Offbeat Video

By Kim Reader

A dad has captured eerie video of what he believes to be the ‘Black Monk of Pontefract’ peering at him through the window of a ‘haunted’ museum.

In the spine-tingling footage a shadowy figure shaped like the round face of a bald man appears to be intently staring down at Sean Reynolds as he speaks to the camera.


Paranormal investigator Sean, 34, was editing clips from his trip to Abbey House Museum in Leeds, Yorks, last month when he spotted the ‘strange’ face lurking behind him.

The ghostly face is peeking out from a pub on a Victorian street preserved within the museum that the monk would have strolled down many times in his life as it leads to the monastery.

Video from just moments earlier of the same house, which is locked to the public, shows a clear window which Sean believes suggests that the spirit turned up specifically to watch him.

Sean, of Liverpool, Merseyside, said: “While I was investigating the museum I kept hearing these ghostly moans and groans and I was getting fantastic results on all my equipment.

“Every time I heard a nose it would send shivers down my spine as I was completely alone and to get back to safety I would have had to navigate the labyrinth of Victorian streets in the dark.

“But it wasn’t until I came to edit the footage that I noticed something very unusual on camera. As I was doing my piece to camera to open the show in the first floor window of a pub behind.

“Before I jumped to any paranormal conclusions, I wanted to check the other footage and see if it was pareidolia – a random pattern – but to my surprise in earlier shots there was no one there.


“It’s like this strange figure had turned up just to watch what I was doing. I knew it couldn’t be a person because the pub is locked to the public.

“As I went through the footage frame by frame, I actually saw the figure move as well. I was stunned. I kept rewatching it to make sure I wasn’t imagining things.

“There have been sightings of the Black Monk of Pontefract scurrying around the museum as if he’s frightened.

“The Victorian street I was stood on leads right to the abbey so it could well be the Black Monk. He would have walked those streets all the time when he was living.

“Seeing him stood there was so exciting. It is one thing to hear noises and see figures in the dark but to see this figure that couldn’t be human – a monk in the window with all the lights on – was a brilliant encounter.”

TV producer and presenter Sean was at the museum filming for his latest season of his paranormal investigation series Ghost Dimension.

The dad-of-three was invited to Abbey House as the museum has been at the centre of ghostly goings on since as early as 1929 when a live in caretaker heard a locked and bolted door open and close.

And in more recent years staff have experienced sightings of the Black Monk, felt their hair being pulled and heard children’s voices, according to the museum’s events organiser Mark Kilvington.

Originally a sceptic, 48-year-old Mark said he cannot deny the existence of the paranormal after working in the museum for 20 years.


Mark said: “I have experience a few things over the years. It started when I was locking up with a colleague and we both heard a child’s voice as ‘are you going now?’

“There’s also this area in the streets. For about eight years you could step into this one spot and you would be overwhelmed by the smell of pipe tobacco and the smell would go as soon as you moved.

“At first, being alone in the museum and hearing these voices was really quite frightening but I am just so used to it now.

“You tell yourself that you’re just imagining things. I’ve always been someone who needs things proving to me.

“But a few years ago, we had the first ghost hunt here and they picked up loads of paranormal activity.

“It was after that that the staff started openly speaking to each other about what we had all experienced, it really validates it. So many people having different encounters can’t be coincidence.”