A mother made a chilling discovery after she discovered an image of a ghostly child apparently watching over her own offspring.
Michelle Mason was sorting through family pictures of a day out when she came across the haunting shot.
Taken in August, the photo shows what appears to be the ghostly figure of a child in Victorian dress, standing to the left of a tree where Mason’s children Sophia and Lee were climbing.
The 39-year-old said: "We were on a family walk one afternoon and the kids decided to climb a tree. I stopped to take a photo but it wasn't until I got home that I spotted a child's face looking back at me.
"I couldn't believe it when I looked closer at the picture and there was a child, standing with a wheel or a hoop in their hand. It has really freaked me out. I don't like anything like that.
"I would love to know more about the child in the picture. I am convinced it is a ghost, possibly from the Victorian times.
"When you look closely at the photo you can see the deep dark eyes. It definitely bares a striking resemblance to the black-eyed child that has been spotted around Cannock Chase.”
“While it might seem like a standard spectral encounter, almost all the reports involve the child leading people towards potentially dangerous situations.”
But neither Mason nor her children reported any such happenings and indeed did not notice the spectre until much later.
She said: "I don't think it looks evil though, or like it wants to cause any harm to my children. They were both a bit spooked by it at first, but any child would be.
"Some people have said I must have used Photoshop but I couldn't tell you the first thing about that, I have no idea how to use anything like that. I just took the photo on our family compact camera."
Of Mason's image, Brickley told HuffPostUK: "I'm always dubious of anything caught on camera as it's so easy to edit photographs these days.
"That said, it is a pretty interesting snap and it does seem to match the described appearances of the black-eyed child.
"I don't rule out the possibility that this could be a genuine unedited photograph. However, I need to investigate further before drawing any conclusions."
Black-eyed ghost children have been reported up and down the country including Liverpool, South Wales and most frequently in Cannock Chase.
Brickley speculates the sightings could be related to the Raymond Morris child killings in the 1960s.
The site, which also spawned the legend of Slender Man, adds they are: “Often children, with eyes that are solid black with no differentiation between sclera, pupil, or iris, and are occasionally reported to have blue or bluish tinted skin like that of a corpse.
“Those who report encounters with them often feel that the children were somehow supernatural and extremely dangerous though they could not explain why.”
And blogger Christine Stockton compiled this list of “16 terrifying encounters with ‘the black-eyed kids’,” as sourced from Reddit.
Cannock Chase has a long history of eerie happenings, according to the BBC, including sightings of a “werewolf-type creature” and a Pig-Man.
Witnesses recall a human body in tattered clothes, a distorted face, an unmistakable snout and the shrill squealing of the Pig-Man heard from miles around.