By David Keane
A paranormal investigator had his holiday interrupted by a ghoul he caught on camera stalking caves dating back to the Dark Ages – carrying a lantern and even walking through a wall.
Tony Ferguson had been enjoying a trip to Nottingham with a friend when the pair visited the 500 caverns in the ‘City of Caves’ that lie below the shopping centre.
After spotting a ghostly figure, Tony began filming to see what he could pick up and was left terrified when he picked up what he claims is a ‘full apparition in 1800 period dress’ moving through the darkness.
Footage shows a light appear to float in the darkness before a full figure emerges and appears to pass right through the wall of the caves, which date back to at least 900AD but possibly even older.
The 32-year-old ghost hunter claims the figure was a ‘residual haunting’as the spook did not know Tony was there and is simply trapped prowling the cave’s passageways for eternity.
Tony, from Southampton, said: “What is so amazing is that I was only there on my holidays. I was just exploring like any tourist would really. I wasn’t expecting to capture anything at all.
“The ghost was carrying a lantern of some kind and his clothes are not from our time. They looked like they were from the 1800s. A lot of people picked up on this when they watched the video.
“There would not have been much light down there hundreds of years ago and they would have needed to carry candles or lanterns.
“Back then there would not have been lighting like there is now so that explains why the figure is carrying a lantern.
“I actually saw it earlier in the night. I picked it up and I could see it staring at me. I carried on talking and it disappeared.
“We walked on and a figure appeared in front of us and walked right through the wall. You can hear it go through the wall, it made a ‘whooshing’ sound. I don’t know what that could be, some kind of energy from it perhaps.
“After I saw it I checked the camera and realised it had picked the figure up too, thank god.
“I was shocked. I had to look back lots of times to check no one was there but there is no way anyone was there.
“And there is no way someone could walk through a wall unless they have some special powers I don’t know about.
“It was a full apparition. People have been saying it is an amazing capture. I’m over the moon to have caught it.”
It is thought the oldest areas of the caves could date back to the fourth century where people dug into the soft sandstone to create somewhere cosy to sleep, before people eventually began living down there.
Eventually the caves were used for an array of uses including as cesspits, tanneries, slum housing, air raid shelters and hideouts for murderers, thieves and other criminals.
Since Tony visited in the late afternoon, he claims he and his friend had the run of the place to themselves and is convinced no one else was there when he filmed the encounter.
Tony said: “They are well known for being haunted. There was lots of activity.
“It is one of the weirdest places I have ever investigated as you enter these very dark caves through the shopping centre. The outside was very misleading.
“We had the whole place to ourselves, there was absolutely no one else there.
“People are saying I could be the only paranormal investigator to have captured two full apparitions so clearly like this.
“It takes a lot of luck. It was luck of the draw that I was in the right time and place to capture it.
“The ghost had no awareness that I was there. The figure didn’t acknowledge me. For me, it’s like it’s in its own time doing its own thing. It’s what people call a residual haunting.
“I thought it must have been a person but then I checked and realised me and my friend were the only ones there. That’s when I was scared.
“It was unsettling to realise that it was real. It was a personal experience of mine but the camera validates what I saw. To have it on camera makes it all complete.
“They are definitely haunted caves. I have found a few things in my research after seeing it. Lots of people have seen things or experience things down there apparently.
“It has a different feel to the place. There are many spirits there so you get different sense in different areas of the caves.”
Of the 500 or so known caves, it is thought only around 76 have been recently investigated and recorded in any detail.
Many were inhabited by the poor for hundreds of years until the practice of renting out cellars and caves as homes was banned in 1845 – though could well have continued beyond this date.