deaths that have reportedly happened on site, hundreds of soldiers and civilians were also killed outside the pub in the Bolton Massacre of 1644.
As for the footage in question, it was supposedly recorded on Valentine's Day and discovered when the manager checked to see why the tape stopped early Friday morning (he also says he discovered a broken glass scattered across the floor). Some believe the resulting footage happened because of an electrical glitch, but ... well, take a look:
So, what do you think? YouTube commenters seem to be enjoying the debate, with plenty falling on the side of Who You Gonna Call? Definitely Not Ghostbusters:
My bets are on a bat, moth or small bird flying around the place looking for a way out. You can see the shadows cast on one wall look like a winged creature.
It's a clever fake. The rapidly oscillating light is the giveaway. The lights flash only when the "ghost" appears, afterwards the lights sweep past because they are from passing cars. The oscillating lights come from two videos being interleaved, a few frames from a video with a man in a hood, a few frames from an empty pub. This causes the "ghost" to disappear and reappear rapidly, but also interferes with the lights. The two videos have lights from passing cars at different phases of a car passing, causing the lights to oscillate. The hood head appears to float, but that is because its dark and the image flashes. If you look carefully you can see a shirt below the hood. The fake looks good nevertheless because it's a time lapse security video, and you expect odd light effects as time speeds buy.
As for me, I'm thinking the most likely explanation is that it's a PUBlicity stunt (sorry) dreamed up by the staff to pull in more curious customers. Still, I think I'm all done watching that video now. No reason. I just have, you know, other stuff to do. Super busy over here. Lots of laundry and whatnot. Anyway gotta g--*slams laptop shut, runs away*
What's your take on this footage?
Image via YouTube