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Jul 8

Crosses and Alters and Ghosts.. Oh my!

Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2007 in Strange and Unusual

There are certain books that can read you better than you can read them.

A prime example of this would be your typical Medical Dictionary.  Every single time you open this book, it always flicks onto the same page.  The one with the large blown-up colour photograph of anal warts.  Yeaauch.

I have a book that gets me every single time.  It’s called Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers.  It’s a fascinating book where Mr. C examines various supernatural anomalies, and gathers evidence or material fact to support them with regards to their authenticity.  For example, he rates under ‘highly probable’ things like Maledictions (voodoo), Apparitions, Firewalking  and Stigmata.  Under the heading ‘Almost certainly untrue’, he groups Survival after death, and Reincarnation.

Anyway, whenever I open this book, I always come across the page with this photograph first:


The story behind the picture:

There are a few photographs, apparently of ghosts, taken by reputable people, which have not been explained away.  One was snapped by the Rev. Kenneth Lord in Newby Church in North Yorkshire in the summer of 1954.  The church is in an exceptionally picturesque setting in the leafy grounds of one of England’s stately homes, Newby Hall, near Ripon.
Mr Lord had been appointed vicar of the parish and wanted some photographs of his church to send to some friends.  Of the 12 photographs Kenneth Lord took with his Rolleicord 4 that day, the most striking was frame 5, which showed the inside of the church and, by the altar, something else: a tall cloaked and hooded figure with a skull-like face.  The Rev. Lord is certain that there was no one else in the church during the photo session and that the place appeared quite normal through the viewfinder.  When he found the weird apparition on the printed film, he sought the opinions of experts.  ‘The film went to Kodak,’ said his wife, ‘because it was a Kodak film.  It went to an independent photographer – and various other bodies – and they could find no possible way in which it could have been faked.’

Creepy, isn’t it?  I’m a realist, and a skeptic, so I know there must be some explanation for it, but nonetheless… *shudder*

Bring on the comments

  1. Grannymar says:

    I’ve looked, squinted, stood on my head and see nothing unusual.

    Am I supposed to?

    I do see a shadow on the right hand side but nothing else.

  2. K8 says:

    Do you see the bouquet of flowers to the right of the cross on the altar? Immediately to the right of these, you might be able to pick out a hooded face… like a melting skull. It’s obscure, but it’s definately there.

  3. Granny says:

    Copped it straight away!

    It looks like the Elephant Man. God bless him!!

  4. b3n says:

    Arthur C. Clarke was the coolest when I was growing up! I loved his TV program and I had the book too, I remember that pic very well, gave me the shivers every time I looked at it, even today when I opened you blog and there it was.

  5. baino says:

    I love this shit. I’m a total skeptic and there are a few ghosts I’d like to have a barney with but . . . still I look at my horoscope each morning, love horror movies and a shady character or two in a photograph gets me goin’.

  6. K8 says:

    B3n, I first came across that book when I was babysitting as a kid. It freaked me out so much, I had to put it in the garage!

    Baino, I think there’s a little part of everyone that believes anything is possible. I used to love those ‘Scariest Places on Earth’ programmes, even though they’re heavily dramatized… I’m a sucker for horror/thriller flicks too, I saw ‘Ghost Rider’ last night which knocked my cotton socks off :)

  7. wordnerd says:

    Oh my goodness, that is so COOL!!!!! I’d never seen this before. And I love this stuff!!!

  8. I’m a realist, BUT I believe that there are things roaming this earth that science will never be able to explain. My family is probably the most superstitious and spooky bunch in the western hemisphere! They’ll believe anything! :-)

  9. Brianf says:

    I can tell you that vague images of ghosts on a photograph are in fact real. You see I am one. Not a ghost. I’m a vague image.

  10. Kate says:

    Very cool.

    When we were at the Lizzie Borden house, many of our fellow guests took literally thousands of photographs, hoping for this type of experience. I can’t blame them for trying, but it’s a bit like searching for a four-leafed clover, it just feels more genuine when it wasn’t on purpose.

    And those poor slobs all went home on Saturday, and Saturday night I heard a ghost. Nothing recorded, nothing to photograph… but I know what I heard.

  11. K8 says:

    Wordnerd: I love scaring the pants off myself really.

    Jefferson, you get a lot of folks ’round here like that too.. there’s a bloke that lives beside a funeral home who claims his job is to guide the spirits where they belong. He thankfully has a day job, too.

    Brian, you feeling out-of-focus again? :)

    Kate, I was looking up that ‘Scariest Places on Earth’ programme and found that they investigated that Lizzie Borden house too… probably made up a whole lot of stuff for their audience. If there are such things as ghosts, I’d put a heavy bet on that they’re not stupid. If I was a ghost, I’d only come out when LEAST expected, like the one you heard!

  12. Matt says:

    I remember seeing this picture in a kids’ ghost book when I was 9 and I’ve always found it freaky- the ghost’s face is so weird, it looks to me like it is covered. like the Elephant Man. I’ve been to Newby Church- I visited last year, and took my own photo of the altar, as well as other parts of the church, but sadly nothing turned up…I felt frightened when I’d got my back to the altar, I was really afraid to turn round, I wonder if he might have been there…

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