Weird Norfolk: Is this haunting video of intu Chapelfield proof that ghosts exist?

Is this red balloon being pulled by a ghostly entity or does it have a mundane explanation? Picture:

Is this red balloon being pulled by a ghostly entity or does it have a mundane explanation? Picture: PC333/Youtube - Credit: PC333/Youtube

Some say the video is definitive proof that ghosts exist: a red balloon appears to be floating through intu Chapelfield shopping centre in Norwich as if being held by an invisible hand, it floats down the escalator and then comes to rest by a chair at a café area.

Others believe that air conditioning, a draft or trickery is involved in the video which was taken by two CCTV cameras in the centre in 2008.

The footage shows a bright red balloon floating with seeming purpose from the doors which lead from Chapelfield Plain before it moves down the escalator looking as if it is being tugged by a string and hovering at what would be child-height if it was being held by a youngster.

Uploaded to YouTube by user PC333 on October 30 2011, the video has the caption: 'Is this a ghost pulling the balloon down and walking with the balloon? …think of the physics of a balloon and how they move/float etc. Could be coincidence, however there was no breeze or air con in the building and the escalators were switched off which would prevent any draft. Watch and tell me what you think! The mall is known to be haunted.'

The user added, later: 'The CCTV was controlled by a human, my friend in fact who informed me of this and they followed the balloon. It is a creepy video and I can assure there is no trickery, fakeness and there was no wind or air conditioning at the time.'

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Comments beneath the video included a number of theories about the balloon.

One says: 'I was going to say it was some sort of draught but then it stopped so suddenly. Very strange indeed. To me it also looks like a shadowy person sitting in the chair next to the balloon facing the camera. The chair just doesn't look like the others.'

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While another points out: 'If it's helium it would have floated right up to the roof and if it wasn't then it would be on the floor.'

We posted the video on the Weird Norfolk Facebook group and asked the group for their thoughts.

One member said: 'I totally believe in ghosts and most places are haunted, but I don't believe that a ghost carried a balloon to the cafe and is waiting for it to open. For me, some air got in through the door…and interfered with the airflow in the buildings, it glided down in a straight line and just stopped by the chairs because the air flow just stops there, possibly because the tables and chairs disrupt it.'

Weird Norfolk followers on Instagram talked of other unusual happenings in Chapelfield mall including unexplained noises heard in empty fitting rooms Instagram follower Tewsday told Weird Norfolk that she had worked in a clothes shop called Quiz on the ground floor, next to the main entrance of the centre during the summer of 2006 when something strange happened.

She had been completing paperwork in the back office of the store while two members of staff were on the shop floor. As they stood near the store's entrance, a woman walked through the door and down the middle of the shop into the changing room.

It was store policy for a member of staff to be in the fitting room area if someone was trying on clothes, so one went to the back of the shop but quickly realised there was no one there – she checked with Tewsday who confirmed she hadn't seen anyone either, or heard the heavy door close or open, and the third member of staff who also hadn't seen the woman leave.

When Tewsday checked with staff at the next door shop, they were surprised only by the fact that staff in Quiz hadn't seen anything prior to this incident, telling her that they regularly saw shoes fly from the shelves and found that boxes had been moved in the stockroom.

After research, it was discovered both stores were on the site of the well where 17 bodies were uncovered when the area was redeveloped as a shopping mall in 2004.

Found in a medieval well underneath the store which is Tiger today, the 17 bodies – 11 of which were children, one of whom was just two-years-old – have been the subject of much research which has been inconclusive as to how the bodies came to be in the well, whether or not a crime was committed and if the bodies were Jewish and possibly victims of persecution.

The bodies were buried in consecrated ground in March 2013.

Additionally, this area of Norwich was once where the Wise Women of the city lived and practiced their art, using spells and charms to combat malevolent witchcraft, to find criminals, missing people or stolen property, to tell fortunes or offer love potions. They would also offer cures to those afflicted with illness, be they human or animal, many of whom were unhappy souls plagued with pain and misery.

But quite who, if anyone, is the spirit controlling the Chapelfield balloon is a mystery.

Many thanks to YouTube user PC333 for kindly giving us permission to feature his video.

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