I occasionally get asked questions about my time in business and apart from the usual “Why did you start up in business?” or “What’s the proudest thing you’ve achieved?” one of the most popular includes “Have you or do you clean anywhere that’s been haunted?”
Well, with Halloween looming, here’s a true story for you. We used to clean the common parts of a building in Grey Street in Newcastle, a beautiful and old part of the City. We cleaned the common areas including the entrance and stairs from the ground up to about the fifth floor on a Monday to Friday in the evening. On this day the regular cleaner, Diane, was on holiday so we sent in one of our Operations Managers to cover.
The next thing was a frantic call to my mobile from the unnamed Operations Manager (who has since left us, but I’ll keep him anonymous!) In a very panicky and terrified voice he told me that there was a ghost preventing him from getting out. I thought it was a joke but he sounded so serious that I was soon trying to calm him down and understand what was happening.
Our cleaning storage space was on the top floor as the building wasn’t completely occupied and this is where we kept the vacuum and other items. Our Operations Manager had just returned the cleaning items to the top floor having finished the clean and was on his way down but was stopped in his tracks by what he saw on the landing of the 3rd floor. It was the bottom half of a man. Only the bottom half of the cloak he was wearing and his black boots were visible, no top half at all. It wasn’t moving. The ghost was just stood still between our poor, terrified Ops and the stairs down to the only exit.
After a minute or so he said he was hanging up as he just had to do something to get out. I tried to quickly explain that it was probably nothing and just to ignore it but he was by now almost in a panic. The phone cut off and there was a good few seconds of me standing there not quite knowing what to do. I decided to jump in the car and go in to Newcastle to see what was going on. As I grabbed my keys my mobile rang and it was my Ops Manager who explained that he’d just ‘hugged’ the huge wooden banister that snaked down the enormous staircase from top to bottom, closed his eyes and made a “Run for it”.
All I was told was that “I’m never going back, don’t ask me to go back, I’m not going” as he sat shaking in his van. I was later told he sat there for a good ten minutes until he could pull himself together and drive home.
When Diane returned from holiday I called her and simply asked, “Have you ever seen or heard odd goings on in the building?”
“Oh you mean the ghost?” she replied “Yes I talk to him all the time.”
Then Diane added “I’ll give you a call next time things are happening and you can come and see for yourself.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of it all but only a few days later I got the call to go and see some strange going’s on. I grabbed my camera and set off in to Newcastle. Parking on Grey Street I was met Diane at the entrance of the building and taken to the first floor landing where I was told to look at the shadow cast across a brass name plaque on the wall on the next floor up. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at but I took the shot, then, the ‘shadow’ moved away! I took another photo and they both came out too. One photograph which included a ‘shadow’ then no shadow to be seen at all on the next photograph. Both photographs taken from the same place, just seconds apart, by me. I’m not at all sure what it could have been but I saw it with my own eyes and got it on camera.
The last occupier of the office there moved out and the building closed down a few years back. We no longer clean it but every time I walk past that building I can help but glance up at the windows, just in case I’m being watched.