GHOSTS are popular in York. There are walks you can go on. Whether you will meet a spectral being during such a stroll around the city is not guaranteed, although a corporeal one might jump out at some point to give you a fright.
Yesterday the ghost walkers were gathered around one site, with groups of tourists tagging along. They were on the trail of the Blue Wraith. This elusive spirit was said to be able to materialise inside buildings apparently without passing through the doors.
“She go through the walls?” asked one of the tourists, raising his camera.
“Ah, if only we knew the truth of it,” said the leader of the ghost walk. “She may well do that. One minute she is there, and then she has gone, disappeared in a puff of blue. Special cameras from the BBC can sometimes capture the Blue Wraith, but ordinary cameras capture nothing at all.”
“How long she been in there?” asked the man with the camera.
“Ah, no one knows. No one ever knows and that is part of the mystery of the Blue Wraith. And although we like our ghosts in this city, we cannot claim exclusive rights on the Blue Wraith. She has been seen around the country, appearing mysteriously inside locked buildings.”
“Ah,” said the man with the camera. “Locked-room mystery?”
“Yes, indeed,” said the ghost-walker. “We tried all the doors and no one can get in or out – unless they are dressed in blue. Once inside, the doors are sealed and after the last one has clanged shut, only then does the Blue Wraith begin to speak.”
“What she say then?” asked the man with the camera.
“Ah, she strikes fear into the hearts of many. She rattles her strong and stable chains…”
“Why she do that?”
“Oh, perhaps in case someone in the back row has dozed off. Mostly though she has the strangest effect on those gathered around her, who gaze at the Blue Wraith as if she has cast a most dreadful amorous spell. They cannot take their eyes off her. It is as if they were trapped by her basilisk stare. And then she laughs. Those who have survived the experience say that sound stays with them for ever. It is said to chill their very bones.”
“She still in there now?”
“Ah, that’s the question. You never can tell. That spectral lady comes and goes without leaving a trace. No single local person sees the Blue Wraith with their own eyes. They only know she has appeared thanks to those special thermal imaging cameras from the BBC.”
Eventually one door creaked open and the ghost walkers and the tourists shuffled nervously inside the building. And there was no sign of the Blue Wraith at all. She had vanished without trace.
“Where she gone?” asked the man with the camera.
“Funny you should ask that,” said the ghost-walker. “But she has just mysteriously appeared inside the One Show studio at the BBC.”
“They using those special cameras again?”
“I guess they must be.”
Yes, Theresa May was in York yesterday, or so we all found out long after she had disappeared. She came and she went without speaking to anyone local or normal, only to the smitten horde of blue meanies. Later she mysteriously appeared in a Leeds factory where one or two workers were allowed a question. When someone raised their hand, the Blue Wraith trembled with rage: “Is that a pen in your hand – are you a journalist? We’ll have questions from these handpicked workers whose questions have been thoroughly vetted, not from your impertinent likes. Who let you in here?”
Well, some of that sentence may have been embellished, but the first part wasn’t.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is in York today. Say what you like about the man – and my suspicions run deep – he will be out in the open in St Helen’s Square. True, the square will be thronged with his supporters, but they won’t have been bussed in and Corbyn will put himself at risk of meeting ordinary passers-by.
And that’s not something the Blue Wraith is ever likely to do. Instead, she prefers to stage-manage democracy by mysteriously appearing inside locked buildings.
“How she get away with it,” asked the man with the camera.
“Because we let her,” said the man with the laptop.