Huddled in the darkness inside a dilapidated chamber, a group of urban explorers listened carefully. Moments earlier, they had heard a peculiar noise echoing through the gloom. “Why’s that sound keep happening?” one of them had asked. Torches in hand, they waited. They listened – then they heard it – and then they ran.
Once the site of a Roman fortress, the city of Manchester in northern England has a history spanning 2,000 years. In medieval times, it had become a township enthralled to a manor. But during the industrial revolution, its population exploded thanks to its textile factories. Consequently, Manchester was the world’s first industrialized city. So it is a place with history. And spooky subterranean secrets too.
In August 2018 an urban explorer called Night Scape traveled to Manchester to try and uncover some of those secrets. Also known as Harry Gallagher, Night Scape is a daredevil from Barkingside in East London. He made his name on social media by scaling tall buildings and cranes, including towering skyscrapers in London’s financial center. Ostensibly, he seems fearless, but something about Manchester’s “underground city” took him to the edge.