This photograph of the Combermere Abbey library was taken in 1891 by Sybell Corbet. The figure of a man can faintly be seen sitting in the chair to the left. His head, collar and right arm on the armrest are clearly discernible. It is believed to be the ghost of Lord Combermere.
Lord Combermere was a British cavalry commander in the early 1800s, who distinguished himself in several military campaigns. The Abbey located in Cheshire, England, was founded by Benedictine monks in 1133. In 1540, King Henry VII kicked out the Benedictine's during the English Reformation. The Abbey later became the Seat of Sir George Cotton KT, Vice Chamberlain to the household of Prince Edward, son of Henry VIII. In 1814, Sir Stapleton Cotton, a descendant of Sir George, took the title "Lord Combermere" and in 1817 became the Governor of Barbados. Today the Abbey is a tourist attraction and hotel.
Lord Combermere died in 1891, having been struck and killed by a horse-drawn carriage. At the time Sybell Corbet took the above photo, Combermere's funeral was taking place some four miles away. The photographic exposure took about an hour and was recorded by Corbet. It is thought by some that during this long exposure a servant might have come into the room and sat briefly in the chair, creating the transparent image. This idea was refuted by members of the household who all testified that they were all attending Lord Combermere's funeral.
Lord Combermere is also connected to another well-known paranormal story, that of the famous Moving Coffins of Barbados. While Governor of Barbados, Lord Combermere had ordered a professional investigation of the mystery.