In the dead of night, one office block in the U.K. lay silent and still. But as security staff looked on, what they saw on CCTV cameras terrified them. A chair shot across the floor, and then before they knew it, the whole building was rattling with apparent paranormal activity.
Castlefield House is an office block seemingly like any other. The nondescript workplace sits on Liverpool Road in the northern English city of Manchester, and during the day people fill the space, working at their desks.
However, each night, the block lies deserted. The only people remaining in the office are the security guards who monitor the corridors and workspaces overnight. Most of the time, their job is uneventful; yet one night in 2012 proved to be anything but.
During the night in question, security staff were keeping an eye on the many CCTV cameras in the office block. At first, the setting appeared empty. However, at around 3:00 a.m., everything changed.
In the dead of night, with seemingly nobody around, one sole monitor appeared to kick momentarily into action. Then, without warning, a mysterious force threw one of the office’s many chairs across the room. Seconds later, another chair darted off in the opposite direction.
As the cameras rolled, the alleged paranormal activity appeared to escalate. More chairs whizzed across the room before all the computer monitors in the office came on. The screens flickered momentarily before falling lifeless once more.
With that, security staff decided to turn their attention to another location inside the block. It appeared that the supernatural source was spreading. There, in an empty corridor, doors shook in their frames and handles jerked violently without any explanation.
Next, filing cabinet drawers opened and closed, and doors slammed by themselves. Documents flew from their compartments, too, seemingly without influence. Then, more paperwork suddenly dropped to the floor.
It seemed that the office block was awash with paranormal activity. Indeed, the sound of rattling handles and slamming doors echoed down the empty corridors. Yet all of a sudden, the creepy building fell silent once more.
The frightening sequence of events lasted a little under four minutes – and in 2012 someone from the office block posted the footage online. Soon, the clip had mystified many people, who couldn’t find a logical explanation for the highly irregular activity.
It wasn’t long before people began looking towards the supernatural for answers. Many observers put the unusual occurrences down to a poltergeist. In fact, soon locals were calling the building on Liverpool Road “Manchester’s most haunted office block.”
Consequently, for four years people shared the spooky video online. It wasn’t until 2016, however, that someone from the paranormal world would investigate the cause of the various disturbances – and what that individual had to say was extremely interesting.
Scott Mackinnon works as a paranormal investigator in Manchester. His company has been in operation for more than 20 years. And over that time, he and his team have led ghost hunts in many historic buildings throughout the north of England.
“I lead a team of psychics and those that concentrate more on the scientific aspects of the paranormal to try and discover the reason behind any unexplained occurrences or activity,” Mackinnon explained to the Manchester Evening News in 2016. “If someone is being haunted then we go to them and work out how we can help.”
So, it appeared that Mackinnon was arguably the best man to look into the so-called haunting at the Manchester office block. The investigator studied the clip in its entirety before giving his conclusion – and it wasn’t good news for fans of the supernatural.
“This video, though extremely well put together, is a fake,” he concluded. “I did some digging into it and there’s a number of ways that you can tell it isn’t real.” Among them, Mackinnon said, was the way the video was put together.
“Some of the scenes have clearly been edited,” he revealed. “There’s a few different signifiers of it that wouldn’t stand out to the untrained eye: dodgy time codes, tape you can see on the ceiling and sounds that have been clearly dubbed on. But it is really well done.”
Mackinnon added that PPI (payment protection insurance) firm Joshua Brookes Ltd had made the video. Perhaps the company produced the footage to spook some of their customers. Whatever the case, officials from the business did not comment on the video.
Meanwhile, one YouTube user has their own theory as to why the video got made. “I used to work in this building myself and can honestly say that I never once saw anything ‘supernatural,’” they said. “There is no such thing as ghosts and I am happy to spend the night in anywhere ‘haunted’ to prove that. I assume this was an attempt at free publicity or something, or was staged.”
So, while viewers might never get to the bottom of the video, it seems that ghosts were not to blame. Still, that’s not to say the supernatural doesn’t exist – it’s just that it probably isn’t lurking in this English office block.