Henry Turner, ghosthunter

30th October 2017

Guernsey ghost: weird tale of a haunted house. From the Daily Express, March 31, 1903. Starring local eccentric and humanitarian, Victor Hugo's bookbinder, Harry Turner.

Blood-stained phantom!

A remarkable ghost sensation is disturbing the serenity of St Peter Port, Guernsey, where a local photographer [Basil Collenette]has just vacated his residence on the ground that he and members of his family have been terrified by supernatural visitations.

The photographer states that when taking his meals he has seen arms reaching over his head and endeavouring to take away his food. The pictures on the walls have moved in a weird fashion, and there were sounds of rattling chains and ringing bells.

One evening the tenant's daughter saw an apparition clad in white coming down the stairs. It possessed only one hand, the fingers of which were twice the ordinary length and streaming with blood.

This spectral visitant, seen on another occasion by the daughter, indicated that her mother's brooch, which was missing, would be found in the range in a certain room. Here it was discovered.

This so preyed on the girl's mind that she had to take to her bed, and finally the weird manifestations became so frequent that the photographer decided to leave the house.

Huge crowds gathered nightly round the place, and the authorities deputed several constables to watch the house. When one of these entered the premises a mat flew in his face. Another officer, while sitting in one of the rooms, felt his chair being lifted in mid-air. He fled in terror.

After this a number of prominent residents endeavoured to solve the mystery. They chalked the stairs, locked a chocolate box in one of the cupboards, and left the premises apparently secure. When they returned shortly afterwards there were footprints on the chalked staircase, and the chocolate box was on the middle of a table, with a feather balanced on top of it. Yet the cupboard within which the box was placed was still locked.

Being incredulous as to the truth of these reports, Mr Turner, a local resident, arranged to pass several nights on the premises.

With only his dog for company, he locked himself in, put out the lights, and waited for ghostly revelations.

Once when he was in the basement from which a range had been removed for the purpose of ascertaining if any human remains were interred in the place, he felt a touch on the knee. Striking a light, he held himself in readiness for supernatural developments, but discovered only his faithful dog by his side.

On a number of subsequent nights his vigil was equally unproductive, and Mr Turner now offers to forfeit a sum of £10 to a local charity if anyone spending a night in the house in his company witnesses anything mysterious or unusual.

Collenette the photographer