Over a century ago, in 1869, a reputable clergyman wrote to Mr. Baring- Gould to tell him of an odd apparition which appeared at Trinity Church, Micklegate, York.
The clergyman had attended a service at the church one August Sunday morning and sat in the gallery facing the east window, which was of stained glass except for a border of unstained glass all round the window. Before the service began, and then many times during the morning, ghostly figures outside the church moved across the window. They appeared to be two women and a child.
One, presumably the mother, came first and then beckoned to the others. The child accom panied by the other woman, possibly the child’s nurse, then appeared, and the mother caressed it, seemed greatly distressed, made frantic gestures of despair, and eventually all three figures moved away. This apparition was apparently seen at various times by many people, some times vaguely through the stained glass and at other times clearly through the clear glass border. Usually the women were in white, with the features veiled. One account said that the mother’s grief was intensified when a hymn was played loudly on the organ. Sunday school children who sat in the gallery ere so familiar with the figures that they referred to them as “Mother, nurse and child”.
There was nothing in the graveyard outside the church to create the strange drama. Indeed one rector who wanted to get rid of the apparition notion had some trees felled so that their reflection on the glass could not create an illusion of figures. But the apparitions continued to appear. So the legend grew that they were the ghosts of a York family — father, mother and only child — who had lived nearby many years before. When the plague broke out in the city it carried off the child and, as was the custom, its body was buried outside the city walls to avoid the spread of infection.
The child’s parents were buried in a grave in the churchyard near the east window. So the ghostly nurse brought the child back from its plague pit to the grave of its parents to the mingled joy and distress of the mother. Driffield, Yorkshire | Aberdeen, Scotland | Arbroath, Scotland | Basildon, Essex | Blairgowrie | Cerro del vale | Edinburgh | Fife, Scotland | Ghost in Dumfries | Ghost in Perhshire | Harrises | Hereford, England | Hertfordshire, England | Killiecrankie, Scotland | Littlecote, Wiltshire | London, England | South Lanarkshire |
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