Monday, October 17, 2011

Most-Wanted Monsters: Wem Fire Ghost

In honor of Leap Books' October 31, 2011 release of Spirited, Most-Wanted Monsters is dedicating October to all things ghostly.

November 19, 1995 - Shropshire, UK
While firefighters battled a giant blaze of the Wem Town Hall, a local man snapped pictures of the fire from across the street.

When he developed the film days later, he was shocked to find an image of a young girl emerge from the smoky haze. No one remembers seeing the child on the night of the fire - and no bodies were recovered from the blaze.

Town folk believe the image is that of Jane Chum, a 14-year-old girl whose accidental spark spread into a fire that destroyed the whole town.

The photograph was reputed to be fake, until inspected by Dr. Vernon Harrison, past president of the Royal Photography Society who stated, "The negative is a straight-forward black and white work and shows no sign of being tampered with."

Indeed, the infamous picture remains one of what is believed to be the best examples of genuine ghost photography.

Survival Tip: Though the locals fully embraced this ghost story, even changing the welcome sign to read Ghost Town, Jane Chum isn't known as a haunting trouble-maker. Stick to the outskirts of the hall and you should be just fine.

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