In February of 1953, Harry Martindale claims he encountered a group of Roman soldier ghosts in the English town of York. He stuck by his story until he died in 2014…
When Harry had this paranormal encounter he was plying his trade as a heating engineer in York. He was quite young at the time so he was working his way through a dedicated apprenticeship.
On this particular day he had been given the task of installing a main heating pipe in the cellar of the Treasurer’s House. This building had housed many York treasurers over the years from the 12th century onward.
The heating pipe was quite a tricky job that involved holes being made in the cellar ceiling. Martindale had to stand on a ladder and chisel his way through the rather durable stone.
Halfway through the job he nearly lost his balance as a loud trumpet sound blared through the cellar. He looked down in astonishment…
The Roman Soldier Ghosts
At the bottom of the ladder stood a figure dressed in a full Roman outfit – the first thing Martindale saw was the top of his helmet!
The soldier did not notice the apprentice on the ladder and walked straight past and through a supporting cellar wall. Suddenly another soldier on a horse appeared out of the opposite wall with a large group of foot soldiers behind him.
They were all kitted out in full Roman infantry gear including spears and shields. However they did not look like they were ready for battle – they looked like they had just been through one!
Most of the soldiers tunic’s were in tatters and many of them seemed to carry severe injuries. They wobbled back and forth in a matching pattern with very little grace.
At first they seemed to be marching on their knees or extremely short but as they reached the middle of the room he saw their full stature. There was an excavated dip in the center of the cellar and this revealed the remainder of their legs.
Fear hit Martindale big time and he pounced off the ladder and ran back upstairs and out of the house.
He later claimed that the curator of the house ran after him and asked if he had encountered the Roman soldiers – this was not their first appearance!
There had been numerous past incidents involving the ghostly Roman soldiers and many believed that Martindale had made his version of events up.
The scholars who looked into the case claimed that Martindale’s description of their shields being circular was completely wrong. They pointed out that Roman soldiers carried rectangular shields.
Later archaeological discoveries showed us that this was not necessarily the case. A large scale dig at Hadrian’s Wall revealed a battalion of Roman soldiers who used circular shields.
Harry Martindale later quit his job as a heating engineer and became a police officer. He died in 2014.
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