Ghost in Highgate Cemetery, or trick of light?

12:40 06 December 2012

James Dobbin

James Dobbin's image of Highgate Cemetery, with the suspected ghost captured at the bottom right of the left-hand tree.

Archant

Highgate Cemetery is best known as being the resting place of such illustrious souls as philosopher Karl Marx and novelist George Eliot, but now there are reports of another figure at the site - a ghostly apparition flitting among the gravestones.

A close-up of the suspected ghost in James Dobbin's picture.A close-up of the suspected ghost in James Dobbin's picture.

James Dobbin captured the suspected spectre on his camera as he toured the historic Grade I-listed cemetery, which dates back to 1839.

Mr Dobbin, of east London, was visiting the graveyard, off Swains Lane, with his girlfriend last week.

Although “not personally a believer in this sort of thing”, he was taken aback by the image.

He said: “We took a lot of photographs and, reviewing them on my laptop, I noticed what looks like the apparition of a late 19th century or early 20th century nurse in the background of the photograph.”

It is not the first time that the cemetery has been associated with paranormal goings-on.

In the early 1970s, there were rumours about a so-called Highgate Vampire, while Audrey Niffenegger’s novel Her Fearful Symmetry, a ghost story about twin sisters, is set in Highgate Cemetery.

And, earlier this year, ghost-hunter Leonard Low came forward after capturing a spectral image of a young boy’s face in the basement of nearby Whittington Hospital, off Highgate Hill.

But after poring over other photographs of the cemetery, Mr Dobbin felt he probably captured one of the graveyard’s many statues – rendered ghostly and semi-transparent by a trick of the light.

“I’m now convinced the shot shows only a statue or monument and not something other-worldly,” he said.

This thought was echoed by paranormal investigator Gary Boulton, who runs Spectrum Paranormal Investigations from Hartland Road, Chalk Farm.

Mr Boulton said: “The light makes it looks like there is something walking behind the tree but, to me, it looks like a statue.

“There is not enough transparency for it to be a ghost. I think the light is just making it look a little bit ghostly.”

The mystery was finally cleared up by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, which owns and operates the cemetery.

Members revealed that the “ghost” was none other than a memorial to an Eliza Jane Ellis.

Chief executive of the group, Ian Dungavell, said: “There are no ghosts here at all. Ghosts are things of fiction – so we can be 100 per cent sure that it’s not a ghost.

“Highgate Cemetery is a place of quiet reflection for people who are mourning. There are people buried here, people who were loved and remembered for their contributions and that is what a cemetery is about.”

Mr Boulton, however, will still be checking out the cemetery himself.

“Although people do go there hunting ghosts,” he said, “no-one has actually caught one on camera.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

It’s not just about new apps this week, some of the biggest have had updates that are worth your time.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Nothing says

iWOOT has a great selection of quirky Valentine’s Day gifts for every possible person and partner.

People thought the Deputy Prime Minister was pretty funny actually.

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 17:50
Even foxes needs a quick pick-me-up every now and again

Shocked coffee-drinkers at the BBC were joined by a fox who dropped in to the branch of Caffé Nero at New Broadcasting House.

Yesterday, 16:44
Cyclist Victor Ben-Rodriguez was killed after being hit by a lorry at Ludgate Circus on April 3 2014 (Picture: Twitter/@G4Lycra)

A man has been charged with the death of cyclist Victor Ben-Rodriguez, who was killed after being hit by a lorry at Ludgate Circus in the City.

Yesterday, 15:58
London's Air Ambulance [Photograph by John Power]

The London Air Ambulance landed in Avery Hill Park this afternoon to treat a critically inured man.

London Bloggers

Monday, December 22, 2014
Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.