Each night, a school in southern Ireland falls silent after a day of lessons and laughter. However, one night in 2017 some spooky CCTV footage revealed that the building was not so quiet after all. And it turned out that it wasn’t until after staff and students had left that the school apparently came to life.
Deerpark C.B.S. is a Christian Brothers’ school located in the Irish city of Cork. Opened in 1828, it is one of the city’s oldest schools. And as such, the educational establishment has a proud history of teaching generations of promising young men.
A Roman Catholic missionary named Blessed Edmund Rice founded the school. Rice held a firm belief in the value of education. He also devoted his life to helping others, and Deerpark C.B.S. hopes to honor his legacy by doing the same. Accordingly, the school’s motto is “Uaisleacht,” which means “a nobility of spirit.”
Recently, though, Deerpark has become known for a different kind of spirit altogether. Now while the school may have a history which stretches back nearly two centuries, it also embraces modern technology. Accordingly, its buildings boast a CCTV system that keeps a close eye on goings-on.
The security cameras monitor the corridors and classrooms of Deerpark C.B.S. long after the students have left. And usually, nights at the school are pretty uneventful. However, one day in October 2017, in the early hours of the morning, the CCTV system recorded what turned out to be some apparently chilling footage.
Deerpark C.B.S. released the creepy footage via its official YouTube channel. The video opens with a camera looking down an empty corridor, and at first it looks like any other after-hours school scene. A row of lockers are seen in the background, while a wet floor sign sits in the middle of the hall, no doubt left by cleaners before they locked up.
However, as the camera rolls, the door leading onto the corridor opens and closes with a startling bang. It also seems that there is no one around who could be responsible for the door’s sudden movement. And the unexplained activity doesn’t stop there, either.
Suddenly, one stack of lockers begins to rock wildly back and forth – as if possessed by a demonic force or a poltergeist. It then sways precariously on its base before falling eerily still once more. Next, after a moment of quiet, one locker door flies open, throwing its contents all over the floor.
At this point, the seemingly supernatural events become more violent. Without warning, an invisible presence appears to kick the wet floor sign, sending it flying across the corridor. Then, as quickly as they began, the series of apparently strange events end, leaving the school halls quiet once more.
Unsurprisingly, the spooky footage caused quite a stir online. In a matter of weeks, more than 13 million people had viewed it. Many news outlets in the U.K. also picked up the video, and as a result, the school’s principal, Kevin Barry, decided to speak publicly about what had been captured.
“Obviously, we were alerted to movement in the school, and when we went back to review the movement that’s what we saw,” he was quoted by the Daily Express as saying. “It was in the middle of the night. We’re bemused ourselves. We don’t know [what it is].”
That said, according to Barry, evidence did seem to point to the paranormal. “We do feel there is something strange going on, because people do get, from time to time, a real chill in the air when they go past that area,” he said. “It’s very interesting. One of my teachers brings his pet in with him, but the pet never wants to go down that way.”
“It’s a very old building, going back a number of years, and it’s got a lot of history,” Barry added. “People in old buildings are always hearing noises and strange sounds, but this is the first time we’ve actually caught something. We’d often come across papers strewn about, but we were never able to say what it was. We just assumed it was pupils [who] were doing it.”
However, while Barry purportedly believes that strange forces could have been behind the happenings seen in the footage, many viewers were unconvinced. A number of commenters on YouTube declared the video to be a fake, and one YouTuber even posted a near-eight-minute upload aiming to debunk suggestions that the footage showed a real poltergeist.
In the video, YouTube user RJ Dub points out what he calls a “number of discrepancies” in the Deerpark C.B.S. footage. Everything seen, he says, can be explained as being the result of trickery. First of all, he argues that when the door slams at the beginning of the footage, someone has simply been hiding in the shadows and pushed it.
Next, RJ Dub turns his attention to the shaking locker cabinet. He speculates that someone was rocking it from behind via a conveniently placed window. And as for the locker falling open and the sign flying across the room, the production whiz claims that these events can be explained by clever – but not flawless – video editing.
“All of these effects are very, very easy things to do,” RJ Dub concludes. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this was some kind of student project, considering that this was at a school. Or maybe some student had the idea – ‘Hey, let’s make a viral ghost video.’”
RJ Dub’s debunking video proved to be popular, and before long over 142,000 people had viewed it. Among them, though, was someone from Deerpark C.B.S.’ YouTube channel, and they were quick to deny that the video is an elaborate hoax.
“This is all types of crazy,” they wrote. “10/10 for effort though. By the way, the window’s upstairs, and we only wish we have the editing skills you claim we have. Keep up the good work. You made us laugh.”
Adding to the furor, a few weeks after the first video had appeared on the Deerpark C.B.S. YouTube channel, a second seemingly spooky clip emerged. This time, the footage was posted just days before Halloween, when the school was due to host a special “Fearpark” event. And although we might not get to the bottom of the matter, there’s no doubt that some individuals will never feel quite the same again as they walk the school’s corridors.