ERIC Humphrey and his wife Cath have journeyed back to Ludlow to put a ghost to rest.
The couple from Bradford in West Yorkshire are great fans of Ludlow and have been regular visitors to the town for more than 30 years.
They are great fans of the Ludlow Festival and were at the last night last year when something extraordinary happened.
Eric, aged 81, was in the audience at the back by the wall before the start of the closing show when he could not believe his eyes.
“I saw a very elderly man with a walking stick taking slow steps across the grass,” said Eric.
“He was dressed in ordinary clothes and was shuffling along very slowly but was absolutely clear.
“I watched him for two or three minutes and ran down to the front but was distracted by the sound of an ambulance and he disappeared.”
No one else, including Eric’s wife Cath, aged 71, saw a thing but the artist has no doubt about what he had seen.
“It was as clear as if someone had just been a few yards away and was nothing like people imagine a ghost to be but was very real in the day light.”
Eric, a no-nonsense Yorkshire man, says that he had never seen anything like it before or since and on his return to Ludlow wants to know if anyone else saw the apparition on the last night of the festival last year.
While he says that he did not find the ‘ghost’ disturbing it has shaken him up.
“I just want to know if anyone else saw anything because I know what I saw. It was about 7pm when I saw the man.”
He says that he has since discovered that the unusual walking stick that the ‘man’ had with notches and a ‘pistol’ grip was common in Victorian times.
It is the most unusual thing to have happened to Eric and Cath in all the years that they have been coming to the Ludlow Festival.
“We first came to Ludlow in 1976 and have been back every year since,” said Cath.
“The first time that we came to the Ludlow Festival was in the early 1990s to see The Merchant of Venice.”
Eric, who is an accomplished artist specialising in aviation, had exhibitions of his work at Dinham House in Ludlow in 1992 and 1994.
“We had a Ford Fiesta so it took a lot of journeys to bring the paintings,” added Eric.
Cath says that at best she remembers it took six trips to get all of the paintings to Ludlow.
But Eric’s art skills have come in useful and enabled him to make an accurate drawing of the ‘ghost’ that he saw at the Ludlow Festival last year.
He is hoping that someone else will have seen something or has some information about the elderly man who wanders the grounds of Ludlow Castle and seemingly has a passion for the arts.
It could be yet another attraction for one of the best summer festivals in the country.