It was on this day – Monday 16th July 1945 – that the first atomic bomb was detonated at a desert site in New Mexico, close to the Los Alamos laboratory where the device had been built.
Three weeks later, on Monday 6th August 1945, a similar device was used on Hiroshima.
Quoted in the New York Times on Saturday 25th May 1946 Albert Einstein commented:
‘The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.’
This is the last posting for these Hallowe’en stories and dates back to late 2001 when a letter arrived addressed to ‘The Museum Ghost Hunter’.
‘Some time ago I read in the Evening Telegraph that you were looking for accounts of ‘spooky’ goings-on in Peterborough. If it’s not too late, please let me add to your collection of cathedral stories.
‘About 40 years ago, my mother (now long dead) came to stay with us. I took her to Peterborough Cathedral, expecting to hear many exclamations of surprise and admiration. She loved old buildings.
‘Instead, she sat beside me in one of the seats for a while after we had looked all around the place, and was very quiet and withdrawn, though she was if anything anti-religion, and would certainly not have been praying.’
When we emerged she asked: “Does the Cathedral have any history of violence?”
“You bet it does” said I, and gave a brief résumé of its early, turbulent history.
“That explains it then”, she said.
She had seen a man in monk’s habit pick up his skirts and run at top speed from one end of the nave to the other with a look of terror on his face. I certainly hadn’t seen him and no one else in the building had reacted in any way whatsoever, so we concluded that it was visible only to her.’
This story is still one that your scribe uses to this day – though not on every tour.
What the lady was seeing was quite probably the arrival of the Vikings in the 9th century destroying the first church here and murdering all present.