10/10/2016 11:19 BST | Updated 10/10/2016 11:28 BST

‘Ghost Of Black Monk Of Pontefract’: Picture Of Ghoul Is Clearest Yet

The infamous ghoul subjected one Yorkshire family to years of torment

A poltergeist believed to be responsible for the most violent haunting in Britain has apparently reared its ghoulish head once more.

The now infamous ‘Black Monk’ is widely believed to have subjected the Pritchard family to years of torment at their semi-detached home in Pontefract.

Now paranormal investigator Claire Cowell believes she has captured the clearest picture yet of the ghoul at the house at 30 East Drive, West Yorkshire.

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Claire Cowell claims this image shows the arm of the so-called Black Monk of Pontefract, holding a rosary 
Mercury Press

Cowell claims the image shows the arm of a ghostly figure in a monk’s robe, clutching a strand of rosary beads.

The mother-of-four, who is a researcher for the East Drive Paranormal group, believes the picture is the most definitive proof she and fellow ghost hunters have ever seen that the Black Monk still haunts the building.

The 44-year-old, from Pontefract, said: “I have been in 30 East Drive a few times and this particular night the equipment had been active – we had seen marbles being thrown and we kept hearing taps and bangs.

“It was the end of the night, about 11pm, and most of the team had already left – there was only me and two other team members left and we were packing up.

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Could this be the ghost of the Black Monk of Pontefract? 

“The other two were in the living room and I went into the kitchen to get a drink but as I did I heard a tap in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs.

“I thought maybe it could have been another marble so with only the kitchen light on behind me I took a photo, but I couldn’t see anything.

“I was unaware of what I’d captured until I went back into the living room to tell the team.

“The arm you can see in the photo is not a solid form – it looks like mist and is very strange but you can see the sleeve of a robe hanging down.

“There is something which looks like rosary beads in his hand dangling down. It really is the only solid picture we have ever really caught of the monk up until now.

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30 East Drive in Pontefract, Yorkshire is said to be the site of the most violent poltergeist haunting in Britain 

“When I realised what was in the picture I wasn’t scared, I was more shocked, impressed and intrigued.

“Everyone has been dying to see what this monk actually looks like – I have never seen such a solid, clear picture as that and may never get something like that again.

“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time – it’s so exciting.”

Jean and Joe Pritchard moved into 30 East Drive with their two children Phillip, 15, and Diane, 12, in August 1966 and allegedly began experiencing paranormal occurrences almost immediately. 

Inexplicable events said to occur at the property included green foam pouring from the taps, objects levitating and being thrown around, photographs being slashed and even family members being slapped and shoved downstairs.

The ghoulish apparition captured in Cowell’s photo appears at the bottom of the stairs in the same spot the Black Monk is said to regularly stand – and the same place where Diane was reportedly dragged upstairs by an invisible hand, leaving finger marks on her throat. 

Cowell said the newly-released image, taken in November last year, was confirmed by Bill Bungay, the current owner of the property, to be the best photo he had ever seen of the Black Monk.

The building – which remains open for bookings – was the subject of 2012 horror movie When The Lights Went Out and was investigated for the Halloween special of Most Haunted Live in 2015. 

But Cowell insists there is no way there could be a more rational explanation for the photo because a mirror in the shot shows no reflection.

Earlier this year, Pete Boulton and Rob Hughes from Ghostnspectors Paranormal Group snapped an eerie face in a black hooded robe staring out of the same mirror at the bottom of the stairs. 

Cowell said: “People have said it could be someone stood on the stairs, but I know there was no one else there as the only two other people were in the living room.

“We tried to recreate the picture by standing in different positions but because the mirror is facing the stairs you would be able to see the reflection in the mirror of anyone stood there.

“In my picture, there is no reflection.”