By Brooke Steinberg
A widow said she spotted a dead ringer for her late husband in a promotional video for an Indian restaurant that the establishment claims was filmed earlier this month.
Spice Cottage in West Sussex, England, has had its Facebook page flooded with comments after Lucy Watson commented that she saw her late husband and his son in the video — but he died nine years ago.
“How old is the footage? My late husband and his son are on the first shot, and he died in 2014??” Watson, 59, commented on the video.
The restaurant responded to the widow, writing, “Hi Lucy, sorry to hear this. This footage was recorded last week.”
The video was posted to Facebook on Jan. 16 and has garnered hundreds of comments from people wanting updates on the mystery.
On Tuesday, Bodrul Islam, a manager of the restaurant, posted an update from their point of view to “clarify some misunderstandings.”
“I run the social media side of the business and recorded a promotional video to portray our new wooden tables and interior refurbishment. The refurbishment was completed in early January 2023 and the promotional video highlights these changes. All videos used in the video were recorded w/c 9th January 2023,” the comment read.
“Before January 2023, all of our tables were covered by white and red cloths, henceforth it is evident this footage is recent,” Islam continued. “This is a very unusual situation and we hope this clarifies any confusion.”
Many commenters have come up with their own theories for how the husband ended up in the video, with one comparing him to the John “Canoe Man” Darwin, who faked his death in a life insurance scam in 2002.
“Lucy Watson we need an update! Was his body ever found, or just a canoe?” the person commented.
Another said the person in the video was her own dad and brother — not Watson’s late husband, to which some people responded that the commenter must’ve been Watson’s stepchild.
But Watson is rejecting all the “ridiculous conspiracy theories” and said her husband, an award-winning journalist and popular local figure, is “instantly recognizable.”
Harry Doherty was born in Northern Ireland and won many awards for his coverage of the Troubles — also called the Northern Ireland conflict — before moving to England to be a music journalist and work for the magazine Melody Maker, according to the Daily Mail.
He founded his own rock magazine and wrote a book about Queen, which landed him a friendship with guitarist Brian May.
“I don’t really use Facebook apart from snooping on friends or catching up with people. I was scrolling through and the video popped up,” Watson told the outlet. “The moment I saw the thing I thought, ‘Oh my God — that’s Harry.’ It was so instant. I didn’t even have to think. He’d be eating a chicken korma because that’s all he ever ate.”
“There was no doubt in my mind it was my husband. I couldn’t pause the thing, so I had to replay it about 30 times, and each time I was surer and surer,” she continued.
Watson explained that her late husband was a “distinctive” man, and she even recognized the sweatshirt he was wearing in the video, as well as his son Alex, 39 — whom she said she lost touch with after his father’s death.
She thought it must’ve been an old video and decided to ask “out of interest.”
“Then it all went crazy. It annoyed me when they sent a message back saying it was filmed last week. It can’t have been,” she explained.
Watson claimed that the restaurant is never busy like that these days, and it “obviously” must have posted the video to bring in new customers.
“They just don’t get that many people in there anymore. I think they’ve picked and chosen out of various videos. I’m sure it’s a montage. It’s the only explanation I can think of,” she said. “I’m totally bemused by the response. I don’t understand how people have picked it up in this way, to be quite honest, and there’s all these crazy theories.”
Even though there are conspiracy theories that her husband might still be alive, she said there’s “no doubt” he died in 2014.
“’He was seriously ill in hospital for the last few months. They were going to do a liver transplant, but he didn’t make it,” Watson shared. “He was as skinny as anything before he died, so the video must have been taken some months before that.”