DO you have what it takes to crack the 'spooky' enigma code in a haunted building?

Brave souls are being given the opportunity to test their nerve when a well-known haunted building opens its doors for probably the last time this Halloween.

The owners of the Castlegate Centre in Stockton have joined spooky forces with escape room specialist Enigma to invite visitors to trap themselves in the abandoned Stephenson House – along with its resident ghostly inhabitants.

The end is in sight for the building as the shopping centre is marked for demolition and according to Chantal Taylor, marketing manager, the spirits are getting restless.

“Built on the site of a Norman Castle, the centre has been rumoured to be haunted for many years – with numerous sightings of apparitions over the years.

“And since being listed for demolition the ghosts have become more restless at the prospect of having their home destroyed – again.

“Stephenson House was deserted in the 1970s and has been empty ever since. We invited a team of paranormal investigators in last year and even those who entered as sceptics left shocked and genuinely scared by the strange goings on.

“Whether you believe in ghosts or not this escape room event will be frighteningly good fun while helping a great cause at the same time.

“It will be one of the few Halloween events able to go ahead, as it has been perfectly planned to take into account Covid-19 rules, for groups of six brave souls at a time.

“Our warning is to make sure you don’t leave with any uninvited extra guests in your bubble.”

Hardy souls can be reassured that everything will be thoroughly cleaned with approved chemicals between games but whether it can cleanse the building of ghostly apparitions remains to be seen.

Nathan Brooke, operations director, at Enigma Escape Room, based in Middlesbrough, said: “Even if visitors don’t encounter the ghostly citizens of Castlegate they face the daunting task of escaping before time is up.

“The clock will be ticking to find the clues and solve the puzzles in order to escape the haunted building with mind and body intact.”

Taking place from Monday, October 26 to Saturday, October 31 with a family-friendly escape room taking place from noon to 6pm (ages 8 plus) and adult escape room (14 plus) from 6pm to 10pm.

Tickets are £5 for children and from £10 for adults from with proceeds being donated to Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

The initiative is being supported by Stockton BID which will run a social media competition to win tickets.