The Presence in the Chapel

Garrison Chapel at Fulwood Barracks

Garrison Chapel at Fulwood Barracks

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In the second of a three part series on the ghosts of Fulwood Barrack's Roger Goodwin lifts the lid on the mysterious spirit in the barracks chapel.

The Garrison Chapel of St Alban, above the archway at the entrance to the Barracks, is the second oldest chapel still in use in the British Army. For many years it was lovingly cleaned and maintained by a group of volunteer ladies who were absolutely convinced – and would firmly tell anyone who listened – that it was inhabited by a friendly, if sometime mischievous, presence. Cleaning materials would mysteriously move about the place overnight, and there is at least one story of a brass pot flying across the Chapel without any apparent means of propulsion, and bearing ever afterwards the dent to prove it.

Mike Glover, former curator of the Lancashire Infantry Museum, was showing some visitors around a few years ago when one of them asked if it was haunted. Mike related the story above.

“I can confirm that,” said the guest. “I’m psychic and I can see something behind you right now.”

She was looking at the area near the pulpit to the right of the altar, precisely where the old cleaning ladies always said it was.

Believe that or not as you wish; it is rather more difficult to rationalise the experience of a television crew which came to the Barracks shortly afterwards to record an item about ghosts. Set up in the Chapel, their modern, state-of-the-art, highly-sophisticated electronic camera panned slowly across the scene – until it reached the area by the pulpit, when for no reason that anyone was ever able to discover, it stopped. Swung to a different area, it started again quite happily – but when returned to the pulpit, once again it stopped, an occurrence which repeated itself several times. An electronic glitch? Microwave interference? You decide…