On a bright sunny morning, after the night turn have scrubbed and buffed the old Victorian station, it looks bright and inviting. But there is a another side to Carlisle station, a deep and dark side that few people know about and even fewer people want to explore.
Like many old buildings reports of strange noises, sightings, and sensations are common amongst people who work there. From those who are there through the night when the building seems to sigh and sink into creaking rest and those who work during the day who are caught unawares by a door that opens when there's no one there to open it.
Par for the course some say, but they don't know what lies beneath - the terror of The Undercroft. A deep, dank labyrinth of rooms connected by stone corridors that take you past cavernous arch rooms that are just too dark to look into and smaller forsaken rooms like 'The Butchers Room' that chill the soul and send people scurrying from the hooks that still hang from the ceiling under the stone gullies that collected the blood of the freshly slaughtered animals.
These animals then fed the people who visited the now abandoned and apocalyptic looking buffet room, which is complete with chairs and tables that make it all too easy to imagine that you have seen someone sitting there in the sweeping arc of a torch, someone waiting perhaps for a train that never made it into the station?
Station Manager, Stuart Davison says: "Most people will not venture into parts of The Undercroft - the offices upstairs are bad enough for some."
Group Station Manager, Sue Howarth warns: "There are unexplained draughts that seem to come up from the floor and blow in your face, a real feeling of being watched and of not being alone, and doors that open and close down an empty corridor."
Sue adds: "I have grown accustomed to things like this but on occasion I've been scared witless by things that cannot be explained or rationalised."
"The most recent was when I was sitting in the office after re-arranging some furniture and clearing out old filing cupboards. Stuart and I were discussing what quirky fact about the station could be used for a Virgin Trains News article."
They began talking about The Undercroft and what was down there. Sue was speaking when she stopped mid sentence and asked Stuart, "Did you hear that?" Before Stuart could say a word Sue jumped, turned to look at an empty spot behind her and ran from the room.
"Sue was obviously scared and took some persuading to come back into the room" said Stuart. "She later told me and Team Organiser, Margaret Jones. (a no nonsense non believer) she had heard a noise very close to her ear, described as like an electrical buzz."
"The noise had been so clear and close that it had stopped her in her tracks and, seconds later, she heard the noise again but this time what felt like an icy finger had poked her neck too. Around Sue's desk everything was cold to the touch for about half an hour."