Weird News, Ghosts and the Paranormal.

Ghostly Pics: Lord Combermere’s Ghost

In 1891 an amateur photographer named Sybell Corbet decided that as the entire household of the Combermere Abbey was attending the funeral of the late Lord Combermere four miles away, it would be a good time to take interior photos of the abbey while it was quiet.

This included the Combermere Abbey Library, where she set up her camera hoping to get good results using the natural light coming into the room. The Abbey had been around since 1133 after being founded by monks and some of the interiors are simply stunning making them an easy muse for a photographer.

However, Corbet got a bit more then she bargained for when besides the interior of the library she also captured what appeared to be a ghostly figure in one of the rooms chairs. Could this be the ghost of Lord Combermere himself, visiting his home once last time while his funeral was taking place a short distance away?

The Lord Combermere in question was Sir Stephen Cotton, who was a British cavalry commander. Sir Cotton made a name for himself participating in such infamous conflicts as the Battles of Salamanca and Bharatpore. Cotton also became the governor of Barbados in 1817, where he became involved in the paranormal in a different way when he ordered an official investigation into the moving coffins of the Chase family tomb.

Lord Combermere died in 1891 after being struck by a horse drawn carriage.

An un-cropped version of the photo

It has been suggested that perhaps the picture of Lord Combermere was caused by a servant or some other person briefly sitting in the chair the ghostly figure would later appear in.

Although this theory dates back to the time the original picture was taken both Sybell Corbet and the abbey’s staff stated time and again that no one had been in the library at the time the pic was taken as they were all attending Lord Combermere’s funeral.

Logic dictates that this would be a plausible explanation, as the exposure took about an hour to complete and we can also see the effects the long exposure had on the parts of the photo where the sun’s light shined the heaviest.It is also doubtful that the room was constantly occupied during the hour the exposure was taken, giving an opportunity for someone to sit in the chair.

The Combermere Abbey Library Today

Although we will really never kno9w either way if the image is of Lord Combermere himself or someone trying to create a hoax photo, it certainly would be shocking if the image was genuine. Although this pic routinely is paraded about as proof f life after death, I think it only proves that early photography left lots of room for error.

What do you think… is this the ghost of a dead man returned home or a double exposure?

2 responses

  1. Photos are not my strength… but on a side note… I have ALWAYS wanted a library just like this one!!! 🙂

    May 21, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    • Me too, I love old library’s and books, so i would feel right at home here..I might even make a special corner for Sir Cotton should he choose to return! 😉

      May 21, 2012 at 5:34 PM

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