Ghost hunters gathered with torches in hand at the Empire Bingo, long after the historic building closed its doors to the public, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of one of the ‘spirits’ rumoured to wander its halls.
Standing in silence in a tiny cellar two storeys underground, the sound of a pebble hitting the ground can inspire screams of terror – right after somebody asks the ghost to throw a stone.
Supernatural Events founder Stephen Mercer, who runs ghost hunts all over Blackpool, said: “We have been doing ghost hunts here for about three years and have experiences stories, sounds and even people being touched or prodded. There has been stories of reported hauntings in this building for years.
“There are stories of a woman who has been seen on the balcony. Many people have heard her.
“There has been a young boy seen in the cellar. It’s a very old cellar but it’s a very cramped area. There’s nothing that could be mistaken for a small child.”
But do such spirits really exist?
A lively seance provides a ray of hope for those who want to believe. But Mark Kane, senior staff member at Empire Bingo on Hawes Side Lane for 11 years, said he had never caught so much as a glimpse of a spectre.
And while Friday’s group of 20 or so ghost hunters was made up mainly of those purported to be in touch with the spiritual word, there was also a decent number of sceptics.
Corey Ceville, 23, travelled from Manchester to attend the event with his true-believer mum Lisa Glover, who lives in Marton.
He said: “I always try to see the logic in it. I think we have been around on this planet long enough that surely we would have concrete evidence by now, and we just don’t.
Coming along to something like this I want to believe it, but until it’s right in front of me I don’t think I will.”
The Empire Bingo building opened in 1929 as a cinema, and later become known as the Casino Nightclub. It was transformed into a bingo hall in 1974.