Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens: (York) ~ George Thomas, a late caretaker of the museum, was not the kind of man who would have expected to be in the news, he had no particular interest in ghosts, though he was surrounded by the past.
When he first saw the figure of a somewhat eccentric character, dressed in frock coat and drain pipe trousers, he thought it was one of the visitors or members who had not realised that it was time for closing. As he walked towards the figure, however, it disappeared.
This and subsequent sightings were to be the beginning of one of the most widely reported cases of haunting in York in recent years. It was also investigated in "Four Modern Ghosts" by Dingwall and Hall. The caretaker, obviously fearing ridicule, kept the incidents to himself, but, having seen some of the later phenomena, he mentioned the case to other people and gave them some idea of what was happening.
A local doctor and a solicitor were among the first to be included in a small group of observers who decided to wait for the figure to reappear, but they were to be disappointed. Their vigil was rewarded however by the mysterious behaviour of a book which projected itself from the shelves and fell to the floor in such a way that it was impossible for anyone to have touched it. There would seem also to have been some of the temperature disturbances often found in these conditions. The men were completely convinced that what they had seen was not due to the imagination of the caretaker, and experts were called in, but these later investigators saw and heard nothing, though again there were reports of the intense cold that had been reported before.
The book in question, a dull looking book called "Antiquities and Curiosities of the Church", had been presented by Alderman Edward Wooler, a solicitor from Darlington who had died many years before. Yet the description of the figure in the Library fitted him perfectly, and this was proved by a photograph of the alderman which was shown to the caretaker later.
What was there about this book, which made it so important to its original owner? He certainly seemed to be extremely anxious about it, moving along the shelves and muttering, "I must find it". The book itself is now in the City Library, and examination shows a rectangular brown stain on the inside cover, which looks as though some photograph or document had once been there. Perhaps this is what the ghostly alderman was seeking, but whatever it was has now gone, and with its disappearance there have been no reports of any disturbed presence in the quietness of the library.
Some time after these events the book was returned to the museum. It was asked if anything strange had happened. "Not really, but on several occasions the museum alarm bells sounded, and continued until the book was removed from the shelves". The caretaker replied.