In a bizarre story of international paranormal intrigue, a pub in England is demanding the return of their resident ghost after a Chinese artist allegedly 'stole' it from them.
According to legend, the spirit of a man named James Stanley has been said to haunt Bolton's Ye Olde Man and Scyth after he was executed in 1644 just hours following a visit to the pub.
But recent events suggest that Stanley's ghost may no longer reside at the pub and owners of the establishment are outraged.
The trouble began in 2014 when a viral video of security camera footage (seen above), purportedly showing a spectral version of Stanley, caught the eye of Chinese artist Lu Pingyuan.
Enchanted by the legend, Pingyuan journeyed all the way from Shanghai to the pub in Bolton, England in order to literally steal Robert Stanley's ghost!
And, incredibly, he claims that his mission was successful after a second visit to the pub allowed him to follow the ghost into the bathroom and capture it via some kind of incantation.
The artist subsequently sealed the 'ghost' inside a metal container and has put it on display at a museum in Manchester, England.
Pingyuan contends that the ghost is now a piece of art to be toured around the world and that he allegedly spoke to Robert Stanley's spirit, who agreed to go along on this odd adventure.
However when word of Stanley's theft reached Ye Olde Man and Scyth, they were understandably upset.
Dismayed over not even being told about the plot, owner Richard Greenwood requested that Pingyuan return the ghost to its rightful home and offered to donate Stanley's pub chair form the day he died.
For his part, Pingyuan seemed to indicate that he has no plans to set Stanley free and only offered to discuss the possibility with the ghost after his world tour has concluded.
We presume that Ye Olde Man and Scyth are left with little recourse as there are almost certainly no laws regarding the theft of ghosts.
Images from Pingyuan's showcase of the captured Robert Stanley can be found at The Bolton News.