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.

Wem Ghost

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.

A street scene postcard from the 1920's taken in Wem, Shropshire by M. Audin-Wood

A street scene postcard from the 1920’s taken in Wem, Shropshire by M. Audin-Wood

The postcard, printed in the Shropshire Star’s Pictures from the Past section, shows a street view of Wem in 1922.

Closeup Of Wem Ghost & Postcard

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

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5 Responses

  1. Trickwood says:

    Aww, i always thought that this one was real, i can see the resemblance but im still not convinced that its proof!

  2. Spence says:

    I’m not too sure, is it just me or the postcard pic looks nothing like the Town Halls pic. Most young girls of that age would be wearing that kind of dress. You only need to look at what our children wear to see the similarities. T-shirts and jeans etc.
    I’m not convinced!

  3. vix says:

    I don’t know to be honest the girl in the postcard picture appears to have dark colored hair while the “ghost girl” appears to be blond

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