Look at these, you've got a lot of coverage.
On the 28th of May of this year, fellow Pipes-Phobe Adam Hickey dropped us a line to report a potential new Pipes sighting. The section of the programme in question occurs approximately 25 minutes and 39 seconds in, and purports to show a dark, shadowy figure in the background of a newspaper clipping featuring Pam, Suzanne, and Kim, in the children's bedroom.
Now, as we all know, there have been nine confirmed sightings of Pipes so far (though, admittedly, I did bish on the Tweet announcing this and forgot #9). During Behind the Curtains, director Lesley Manning is heard to say she believes there are more - potentially 13 in total, ostensibly leaving four left to find.
To be a Ghostwatch fan is to know what it is like to scour the DVD for clues, decades on from transmission. Over the years, false positives have come and gone, with the most recent find confirmed care of cross-referencing with production call sheets. Despite this sighting very much falling under the category of Faces In The Fire, it nevertheless remains eerily compelling...
As you can see, in the photograph that accompanies the clipping headed Power Of Evil, to the right of Kim, we can clearly see an outline of something, or someone, staring back at us. Whether this is actor Keith Ferrari in costume is inconclusive.
So, we put it to the fans on Twitter with a three-day poll. Eighty-two votes were cast, with a slim win for this being the next confirmed sighting at 52% to 48%. Comments on the images range from:
"It's got two eyes and a nightie.... Too much coincidence surely?" // @williamaneale
"True or not, this is awesome." // @flacflacflac
"Not seeing this one myself and see an appearance in print / photo doesn't feel in keeping to me. all others were in real time weren't they. This does indeed feel like a face in the fire as our friendly Doctor would say. Ask Emilio and he'll agree!" // @cats_cucumbers
If memory serves, the saying "Faces In The Fire" stems from The Wem Ghost, itself rooted in a snapshot taken by Tony O'Rahilly on the 19th of November 1995, in which the amateur photographer purportedly captured a shot of a ghostly figure in the blaze that engulfed Wem Town Hall. Upon developing the photo, O'Rahilly claimed to notice what appeared to be a young girl standing in the flames, thought by locals to be the spirit of Jane Churm, who was accused of arson in the same town in 1677. The photographic negative was investigated for authenticity, but no evidence was found that it had been tampered with. This was later contested when a postcard was discovered that strongly resembled the 'girl' in the photograph. Perhaps, Silvestri was right all along. Now, there's a scary thought.
This unsettling effect is sometimes attributed to pareidolia - a fairly common phenomena in which the human brain ascribes a preset visual notion to something that is in fact unrelated or inanimate - a simulacrum. The image that is currently being used on the former term's Wiki page as an example is that of a plug socket that resembles eyes and a mouth. With faces being of particular importance in our day-to-day lives, common features of physiognomy consequently take priority in our attempts to recognise something. Or someone.
Whether Adam's sighting is actually Pipes the Poltergeist remains unknown. The fact remains, the character's dark presence continues to pervade decades on. In our ongoing efforts to search for him, we continue to find him everywhere.
Until next time, try not to have sleepless nights...