Ghosts in the Gardens, York: Historic city's ghost trail returns with almost 40 new sculptures
Now some sense of that hidden history is brought to life with new autumnal sculptures to show what once might have been.
There are Viking warriors, Tudor kings, peacocks and errant highwaymen. All set in the footprint of spaces they would have long ago occupied.
Carl Alsop, operations manager at York BID, said the trail was a step back through time, taking in the city's incredible story right through to its Roman origins.
"York has a really rich history, there's such a lot to dig through," he said. "It's really nice to bring that to life a bit. And we've found some gems that people don't know about."
The trail takes in York's city centre gardens, with some 39 sculptures at 14 settings from Museum Gardens to Treasurer's House, The Shambles, St Anthony's Garden and Barley Hall.
Then The Artist's Garden, Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Middletons Hotel, Clifford’s Tower, the Judges Lodgings, DIG, the Castle Museum, the Edible Wood and Library Lawn.
Some are obvious, while others such as a squirrel are more hidden and may be harder to find. Each sculpture is formed from wire mesh by design company Unconventional Design.
There's a turn-of-the-century gardener, an astronomer, Vikings and a monk. A butcher on The Shambles, throwing out the slop, and a ghostly peacock and fox, as well as a goose.
Then one from the time of the infamous conspirator Guy Fawkes and another that may bear a resemblance to the highwayman Dick Turpin, playing havoc in the streets of York.
"None of the ghosts are of a specific person," stressed Mr Alsop. "It's the idea that it could be someone who stood there 2,000 years ago.
"They are all just our interpretations from that snapshot in history."
In mesh, the figures appear translucent and ethereal, disappearing almost in the Autumn sunlight.
The award winning activity trail, free and family-friendly, is aimed at encouraging people to explore the city's folklore. It runs until November 12.
"It gives people a reason to experience these gardens, in the Autumn, as the light changes and the leaves turn," said Mr Alsop.
And the fascinating thing about York is it was a city of such huge historical importance, and some of that history is still there.
"I don't think we're running out of ghosts anytime soon, there's plenty of characters to keep us going."
Clare Palmer, Creative Director at Unconventional Designs, said “it’s a real privilege to provide the sculptures for this unique project. Our talented artists enjoy making them and seeing them enjoyed by so many visitors.”