A museum has a real-life mystery and is apparently being haunted by the ghost of Agatha Christie – and has even been caught on camera.
Staff at Torquay Museum – based in the writer’s home town in Devon – say the spook is only knocking the British crime writer’s books off the shelves.
Volunteers at the gift shop believe her ghost could be behind the paranormal activity as it appears she only targets her own work.
The museum is the only one in the UK with a Christie collection and several relics of her now demolished childhood home kept there.
Speculation of her haunting mounted when during one overnight ghost hunt the ghoul-like image of a woman was captured on camera.
Since then CCTV has shown leaflets mysteriously flying off shelves, and staff and volunteers say they are now convinced the frequent poltergeist activity in the gift shop is the work of the author.
Gift shop manager Francesca Ferrara claimed she has seen books fly off the shelves four times in the last year and said they were always Agatha Christie books.
She even described on one occasion a customer being hit twice by her books on different sides of the shop.
Francesca revealed they had a large collection of historic Agatha Christie books and first editions – which have started falling off shelves.
The staff who have seen flying books think the strange phenomenon could be linked to an enormous ladder in the corner of the same room. It’s made from wooden floorboards salvaged during the demolition of Agatha’s former home which she used to play on.
But visitors to the museum say it is the sort of mystery that only Agatha’s famous detective characters could solve.
Claire Salter wrote on Facebook: “I don’t think it’s Agatha Christie, at most, it will be a spirit who could act as if it’s her.
Soma Mitra-Chubb added: “I think it’s a case for Mrs Marple.”
Tenille Vesey said: “If it is the ghost of Agatha Christie, she’s probably ticked off at the latest adaptations of hers on the telly!… Just saying. But yeah, those books looked like they were thrown pretty violently.”
Museum bosses said the ‘Agatha ghost’ is thought to be behind a series of other strange occurrences that have been sending chills down the spine of staff and visitors for years.
In another incident, ghost-busters were left stumped after finger and thumbprints both appeared on the inside of a mummy case.
Museum manager Carl Smith said: “The weirdest thing was that we have a mummy, which we believe is Devon’s only human mummy.
“During the night on the inside of the case, we saw what we believe were handprints on the inside. It was pretty clearly two fingers and a thumb.
“The case had not been opened for seven years and last time it was opened it took seven men to open it. It was impossible for it to be opened by someone else.
“It is something that we cannot explain as they were not there before the evening. It freaked a few people out.”
Shortly before the event, the female ‘Agatha’ ghost was seen on camera creeping between the artefacts. She was wearing low-cut old clothing that showed off all her assets as she emerged from the floor and cast her eyes down towards a light.
Mr Smith said: “We saw something in the middle of the photo and when we adjusted the contrast we clearly saw the woman.
“It was a bit of a surprise and pretty creepy.
“From the angle of the photograph, it looks like she is submerged into the floor, almost like she is below floor level.
“There was no one else present when the photo was taken so we are at a loss to explain it.
“It is a bit of a mystery, and there seems to be no other explanation.”
Mr Smith there had been a lot of spooky activity at the museum since the picture of the woman emerged including the video of the books just flying off the shelves in the shop.
The museum was founded in 1844 and its highlight is the mummified remains of a four-year-old boy from Ancient Egypt.