Wem Ghost Fake : Picture mystery resolved
A 15-year-old mystery surrounding a photograph which supposedly showed the ghost of a schoolgirl standing in an inferno has been resolved, after a researcher found the image is copied from a postcard.
Amateur photographer Tony O’Rahilly took the snap while photographing a blaze which destroyed Wem Town Hall in Shropshire on November 19, 1995.
After developing his film, Mr O’Rahilly claimed he had captured an image of a young girl wearing old fashioned clothes standing amid the flames staring into the camera lens.
Locals even claimed it was an apparition of 14-year-old Jane Churm who accidentally set fire to the town hall in 1677.
But eagle-eyed Brian Lear, 77, has finally put an end to the mystery after he noticed a striking similarity between the spooky shot and a girl in a postcard which appeared in his local paper.
The postcard, printed in the Shropshire Star’s Pictures from the Past section, shows a street view of Wem in 1922.
A young girl standing in a shop doorway on the left handside of the picture bares an uncanny resemblance to the Wem Ghost.
Mr Lear, a retired engineer and taxi driver, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said: ”It is interesting to compare the two pictures.
”I was intrigued to find that she bore a striking likeness to the little girl featured as the Wem ghost.
”Her dress and headgear appear to be identical.”
The ‘Wem Ghost’ led to a plaque being placed on the newly built town hall and Wem was briefly renamed ‘Ghost Town’ attracting hundreds of tourists every year.
The Telegraph : 18 May 2010