Beware the Bishop Street ghost
Five years ago a ghostly apparition was captured on the steps leading to St Columb’s prompting speculation it may have been a friendly spirit thought by some to reside in the Cathderal.
Speaking to the Sentinel at the time Daphne Gallick, Senior Tour Guide at the Cathedral said: “We reckon we have a ghost, a friendly one, not a sinister one, in the Cathedral and in the boiler room.”
In fact, amongst staff at St Columb’s, it is thought the friendly spirit is that of former Bishop William Higgins, a predecessor of the renowned Bishop Alexander.
Originally buried outside the Cathedral, Bishop Higgins’ tomb ended up inside the Cathedral itself after the extensive restoration of 1867.
In completing the renovations, his final resting place was apparently disturbed, leading to the folk lore that he’s still around the church.
Mrs Gallick recalled some strange encounters - ones that staff at St Columb’s have come to treat as normal occurrences.
“One morning we came into the Cathedral and the power had not yet been switched on in the church at all.
“We were using an electronic organ at that time because the real organ had been vandalised.
“There wasn’t a tune coming from the organ, but there was definitely noise coming from it. How could that happen when there was no power in the church?
“On another occasion we heard footsteps in the gallery. It has a wooden floor so you would know when someone is walking around up there.
“I blamed my husband, but as we went to investigate he walked in the front door of the Cathedral, and then we tried to access the gallery, but the door was locked,” she said.
Much has been made of the ‘ghostly’ sighting outside St Columb’s, with a team of paranormal investigators even interested.
Daphne Gallick told the Sentinel: “We have these conversations and discussions all the time, we are not running around in fear. “I am more worried about being mugged outside at night when we are locking up. It’s the living you have to watch out for!”