An Encounter at Janvrin’s Tomb

The original un-edited photograph, Janvrin’s Tomb, Portelet Bay, Jersey, Channel Islands.

Portelet Bay is a stunning cove on the South-West Coast of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands. Though popular, it retains a secluded vibe and it is a great place to visit for so many reasons. Having previously written about Portelet, you may have read about Janvrin’s Tomb on The Eleuther already. The Bay is home to a small islet called L’île au Guerdain, which sits centrally on the beach and at low tide can be reached by a sand walkway. It takes a low-level climb over rocks and a squeeze through some greenery, but from the top of L’île you can get the most amazing views of the stretching ocean and over the Bay. Another motivation is of course to access Janvrin’s Tomb, which is a Martello tower that was built on L’île during the Napoleonic Wars in the 1800s. But the tower has other significance, as it was erected upon the mound that was the burial place of Phillippe Janvrin, hence why it is known as Janvrin’s Tomb.

Phillippe Janvrin was buried on L’île au Guerdain in the 1720s. He was a sea captain who, along with his crew, had journeyed back to their Jersey home after a voyage to France. However, speculation of a plague outburst in France led to authorities preventing those on board from coming ashore. Forbidden from returning to land, they were all forced to remain on the ship in a kind of ‘quarantine’ situation that we are sadly familiar with today. Janvrin became ill and died on his ship. He is not believed to have had the plague but his body was still not allowed to be brought inland which led to his burial on L’île. After years, his remains were apparently brought up to be re-buried in St Brelade’s cemetery, although there are no records of this actually taking place.

With the history of Janvrin’s Tomb explained, my partner and I visited Portelet Bay in August of 2020. We made our way up L’île with the islet to ourselves, took the views in and peeked inside the tower. It is open to enter but we didn’t go inside – we had a good enough view of it from the door arch. Before we left, I took a few quick snaps of the island landmark itself. It was days later when I looked through the pictures, and I was about to delete the above photo in question but when I appraised it properly my eyes were instantly drawn in.

Inside the tower, visable through the window, there is a dark figure. Shaped like a person looking out, the outline appears to depict a torso, shoulders, a neck and a head, but with no detailed features. Looking closely, the subject is shades darker in entirety than the rest of the shadowed interior. This stood out to me as it seems to show the figure was materially different to the surroundings.

Whether or not the supernatural is truly caught on camera, the image is fascinating and has been featured in February’s issue of Take a Break’s Fate & Fortune Magazine. Feel free to let me know what you think of the photograph, especially when coupled with the past of the site. And if you enjoyed reading, don’t forget to follow The Eleuther to get content like this and more delivered to your inbox.


One thought on “An Encounter at Janvrin’s Tomb

  1. Next sunny day we have I’m going to go to see if I can see any thing in the Tomb would love to capture a picture like yours. It’s a interesting place and lovely part of the island.

    Liked by 1 person

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