SPECTRE-ACULAR VIEW: Stunning 'angel in the sky' images taken by a hill walker in Derbyshire

A hill walker has captured stunning images of a rare weather phenomenon that appears to show a ghostly "angel in the sky" at the centre of a rainbow-like halo.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 9:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 9:24 pm

Lee Howdle, 33, had been walking in the Peak District when he looked down and noticed the spectacular misty shadow on February 7.

The effect is a rare phenomenon called a Brocken Spectre - which occurs when a person stands above the surface of a cloud with the sun behind them.

Lee had travelled to Mam Tor, a 517 metre high hill near Castleton, in the High Peak area of Derbyshire, when he was able to snap the breathtaking images.

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These haunting images from walker and photographer Lee Howdle, 33, capture a phenomenon called a Brocken Spectre, where by a large shadow of an observer cast onto cloud or mist. Mam Tor, a 517 metre high hill near Castleton, in the High Peak area of Derbyshire.
These haunting images from walker and photographer Lee Howdle, 33, capture a phenomenon called a Brocken Spectre, where by a large shadow of an observer cast onto cloud or mist. Mam Tor, a 517 metre high hill near Castleton, in the High Peak area of Derbyshire.

Lee, a Tesco store manager, of Langley Mill, Derbyshire, who took the mystical pictures with his Canon 5d Mk4 camera, said: “I went to the Peak District because I knew there was going to be a cold inversion where clouds form at low level beneath clear skies.

“When I got to Winnats Pass, it wasn’t that great because of where the clouds were.

“Mam Tor is much higher, and above the clouds. As I was going up Mam Tor, by chance, I looked to the left side of me and there was a Brocken Spectre.

“My shadow looked huge. It was in this circular rainbow. I took some photos of it and carried on walking. It was like an angel in the sky over the hills, it was quite magical.

“I have never seen this before in my life. I read about it once on the internet. It’s really amazing and I feel very blessed to have captured such a magical moment."

“As I was walking, I saw a sheep and the effect was around the sheep as well.

“I have never seen this before in my life. I read about it once on the internet. It’s really amazing and I feel very blessed to have captured such a magical moment."

The natural effect, also known as a Brocken bow or mountain spectre, is a large shadow of an observer cast onto cloud or mist. It has been associated with folklore and superstition for centuries.

According to the Met Office, light is reflected back in such a way that a spooky circular 'glory' appears around the point directly opposite the sun when the viewer sees their own shadow.

Lee Howdle, 33, had been walking in the Peak District when he looked down and noticed the spectacular misty shadow.