HALLOWEEN post – a true ghost story (Haunted Cathedral edition)

Happy Halloween, my ghouls!

I have a story to tell you, mostly in pics. We’re talking about my office. We’re talking about how I thought the antique mirror was haunted, and then I didn’t, and then I did, and then I didn’t, again. That’s where we are now. I do believe that something in my office is haunted, but I don’t think it’s the mirror. I think it’s my print of Canterbury Cathedral. I guess it’s possible that the arrival of the mirror brought out the haunting, because I didn’t see it before the mirror arrived, but there’s no way to know.

Going back, then: At the end of September, I photographed my office to death so that I could show it to you in my updated office tour post, in the process of which I took a plethora of pics of my thrifted Canterbury Cathedral print. The print was the most important element. I wove my “Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Gothic/Haunted Cathedral” décor theme around it, after all.

You may recall how in that office tour post, I explained that Canterbury Cathedral is haunted by the ghosts of those who were murdered there, most famously that of Archbishop Thomas Becket. Going through the pics in deciding which ones to include in my post, I noticed a strange occurrence in a few of them. My dear friend Caroline convinced me that today, Halloween, would be an ideal day to share them with you. She was right, of course. First, though, let’s have a look at the beautiful Canterbury Cathedral from the outside:

 

[pic from KentLive.news: “The 13 most haunted places in Canterbury and the spine-chilling stories behind them”]

 

Here’s my print:

 

Thrifted Canterbury Cathedral print

 

Getting down to it now, I’ll have you focus on this print detail – this is the same pic I’d posted in my office tour post:

 

Nothing amiss here.

 

And finally, we arrive at the pics in question, which came from a different series of shots. May I just say that it’s gratifying to know that Callaghan shares my incredulity over these? I didn’t understand what I was seeing as I scrolled through these pics. Neither did he. Neither did Caroline. There are varying degrees of skepticism amongst we three, but we’re all baffled. We all agree that these pics defy explanation.

Like 99% of my pics, these are completely untouched. I captioned them to point out the oddities within:

 

Faint white shape on the wall above the stairs; blueish haze slightly above and to the right

 

The shape on the wall becomes bolder, while the blueish haze becomes more faint

 

The shape and the blue haze vanish, and a bright white crescent shape appears, seeming to float up into the dark of the cathedral ceiling

 

The crescent becomes a slash with a bright spot toward its left end, and the faint blueish haze appears again at the top of the conjoined pillars to the left

 

The blueish haze becomes fainter and drifts higher as the white slash in the center thins out

 

The white shape comes back, but now it’s at the top of the arch, much brighter than before, and more defined against a white square background; the blueish haze appears above and behind it to the left with a window pane imprint

 

Also, this last pic is more blueish in tone overall.

This is all quite inexplicable.

That weird shape, for one thing… it’s kind of like a cell phone, but my phone doesn’t look like that. It also reminds me a bit of the Instagram logo, but it doesn’t look like that, either:

 

[My phone on the left, Insta logo on the right]

 

The shape in the picture doesn’t match either of these things. It’s not a reflection of my phone. It’s not an imprint of the instagram logo on my phone. So what is it? What is all of this?

Callaghan and I have studied the print from the same vantage point and at the same time the pics were taken; we’ve looked around to consider lighting, the objects in the room, whether there could have been a reflection, etc., and we came up with nothing. Callaghan is an artist and designer who knows his way around images. He examined the print to see if there’s a watermark or something else lying within or beneath the paper. Nothing.

Here, I’d like to share the text about Canterbury Cathedral from the KentLive.news article “The 13 most haunted places in Canterbury and the spine-chilling stories behind them”:

The twelfth century cathedral is a famous pilgrimage site where Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1161 to 1170, was murdered.

However, the ghost of another murdered Archbishop, Simon Sudbury, is said to walk the Cathedral.

Killed by Wat Tyler, the head of the Peasant’s revolt, in 1381, Sudbury’s pale and bearded ghost haunts the tower named after him.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the ex-Archbishop’s head was buried in a different place from his body, he does not appear as a headless ghost.

He actually appears as a solitary figure, dressed in grey robes and is often seen haunting a bedroom in the tower, reportedly tucking the occupant in at night.

There is a passage in the cathedral known as the ‘Dark Entry’ which is thought to be haunted by the ghost of Nell Cook, who was a servant of a canon (priest) at the cathedral.

Nell was furious with her boss after discovering his affair, she poisoned the canon and his mistress with tainted food.

As punishment for her crime, Nell was buried alive beneath the ‘Dark Entry’ and her spirit haunts the passageway on dark Friday evenings.

According to legend, anyone who is unfortunate enough to see the ghost of Nell Cook will die soon after.

The cathedral is also said to be haunted by a monk who can be seen walking in the cloisters with a thoughtful expression on his face.

 

Having considered everything, the easiest explanation for the occurrences in my pictures is that the print of the haunted cathedral is itself haunted, in the sense that something was picked up by the photographer’s lens. I’ve taken numerous other pics of this print, and only the ones above show “activity.” That this activity was revealed after I brought the antique mirror home is probably a coincidence. It may be a fanciful stretch to say that there might be a connection, but I’m saying it anyway, because it is possible. Also, it’s Halloween, and I guess this post amounts to a ghost story.

In any case, I adore this print. I love having it next to me as I sit here and write, and I’m dreaming of the day we can go to Kent, England to visit Canterbury and take a ghost tour of the village – including and especially Canterbury Cathedral!

I’ll leave you in proper spirit with the theme song from Halloween, my favorite classic horror film.

 

 

Happy Halloween, All!