A pub owner has described the spine-tingling moment a spectral “face” loomed into view as she watched CCTV footage of the apparently empty bar.
Julie Cooper was lying in bed checking out the cameras on her phone screen when she claims the apparition appeared.
And it’s not the only time spooky goings-on have been captured on film at The Don War Memorial Bar in Stockton and its downstairs nightclub.
Cooper shared CCTV footage taken in the bar, some of which appears to show human-like figures roaming around inside the supposedly empty establishment.
In one, three cameras appeared to capture a black shape flitting across in front of the screens - one after the other as if something was passing by, not long after a brief power cut appeared to hit.
Cooper said: “A band was practising upstairs, and just as one of them walked through the door to go downstairs, the lights all went out. Then when they come back on a black shadow passes in front of the cameras one after the other. Just before the lights go out you can see a shadow walking across the top left corner.”
She told the Gazette Live that the spooky happenings have put some staff off going downstairs.
She said: “The Don War Memorial Bar upstairs has always had a nice feeling, even more so now that we have put all the photos up of our people who have lost their lives while serving.
“When I close on a night and there’s only me, no lights on, I say goodnight to them, thinking of them for a while before closing the doors. There really is such a sense of peace.
“Downstairs though is a different matter - there’s something that’s not right.
“I think my staff are afraid to go downstairs for stock and will not go down unless all the lights are on. It doesn’t really bother me as I’m used to it now.”
However she does admit the most recent incident where she felt she saw a face appear has left her shaken.
Other images captured by Cooper include one which appears to show a human shape passing in front of an emergency light, and more CCTV footage in which she says you can see a shadow passing in front of the bar.
She also spoke of another incident she experienced personally, revealing: “We had pool table down there for a while and once as I was going downstairs I heard the noise of pool balls.
“I thought that our cleaner was playing pool alone. I called out his name but when I got to the bottom of the stairs no one was there. That spooked me a bit.”
Cooper said one of the explanations put forward to her when she has invited experts in, has been that the underground nightclub was formerly the site of a slipway into the River Tees, where bodies were often brought up.
Now Cooper is hoping to share the experiences with other interested Teessiders by hosting a “Sleeping with Ghosts” event in the club. She plans to raise funds for Armed Forces charities with the sleepover.