Haunted Whitstable shop exposed as TV hoax

Once again, we have a case of a “haunting” or anomalous event being staged for a TV show. Our helpful tipster from the U.K., David James, has clued us in that the Whitstable drug shop was a staged hoax. We knew that but now more details are out.

It was clear that there were some questionable figures around the small store. It turns out it was wise to pay attention to these folks, they were the hoaxers.

Last night, the show The Happenings episode “Haunted Town” ran in the U.K. Here is the website but the trailer is not viewable in all locations due to content restrictions.

David watched the episode after catching the trailer purely by chance! He writes:

[...] two of the writers of Derran Brown attempt, via trickery and fakery, to convince a town that it’s haunted. I immediately noted the CCTV footage from the first few seconds [as the Whitstable shop] [The activity was] all preformed by a pair of magicians called Barry and Stuart.

They don’t explain how they did any of their tricks but they do admit that it was them in the black outfits loitering at the back of the shop. The episode was actually fairly good!

He goes on to say that the new show did not have the best ratings and was not viewed by a lot of people. That is, more saw the You Tube video of the hoax without ever knowing the truth behind it! It’s troubling that the trend is to create these urban myths purely for the purposes of a TV show, especially if the viral hoax gets far more views than the reveal.

  7 comments for “Haunted Whitstable shop exposed as TV hoax

  1. Massachusetts
    December 18, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Unbelievable, it’s a pretty bad hoax. You can clearly see someone for a moment just before the product is pushed. They really didn’t think people would notice? These guys shouldn’t call themselves magicians. Apparently no skill or finesse at all! That was embarrassing!

  2. Massachusetts
    December 18, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    By “figures in black” I thought the meant people pretending to be shopping or working who seemed unrelated to the action. They we’re stead right there in a. Obvious place to push product from the other side.

  3. OtherMassachusetts
    December 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Poor production team, too. Guess they never heard of cues.

  4. December 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    the problem, a lot of skeptics and believers wasted a lot of time investigating this. There were blog posts and speculation galore. While it’s fun to “oh I investigated this and look..here here and here… you can see it’s faked” it doesn’t do much for the skeptic side. The ghost believers are “Well that was a hoax, it doesn’t prove or disprove anything, idiot hoaxers.” Skeptics are left spending more time disproving than the hoaxers spent making the hoax….and no one gets in trouble. Hoaxing is “fun”. it’s become a real problem though for the skeptic and believer world!

  5. December 18, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I’m not sure whether this is more irksome than tiresome, or more tiresome than irksome. So far it’s 70/30 in favor of tiresome.

  6. December 21, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    I agree, Ben. More tiresome. They deliberately tricked an entire town and didn’t bother to pick up the pieces afterwards. Literally so, in one section, where they shattered a local salon’s window at the mention of the poltergeist. Illusion is fine by me if your marks are aware that it is such, but they pretended to be reporters “just asking questions” and misled people. I imagine there are people who could well believe in this myth now.

    Luckily, I didn’t waste a great deal of time on this or the original footage. The actions of the people in the shop left me with little doubt that it was a staged hoax, rather than a post production effect. I chanced upon the program, via an ad during Australia MasterChef!

    • kim
      January 28, 2014 at 4:47 AM

      You do realise that the salon action was staged. The camera angles were all over the place with no visible cameramen to be seen so they’ve been planted before hand. The shop gets free advertising on TV and will get reimbursed when the camera stops rolling. There’s people who will believe in them and these two people have played on this fact.

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