The Ghosts of Great Barrow

Just outside of Chester, England, lies the time-worn village of Great Barrow. For centuries it has stood here, quiet in the depth of the English countryside. The oldest of houses here date back to the 1600s, and it's seen more than its share of unexplainable events.

Spirits rising from the Great Barrow graveyard.
John's photo of a ghostly apparition rising from the village graveyard. Photo © John Hallam.

John Hallam lives there today and part of his daily routine involves walking his dogs past the village cemetery. Last December, on a particularly cold winter morning, John had an eerie experience as he approached the graveyard. John relates, "Something was going on that morning. The dogs just wouldn't walk with me and wanted to go home." As he looked on, a ghostly form rose from behind the tombstones. He stood there a moment, frozen by the sight, then reached for his camera. Luckily, John managed to capture the spectral spectacle.

John's strange experiences weren't limited to the village graveyard. "When I first moved into this house 11 years ago, things were not right. I had bought two new bedside lights, in perfect working order. They would turn themselves on at all times of the night."

After several strange occurrences, John set out a sort of makeshift ghost detector. "I put a plastic garden frog in the bedroom which would only croak when someone walked past. Sure enough, it croaked. But there was nobody in the room!"

John's ghost may have remained unseen on this occasion, but a phantom did appear before him a few years prior. On a walk through his old village, he and his dog passed an old military hospital. In the heat of World War II, a stray bomb struck the hospital, killing several people including a number of nurses. "Walking along the path, I noticed a lady standing on the path ahead of me. She was all in black, like a long dress down to her ankles. I put my dog back on the leash because he used to jump up at people. When I looked back up, there was nobody there!"

When he got home, John mentioned the odd encounter to his next-door neighbor, who said, "That's just the village ghost. Our mailman sees her all the time!"

If you're ever in the vicinity, keep one eye peeled for the ghosts that wander the village of Great Barrow.