At midnight each night, in 1950, a ghostly figure would appear on a wall on the side of a house in the centre of Monaghan town.
Without fail, as the Cathedral clock struck twelve and the streetlights were extinguished, the monk-like figure would appear. A crowd would gather and watch, until it disappeared with the first light of dawn.
According to one story, a stone from a “despoiled” monastery had been built into the house, and it was on this stone that the spectral monk appeared.
But there were hundreds of other “explanations” and stories, thanks to a competition run by a local newspaper.
However, the solution to the mystery was soon found. When the streetlights were extinguished at twelve o’clock, one pilot light was left on. This light reflected off a window and cast a shadow of another lamp on to the wall in question. The cowl of this lamp became the monk’s hood.
The Times seemed to lament the loss of such a novel attraction, even though it meant that the people of Monaghan could finally sleep at night.
The Irish Times, 8 April 1950