Is there anyone there?: a Chronicle mock-up
Stories of ghostly goings on at the Hampshire Chronicle have been the stuff of newsroom legend for generations of journalists at the paper.
But to find out once and for all if the weekly’s Winchester town centre offices really were possessed, paranormal investigators, including clairvoyants and a film crew, spent a night there.
Although they didn’t catch anything on camera, the mediums were certain that a number of “spirits” were present in the building.
During a sÃ©ance held in the Chronicle’s front office one of them felt the presence of an undertaker with a coach and horses and another claimed to see chickens and animals in the staff training room.
The name “Alison” was detected upstairs along with “sickness”, while downstairs at the back of the building the mediums collected the names of supplier and purveyor David Genoa and a man called Tammy Horsworth.
Chronicle editor Alan Cleaver, who also spent the night in the office, said: “I once worked on a paper called Psychic News and know full well that strange things happen in old buildings. I drew the short straw and stayed up all night in my office. I made a lot of progress on my intray and sent a lot of e-mails but I didn’t see any ghosts. The clairvoyants didn’t get full names or addresses so we couldn’t check their stories out.
“My secretary has been here 20 years and says a lot of people have heard or felt strange things. It certainly makes the staff go home on time.”
Sub-editor Lesley Park was the latest member of staff to have a paranormal experience at the newspaper.
Working late two years ago she saw a figure enter the building’s walk-in safe but when she investigated there was no one there.
Clairvoyant Mandy Sheppard said: “It was really interesting as we picked up all sorts of things. We managed to get a name for the lady who has been seen downstairs near the walk-in safe.
“Apparently she was a clerk called Margaret and was doing some filing. There was a sadness to her.
“We feel there are several spirits in the building, but not all will make themselves known.”
By Dominic Ponsford