Thursday, 25 January 2018

A Hole In His Story.The Unexplainable 'Ghostly Monk' of Eynsford Castle Explained.

Ok, it’s never easy to do this, but I have to admit that I’m wrong about the recent Castle ghost. After a lengthy talk with Kenny Biddle, he finally managed to explain where I’d gone wrong.

So apologies to everyone who has shared and liked the post that follows. All I can say about my mistake is that the nature of science is that you correct your position when you’re faced with new evidence.

Also, got to mention that Bear fella and a commenter called Chris on the blog, who also pointed out my error.

As for what the image actually is, I suspect Kenny will pick up the cudgel on that, so I’ll leave the reveal to him.

Apologies again.

- Rob.

The Daily Record reports today on a spooky apparition appearing on an image taken at Eynsford Castle, Kent. The image, taken by Jon Wickes alleges to show the spectral figure of a hooded monk(1). The Record tells us that Jon enlisted the help of paranormal investigator Alan Tigwell, who assured him there is 'no explanation' for the image. The story is almost certain to hit the Star and the Mirror in the next 24-48 hours. Let's take a look at it and see if we can find an explanation first.


Here's Jon's Image.


 And a closer look.



The investigator, Tigwell tells the Record he visited the castle twice to search the area for potential answers before declaring it 'unexplainable'.
"I went to the site twice last Thursday – in the morning when it first opened and later on. The purpose of my visit was to ascertain whether there was anything within those walls to explain the picture. I've been investigating the paranormal for over 20 years. The difficulty with looking at things retrospectively is that it's impossible to say exactly what something is.All I can say is that there wasn't anything in the castle itself that could explain that picture."
Hmmm... "within those walls..." these words may come back to haunt Tigwell.



I can't get to Kent at short notice, so I decided to use the wonders of Google to attempt to solve this mystery. I used street view to get as close the castle grounds as possible. The first few images gave me a pretty clear idea of what our 'phantom' actually is. 



The various walls of the Norman castle are punctuated with doorways and openings. Some of which may appear dark in poor lighting conditions due to the fact that they have walls immediately behind them. After forming this idea it was a case of finding the area in question and checking it for such openings. Luckily the area photographed was quite distinctive having the bridge, steps, wall and river in the same shot and there is a wealth of shots of the Castle on the internet.

Sure enough, I managed to find the exact area. The only remaining issue was that as the image was taken in an open field, there was a multitude of angles that other photographers could take pictures of the wall in question from. After a tiny bit of searching, I found an image that fit the bill, taken in July 2017.





A side by side comparison shows it is the same area taken from a slightly different angle. And if we zoom in somewhat, we can distinctly see the top of the opening which the Record is claiming is a ghostly monk.



The last thing to do is check this is actually a feature on the wall. To do this we can use the fact that the image was taken at a slightly different angle but at roughly the same distance from the wall to bust this ghost. All we have to do is choose a reference point on the wall we think the opening is based on. We then measure how much this reference point (1) shifts from our test image (A) to the image featured in the Record (B). If the 'ghost' is simply a feature of the wall we should expect it to also shift by a comparable amount. You may want to click on this image to enlarge it.



Indeed we find our reference point (1) moved by roughly -40mm and our 'ghost' shifted by roughly -37mm. I put that 3mm drift down to the relativity low level of accuracy we've used to measure the shift and the slight difference in distance between the point where A and B were taken.

I think this one is well and truly debunked. On to the Mirror and Star to republish it regardless, like the peerless journals they are. As for Tigwell, I don't want to be rude, but perhaps focus more on the earning second half of the title "Paranormal Investigator" and a little less on justifying the first.

Sources

(1) https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/dad-photographs-ghost-monk-medieval-11907283