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24 September 2014
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Monday 7 June 2004
The ghost of Lilleshall Abbey
The area where Lawson Clout saw his ghost. Picture: Lawson Clout
The processional doorway area at Lilleshall Abbey, where Lawson Clout had his ghostly experience

Ghost pictures are rare indeed, and often discredited as the work of hoaxers, but what would you do in the face of the experience described below?

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The name Lawson Clout may be familiar to regular users of this website as the photographer who specialises in stunning pictures of Shropshire's castles and historic monuments. It was while he was photographing the ruins of Lilleshall Abbey that he had the following experience.

"I had a very strange experience at Lilleshall Abbey. I go there quite regularly because it helps me with my depression and I always feel relaxed.

On Tuesday 5th May I was photographing the area of the processional doorway, the plain non-decorative side.

The Lilleshall ghost, from a sketch made after the event  by Lawson Clout
Sketch of the ghost done after the event by Lawson Clout

The weather was warm but dull. I was about to take the photograph when I came over all cold.

I nearly dropped my camera when I caught sight of a figure walking towards me from the sacristy doorway.

I froze. It stopped smiled at me. It was a man dressed in a black robe with no hood.

The figure was about 5ft 6 approx, he had very little hair, he wore a black robe, and it was tied with a kind of brown rope.

He was young - say about 30.

He had a happy face with a warm calming smile.

In his left hand he held a very small book, a bible perhaps.

He appeared from the sacristy doorway as just a blurr through my camera lens, a bit like a smear of grease on glass.

In fact I thought my camera lens was dirty at first, then the shock set in. It was a good job my camera strap was around my shoulders as I nearly dropped it!

Picture showing strange glow in bottom right (Lawson Clout)
Lawson Clout took this picture of what he describes as a strange light (bottom right) that moved rapidly around the abbey grounds one evening after he saw the apparition. He assures us the picture was taken on a cloudy evening with no sunshine, and has not been tampered with in any way.

But then his image became more visible as he approached me.

I was very cold at this time yet I had a sweater on, and shakily I backed away from him at first until he began speaking, but his voice was so calming I sat on the grass.

Somehow I got his name and he said my depression would be gone. But he never moved his mouth.

Then I tried to take a photo but has I did his image started dissolving and he headed towards the wall directly to the right of the sacristy doorway, then he was gone.

I felt warmer now. I left the Abbey and went home. not believing what i had just witnessed.

I never mentioned it until I was reading
about a lady's experience on the Weird Shropshire page who kept seeing a monk apparition in her home.

I am very nervous about returning, but have been back several times, nearly every day ever since this experience occured.

I adore this Abbey and enjoy its comforting peace and quiet, but I look at things differently now and continue to photograph the Abbey and area were I had this strange experience.

When you've experienced something of this nature you dont forget it.

My nerves for about 15 mins after the sighting were really on edge, then I came over all calm, and have felt that way ever since."
 
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