Historic Ghost Photograph: Combermere Abbey Library

Combermere Abbey

This 1891 photograph of the Combermere Abbey library was taken by Sybell Corbet. If you look closely at the chair on the left, you can see the faint image of a man. His head, collar and right arm are clearest. Most believe the image is of Lord Combermere, a British cavalry commander in the early 1800s.

Lord Combermere died in 1891 after being struck by a horse-drawn carriage. At the time the photograph was taken, Combermere's funeral was taking place some four miles away. However, Corbet recorded that the exposure for the photo took about an hour. So it is possible that someone entered the room, sat down and then left (An event that would create an image very similar). No one was supposed to be in the house, but that doesn't mean nobody was.

Combermere Abbey is located in Cheshire, England. It was founded by Benedictine monks in 1133. In 1540, King Henry VII kicked out the Benedictines and the Abbey became the seat of Sir George Cotton KT, Vice Chamberlain to the household of Prince Edward, son of Henry VIII. In 1814, Sir Stapleton Cotton, a descendent of Sir George, took the title "Lord Combermere" and in 1817 became the Governor of Barbados. Today the Abbey is a tourist attraction and hotel.