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 Ghostly Roman soldiers in York

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Hatshepsut
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PostSubject: Ghostly Roman soldiers in York   Thu 02 Nov 2017, 19:35

I have been in York this week and took the opportunity to visit The Treasurers House.

This was the place where, back in the late 1950s, an apprentice plumber was working alone in the cellar. He heard a strange sound, like a single bugle, and looked round to see a Roman soldier emerging from the cellar wall. The soldier was followed by around 12-15 others, on horseback, all looking tired, dusty and dishevelled. They were not at all spectral, looking more like solid flesh and blood. The weird thing was that he could only see them from the knees upward.

He was obviously terrified, but told his story, and it turned out that the old Roman road was about 12-16 inches below the current level. This would have accounted for him not seeing the Romans' legs in full. A very strange and eerie story I feel, and the only one that has ever rung true and made me think about the reality of ghosts.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Ghostly Roman soldiers in York   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 08:37

His description of the soldiers' apparel, if I recall, was equally impressive. At a time when a typical apprentice plumber would be expected to have followed Hollywood's historically "imaginative" lead on what constituted Roman military uniform, the lad actually described several different garbs, none of which would pass muster in a Cecil B. Demille costume drama, but all related to a particular phase of the Roman military presence in Britain from around the turn of the second/third century when it is believed that a serious bout of civil war erupted within the ranks, the precursor to the huge administrative reforms imposed shortly afterwards and the introduction of new non-aligned soldiery from afar.

If he was hallucinating, then I want whatever he he was having! If he was a charlatan then he was a very well informed one - even historical depictions within text books of the period often got this wrong.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Ghostly Roman soldiers in York   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 08:45

I've been in those cellars (they are no longer open to the public) and it was really spooky.

But I didn't see any Roman soldiers, although I tried very hard.
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Hatshepsut
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PostSubject: Re: Ghostly Roman soldiers in York   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 10:41

Temperance, the cellars are now open to the public, but at restricted times and extra cost. Visitors must wear a hard hat (provided) and be with the guide. I was foot-sore myself after walking the cobbled streets and touring the house, so I didn't feel like a cellar tour. I shall save that for next time.

Nordmann, I hadn't realised that Harry Martindale had given such an accurate description of the uniforms. He obviously had a cool head, did not frighten easily and had powers of observation. I know that he gave up plumbing and became a policeman in York. The man who led the Ghost Tour (the one which starts near the Minster) knew him well, and told the story for the visitors. It was very eerie to hear it at Halloween!
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Ghostly Roman soldiers in York   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 14:14

In the daytime to quote "Ghostbusters", "I ain't afraid of no ghosts" but in a dark, dreary place especially if I am alone my imagination can work overtime.  When I was a child I was convinced I had seen a ghost but it turned out to be a pillow case (I can't remember the exact context but maybe it had been left suspended over the bath to dry and I had a call of nature during the night and didn't put the light on - well I did when I thought I saw a ghost; I don't know what I'd have done if it had been a ghost!

That's an interesting story about the Roman ghosts or whatever the phenomenon (phenomena?) was (were).  I really must try and get to York even if it is just on a day trip.

Hatshepsut, this is totally off topic but wasn't there a Binky in the Bertie Woodhouse books?  I'm more familiar with the radio version of Bertie Wooster than with the actual books themselves.  I saw one or two of the Fry and Laurie Jeeves & Wooster TV shows - I could never really take the American TV show "House" where Hugh Laurie played a somewhat cumudgeonly doctor because he was still Bertie Wooster to me.


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Fri 03 Nov 2017, 19:15; edited 1 time in total
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Hatshepsut
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PostSubject: Re: Ghostly Roman soldiers in York   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 15:02

There was a Bicky Bickersteth, and Bingo Little, but no Binky as far as I know. However, the imagination of Wodehouse was so rich, it's possible there is a minor character lurking somewhere with that moniker.

Hattie xx
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Ghostly Roman soldiers in York   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 19:14

I probably misremembered, Hattie - I probably have combined Bicky and Bingo in my mind.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Ghostly Roman soldiers in York   Sat 04 Nov 2017, 09:49

Hattie - you may be interested in this short video taken by someone on the cellar tour last year.



There is also an interview with Harry Martindale from a 1999 series "The Why Files" which focuses on the spooky side of the story (the "psychic" comes across as "rational" as the "historian" in the clip - which is never a good sign - but it's nice to hear Harry speak directly about his experience).

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