Camera adventure

Issue 143 UK Adventure: Ghost Riders

Did Taunton’s bloody history leave a shiver in the air, or is it just sweat cooling on Pete’s neck? Words & Photography Pete Scullion “If ghosts exist, why are they all centenarians? Why are there no ghosts of 2013 complaining about Scotland’s impending independence vote and rising petrol prices? Ask anyone if they believe in ghosts and you’ll get a full spectrum of positive and negative responses, with varying shades of energy behind their statements. Ghosts have captured our imaginations since time immemorial and the advent of photography saw their prevalence increase, only to decrease as cameras improved. Photoshop then saw another pic with any “photo” of a ghost met with derision and acceptance in equal measure. Ghosts are, unsurprisingly, the most commonly accepted paranormal phenomenon. A 2019 Ipsos poll indicated that 46% of Americans believe in ghosts. It’s a lot of people. Do we just use ghosts to explain things to us that we can’t understand? A slamming door, missing objects, patches of cold in a building… Coincidence, but something you feel the need to explain? Local legends Why did I travel almost seven hours south and west to Taunton, you ask? Well, Taunton has the dubious honor of being one of Britain’s most haunted towns. As usual, the stories that accompany these specters are strongly tied to the story…

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