A RETIRED police chief has introduced a ghostly theme to tours of the Bradford Police Museum after claims that it is haunted.

Les Vasey, who reached the rank of chief superintendent, has spent six months investigating strange phenomenons reported to him by serving officers at the police contact point in City Hall, where the museum is housed.

Mr Vasey, 72, has consulted with paranormal experts on the spooky goings on in the building, which have included cold spots, objects flying through the air and ghostly apparitions.

Mr Vasey, who worked as a police officer in Bradford for 35 years and still lives in the district, said: "I started out as a cynic but now I have an open mind. There are things going on that cannot be easily explained."

The museum, which provides an insight into the history of policing in the district, is on the site of the original 19th century police station, which operated for a century until 1974.

Visitors are given guided tours of the original Victorian cells and courtroom and can stand in the cell from which Harry Houdini escaped.

Mr Vasey, who retired 20 years ago, is now deputy director of the museum and involved in the tours.

He said: "When I started working at the museum, a couple of serving officers, working at the police contact point in City Hall, reported psychic phenomenons to me. They said the hand towel dispensing machine in the toilets started operating on its own and a paper bin was moving around.

"I was fascinated and began speaking to other witnesses who told me about a number of different events. They included icy cold spots in the corridors, and objects like plastic bottles flying around.

"They were incidents which were difficult, but not impossible, to explain. I was being told about these incidents by experienced, feet on the ground police officers, which was a bit unusual."

Mr Vasey carried out research, which included becoming a member of the Society of Psychic Research.

He discovered that in the 1980s cleaning staff at Bradford City Hall reported strange goings on around the law courts, including the sound of rattling chains, and security staff reported seeing headless apparitions wandering up stairs.

He also uncovered a story about a character known as Chains Charlie, who was thought to be a prisoner hung for his crimes, and said to have come back to haunt the building.

Mr Vasey said visitors had reported strange experiences, like unexplained shadows, during tours of the museum.

He said: "I am not sure what I believe now.

"If I had experienced such things when I was a policeman, I would not have mentioned them. All I can say is the people I have spoken to are genuine. There is something going on, and has been for some time. I cannot explain these events in normal terms."

Mr Vasey has been so impressed by the poltergeist-like activity, he has now researched and written a book about it, Chains Charlie - The Ghost of City Hall.