London Ghost Walks

By Michael Gakuran | | Journal, Other | Leave a comment |

On a recent trip to London, I decided to give one of the popular ‘London Walks‘ I’d heard about a try. Amongst a variety of interesting themes, London Walks offer a ‘Ghost Walk‘, where you as part of a small group are guided around a particular part of London and told dark and creepy stories of grisly murders and horrifying deaths that soak the cobbled streets of a London from so long ago. The walk proved to be as deliciously spooky as I’d hoped, especially when I got an unexpected photo of a ghostlike form! Be it raindrops, a camera fault or a real apparition, it made the night complete. Have a look for yourself below and see what you think!

So it all began on Saturday when myself and a friend of mine met up with our guide – Angela – and about 20 or so other people to take the ‘Ghosts of the old city’ walk around St. Paul’s cathedral. It was rather chilly and we were stalked by rain clouds throughout our nighttime journey, but fortunately the weather remained calm, save for a little spittering of rain here and there. Angela stood before us, a microphone hooked over her ear and a red and white patterned umbrella held aloft above her head as she told of tale upon eerie tale of the lingering souls of old London.

A black dog that symbolises melancholy whose glowing red eyes are sometimes seen behind a crumbling wall – a relic of the terrible Newgate prison. The ghost of a baby murderer who sat by the prison window waiting for some friend or family to visit her before her date with the gallows. And the terrible hell of a woman who murdered her husband and was buried with his heart who is said to spend eternity trying to get rid of the ghastly evidence.

The tour of just under 2 hours wasn’t a cheap scare. There were no special effects or actors in costumes hiding down the perpetually dark alleyways and hidey-holes we visited. It was just a very good storytelling, mixed with a little history, fascinating facts and peppered with narratives of the kind I loved sinking my teeth into when I was younger. The streets of London and the chilly spring night created all the atmosphere needed, and the rest of the pictures were expertly crafted by Angela as she weaved images of the past with a crisp voice and the occasional accent to capture the characters in the stories.

We finished the tour at a particularly creepy church back near St. Pauls tube station where we began. I was struck with the sight before me. It looked no less than something from a horror film. A yellowed stone path path leading up the entrance of a weathered church. Black streaks oozing down the fa├žade in front of us and mangled vines and shrubs enveloping the structures in the patches of earth to the left and right. An ominous sky threatened rain behind the silhouette of the church’s tower that really seemed to be breathing, like a mouth ready to open up revealing a blackness spiralling downwards. Such atmosphere.

My friend and I hung around here to capture some pictures after the rest of the tour group had left. The image of the woman who had horribly murdered her husband had asked to be buried here in this church as it was said one could attain reprieve from any sin by being buried here. Treading carefully as to avoid stepping over the grave, we snapped away, trying to capture the presence looming before us.

I took several shots, mostly because it is difficult to keep the camera from moving and getting blurry pictures. It was raining very lightly at the time, so there was some reflection from the rain droplets in the air. In addition, my camera has been behaving strangely for some time now, turning itself on and off at whim, but what one of the pictures I took shows I can’t explain. Take a look below:

Church near St. Paul’s tube station – hover over image for time photo was taken

Picture 1 shows the church. It was the best picture I managed to take capturing the spooky atmosphere. Notice the light shining through the structure on the left hand side of the image.

Picture 2 shows the church in a slightly different viewpoint at 10.31pm.

Picture 3 shows the church in the same viewpoint one minute later at 10.32pm. But for some reason, there is a strange white streak flying across the front of the church! I was holding the camera still, so it could not be the blur of a light. Raindrops do not fall in such a sharp curve and it is unlikely the wind was able to carry a raindrop in such an arc. I thought perhaps it could be caused by the light we see in picture 1, but again, what on earth would cause it to streak out in such a violent fashion?? I don’t think it could be a raindrop sliding on the surface of the lens either.

Picture 4 shows the same viewpoint one minute later at 10.33pm. There is no white streak. I had not cleaned the lens. I can see no light on the left hand side of the picture, so what caused the flying white mark in picture 3??

One thing did occur to me just now. I was taking the picture resting on my friend’s shoulder. Could the white streak be the reflection of the flash on a strand of hair that blew in the way of the lens..? What do you think? An illusion or a spiritual form..?

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