Is it possible to see a ghostly image of a house? A house that no longer exists? A house that was demolished hundreds of years ago?
A classic case of this kind concerns that of a woman who was visiting friends in the Camel villages near Cadbury Castle, in the 1920's. She was out walking on her own when she saw a large house in a field. As she approached a man and a boy in old fashioned clothes come out of the door of the house. She was intrigued by the clothes they wore and she moved closer to see better.
As she neared - she was astonished to see the house and characters vanish before her eyes!
Later as she was still puzzled about the incident she mentioned it to one of the friends she was staying with. Her friend made enquiries in the area and eventually was able to pass on the information that somewhere in the area, centuries ago a secret house had been built to hide a young Henry II during troubled times.
A number of reports about ghost houses have been collected by an Elliott O'Donnell. One details a house at the Penley Crossroads near the Forest of Dean, which two people saw and then later found to have disappeared, whilst in Chagford, Devon, rumours are that ghostly cottages are known to manifest themselves every ten or twelve years.
Another report concerns a woman who related a curious experience that happened on a misty November afternoon in 1939. She and her sister were walking in a country lane towards Kingsbridge about five miles away. As they walked they were rather unnerved to see a great manor house with arched doors set amongst trees. The woman said 'I knew the country well, having walked there dozens of times, and I knew there to be no house there.'' Also it did not look real. It is difficult to explain, for although the house was perfect, it had no substance. That is the best description I can give.' The house gradually faded away after around five minutes.
It would be easy to dismiss these sightings as some bizarre kind of hallucination if there didn't exist photographic evidence of a spectral house.
In Norway, photographer Lillian Lyngstad took a picture of a group of houses by a lakeside near Engan, in Nord-Trondelag, for use in a local newspaper.
When it was published, surprised readers immediately wrote in to say that one of the houses in the photograph had indeed stood there but it had been demolished 90 yrs previously!!
When Lyngstad went back to take several more photos she captured the same scene - but the ghost house was absent. However, on one of these later photographs there was an eerie smudge of colour where the house had once stood, as if there was not quite enough energy for the image to register on this occasion.
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