Is this the ghostly shape of the infamous 'Black Monk'? Spooky image baffles ghost hunter


Pete Boulton and pal Rob Hughes run Ghostnspectors Paranormal Group and visited 30 East Drive in Pontefract, West Yorks, in June to investigate.

The house was the site of one of Britain’s most notorious alleged hauntings when the Pritchard family were subjected to years of torment by the so-called ‘Black Monk of Pontefract’.

Dad-of-one Mr Boulton’s picture of the hallway shows a mirror with a face staring out of it, with either black hair around it or a black hooded robe – though there was no one near him at the time.


The house was the site of one of Britain’s most notorious alleged hauntings

The ghoulish apparition appears in the same spot that the Black Monk, also known as Mr Nobody or ‘Fred’, is said to regularly stand and was where 14-year-old Diane Pritchard was dragged by an invisible hand. 

Mr Boulton, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, said: “We arrived around 7pm in the evening and began wandering around the house.

“I began taking photos like usually do at a new location and I took quite a few of the hallway near the stairs. I was just snapping away at random at the house, not at anything in particular. 

A hallway in a houseMERCURY

The reflection of a spooky figure can be seen in the mirror

“I took three or four pictures and one was particularly dark so when I got home I put it on the computer to brighten it up.

It came as a surprise. It’s difficult to say what it is

Pete Boulton

“[It was as I brightened it up that] I noticed there was a weird shape in the mirror. No one from the group was downstairs [at the time]. So it couldn’t have been anyone from the group.

“To be honest I was a bit reluctant to share it as it seemed too good to be true. It looks like a figure. But that was it, as soon as I saw it I shared it on social media. 

“It wouldn’t have freaked me out if I had seen it there and then [in the house]. But it might have freaked a few of the others out. I would have got quite excited by it as that’s why we are there.


The ghostly shape appears to have black hair around it or a black hooded robe


Mr Boulton, from Stockport, Greater Manchester said no one was near him art the time

Man with his car MERCURY

Pete Boulton with his ghost number plate

“It came as a surprise. It’s difficult to say what it is. There’s still a chance it is just pareidolia [seeing faces in shapes] however I asked other people what they could see but I didn’t tell them what I had seen. 

“Most saw what I did. With pareidolia, people usually see different things – that’s why you can dismiss stuff usually. But not this one as everyone saw the same thing. 

“I haven’t dismissed it due to this and certainly to me it’s unexplained.

“There is no evidence it definitely is paranormal. I hope that it’s a genuine capture [of something paranormal]. 

“I would love that but I’ve been doing it that long I am realistic about my expectations.” 


The ‘Black Monk of Pontefract’ subjected previous residents, the Pritchards, to years of abuse

Jean and Joe Pritchard moved into 30 East Drive with their two children Phillip, 15, and Diane, 12, in August 1966 and allegedly began experiencing paranormal occurrences almost immediately. 

Inexplicable events were said to include green foam appearing the taps, objects being thrown around and levitating, photographs being slashed and even family members being slapped and shoved downstairs.

It is said that later on in their occupation of the haunted house, Diane’s hair stood on end and she was dragged upstairs – the same stairs that can be seen in Pete’s picture – apparently leaving finger marks on her throat. 

Mr Boulton said: “Everyone knows that location as it is very well known. However we didn’t have a majorly active experience. The odd thing happened but nothing necessarily paranormal.

GHOST HOUSEThe house has become notorious among ghost hunters


“It’s a fascinating location, very atmospheric. It’s an iconic place – that’s why [ghost hunters] want to go. 

“The poltergeist case there is very famous and that’s what attracted me to it, but I didn’t expect much.

“There are films about the house, though I didn’t experience anything on that level. I would have left pretty sharpish. It’s only interesting up to a point.” 

The haunting at 30 East Drive was the subject of the 2012 horror movie When The Lights Went Out and was investigated for the Halloween special of Most Haunted Live in 2015.

The house remains open for bookings – though Ouija boards and exorcisms are banned on the property.

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