Yesterday was Signor Pinguino’s birthday, not an important one that deserves a massive surprise party and flying in people not seen in years to provoke all sorts of memories of a half century on this planet and usually ends up being very messy, but a quieter affair celebrating the year after the big one whilst still ending up messy.
We celebrated in a private dining room of a fancy restaurant in the centre of the old historic part of town in a building some 300 years old and in a street renouned for spooky goings on. Originally the street was the only way to the castle with is dungeon, the old court house and the place where the gallows were on top of the hill. The street is narrow, lined with buildings of similar ages -some even older! There have been findings over the years when new developments have gone up and archaeological remains have been unearthed even back to Roman times, don’t forget we found a King under a car park ( only a few streets away) so who knows what or who else is buried under the building!
Now even on a Saturday evening when there are lots of people milling around there remains the odd nook and cranny where you can still feel a little spooked as if things are not quite as they seem.
Suky has picked this restaurant not only for the food but because she loves the old part of town loves a good ghost story and is desperate to actually see one, she would love to be on Ghost Hunters or have any spooky goings on announced as unexplainable and that her ghost actually exists.
All is going well, Senor Pinguino is in good spirits, he and Rocksey have been drinking for a while exchanging banter and having a good time, Suky has organised a little surprise, a birthday cake and the waiters coming in to sing Happy Birthday, there is a pianist in the main bar area and the restaurant is full. There are 10 of us in the room, nothing seems amiss.
The birthday cake is brought in and we all sing along with the waiters as well it seems most of the other diners, Suky is taking photos as Signor P stands up to take a bow and poses for the camera.
What happens next is a bit wierd. Normal service resumes, conversation animated and more drinks appear on the table. Suky goes through the photos on her cell -hey look Kitten – she says – look at these -I take the phone from her and start scrolling through the photos. Signor P is standing by the window looking slightly manic, the cake knife in his hand slightly raised hand ready to cut a slice, behind him a ghostly refection stares through the window- the next photo almost exactly the same, and obviously taken milliseconds later ( as the knife hasn’t yet reached the cake) and the ghostly figure is gone, the window is dark as are those taken before and after.
Now you could dismiss this as someone walking past the window and the flash catching the glass in the window highlighting whoever was walking past at this split second…..but the dining room is on the first floor and no-one would be that tall to be able to see in.
The mobile phone gets passed around all of us for comment all of us agreeing that not only does Signor P not look like himself but the reflection at the window looks more like him than he himself actually looks in the photo. Conversation turns to the old Gallows and the history of the street, speculation as whether any of Signor P’s descendants were hung there (Signor Pinguino prides himself of his roots and has traced back his family from living in the town for many centuries), everyone has a story to tell (or to make up – the gorier the better). The area is also known for a coven of witches and these also make an appearance the stories becoming more embellished with the more alcohol consumed.
Suky looks worried, despite her life long wish to capture a ghost now that it actually has happened she does not appear too happy. Signor P carries on eating cake , Rocksey posts the photo on to Face book. I look at the photo again, making it bigger on the screen, there doesn’t seem to be any apparent reason for the reflection. I hand the phone back – looks like we caught ourselves a ghost there Suky – I say, best call in Ghost Hunters tomorrow.
We decide to leave and head off to a Club where other friends will be.
Last to leave the room I look back at the window puzzled as to what the reflection could have been. At the same time, a waiter passes the doorway and I see a reflection again clearly in the window, I spin round and realise that there is a large mirror almost opposite the doorway, the waiter is reflected in the mirror and at thats split second the disco ball above the pianist catches the light sending a prism of glowing lights into the mirror and the waiters head which reflect him in the window.
I stand there for a moment longer absorbing what I have just seen, our ghost is actually the Eastern European waiter who looks at me questioningly.
Are you ready Kit? Rocksey appears at he doorway – yes I smile back at him and decide not to let Suky know that she hasn’t captured a ghost in her phone, well not just yet anyway…………