The YouTube channel 'Proving Demons' has been outed by Cheshire Police for attempting to deceive their subscribers by planting a human bone in a haunted house.
A group of YouTubers who upload to the channel 'Proving Demons' have been criticised by the paranormal
community after it emerged that not only did they fake a paranormal happening for a video, but the event resulted in the group of wanna-be paranormal investigators wasting police time.
It all kicked off after the channel's creator, Andrew, uploaded a video with the clickbait but grammatically flawed title 'I Cant [sic] Believe What We Found At Worlds [sic] Most Haunted House (Coroner Turned Up)'. Shot on Tuesday morning, the video was a follow-up to earlier videos shot at an abandoned house on Whitchurch Road, Nantwich.
Despite the bold claim of the cottage being the world's most haunted house, a Google search fails to yield any results, which would suggest that this accolade was given to the property by the YouTubers themselves, rather than any legitimate paranormal investigators.
The property is actually one of two semi-detached cottages on Whitchurch Road, both of which are abandoned. The Proving Demons video gave the cottage a fictional name. The left-hand cottage was actually called The Flower Patch and the one on the right was called East View.
The Flower Patch has been empty since about 2012 when a chimney fire made the property uninhabitable, however the adjoining East View has been empty for over 25 years. There are no known reports of any paranormal activity from any of the former residents.
As well as Andrew himself, the video also features channel-regular, Olivia, and Dan who's previously been criticised
for his over-dramatic approach to urban exploration and for making videos with exaggerated claims on his own YouTube channel, Exploring With Fighters.
The activity started in the previous video when a door in the former-home in Cheshire appeared to close on command and the team got strange messages through one of their ghost hunting gadgets. While using a spirit box, a device which is said to scan through radio frequencies and allow spirits to form intelligent responses, they heard several eerie phrases.
Although it does take a little imagination to hear these phrases, the device seems to spew out the words "I was murdered," followed by "he wedged up in the wall". These vague sentences lead the team to believe that there was a body hidden behind a wall in the dilapidated house. Although none of the response heard in the video indicate which wall.
The latest video starts with the message "because of the claim there was a body in the wall, we decided to confirm whether this was true, but to do this we had to break open the wall the spirit box claimed the body was hidden behind." We are then shown several clips of live streams where the team slowly hacked away at an internal wall over three nights in the derelict cottage in Newhall, off the A530.
During the dig they first came across an old-looking dusty child's toy in the wall. The dull demolition then continues for ten more minutes until viewers finally get to see the moment that the clickbait title promised them, the moment the body was found bricked up behind the wall.
The climactic moment may have left some viewers disappointed, as rather than finding a body in the wall as promised, the YouTubers stumble across a large human-looking bone, most likely a femur. About 200 bones short of a whole body.
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In the dramatic moment, which was reminiscent of a scene in the recent Netflix
show 'The Haunting Of Hill House', Andrew makes the shocking discovery. While removing bits of old twigs, which were once part of the original wattle and daub wall, he suddenly jumps back after discovering a large bone. He tells the others "don't touch that, this is now a crime scene".
The large bone looked old and too big to be an animal bone. However no other bones were seen in the video and the YouTubers don't mention seeing any other bones or the rest of a skeleton. After the find the mission was called off and viewers aren't ever properly shown inside the hole in the wall.
After the find, Dan pulled out his phone to inform the police of their discovery. He tells the operator, "hi, my name's Dan, I'm an urban explorer and I'm currently in an abandoned property and we think we've found human remains." Officers were dispatched to the location at around 2am on December 18th.
A spokesperson for Cheshire Police told BBC Radio Stoke that the bone found at the house was being treated as a hoax and that three men and a woman, all from Lancashire, are being given "strong words of advice" and a verbal warning for wasting police time.
Officers said that at first the bone appeared human, but they found it had been put there as a hoax. The police haven't ruled out that the bone might be human, but are still investigating where it might have originally come from.
Because of jump edits in the video, viewers can't continuously see the team's demolition efforts in real time, which means they had plenty of opportunity to slip the bone through the hole they were making.
Despite initially contacting Nantwich News to boast about their find, since the news broke that the stunt was a hoax, they have been very quiet on social media and have refused to comment further to the press about their claims. All we've heard from Andrew is a post on the group's Facebook page earlier today that reads, "I'll explain exactly what happened on a live [stream] in a couple days. Detectives came to my house today I explained the ghost box told me to dig in the wall. Obv they dont [sic] accept paranormal as evidence and ten min after leaving the [sic] reported they're treating it as a hoax." The post has since been deleted.
Some fans of the channel are sticking by the creators. One user named Claire left the comment, "there is no way Andrew and Dan would risk their reputations by planting a human bone in the wall themselves." But Mark, along with the rest of the paranormal community, isn't so convinced. He said, "well done on wasting police time. It's been proven as a hoax by the police. Time wasters and attention seekers!"
Charlene from the Facebook group, Paranormal Hauntings
pointed out to her readers that it's not hard to buy a human femur, the largest bone of the human body. The Bone Room
offers bones as well as other natural products to educators, artists, collectors and gift-buyers.
The human bones sold online are generally genuine antique medical specimens, and in case you were wondering, these can be legally privately owned within the UK but must not be used for display without a license.
Sites that sell such products tell their customers that "all human bones and skeletons are treated with respect and dignity and this must continue." So if Proving Demons really did plant a bone merely to gain attention and views, then they really haven't given this particular human bone the respect it deserves.
If this is the case, hopefully the YouTubers will come clean to the police rather than wasting more of their time tracing where the bone was purchased.
Some who follow the YouTubers have claimed that the bone in question came from an old medical skeleton that was found in an abandoned millionaire's mansion during one of Exploring With Fighters' exploration videos.
The Coombe Park Estate in Whitchurch-on-Thames is said to be worth more than £10 million but has been derelict for several years. The Fighters gave the property the nickname the "Tank Mansion", because as well as finding the anatomically accurate skeleton there, they also found a replica tank in the building's basement.
Apparently the femur was taken from the skeleton at the mansion and has been in Dan's possession ever since, but videos featuring the bone vanished from the internet around the same time as the Proving Demons video was uploaded.
Was It Really A Hoax?
Just because the police say it's a hoax, does that mean they faked it? Well, no. Without being there no one can 100% say for sure that Andrew and his team planted the bone, but all the evidence suggests that this is the case.
The title of the video claims that a "body" was found in the world's most haunted house. A full body wasn't found, just one bone, which means the title is intentionally misleading. Andrew only found a single human bone and the police have confirmed that there is no body in the wall, only a bone that they say was placed there.
Also, the house is not the world's most haunted house, in fact there are no published claims of any paranormal activity at all. This title alone detracts from Proving Demons' honesty and credibility, and limits how much trust we can place in the video as a whole.
If we ignore this attention seeking gross exaggeration in the video's title then that leaves us with a real human bone inside of a wall in the house. There is the possibility that someone else planted the bone in the wall to set up Proving Demons. Remember the hole was made on the first night and left unattended between their digs over three days. However, if this were the case Andrew wouldn't have so flatly denied the bone was planted. He's shown through his reactions that he's sure no one had tampered with the dig, otherwise he would have offered this up as a possible explanation himself after the police deem the incident to be a hoax.
Could the police have been wrong and the bone has actually been in the wall for decades? There's no reason to assume the police are wrong. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and this video doesn't offer any real evidence, whereas the police's explanation is the simplest and the simplest explanation is the best explanation. Their explanation is also much more credible because they don't have an agenda in this case, whereas Proving Demons do clearly have an agenda to increase their YouTube views.
The simplest and most likely explanation is that the bone was planted by Proving Demons. The jump cuts and edits mean that a bone could have been placed in the hole at any time during the filming. The little evidence presented is also massively discredited by the misleading title, the claim it was a whole body and of course the statement put out by Cheshire Police.
Because the bone was most likely a hoax, it has lead others to question whether the messages received through the spirit box were faked too. It's hard to say, it could be genuine responses or the audio messages could have been easily edited in in post-production. Because of the level of dishonesty in the video, from its title through to the planted bone, it's hard to accept anything else in the video as genuine, even if it really is.
If this video was real then it is probably the best evidence of instrumental transcommunication (or talking to spirits) ever, but the way it has been sold with a misleading title, claims of a body and over-dramatic reactions means that even if this video were genuine, it will never be taken seriously, even if the police hadn't revealed the true nature of the incident.
So, was it really a hoax? Everything points to the fact that it was irrefutably a hoax. And of course, it's not the first time Andrew has faked a video...
What The Paranormal World Is Saying
The paranormal world has reacted to the hoax by trying to distance itself from the group. Even former collaborators of the YouTube channel have said that they no longer wish to be associated with Proving Demons.
As a result of the stunt, several prominent paranormal groups have posted their dismay including the well-known Ouija Brothers
, who wrote the following statement on their Facebook page: "we are sick of being in the middle of all this with people asking if it's fake or it's real and tbh we actually know the truth and have evidence to back up what we say. From this day forth The Ouija Brothers will no longer be working with Proving Demons."
Similarly, Dark Arts Paranormal
have said "it has come to our attention and decisions have been made to save our [...] reputation from all of the recent drama with people asking if the recent news of Proving Demons video of 'finding a body in the wall' where police were called is fake or not." They added, "we know the truth of what actually happened that night and we have decided from this day forth Dark Arts Paranormal along side The Ouija Brothers will no longer be working with Proving Demons as we will keep our title as one of the few honest paranormal groups providing legitimate evidence truth and curiosity."
One prominent paranormal investigator described the incident as an "atrocious hoax" and criticised both Proving Demons and Exploring With Fighters for faking it and wasting police time.