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Ghost in the Burning Building

Ghost in the Burning Building


 Spirit Apparition

Ghostwatch Europe
Views: 3,912
Report by: Ghostwatch
"One of Shropshire's most sensational mysteries - the spooky riddle of "The Wem ghost" solved."
Report ID: 2

Ghost in the Burning Building

One of Shropshire's most sensational mysteries - the spooky riddle of "The Wem ghost" - may at last have been solved by eagle-eyed Shropshire Star reader Brian Lear.

Brian spotted an eerie similarity between a girl standing in the street in a 1922 photo of Wem and the young girl whose fuzzy image was famously captured amid the flames as Wem Town Hall burned down in 1995.

That photograph taken by local amateur photographer Tony O'Rahilly created international headlines and sparked the legend of "The Wem Ghost".

There was speculation that the girl was 14-year-old Jane Churm, who accidentally started the disastrous great fire of Wem in 1677 and was reputed to be haunting the town hall.

Wem folk enthusiastically embraced the story which put their town under the spotlight. A sign on the outskirts had a makeshift alteration to read "Ghost Town", experts in paranormal activity visited, and there was even a scroll and a plaque to mark where the ghost was spotted.

But when Brian, from Shrewsbury, looked at a photo of Wem — a postcard franked in 1922 — in our Pictures From The Past slot the other day, his eye was drawn to a little girl standing in a doorway.

"I was intrigued to find that she bore a striking likeness to the little girl featured as the 'Wem ghost'," he said.

"Her dress and headgear appear to be identical."

So we have blown up detail from that picture to compare with the "Wem ghost". And, by jove, he's right!

Look at the pictures and make your own minds up.

Photographer Tony O'Rahilly, who died in 2005, said at the time that he had discovered the ghost image when developing his snaps of the town hall fire.

Some time later the photo was examined by experts from the National Museum of Photography, who concluded it was a fake. But others were certain it was genuine.

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