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03/05/12

Ghoul of Garway?

Filed under: Spooky Experiences — loretta @ 02:38:50 pm

Garway is a village to the south west of Hereford, near the Welsh border. On the outskirts to the west is a church dedicated to St Michael. The church was established in the 7th century and in the 12th century Garway was gifted to the Knights Templar. It is still possible to see the foundations of the circular nave of their church which was uncovered in the 1920’s. Some parts of the 12th century church remain, including a stunning chancel arch with foliate head.

It attracts a variety of visitors, particularly perhaps because of its Templar associations.

M.R. James was there in 1917 and seems to have had a peculiar experience:
“We must have offended something or somebody at Garway I think: probably we took it too much for granted, in speaking of it, that we should be able to do exactly as we pleased. Next time we shall know better. There is no doubt it is a very rum place and needs careful handling.”
(Gwendolen McBryde, Letters to a Friend, MRJ’s letter of September 30, 1917).

On the 21st April this year (700th anniversary of the disbandment), I took my in-laws for a birthday lunch in The Moon pub and then went on the the church. This must have been my 7th visit at least, and in spite of that I took out my phone to take a few snaps on its camera (particularly of features I hadn’t noticed or photographed before). Amongst these was the exterior view of the east end south chancel window, the corbels of which include a carving of a head as in death.

I have never in all my time there ever felt it to be unpleasant or strange although perhaps I am too familiar. I forgot about the images on my phone until I downloaded them very late one night. What I found there gave me pause and sent me to my bed with a very disturbed feeling. I am sure it is only caused by the distortion in the glass but it wasn’t something I wanted to discover at a lonely midnight hour! I am sure it will inspire many future pictures for me.

window_ghost
East window with scary form in centre

See a close up below:

ScaryGarway
Close up image of the Ghoul

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