|Sorry, No Ghost
||[Nov. 15th, 2016|01:02 pm]
The Queen's House at Greenwich was built by architect and stage designer Inigo Jones for James I's Queen, Anne of Austria, and her daughter-in-law, Henrietta Maria. Work was completed in 1635. It is claimed to be the earliest neo-classical building in Britain and to contain the earliest example in Britain of a spiral staircase without a central support. |
TheTulip Staircase- so called because the ornamental ironwork of the banisters is believed to represent tulips (more probably fleur de lys- in tribute to Henrietta Maria's French origins)- was where in 1966 a Canadian clergyman inadvertently shot one of the most famous- and convincing- photographs of a ghost ever taken. I took several snaps, but nothing untoward turned up on any of them. Swizz!
TheTulip Staircase- so called because the ornamental ironwork of the banisters is believed to represent tulips
Breathtaking. The loveliest feature of a very beautiful house.
Even without a ghost, that is a lovely perspective. I think there was too much light for the ghost(s) to want to manifest.
I was using flash on this- so the apparent brightness is a little deceptive. It was a dark, rainy afternoon.
Out of interest I checked to see when the ghost picture was taken- and the answer is between 5.15 and 5.30 on the afternoon of June 19- so in daylight. Neither the Rev'd Hardy nor his wife saw anything unusual at the time. It was only when the picture was developed that the ghost showed up.
One of my two "ghost picture" stories also took place on a staircase. The now-closed Lighthouse Inn in New London, CT has a spiral staircase (WITH central support) that was famous for being haunted by a "bride" reputed to have fallen to her death as she descended the staircase. I was with a tour group telling them this story as we gazed at the staircase in daylight. I could see nothing on the stairs, but I looked down at the screen of the digital camera held by a young woman standing next to me, and there was forming a cloud on the stairs with an unmistakable skeletal hand holding the banister railing. She was not touching anything--simply holding the camera. She clicked--and there was the picture. I can attest that no manipulation of the image could have happened. She didn't even focus.
My wife was once working behind the counter in small shop when she saw a person who wasn't visible in the flesh on the shop's CCTV. The shop, by the way, was in the cellar of a Masonic Lodge- and so a place of "power"- where one might expect the energies to be a little freaky. It's not unusual, I think, for ghosts to show up on recording devices (especially digital ones.)
Staircases are liminal and transitional. They feature in lots of ghost stories (true and fictional)