The mystery of the Orchard Park ‘ghost in the falling tower’

On August 11, 2013, Milldane tower block was one of two buildings on the then infamous Orchard Park Estate to be torn down as part of a regeneration project designed to transform the area.

Ashthorpe tower, which was the smaller of the two, was pulled down without incident as the relics of a social housing plan turned sour were consigned to the history books.

Read more: Mum says flats are haunted after group of seven girls discover ‘eighth woman’ in the room with them

As the explosions rang out around Milldane however, one onlooker captured something ghostly on the eighteenth floor that had people wondering if the block had been haunted.

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The demolition of Milldane tower where one onlooker caught footage of a ghostly apparition
The demolition of Milldane tower where one onlooker caught footage of a ghostly apparition

Milldane was one of two multi-storey blocks of flats dating back to the 1960s that were demolished in one day as part of planned improvements to Orchard Park.

Construction of the estate began in 1963 and, together with the Ings Road, was built as a response to a need for more council housing stock as the authorities pushed forward with slum clearances.

Across the estate, eleven tower blocks were erected, most of 17 to 19 storeys with two at 22 storeys, the tallest residential buildings in Hull.

The Milldane tower, that would later be the site of a possible haunting, was the tallest block in the Milldane cluster and the tallest building in the city between 2004 and 2013.

It once stood as the most imposing of three, until Milldane Block 1 and Milldane Block 3 were demolished in 2002.

When it was destroyed 11 years later, a haunting image appeared of the falling tower.

To the shock of many, within the footage of the Milldane demolition something unusual, something spectral, was spotted hanging over the edge of a balcony high up in the building.

Many people thought they had spotted a skeletal ghost in the footage and it caused a commotion on social media when the picture emerged at the time.



The remains of Milldane Tower and the site of a possible haunting
The remains of Milldane Tower and the site of a possible haunting

In 1997, one of the Milldane tower block cluster had been blighted by two serious fires, both believed to have been started deliberately.

A council report on Milldane from the time said: “The flats are extremely unpopular with all but the most desperate of clients.”

A Hull Daily Mail report from the time suggested that there was no demand to live in the flats with council chiefs desperate to fill the block furnishing 50 empty flats in an attempt to attract long-term tenants.

The remaining Milldane block turned out to be a bad omen for MP Austin Mitchell when it was featured in the Channel 4 series ‘Tower Block of Commons’ in 2010.

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Austin Mitchell famously did not come out of the experience of staying in the tower in a favourable light and, commenting on his appearance afterwards, he said: “Big mistake. Love didn’t want to plead for improved conditions for council tenants but to humiliate MPs.

“It’s easy to show us as greedy (although they didn’t pay us), out of touch (though we knew more about the people than them) and incompetent (almost as much as their production techniques). They duly did so.

“So five MPs – and particularly me – were allowed to make fools of ourselves and council tenants were mobilised to do that, being helped to put their own case.”



The tower block of the Orchard Park estate were infamous at the time of their demolition
The tower blocks of the Orchard Park estate were infamous at the time of their demolition

The 20-storey Ashthorpe tower and 22-storey Milldane tower blocks were demolished by explosion at midday on August 11, 2013.

The exclusion zone around the concrete towers set us as part of the demolition meant nearby houses had to be evacuated.

Hall Road and Orchard Park Road were closed to traffic from 11.45am and bus services in the area were temporarily suspended until after the demolition was complete.