Sean Ellis has a different story.
"Ghosts," he says. "All sorts of shenanigans going on."
Ellis was in Glasgow to talk about his new movie, Metro Manila. Set in the Philippines capital, the story of a near destitute farmer, Oscar, who moves from the country to the mega city in the hope of a better life is generating the sort of buzz that, if there is any justice in the British film industry, should see it among the Bafta nominees next January.
But first, about those ghosts. The early scenes were shot in the northern provinces, a place of mists, mountains and superstition. Ellis, producer Mathilde Charpentier, and the crew checked into a hotel. It didn't add to the chilly feel of the place that there was a power cut.
The next morning, waiting for them in the lobby, was a clearly spooked crew, three of whom said they had ghosts sitting on the end of their beds during the night. "They were not happy." Then there was the camera that mysteriously moved itself to the middle of a rice field.
Jake Macapagal, who plays Oscar, laughs at the recollection. Macapagal was born and brought up in Metro Manila. He likens the place to the boroughs of New York, a patchwork of cities making up a sprawling, frenetic whole.
Ellis first visited the place as he had a friend living there. The culture shock was immediate.
"The first thing that really struck me about the Philippines were the guns. It's a place where even traffic wardens have shotguns which is pretty intimidating."
It was while walking in the city that he saw a scene that would become the film's story. Two guards were standing at an armoured van, arguing. One of them kicked the truck in his fury, leading Ellis to wonder what they could be rowing about. With writing partner Frank E Flowers, Ellis put a screenplay together.
While the screenplay was strong enough to attract interest, Ellis's insistence on shooting in the local language, Tagalog, left potential backers nervous. He was determined, though, that the movie had to be made as authentically as possible, so he remortgaged his house to raise the money.
Ellis, 43, had significant success early on with his Oscar-nominated short, Cashback, later made into a feature length film. His next movie, 2008's The Broken, "didn't find its audience, and it definitely didn't find its critics".
Determined to wait till the right thing came along, Metro Manila is his first film since.
Money in place, he and Charpentier set off from London. She recalls: "I still remember leaving Heathrow Airport on a cold and rainy day, to land on a boiling hot Filipino afternoon, jet lagged, thinking 'Are we really going to make this?' We gave ourselves three weeks to find a production team, a Filipino cast and all our locations and props. Never in a million years we could have made it this fast in the UK with such a small budget but the Filipino people love to help, don't mind the challenge, and even though they don't forget the business part, they offer what they have with an open heart."
Such are the budgets for films at home Macapagal has to take teaching jobs and advertisements to supplement his acting. But the business is thriving overall, says Ellis, and puts the costlier British industry to shame.
"Their output is incredible, their drive is incredible, they've got a great network. It's small but they are constantly driving to make more independent films, whereas here we are just stuck. They've worked out a system of being able to make films very cheaply, the audience is very small, but they are making them."
Metro Manila opens in cinemas on September 20