The ghost was seen carrying its own coffin, such was the gruesome story that thrilled with horror the souls near a canal in northern England in the 19th century.
The reports that were given in good faith by people were quickly spread by others who travelled along the canal on barges of these ghostly apparitions.
The blood curdling mystery was solved however when it was realised that it wasn’t a ghost at all but the astronomer and inventor of the Steam Hammer James Nasmyth who at the time was living in Patricroft near Manchester and close to the Manchester Canal.
Nasmyth a keen astronomer often wanted to observe certain stars, he would therefore wake at an early hour jump out of bed and wearing just his white night shirt and carrying his telescope would move from place to place within his garden at the dead of night. Manchester was at this time an industrial city and through the dark, murk and polluted air it is not too difficult to see how this spooky story started.
The ‘ghost’ was actually an astronomer!!