Holy Trinity Church, Blackburn, is a stunning building in the Mount Pleasant area of the town. It is no longer used as a church but the building is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. It is a Grade II listed building. Holy Trinity also made the news in February 1887, because of a ghost which was seen in the churchyard. The story was covered by newspapers nationwide, with the headline ‘Extraordinary Ghost Scare’.
The story told how a ‘considerable commotion’ had been caused by the sighting of a young and beautiful ghostly woman, dressed in modern clothing, in the churchyard one Sunday evening. Having heard that a ghost was abroad, some young men were camped out in the churchyard in the hope of catching for a glimpse of the ghost, but when she eventually did appear, in the midst of a ‘strange, lurid light’, they were so shocked they didn’t know what to do. One of them could think of no better course of action than to throw his bottle of ginger beer at it. The ‘ghost’ promptly gave chase and the young men were so frightened that they swiftly ran away.
Two days previously, the same ghost had appeared in the house of a certain Mr McCann, who lived close by the church. Late on Friday night, McCann’s lodger had seen the young woman sitting by the fire and next morning he enquired of his landlord about the lovely lady, as he was not aware there were other guests staying in the house. McCann had laughed at him – but on Saturday evening, he saw the woman himself. He spoke to her and, when he received no answer, spoke more crossly, at which point the woman stood up and McCann, realising that she was a ghost, fainted. He fell so heavily that a Doctor had to be called to attend to him.
The ghostly woman was identified by local people as a girl who had tragically died in a fire some years previously, although no mention is made of her possible connection to McCann’s house or, for that matter, the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church. The article ends with the observation that “People of more robust intelligence believe, however, that somebody is impersonating the ghost…”
Image: Alexander P Kapp via Wikimedia Commons