With the finishing touches being put to my next ghostly offering, here is a taster of what will be the latest look at the ghosts and ghouls, spectres and spooks, unexplained and unearthly goings-on in Birmingham. With time running short before deadline day this is your opportunity to add your own experiences, be they personal or second (even third) hand. Full credit will be given or, if desired, you can remain anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you and can reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The year is 1840 something and a minor officer of St Bartholomew's Church in Edgbaston is awoken late at night to hear the bells ringing. This was way beyond any hour when such should be heard and so he pulled on his coat, lit his lantern and headed off to investigate.
Entering the church, places of worship remained unlocked in those times, the feeble light from the lantern caught a figure lying at the foot of the stairs to the belfry. He recognised it as Thomas Jackson, a man of the parish known for his mood swings and whose sanity had been called into question on several occasions.
Closer inspection revealed his head was almost severed at the neck and the copious amounts of blood were still warm. In his hand Jackson was clutching a cut-throat razor, the blood still dripping from the blade. It took a great deal of coaxing to prise the blade from the fingers of the man, showing how he had sought to take his own life. By now others, also alerted by the toll of the bells, had arrived and together they carried the still bleeding Jackson to the nearby Plough and Harrow public house where he died soon afterwards.
On the darkest and most inclement of nights Tom Jackson is still to be seen walking around this area. Now wearing a scarf his awful neck wounds are hidden, however he can still be recognised by the blood-stained razor and wide eyed stare off into the darkness.