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White Lady of Worstead Church

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White Lady of Worstead Church

White Lady of Worstead Church

Photo: Peter Berthelot

In 1975, Diane and Peter Berthelot along with their 12-year-old son visited the Worstead Church in north Norfolk, U.K. Peter took a photo of his wife sitting and praying on one of the church benches, and when they reviewed the developed photos some months later, a friend of Mrs. Berthelot asked, "Who's that sitting behind you, Di?"

The figure in the photo Mrs. Berthelot appears to be wearing light-colored, old-fashioned clothes and a bonnet.

The Berthelots returned to Worstead Church the next summer with the photo and showed it to Reverend Pettit, the church vicar. He explained to Diane the legend of the White Lady, of whom she had never heard. It is said that the ghost is a healer who appears when someone near is in need of healing. When she visited the church at the time of the photo, Diane was in ill health and was taking antibiotics.

Reports of the ghost date back well over 100 years. According to one story, on Christmas Eve of 1830 a man boasted a challenge to the White Lady. He said he would climb to the top of the church's belfry and kiss her if she would appear. So up he went. When he failed to reappear after a time, however, friends went to search for him. They found him in the belfry, cowering in a corner, terrified. "I've seen her," he told them, "I've seen her...." And then he died.

For a time, Mrs. Berthelot said she felt a calming tingling sensation whenever she looked at the photo, but that feeling has since subsided. Today, the church has been remodeled into a pub.

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