Weird Face in the Window

Spooky Sunday 21/03/2021 

This is a photo taken in Trowbridge, Wiltshire in 2014. It was taken by Michelle Midwinter and it is her house. She had moved to her house only a week before taking the photo. When she spotted the face in the photo, she posted it on her Facebook page to see if her friends could come up with an explanation for what was in her photo. None of her friends were able to give a rational answer to what it could be. Michelle also said there had been strange things happening in her house since moving in. In the room, which has the face appeared, a clock fell from the wall and smashed into tiny pieces. It was already in the house when she moved in. A friend who visited the house, saw a door handle being moved up and down, as though someone was trying to use the handle to open the door. This was also in the room where the window with the face was photographed.

Michelle and her friend thought there was someone in the house so searched all the rooms, even the loft but nothing was found. Michelle also reported that lights would flicker on and off and scratching sounds from the walls could also be heard, along with unexplained noises from the first floor. There is something more behind this ghostly face photo so please take a look at the photos then read on for who this ghostly apparition could be as I take a deep dive into a local historical murder-

When local historian Andrew Jones saw this photo, he thought the face resembled the face of a man, Samuel Kent, who had been accused of murdering his 3 year old son in 1860. Samuel Kent was middle classed and owned a factory nearby to this house. Samuel Kent had been married to Mary Ann West and they had 10 children together. This large family moved to Rode, which was a small village near to Frome. Frome had been in the county of Wiltshire at this time. Unfortunately, Mary Ann started to suffer from mental distress and her young daughter Constance, seemed to be very much affected by her mothers behaviour. Sadly, Mary Ann passed away from a bowel obstruction in 1852 and little Constance, then just 8, was devastated by her mothers death. It was said that Constance's father had been having an affair with Mary Pratt whilst still being married to Mary Ann. He denied this. He wed Mary Pratt shortly after the death of his wife. This led to emotionally impact Constance, who was still grieving for her mother. Constance behaviour became difficult to manage and she was sent to many boarding schools so her father and stepmother wouldn't have to deal with her. 

When returning to the family home in 1856, Constance found out that her father and stepmother had had a baby. No-one had told Constance of this new addition to the family so you can only imagine how she felt when she found out she had a half brother. It was said that Constance hated this baby as he reminded her of her stepmother. The baby boy, Francis, was said to have been a sweet natured boy and his parents doted on him. 

It was on the morning of 30th June 1860 that 3 year old Francis' bed was found empty by his mother. A search of the large property and grounds was conducted. Francis' body was found in an outside toilet, His throat had been brutally slit and he had bled to death. The police were involved and it was Superintendent Foley who conducted the initial investigation into this horrific crime He interviewed all of the household but no-one was charged. The local magistrates put pressure on Foley to get more help in solving this case so he approached Scotland Yard, who sent Detective Inspector Jonathan Whicher and he interviewed the top suspect Elizabeth Gough Francis' nursemaid  (who, it is said that Samuel Kent had been having an affair with) but no evidence was found. Francis' mother was also investigated but, again, no evidence was found. It was the same outcome when he interviewed Samuel Kent.               

Detective Inspector Jonathan Whicher  then went on to question 16 year old Constance. He said he felt his gut instinct told him it had been Constance that murdered Francis and he arrested her. Constance did appear in court but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence. Constance's father and stepmother believed Constance to be the murderer and sent her to a convent in France for 2 years. When Constance returned to England, she attended a religious school in Brighton. This school had been founded by Reverend Arthur Wagner, He moved to a house next door to the religious school Constance attended and a friendship blossomed between him and Constance. The school encouraged their pupils to admit their sins on a regular basis and this was when Constance admitted killing her half brother Francis to the Reverend Arthur Wagner. He advised Constance to go to Bow Street to tell the authorities.

Constance did just that, despite knowing she would be executed for the murder. She appeared at The Old Bailey and was sentenced to death but it was commuted to a life sentence due to her age at the time of the murder.  She was said to have been a model prisoner and well liked by the other prisoners and guards alike. She had been very close to her brother William and after 20 years in prison, Constance was released and William, who had emigrated to Tasmania and invited her to stay with him. She accepted his invitation and stayed with him for some time. She changed her name to Ruth Emilie Kaye and trained as a nurse. She went on to become a Matron at a nursing home and retired when she was 88 and died at the age of 100 in 1944.            


Samuel Kent pictured below

Constance Kent pictured below