Whistable CCTV ghost

I was contacted on Twitter today by Scarlet Jones who is a reporter for the Whitstable Times asking me if I’d look at a video that had been sent to them by the Whitstable Nutrition Centre that they claims shows possible paranormal activity happening within their store. You can see the story and footage by clicking here. The short video shows a man walking into an aisle and looking at boxes of tea bags when, unnoticed by him, a red box floats off of a shelf behind him and hovers in the air, then a green box flies off of the shelf next to him and as he bends down to pick it up the red box finally tumbles to the floor too.

The footage looked dodgy and my gut reaction was that we weren’t being told something and that this was a prank or edited footage. I asked around for other opinions from those with more knowledge of film and post production and they also agreed that there were numerous problems with the footage that mean a conclusion is impossible to reach.

The first and most obvious is that we, yet again, do not have the original footage of a supposedly paranormal video. Without this it’s impossible to be certain what is happening, but there are a number of possibilities. For example, there are lots of people wearing black milling around out of frame, we can’t see what is happening within the aisles of the shop either side, and we cannot see the floor of the aisle where the boxes fall to. This all throws up red flags, as does the fact that we’re only being presented with a ‘copy of a copy’ of the footage.

John Rael of Skeptically Pwned pointed out that ‘a clever way to hide any special effects (strings/post processing) is to either make sure your footage is shit (e.g. most bigfoot or ghost hunting footage), or degrade the original source. In this case, filming a video with a camcorder. ‘

 It looks dodgy, but unless the original footage is provided in an unedited format for analysis it would be impossible to say whether this footage is genuine or not. It’s also difficult to comment without knowing what is happening in the areas we cannot see, like the neighbouring aisles and below the camera.
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Thanks to Michael Marshall, Abigail Brady, David James, John Rael & Raji James for assistance. 

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Hayley Stevens

Hayley is a ghost geek and started to blog in 2007. She uses scientific scepticism to investigate weird stuff and writes about it here while also speaking publicly about how to hunt ghosts as a skeptic.

4 thoughts on “Whistable CCTV ghost”

  1. As always, inconclusive due to lack of any real evidence being put forward. I’d want to see this on the CCTV platform it was recorded on, along with all the other cameras. I’ve watched crimes happen on CCTV in real time, buy you almost always have to look at the other cameras, and review footage, to get the full story. I wonder if it’s worth asking for an evidential download of the footage to study. Or is there anyone in Whitstable who can go check out the source?

    1. The reporter who got in touch with me is going to see if she can get the original footage to send on.

  2. It’s the person in the body suit, who CLEARLY deliberately hides off shot, that is the most obvious area of dodginess! That, and the low quality of filming a CCTV recording with a camera phone as has already been pointed out.

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