Police who attended a panicked 999 call after reports of a man who had seen a ghost - and turned out to be looking at his own reflection - is just one of the brushes with the paranormal South Yorkshire Police have come up against in the past two years.
Ghosts and zombies who have plagued people across South Yorkshire have formed the basis of more than a dozen calls to the police about spooky, chilling or inexplicable behaviour.
Among the 15 calls made to the force, several caused officers to be called out to deal with the ghosts and ghouls between 2013 and 2015.
Here are the call logs in full:
1. Caller believes someone in the house and believes it may be ghosts. Officers arrived - all in order - believe caller may have been looking at own reflection.
2. Call from confused individual stating his/her siblings have been taken by ghosts. Handler advised that caller should ring them... caller very upset.
Handler took sibling’s mobile numbers & called them to find all in order.
3. Call from teenagers who are alone in the property and can hear banging. Caller believes house haunted by ghosts. Officers attended. All in order.
4. Caller advised that 999 upside down is 666 and wanting to report police presence as ghosts. Caller refused to give name or address. Tried calling back but voicemail.
5. Report of individuals running around and a male with a torn shirt, and what appears to be a bleeding arm, wandering around.
Caller has been informed by another bystander that it is some sort of game called zombie tag.
6. Caller reports that partner stole property from him/her. Officers arrived - no theft of property. Caller phones back later to say that it was a ghost that took the items, not his/her partner.
7. Elderly caller advises that she can hear noises coming from adjacent property and believes it is a ghost. Officer attended. All in order.
8. Caller advised that he/she has seen ghosts in America. Line cleared.
9. Caller advises that there is a ‘zombie at the front door’ and hung up. Caller has a history of phoning on this subject. Ambulance crew called.
10. Call from youth who thought there was a ghost in the cupboard. Handler warned the caller about wasting police time and a subsequent call advised that it was caller’s friend playing a prank.
11. Elderly caller advises he/she has seen ghosts and mentions a broken window. Officers attended the property. No break-in/all in order.
12. Call from individual who states there are ghosts in his/her property. Caller then states he/she has stopped drinking and gone ‘cold turkey’ and this may cause hallucinations.
13. Call advising youths seen on land with an old unoccupied premises. Officers arrived and youths advised they had wanted to go ghost hunting. Individuals advised accordingly.
14. Child called saying a ghost ‘kicked me in the butt’ and hung up. Tried to re-contact but line keeps clearing. Believed to be children making hoax calls.
15. Call to report youths on site of derelict premises. Officers attended. Group advised they were ghost hunting - advice given about trespassing and group left.
Tracy Potter, head of communications at South Yorkshire Police, said: “What the content of these calls illustrate is that people call both 999 and 101 with an incredibly wide variety of concerns.
“What this data in particular also highlights is that many calls of this nature are not really police concerns and increase demand on the service, which can impact on the response we provide to the public.
“There are, however, certain examples where people have reported noises at a property and believe it to be ghostly activity. Our officers must still respond to ensure that a burglary or other form of crime is not being committed.
“Our officers will also respond if there is a suggestion that the welfare of an individual is at risk.
“Some of the calls demonstrate that there are occasions where officers must work closely with health professionals to ensure that the individual concerned is safe and well. This is part of our ongoing commitment alongside partner agencies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public in South Yorkshire.
“Unfortunately there are examples given here of individuals making hoax calls, which diverts vital officers and resources to a non-incident when there could be a legitimate incident that requires a response elsewhere in the county. This is simply not acceptable and wherever possible we will address this issue robustly.
“Our ongoing awareness campaign ‘Should I call 101?’ is an incredibly useful resource and I’d encourage everyone to visit our website for all the different ways you can now get in touch with us.”
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