Since 2010 I have been writing an end-of-year summary of the five ghost stories that made me grumpy or angry because of their rubbish nature and 2014 is in no way different. Technically there are still eleven days left in the year at the time of writing this but I think (read ‘hope‘) it’s safe to assume that Christmas and New Year will keep rubbish ghosts out of the news until 2015. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to…
THE FIVE WORST GHOSTS OF 2014
#5 The Coventry Medieval Guildhall Ghost
In April, the Coventry Telegraph were convinced that their photographer had captured a ghost on camera while taking pictures of the Irish President, Michael D Higgins during his visit to the town.
They reported that ‘in those images he found a ghoulish green ‘ghost’ hanging out behind Michael D Higgins when the leader was addressing the city’s Medieval Guildhall.‘ Apparently ‘the emerald ethereal apparition seemingly goes unnoticed by the gathered great and the good – who are all listening intently to the President’s speech.’
Yeah, probably because it is the light from a projector or some other such light source and they had no reason to pay it any attention. You see, the Telegraph showed everyone the photo above first which does indeed show an odd green light behind Higgins…
…but when you look at the bigger picture (above) you can quite clearly see the light is reflected elsewhere in the picture (see fig. 2) and that the shape of the chair in front of the alleged ghost is mimicked in the shape of the ghost (fig. 1). This is because the chair is blocking whatever the light source is.
#4 The Dover Castle Ghost
This footage was filmed at Dover Castle by a security camera in 2009, uploaded to Youtube in 2011 and recently made the headlines because people were convinced that it shows a real ghost and, I presume, it was a slow news day. The first red flag is raised by the fact that this is bad quality footage being filmed by a secondary source which makes it near impossible to investigate.
Personally I think this is an insect moving across the lens of the CCTV camera which is why it has hardly any distinguishable shape or colouring (and it wouldn’t be the first time an insect on a camera lens has been mistaken for a ghost), but part of my thinks that this could also be a hoax (though I’ve no evidence of this.) The behaviour of the security guard in the footage is a bit too convenient and looks staged. Would he really have reacted so quickly to a weird thing appearing on CCTV? Hmm….
Either way, naff…
#3 Samuel Kent’s ghost
Trowbridge resident Michelle Midwinter thought that she had captured something a bit odd on camera when taking a photo of her house. You can see the original photo here. She felt that something resembling a face could be seen in one of the windows when there was nothing in the window or nearby that could cause that effect. A self-confessed non-believer of ghosts she still claims that the photo shows what could be the face of an old man and sold it to the first News Agency that came sniffing.
Now, this is where it gets weird because the caretaker of my old school, Andrew Jones, who has an interest in local history says that the photo bears a striking resemblance to Samuel Kent, the father of Constance Kent, who brutally murdered her three-year-old brother when she was 16 in the nearby village of Rode in 1860. I’m not seeing it…
…but I do see He Who Must Not Be Named…
Or, worst yet…
#2 Ye Olde Man Ghost
The above video of a strange apparition in the Ye Olde Man & Sythe public house in Bolton started to gain a lot of attention in February this year. I initially thought that what we were seeing in this video was created by using a Peppers Ghost illusion but I was wrong and Bryan and Baxter managed to make a perfect recreation of this video using Adobe After Effects as seen below.
When the video initially made the news I was curious and had a quick dig around and discovered that the account that uploaded the video to Youtube belongs to Richard Greenwood, the current manager of the pub who took over in 2012 after it closed down briefly. In a 2012 article about the reopening, The Bolton News quoted Greenwood as saying he wanted to capitalise on the history of the pub which dates back to 1251 and is thought to be one of the four oldest public houses in the country. Richard Greenwood is also Managing Director for Consult Greenwood Ltd, a consultancy firm supplying creative routes to market for new products and technologies…
#1 The Black Eyed Kids of Cannock’s Chase
Black Eyed Kids (BEKs) are dangerous apparently, and a sighting of one could be a bad omen. If you let one into your home bad things will happen, but what these bad things are nobody knows. This is quite possibly because BEKs are just urban legends that do not exist. Don’t let that get in the way of a real life ghost story though! Gosh no.
The Black Eyed Kid of Cannock’s Chase is a case that is shrouded with poor taste and not a jot of mystery. Easily impressed Lee Brickley, the so-called investigator at the centre of this story received one eye-witness report from a member of the public who sighted what has been described as a BEK in 2013. He waited until October of 2014 to go public with this in what can only be described as a publicity seeking campaign.
This resulted in front page news stories in The Daily Star and the word-of-mouth account of the odd sighting being tastelessly linked to the murder of young girls decades ago in an attempt to make the story seem more interesting. It has since made the front page of the latest Fortean Times issue.
It’s a non-story and the attention it has gained is quite baffling. The fact that most of the coverage has been uncritical is just frustrating. I just want to put the story in context:
One woman says she saw a Black Eyed Kid. There is nothing to support her story other than her word. That’s it.
Brickley has form for taking eye-witness accounts and using them as evidence that supernatural entities are real in the Cannock’s Chase area but (to my knowledge) he has never done it in such a tasteless fashion before. For that reason alone Brickley and his Black-Eyed-Kid-That-Wasn’t has made the Number One spot on my Worst Ghosts of 2014 list.
I predict that in 2015 Slenderman will be seen in Cannock’s Chase and will have a baby with the so-called PigMan hybrid monster. You heard it here first.