The Twelve Nightmares of Christmas, Day 6: Jimmy Garlick

This story comes from Days of the Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories.

Old churches can hide many intriguing artifacts … especially a church like St. James Garlickhythe in London, built in the twelfth century, destroyed in the Great Fire in 1666, and rebuilt by legendary architect Christopher Wren. In 1855, workmen were clearing out a storeroom when they found a dessicated corpse. He became sort of a mascot for the church; he was displayed in a glass case in the church, and parishioners nicknamed him “Jimmy Garlick”. Prankster choirboys would regularly take Jimmy out of his case on Sunday mornings and prop him up in a pew.

During the Blitz, a German bomb came perilously close to the exquisite church, shattering the display case and sending splinters of glass all over the corpse. Since then, the ghost of Jimmy Garlick has been free to haunt the church. Later in the war, a guard saw a dark figure walking in the aisle during an air raid. He shouted for the person to take cover, but the figure vanished.

Jimmy’s corpse survived the war, and is now kept in a room in the church’s tower. There are no plans to put him back on display. Researchers have concluded that the mummy is the body of sixteen-year-old Seagrave Chamberlain, who died from a fever on December 17, 1765. His tombstone can be seen in the wall of the church.

An American tourist had a deeply unsettling experience in the 1970s. She was visiting the church with her two sons, and the older son went off exploring. He climbed the stairs to the balcony — and came face-to-face with a skeletal apparition. The silent phantom stared at the terrified boy, white eyes bulging from bony sockets. The boy shrieked for his mother, but by the time she ran to him, the specter had melted away.

(And here’s a side note: I deeply dislike mummies in general. They creep me out something fierce. I am absolutely not not NOT going to post a photograph of a mummy on my site. Eww gross. So if you want to see a picture of Jimmy Garlick — and pictures do exist — you can look him up your own dang self.)

There’s more weird fun over at, where Darren Marlar spends most of his time creating marvelous podcasts to entertain you. What are you waiting for?

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