Museum worker is spooked by flying painting

IPSWICH: “I know what I saw.”

Those are the haunting words of an Ipswich museum worker who was given the spooks by an unexplained event at Christchurch Mansion.

Steve Parkes, a casual assistant at the Mansion, witnessed a painting lift off the ground and fly six feet across the room.

This is the most recent spooky occurrence to take place at the historic house.

It is well rumoured to be haunted and in 1995 there were reports of paintings turning themselves around and a Victorian woman walking through glass doors.

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Mr Parkes, 27, is still scratching his head over the bizarre incident, which happened as he was preparing a room for an art exhibition last Thursday.

And it is not the first time this has happened – as staff at the museum revealed that a similar incident had happened 14 years ago in the very same room.

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Recalling the incident, Mr Parkes said: “I was preparing the room for a temporary art exhibition. One of the paintings was standing on an easel by a door. I looked to my right and saw the painting and the easel lift off the ground by about one inch.

“It then flew backwards across the room and landed on the floor. It must have travelled about six feet.

“It all happened so quickly. But the way it moved was as if someone had lifted it up and thrown it by using their hands on both sides of the painting.”

Mr Parkes said that he had been stunned by the episode and was unable to think of a logical explanation for it.

He added: “It left me in shock and I had to take a few minutes to take stock of what had happened. I simply can’t explain it.

“There is no air conditioning in the museum, so it couldn’t have been caused by a gust of air. The legs on the easel didn’t give way because they have clips on.

“I’ve told my friends and they don’t believe me, but I know what I saw. It wasn’t a case of the painting just falling over – it literally flew through the air.”

Laura Hardisty, a spokeswoman for Christchurch Mansion, said: “We’re all at a loss to explain it really.

“A similar incident happened in the same room of the mansion about 14 years ago. People joke about the place being haunted – maybe it is!”

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