Everything seemed normal when Luke Smithson arrived for work this morning.

But things soon took a paranormal turn.

Luke is bar supervisor at the Shambles Tavern, and was in early to clean the beer lines.

And then at around 7.20am today (Monday 1 July) this happened – as captured on the bar’s CCTV:

Luke told YorkMix:

  • I was just about to do my second line clean. I walked around the bar and suddenly everything just flew from the shelves.

    All the boxes flew all over the bar. A couple of glasses came off as well.

    There was proper force behind it – even the speaker on the top shelf was knocked down.

Spooky footsteps

Ghosts welcome… Ye Old Shambles Tavern
To be fair, Luke, 23, reacted with commendable calm.

We would have vaulted the bar and dived through the window, but apart from a small jump, he took the strange occurrence in his stride.

“To be honest, I was more annoyed that I would have to clean it up!” he said.

As a “firm believer” in ghosts, Luke thinks that a poltergeist could be an explanation. He said it couldn’t have been a gust of wind as “the doors were all shut. I was the only one in the building”.

And the old building could well be haunted. Luke and other staff have heard mysterious bumps and footsteps, and psychics have sensed a ‘presence’.


“There was a butcher’s family here that went in the early 1900s that we have always thought were still here,” Luke said.

And it is not the only ghostly experience on Shambles in recent years. We reported how a visitor to the Earl Grey Tea Rooms was grabbed by a spirit in the loo.

The poltergeist activity in Shambles Tavern is not Luke’s first experience of the paranormal. “I’ve had different experiences,” he said. “But never seen anything like that before.”