Spooky sights at charity shop

Cancer research shop in Pontefract has a ghost.'Store manager Lesley Bruce with a cup from the tea service that the ghost layed out.
Cancer research shop in Pontefract has a ghost.'Store manager Lesley Bruce with a cup from the tea service that the ghost layed out.

HAUNTING discoveries in a Pontefract charity shop have left its staff believing in only one possible paranormal explanation.

Workers at Cancer Research UK in Beastfair have been shocked by a string of inexplicable spooky events at the store – including books flying off shelves, coat hangers firing from railings, clothes being scattered and a display of crockery set out on the floor after the shop had been closed all night.

Store manager Lesley Bruce believes the spine-chilling events are the work of a mischievous friendly ghost who she’s named Betty.

Mrs Bruce said: “I’ve seen her a few times and I have just got used to it now.

“She has a blank facial expression and glasses on the end of her nose, she wears a very high collar up to the neck and a long black skirt, she looks like somebody standing in fog.

“I try to tease her out sometimes because she does the same to me, if I do anything which she doesn’t agree with in the shop she will let me know about it.

“We have strange things happening every week. When we arrive in the mornings there are clothes scattered about the shop, or there will be jewellery arranged in strange way on my desk.

“I found the crockery on the top floor near my office – it was set out perfectly. Nobody was in the store after 3pm the previous day, I know that for sure. I think she picks out things she likes and arranges them.

“She’s not a harmful ghost, it’s just her presence.”

She added: “At first it was just an eerie feeling and little things would move about the shop.

“The first big sign was when a Christmas display, which we had set up the day before, had been taken out of the window and arranged in a circle on the floor in front of the till.

“Then there were a few incidents when we would turn off the lights on the Christmas tree and when we came back in they would all be on again.”

Betty’s origins are unknown and local historians say the buildings on Beastfair were built to be used as shops to expand the town centre, but Mrs Bruce has been told otherwise.

She said: “Customers have told us the shop was a house in Victorian times. Betty’s clothes would also match up to that sort of time period. We think there was a fire in the building at some point and quite a few people died.”

Mrs Bruce says even some of the most skeptical people have asked her about an “eerie” feeling in the shop.

She said: “A young man came in and told us he felt someone breathing down his neck, and he was not some one who would scare easily.

“We would love to get a medium in and do a vigil.

“I think it’s important to get some kind of answer or confirmation to all this, for peace of mind for my volunteers to let them know that they are not actually going out of their minds.”