Every wedding has that one guest who makes a spectacle of themselves – but some can truly cause a stir.
Earlier this week, we brought you the chilling story of Mary Whiddon, a legendary bride killed on the steps of her church who haunts the small town of Chagford in Dartmoor to this day.
Gunned down in 1641 by a jealous suitor, the young woman’s death has led to a creepy tradition where newlyweds lay flowers at her grave to stave off a marital curse.
Over the years, many other blissful couples have found their big day tainted by otherworldly ‘spirits’ crashing the happy occasion.
From a ghastly ‘baby’ lurking in the background of a celebratory selfie to a ‘doomed bride’ standing in the middle of a highway, some sights defy all rational explanation.
These are the sinister snaps that prove it’s often a nice day for a fright wedding….
Looking back over a beaming wedding selfie, Kevin Matthew Dennis and wife Christina noticed another grinning guest.
Posting the picture to Reddit, Kevin, from Virginia, US, sought answers over what might be behind the terrifying Gollum-like figure lurking in the background.
He captioned it: “Me and my wife’s favourite wedding photo… until we saw what was between us.
“We still don’t know who it was.”
Some suggested it might be the folds of a cardigan, while others speculated a guest must have jumped into the frame – though Kevin wasn’t sure.
He said of his wife: “[She] had this as her FB profile picture but somebody said something about the person behind and then she kinda got freaked out a little.
“Her sister said it might be her but that face looks absolutely nothing even close to it. That face looks like a baby face imo [in my opinion].”
Drinking at the cocktail bar of Arith Castle in Falkirk, Scotland, these wedding guests will quite literally look back on the night as a blur.
Poking out from behind the curtains was a ghoul-like apparition that has had joined the party of Nigel and Jane Sleath in 2007.
Ghost hunters were not surprised by the snap, noting the venue is notoriously one of Britain’s most haunted castles.
Sightings have included the ghosts of a nanny with two young children said to have died in a fire, while lodgers have also reported hearing the screams of a maid attacked by her master and left to die.
Mark Turner, from Ghostfinders Scotland, said: “This is one of the strangest photos I have seen. The image is behind a chair which gives a clear definition of scale.
“Only the image is out of focus. Everything else is pin-sharp.”
In some chilling cases, the wedding comes to you.
Back in 2016, a spooked driver shared dashcam footage of a ‘ghost bride’ standing at the very spot where a newlywed died three decades ago.
Karina Dmitrieva, from Moscow, was driving down the forest road with a friend when she claims to have spotted an eerie woman dressed in a gown and veil.
The road reportedly saw 10 accidents in just one year and locals said that back in 1989, a wedding party suffered a deadly crash.
The newlywed couple were on their way to a park to celebrate with pals when their car smashed into a lorry, killing the tragic bride.
Paranormal investigator Ilya Sagliani said that in the years that followed, there had been multiple sightings of a bride on the roadside.
He said: “Two years ago, we got a picture of a barely visible silhouette of a young woman standing on the side of the road. This video is a real sensation. I’ve been studying this infamous road for a good eight years.”
Oliver and Mary Davey were celebrating a wedding at Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol, in 2014 when they decided to take some snaps in the chapel grounds.
But what they saw was enough to scare the pants off Derek Acorah.
Teacher Oliver took a picture of Mary but it wasn’t very good so he took another – but the next frame revealed the ghoulish outline of a head, neck and shoulders.
The pair hurried into the wedding reception, where they showed the scary image to guests – and they were every bit as shocked.
Oliver, 35, said: “I took the first picture, but I realised Mary wasn’t looking at the camera so I took another one.
“I saw the spooky face straight away. I was just confused and a bit shocked.
“I was amazed really. I showed my wife and a lot of the other wedding guests.
“I am sure there wasn’t anyone near me – nobody was smoking – so I don’t know what it is.
“The funny thing is I had just been having a conversation about how I didn’t really believe in ghosts, so it was spooky timing.”
The Arnos Vale Cemetery was established in 1837 and is said to be haunted by a nun who was bricked up in a wall by her distraught sisters after she committed suicide when she got pregnant.
A weeping woman dressed in black is also rumoured to haunt the grave of her husband who was killed in WW1, and a third woman is said to have been seen in the area after being mistakenly buried alive.
No arm done
Not all unexplained spectres have to be spooky.
One bride was actually moved to tears in 2017 when she claimed her dad had turned up at her big day – 14 years after he died.
Sade Marriott said she had felt the presence of her father, Wayne Mundin, at her wedding at Brooksby Hall, Leicestershire.
She felt vindicated after inspecting a photo taken by a friend that showed part of her right arm mysteriously missing.
Sade said: “That is my dad linking arms with me. His arm is obscuring mine.
“I could not believe my eyes when my friend sent it to me a couple of days after the wedding.
“I could really feel dad was there with me in that moment and that’s proof for me.”
She added: “I knew he would not miss my big day and he did not.”
The mum-of-three said her husband, Calvin Marriott, had made a promise to her dad to look after her after he passed away.
Sade said: “Calvin vowed to my dad, as he was lying in the chapel of rest, that he would look after me and marry me one day.
“Dad, who died of a heart attack aged just 40, loved Calvin and I know he would have been happy about his promise.”