A souvenir photo held a spooky surprise for one Dudley Zoo visitor after he zoomed in on the snap on his 50-inch TV screen.
Lee Machin from Bilston had taken a shot of his nine-year-old nephew Benjamin Farrier, shown below, at the top of Dudley Castle with the Sharrington Range Tudor palace in the background.
But it wasn’t until the 36-year-old forklift driver was looking through the images to make an album of the day out that he came across a ghostly figure, shown in the central doorway below.
He said: “We’d been watching the birds of display in the courtyard and then went up to the top of the castle at around 12.30pm.
“I took a picture of Benjamin to show him how good the view was from the top and about two days later I started to put the photos from the day on to my computer to make a few albums.
“But when I zoomed right in to look at the castle’s brickwork, I could see a feint grey figure of a woman.
“I showed it to my family and friends and they also said they could see a lady, and some said she looked like she was wearing a grey gown and holding a bunch of flowers.
“I then linked up the computer to my 50-inch TV screen and could clearly see the outline of a grey lady.”
And the unearthly image is all Benjamin, from Handsworth, has been talking about.
Lee, who took the photo on his mobile phone on Sunday August 23, said: “Benjamin thought it was brilliant when I showed him the picture and hasn’t shut up about it since.
“He’s told everyone at school he has a ghost following him and has even started watching Ghost Hunters on TV!
“I’ve never really believed in ghosts but now I’ve seen my photo I don’t know what to think.”
The famous Grey Lady thought to be the spirit of Dorothy Beaumont, the wife of the Royalist Second in Command, who died on April 28 in 1645 is said to roam the Dudley grounds.
DZG’s castle expert Amy Hickman, who conducts regular ghost walks around the castle, said: “Allegedly, across the whole castle grounds and zoo site, over 400 ghosts and spirits have been seen and recorded on more than one occasion.
“Dudley Castle is said to be the fourth most haunted castle in Britain, after the Tower of London, Dover Castle and Chillingham Castle in Northumberland.
“The doorway where Lee has seen the outline of a woman would have been a pantry where male servants would have worked, as kitchens were the domain of men only in Tudor times.”
Spookily Lee’s latest sighting happened almost a year to the day that another set of Dudley Zoo visitors came across a ghostly figure on one of their photos.
Last August, Birmingham couple Dean and Amy Harper found a shadowy shape on one of the images they’d taken of their visit to the castle courtyard.
Their snap, taken in virtually the same spot as Lee’s picture, was captured on Amy’s mobile phone at 3.10pm on August 30, 2014.
After zooming in on their picture days after their visit to the zoo, the Harpers noticed what looked like a lady and a little girl in the archway.
At the time Dean said: “Neither of us are ghost hunters but we do wonder if this could be the Grey Lady ghost the picture is quite clear.”