“When the torches came back on there were real screams…”
They say that Catholics were chased into the tunnels beneath Manchester and murdered, hundreds of years ago. Last Halloween, we went on a tour of the tunnels under the city centre, which turned into a kind of grown up ghost train…
We experienced total darkness when we all turned our torches off, because there is no light down there. At this point, in a vast cave with a vaulted ceiling, we were encouraged to engage in a round of primal screaming. The effect was chilling, followed by a lot of nervous laughter. When the torches came back on there were real screams: someone had stumbled over a human skeleton, and further along in an air raid tunnel, what appeared to be a half-rotten corpse was slumped against a wall. In the darkness and confusion, it took a few moments to work out that these were dummies, courtesy of someone’s twisted sense of fun. We kept telling ourselves that as we shone our trembling torches over walls adorned with ancient head-counts from the second world war and strict Victorian posters.
Families sheltered here, shielding their children from German bombs. In Victorian times, immigrant workers were forced to live in the dark, dripping caverns. On the walls you can see ancient graffiti, the cave paintings of recent history. Fascinating, frightening and fun at the same time. Give the tour a go: if you’re curious about the strata of a city built in layers on top of itself, or if you crave sensory deprivation and a change of trousers.
Watch the movie if you dare! 1min30seconds with flashing images…
This clip was made with an iMovie trailer-template.
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