The Spectre of Newby Church
Taken in 1963, this creepy photo was captured taken by Reverend Kenneth F Lord – although I’m sure I’ve read at least one account that claims the image was taken by the church’s cleaner. Mandela effect aside, it’s a particularly creepy image, with it’s apparent 9ft frame, and skeletal face.
Many in the paranormal community suspect the figure is that of a 16th century monk, with his face covered by a white shroud due to leprosy or similar, although this may not account for the figure’s giant size.
The church itself is known as the Church of Christ the Consoler, and is located in the grounds of Newby Hall, North Yorkshire. It was built in the 1870s, as a memorial for the family’s son, Fredrick.
Fredrick was in Athens when he was taken prisoner by band of ruffians and held for ransom. Part of the money had been collected, when it emerged that poor Fredrick had already been murdered. With the remaining funds from the now useless ransom, Fredrick’s mother, Lady Mary Vyner, commissioned a church to be built in memory of her ill-fated son.
Skeptics claim this figure is the result of trickery my means of a double exposure, with the accomplice standing on a box for added spookiness. The translucence yet sharp edge nature of the spectre reinforces this, as it is an effect found in such fakes.
This story doesn’t really tally with the belief that the spirit is that of a 16th century monk either. Newby Hall was first built in the 1600s, but then again, that’s not to say a monastery never existed close by. Or that a traveling spectre took refuge in its walls many centuries after death.
Despite these narrative stretches, there’s little to say this image isn’t a hoax. The church doesn’t have a particularly haunted reputation, and if the resident spirits did decide to show themselves, I’d say it would be more likely that Fredrick himself, or another member of the Vyner family, staying close to a building meant to commemorate – or console, as the name suggests – the family and their tragic loss.
Creep Factor: 💀💀💀💀💀 – skeletal and scary
Believability: 💀💀- probably a double exposure. Little historical evidence to indicate reliability.
The Girl in The Fire
The photo above was taken on 19th November 1995, when Wem Town Hall, in Wem, Shropshire, burnt to the ground. It was taken by an amateur photographer and seemingly includes the apparition of a young girl in the flames, despite neither the photographer or any of the emergency service workers seeing her at the time.
Local legend states that the ghost in the image is that of a young girl, Jane Churm, who was accused of starting a fire in 1677. Of course, there’s not much to be found to support this rumour, but it did add fuel to the fire of the Wem Ghost story (pun intended).
The photo was analysed by the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena, who believed the ‘girl’ was no more than a piece of burning wood against the railings, and a case of pareidolia. It was then forwarded to the Royal Photographic Society, where the president, Dr, Vernon. Harrison, claimed the image was genuine, although the cause was likely smoke or a trick of the lighting.
However, do we really believe this image is a conveniently placed log? I for one, do not.
Does that mean I believe this photograph is genuine? Also no.
Unfortunately, this image is likely a hoax, and discovered in 2010. After the death of the original photographer, a resident of Wem came forward with a 1922 post card depicting a girl who is near identical to the image above.
From the line of her belt and bonnet tie, to the shape of her hairline, it’s safe to say the photographer in question committed a bit of jiggery-pokery to make a pretty cool ghost photo.
Creep Factor: 💀💀💀 – we all know little girl ghosts are creepy
Believability: 💀- a likely hoax
The Amityville Ghost Photo
Now, you may recognise this one from our Amityville Deep Dive, but it’s too good to leave out.
If you need a little refresh, the infamous Amityville Horror saga began with the murders of six of the DeFeo family, by the eldest son, Ronny DeFeo Jr. Around a year later, the Lutz family moved in to the home of 112 Ocean Avenue. They fled 28 days later.
The above statement is just about where the consensus ends. The Lutz’s and their supporters claim they were terrorised by oozing walls, plagues of flies, and all other manners of ghoulish debauchery during their time at Ocean Avenue.
The (in)famous Ed and Lorraine Warren even traveled to investigate, perpetuating – or peddling – the belief that the house was a portal to Hell, or evil incarnate etc, etc.
As part of their investigation, they were accompanied by news crews, photographers, and a static camera was placed in the stairwell of the home, timed to go off throughout the night, which is when this chilling photograph was taken. It seems to show a young bow peering out of a bedroom door. All other pictures – including those immediately before and after – show nothing at all.
Skeptics claim the image is that of one of the investigators – an adult male – kneeling to check some equipment or something similar. The white eyes are said to be the reflection off his glasses.
I, for one, have an opinion on the Warren’s and their investigations. In fact when their names headline an incident, that’s enough for me to write it off completely.
However, t his photograph, is (in my opinion) one of the best ghost photos out there.
Creep Factor: 💀💀💀💀💀 – gives me the hee-bee-geebies
Believability: 💀💀💀💀- I don’t believe it’s an adult – facial features are too childlike in proportion. In my opinion, the face is that of 9 year old John Matthew DeFeo. One skull off for Warren involvement.
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