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2017, October 1: School Spirit

Schools are generally quiet at 3am on a Sunday night, even in Cork, Ireland. But CCTV cameras apparently told a different story at Deerpark C.B.S. secondary school on October 1, 2017. The footage was first displayed in YouTube by a staff member of the school on Monday, October 2, who then linked a Facebook post to the video with the straightforward question "Anyone have the number for Ghostbusters?"

       The video appears to display very clear poltergeist activity... the movement of physical objects by non-physical means, which is typically considered to be related to the activity of a ghost.

        The story was picked up by the news outlet Unilad, which included statements on the strange events by the school's Deputy Principal Aaron Wolfe. According to Wolfe, the cameras were triggered late at night by motion detectors. Also according to Wolfe, several other strange events have been attributed to the school, namely:

  • Female members of staff have previously complained this area, which is just outside the 'Religion Room', is extremely cold.
  • The caretaker, who has worked at the school for 30 years, stated that a person who had to stay overnight at the school left in the middle of the night because they heard "the last call" being played on a trumpet that wasn't there.
  • 17-year-old student George Long was convinced the year before that he had heard someone crying in the bathroom; an investigation turned up no one.
  • Lights turn on and off at night.

        The school was founded in 1828; and since the video was posted the school has received numerous calls from people convinced the problems must be caused by previous students, now deceased. Of course, there's just one problem with this theory.

A Matter of Perspective

        While all of the above might sound impressive, here's what I didn't tell you, and wasn't shared in most tellings of the story after Unilad... Wolfe also cracked a number of jokes about the matter of the haunting, which should lead to some suspicion. For example:

"We've had a lot of interest in our ghost and have been advised to contact a Medium. For everyone's information; Mr. Barry used to be a medium…. but now he's an extra large. Don't have nightmares…"

This, of course, is not proof of a hoax. This next item is, however.

        On October 6, the following picture was posted to the Deerpark C.B.S. Facebook page, along with the caption "Closed for the weekend - hoping it will be paranormal free!"

The 'haunted' hallway.
The haunted hallway, daytime view. [Larger version here]

Now compare this to a still from the video, and then answer one question for me...

Still from the video
Stillframe from the video [Larger version here]

... where is the CCTV camera that took the footage?!? Given the height and location indicated by the video, the camera would have to be next to the row of framed pictures on the wall... about where the doorway is.

        So the camera was not a CCTV camera. It was a camera that was in place for only one purpose: to film the activity in the hallway. So, most likely, this is a student project that the staff have, tongues-in-cheek, approved.

        And just in case you think they weren't aware of the prank, I'll leave you with the school's October 13 Facebook post on the matter:

"For anyone who's getting all angry saying our ghost video is fake... Well you're gonna go absolutely ballistic when our cameras catch Santa at Christmas!"

Additional Spookiness...

        On October 26, 2017, Deerpark C.B.S. posted a new spooky video, showing similar object movements in a different part of the school; at least this time they paid enough attention to place their camera high enough on the wall to pretend it was actual security footage... but given what's known about the previous video, it's unlikely to be anything more than a continuation of the previous hoax.

Acknowledgements

        Thanks go to Eric Stratford for alerting me to this story. So... Thanks!