- LONDON (Reuters) - The ghost of an 18th century suicide victim is stalking the
corridors of a Cambridge University college and perturbed professors want
to call in an exorcist.
- The Peterhouse college bursar and two
butlers have reported seeing the mysterious figure in an oak-panelled dining
room. ``That something took place in that room is in fact beyond question,''
the Reverend Graham Ward, dean of Peterhouse, told BBC Radio on Friday.
- ``I saw the absolute terror on the faces
of those two butlers, so I don't doubt something happened. In a college
full of unreliable people, they are completely reliable.'' Bursar Andrew
Murison said he encountered the spirit while working late one night.
- ``The first thing I noticed was the room
was very cold even though the fires were lit,'' Murison said. He heard
a knocking noise and thought it was the central heating system rumbling.
- ``Then I became aware very much of a
presence, and I turned around and in the distant corner of the room there
was very distinctly a figure -- perfectly benign and friendly,'' he said.
``But it's not the sort of thing that bursars like to talk about too much
because we're supposed to be the sort of chaps who have our feet on the
ground, and people might think I'm a complete fruitcake.''
- The ghost of Francis Dawes, who hanged
himself after a controversial college election in the 18th century, is
thought to haunt the college at the elite university.
- Dawes is buried in a churchyard beside
the college which has been the scene of two exorcisms -- one to banish
a poltergeist in the 18th century and the other when a dark presence was
seen in a courtyard overlooking the graveyard.
- Ward said a requiem Mass might be held
to exorcise the ghost, but that would require all college staff and tutors
to attend. ``I haven't seen it, but I'm not being a sceptic on this. I'm
just being simply agnostic,'' he said. ``I would quite happily believe
and endorse miracles, or angels for that matter.''