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27 Oct: Norwich's haunted church mystery

In their book Norwich and Norfolk: Stone Age to the Great War, Stephen Browning and Daniel Tink recount a curious tale about a relatively modern-day ghost sighting in a city centre church.

They do not name the church or the organist whose recollection they publish in their interesting collection of Norfolk knowledge, but there are only a handful within the city walls and a little digging provides the answer if you read carefully.

In which church in Norwich was a ghost spotted? CREDIT: Siofra Connor

An organist had been asked to play at a forthcoming wedding and had gone to practice ahead of the big day on a cold and wet November night. Revelling at the chance to play the organ in such an impressive space, he was delighted when the instrument rewarded him with its rich tones.

He said: “I played a little gentle Mozart and then thought I would try the opening chords to Beethoven’s Fifth as they are so dramatic. Suddenly, I became conscious of another person in the church and looked up in the mirror which is designed so the organist can keep his eyes on what it going on in the nave behind him.

“There, silently passing by, was the figure of a woman dressed in a fitted bodice and long skirt – she was not walking, more floating, and I noticed that the lower part of her legs appeared to be below floor level, so I could only see her from halfway up her calf.

“I would not say she was a white figure, more of a parchment colour…she did not seem interested in me at all.”

Frightened, the man ran from the church and went home, telling no one what he had seen. A week later, he plucked up the courage to return.

“I went back at about the same time, set up and checked there was no one there,” he explained, “then – da da da dah! – the beginning of Beethoven’s Fifth. Guess what? She was there again.

“This time, I turned around on my organist’s seat and watched her as she floated up the aisle and vanished through the altar and end wall. I did not feel afraid at all this time.

“Anyway, I did a bit of research and found the floor level had been raised…which may explain why I couldn’t see her feet. I have no explanation why she was floating though or who she was.”


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