Has a ghost hunter snapped the clearest photo yet of the infamous Black Monk ghoul?

Black Monk ghost figure and Claire CowellMERCURY

Paranormal investigator Claire Cowell believes she spotted the infamous Black Monk ghoul

Paranormal investigator Claire Cowell captured the image – which she believes shows the arm of a ghostly figure in a monk’s robe clutching rosary beads – inside 30 East Drive in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

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

Mother-of-four Ms Cowell, a researcher for the East Drive Paranormal group, claims her photo is the most definitive proof she and fellow ghost hunters have ever seen that the Black Monk still haunts the building.

The 44-year-old, from Pontefract, said: “I have been in 30 East Drive a few times and this particular night the equipment had been active – we had seen marbles being thrown and we kept hearing taps and bangs.

“It was the end of the night, about 11pm, and most of the team had already left – there was only me and two other team members left and we were packing up.

“The other two were in the living room and I went into the kitchen to get a drink but as I did I heard a tap in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs.

“I thought maybe it could have been another marble so with only the kitchen light on behind me I took a photo, but I couldn’t see anything.

Black monk ghost sighting caught on camera MERCURY

Does this shot reveal the Black Monk ghoul?

“I was unaware of what I’d captured until I went back into the living room to tell the team.

When I realised what was in the picture I wasn’t scared, I was more shocked, impressed and intrigued

Claire Cowell, Paranormal investigator

“The arm you can see in the photo is not a solid form – it looks like mist and is very strange but you can see the sleeve of a robe hanging down.

“There is something which looks like rosary beads in his hand dangling down.

“It really is the only solid picture we have ever really caught of the monk up until now.

“When I realised what was in the picture I wasn’t scared, I was more shocked, impressed and intrigued.

“Everyone has been dying to see what this monk actually looks like – I have never seen such a solid, clear picture as that and may never get something like that again.

“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time – it’s so exciting.”


The ghost hunter claims that the photograph shows the ghost arm of the Black Monk of Pontefract

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 said to occur at the property included green foam pouring from the taps, objects levitating and being thrown around, photographs being slashed and even family members being slapped and shoved downstairs.

The bizarre presence captured in Ms Cowell’s photo appears at the bottom of the stairs in the same spot the Black Monk is said to regularly stand – and the same place where Diane was reportedly dragged upstairs by an invisible hand, leaving finger marks on her throat.

The building – which remains open for bookings – was the subject of 2012 horror movie When The Lights Went Out and was investigated for the Halloween special of Most Haunted Live in 2015.

But Ms Cowell insists there is no way there could be a more rational explanation for the photo because a mirror in the shot shows no reflection.

Earlier this year, Pete Boulton and Rob Hughes from Ghostnspectors Paranormal Group snapped an eerie face in a black hooded robe staring out of the same mirror at the bottom of the stairs.

Ms Cowell said: “People have said it could be someone stood on the stairs, but I know there was no one else there as the only two other people were in the living room.


30 East Drive in Pontefract, West Yorkshire where Claire Cowell snapped the picture

“We tried to recreate the picture by standing in different positions but because the mirror is facing the stairs you would be able to see the reflection in the mirror of anyone stood there.

“In my picture, there is no reflection.

“I sent the photo to a friend in America without giving her any information about where it was taken or the history of the house, and without knowing anything she said straight away it looked like the arm of a monk.”