Tuesday, 16 August 2011

THE PERILS OF HOAX GHOST PHOTOGRAPHS AND A REAL HAUNTING AT LLANELLY HOUSE

With the advent of those easy to spot app phone ghost pictures, it seems that some people are sadly easily taken in by them.

Spot the hoax!

IT’S a chilling image that recalls the tragic tale of a servant’s suicide at one of Wales’ most historic houses.
Sadly, it’s also one that will be recognised by anyone familiar with the dozens of pictures of fake ghosts circulating online.
The picture, claiming to prove the existence of the ghost of a young woman who has haunted Llanelly House since the 19th century, was shown to staff at Llanelli library by a “visibly excited” man.
But it wasn’t long before they spotted its uncanny resemblance to similar pictures found on the web.
Library regional manager Mark Jewell said: “The elderly gentleman came in and showed us the photograph which had been taken by his friend outside Llanelly House.
“He was in a state of excitement. He thought we would be interested in the photograph and showed it to quite a few of the staff.
“Staff have now carried out some research and found what appears to be the same image on the internet.
“It seems the gentleman may have been the victim of a hoax, as he appeared to be very genuine and excited about this.”
At first the woman in the picture was thought to be Mira Turner, a servant in the 19th century who, according to legend, haunts the house. She was buried on August 9, 1851, aged 22 – 160 years to the day the hoax picture was taken.
A spokesman for Carmarthenshire council said: “Legend has it that Mira Turner has haunted Llanelly House since killing herself by taking poison.
“She took a quantity of laudanum after stories began circulating linking her and the married butler, Charles Howell.

Llanelly House
“Sadly, Mira protested her innocence to the end.”
Different stories have circulated surrounding the exact circumstances of her death – some historians say she fell down the stairs whilst suffering the effects of the poison, others say she jumped out of the window.
Burial records for the parish show that Mira was listed as being buried on August 9,1851.

Her body lies in an unmarked grave in a nearby church but her spirit has supposedly been seen countless times in Llanelly House according to William and Benita Afan Rees from the Llanelli Historical Society.
“Different stories have been recounted over the years by people who have seen the ghost, but the most fascinating one was told by the daughter of a lady who was responsible for cleaning Llanelly House during the 1960s,” said Mr Rees.
“The daughter and her friend were waiting for the mother to finish cleaning the downstairs rooms and they wandered upstairs and got lost in the maze of rooms.

“Feeling frightened and about to panic the two young girls, who were about nine or ten years old, saw what looked like a young women in dark clothes beckoning to them to follow her.
“The frightened young girls followed the figure that disappeared into one of the rooms. “The girls found themselves at the top of the flight of stairs and ran down to explain what had happened.
“The mother told them not to worry – they must have seen the ghost of Llanelly House.”
If real, the identity of the woman in the doctored photograph remains a mystery.

But it seems her image has become a popular internet hoax. She has been pictured in front of the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco, in Stonehenge and as far afield as Malaysia.”
Mr Jewell added: “Even though it appears the image in this photograph is not genuine, it has renewed interest in the story of the Llanelly House ghost and brought attention to the restoration work going on both there and at the library.”
by Sion Morgan, Western Mail
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/need-to-read/2011/08/16/internet-hoax-photo-revives-legend-of-tragic-mira-s-ghost-91466-29241153/
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