Is this the face of a ghost in the bell tower of Preston's abandoned Mount Street Hospital?
A Penwortham mum says she might have caught a ghost on camera whilst exploring Mount Street Hospital in Preston.
Leonie Thomas had been taking pictures of the abandoned Mount Street Hospital in the city centre whilst on a walk with her 11-year-old son Taylor and her friend yesterday afternoon (May 25).
The 33-year-old said her curiosity had been piqued after she had read about the history of the Grade II listed building, which has stood derelict for nearly two decades.
"We went down because I had been doing some reading on its history and there were rumours about strange activity and a funny vibe to the place," said Leonie.
"So we thought we would go and look whilst myself and my son were on a walk with a friend.
"We didn't go inside the grounds, but we stayed outside looking at the building for about 10 minutes with my friend commenting how creepy the tower looked.
"So we took a close up picture of it, but saw absolutely nothing unusual at the time."
But after Leonie posted the pictures on Facebook, she was flooded with comments suggesting that someone, or 'something', appeared to be peering out of the cracked panes of the bell tower.
She said: "We carried on our walk and it was only when I posted the pictures on Facebook that someone said, "what is that in the window?"
"I wasn't sure what they meant, but when I looked closer, I saw it. Whatever 'it' is."
Inspecting the photo, Leonie said her skin bristled with goosebumps when she spotted the eerie likeness of a woman's face amid the shattered windows.
"There was nothing in the window when we were looking up and we looked at the tower for a good few minutes, saying how creepy it looks.
"But there wasn't anything that could be mistaken for a face in the window."
Leonie, who has an interest in ghosts and the paranormal, remains open-minded and has suggested a number of 'rational' explanations for the 'ghostly face'.
"I'm not sure what it is, but some people are saying it's a pigeon and others are saying broken glass.
"Or it could be a shadow, a bird, the lighting, a reflection of something, I just don't know.
"But there was nothing there when we went and we don't recall seeing any pigeons around at the time.
"It's a bit unnerving, especially with the amount of people who have contacted me to tell me stories about the place.
"Lots of people don't believe in this sort of stuff and I totally respect that. I'm not saying it is a ghost or spirit but I do believe in that kind of stuff.
"But there could also be a much more logical explanation. I suppose it's down to personal belief.
"I'm just glad I'm not thinking of buying a flat there when they turn it into apartments!" she quipped.
Said by some to be haunted, the abandoned and decaying hospital has spooked Prestonians for years and its unique 150-year history certainly lends colour to the ghostly tales.
Earmarked for development, with dozens of swanky apartments planned for the site, the neglected buildings have witnessed their share of tragedy over the years.
After its humble beginnings as St Joseph's Orphanage in the 1870s, the building also served as a charitable hospital for the city's 'poor sick' in the days before the NHS.
During the First and Second World Wars, the building was then used to take care of wounded soldiers returning from the front.
And it is after all, where Lancashire entertainer George Formby suffered his final and fatal heart attack in March 1961, with Penwortham fiancee Pat Howson at his bedside.
In 2019, the Post was invited to explore the historic site to record for posterity what the ravages of weather, vandals and thieves have done to this once-magnificent structure.
You can view our exclusive pictures of the hospital's spooky interior, including the former operating theatres and morgue, here.
What do you think of the 'ghostly face' in the window? Is there a logical explanation? Or is the Mount Street Hospital really haunted after all?