Cold shivers - the unresting dead

Accrington
The Ghost Who Lost His Temper

In a secret ceremony a priest has exorcised a haunted Lancashire cinema. Scene of the hauntings is Accrington's Classic which has been converted into three mini cinemas. As soon as the conversion work began the place was plagued by supernatural occurrences.

During the midnight showing of an 'X' film the curtains closed of their own accord.

In a corridor leading to a projection room a blue light was seen hovering in mid air. When manager Sidney Gournelle stepped into the projection room and shone a torch on the door he saw a man's shadow - though nobody else was there.

A workman walking down the corridor felt two icy hands gripping his shoulders. He ran for his life and hasn't been to the cinema since.

When Mr Gournelle tried to force Lucifer, the cinema cat, into the projection room, it flew down the stairs and, apparently panic stricken, clawed an usherette.

A local medium ascribed the events to the irate ghost of a workman killed in an accident on the site when the original cinema was being erected back in the thirties. The spirit, according to the medium, was expressing his disapproval of the conversion - thus making him the world's first environmentally conscious ghost.

The priest who performed the exorcism - in the presence of the staff - did so under a guarantee of anonymity. So far, I learn, the ceremony seems to have worked. There haven't been any untoward happenings since.

But the best time to learn whether the ghost has gone for good, I am told, will be the summer. When the weather is exceptionally close, apparently, the cinema's supernatural chill is particularly noticeable. In these wintry days it's just another draught.

From 'The Manchester Evening News' - January/February 1974. Sent in by Martin Tapsell.


Odeon Worcester Park, Surrey

Bob sent me this:

Not so much a story as a few words about the old Worcester Park Odeon in Surrey, which closed as a cinema sometime in the 1950's. I am told it was haunted for years by the ghost of a projectionist who hanged himself in the projection tower.

After closure, the cinema became a Gateway supermarket, and I knew a chap who worked there as a butcher. He persuaded the manager to let him poke around behind the false walls after the shop had shut and while doing this he managed to climb a ladder and see up into the balcony. He was also able to get into the old projection room. Inside there was a newspaper on a desk, dated the day that the projectionist killed himself. After talking further with some older workmates, he learned that the staircase and the projection room itself were said to be haunted, and that one manager refused to ever go up there alone.