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Ghosts of York


Romans on their Knees
Treasurer's House, York


One morning in 1953, an apprentice plumber, named Harry Martindale, was installing a new central heating system in the cellars of the Treasurer's House when he heard the distinctive sound of a distant horn. He thought it strange that the sound should reach him so far underground, but carried on working up his ladder. The horn continued to sound, each time appearing a little closer.

Suddenly a huge great cart horse emerged straight through the brick wall of the cellar! Harry fell off his ladder in shock and, as he crouched on the floor, he was able to see clearly that the horse was being ridden by a dishevelled Roman soldier. He was slowly followed by several fellows, dressed in rough green tunics and plumed helmets, carrying short swords and spears. They all looked down in a dejected manner as they continued towards the Minster, apparently on their knees! As they reached the centre of the room, however, they emerged into a recently excavated area and it became clear that they were walking on the old Roman road buried 15 inches below the surface!

Harry scrambled frantically up the cellar steps to safety of the ground floor. Here he was met by the house's curator who exclaimed, "You've seen the Roman soldiers, haven't you?" Apparently the ghostly troop had been seen several times in the past and impressive descriptions have been forthcoming from a number of witnesses. Sadly, the cellar is not open to the public, so further sightings seem unlikely.

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