Thursday, 12 March 2015

A Tragic Ghost of Exeter, Devon

A Tragic Ghost of Exeter, Devon
Another spectre no longer to be seen is that of Elliot Drake, who lived at Nutwell Court on the road to Exmouth a generation or two after his illustrious relative Sir Francis. Wild and impetuous, young Elliot was drinking one night in Exeter when the talk turned to the merits of the horses owned by the various young gallants around the table. Elliot challenged those present to a race back to Nutwell Court. The race took a tragic turn when Elliot was thrown by his horse at the very gates of his home. The poor man broke his neck as he fell. The ghost of Elliot was seen several times recreating his last ride at full gallop. The ghost, unlike the man, reached home and dismounted before vanishing. The ghost has not been seen for at least 25 years. The current owners of Nutwell Court have lived there since 1977 and have seen nothing.

from "Haunted Devon" by Rupert Matthews
Get your copy HERE
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunted-Places-Devon-Rupert-Matthews/dp/1853068713/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426144365&sr=1-2&keywords=rupert+matthews+devon

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Ghostly Horseman of Burley, Hampshire

Another ghost is reported to lurk in Burley Lawn. He is said to be seen riding past the tree where he was hanged back in 1759. He rides a brown horse and wears a smart suit with bright metal buttons. You can’t miss him if you see him the story goes. No doubt this is true. I made my way to Burley Lawn, but there was no sign of which tree might be the haunted one. I asked a passerby about the ghost.

“Now, I have heard of that story,” said the gentleman in a thick tweed jacket. He looked around and rubbed his chin. “Don’t know exactly where he is meant to be seen. But it is definitely round here. They hanged him here, you see.”



from "Haunted Hampshire" by Rupert Matthews.
Get your copy HERE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunted-Hampshire-Rupert-Matthews/dp/0752448625/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425978162&sr=1-1&keywords=rupert+matthews+hampshire

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Devil comes to Marston Mortaine, Bedfordshire

The Devil comes to Marston Mortaine, Bedfordshire

The church at Marston Mortaine is unlike any other in Bedfordshire. The tower stands quite separate from the body of the church with a broad swathe of grass lying between the two.

There is, on occasion, a dark figure seen lurking near the tower which may, in part, explain the stories that have grown up around this curious construction. According to one story, the tower was originally built in conventional fashion, attached to the church. But then one day, many years ago, the Devil came to Marston Mortaine to take his revenge on the overly prayerful folk of the village. He grabbed the tower, of which the good Christian folk were so proud, and hefted it up on his back. At this point the vicar appeared, saw what the Devil was up to and fell to his knees in prayer. The tower instantly grew so heavy that the Devil was forced to drop it. He had carried the structure only a short distance, and so it remains where he let is fall.

So furious was the Devil that he was, quite literally, hopping mad with anger. He hopped first into the centre of the village, then hopped again to land beyond the village at a spot to this day known as Leapfield. His third hop took him to an ancient stone circle some distance away where three boys were playing leapfrog. This being the sabbath and frivolous games forbidden, the Devil claimed the boys as his own and carried them off to Hell.

Such legends are fanciful. The tower of Marston Mortaine was set separate from the church deliberately by its human builders. No doubt the tales of the visit by the Devil were invented to explain the odd position, but that does not explain the shadowy figure seen hereabouts on occasion. If it is not the Devil, then who is it?

from "Haunted Places of Beds & Bucks" by Rupert Matthews
Get your copy HERE




http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunted-Places-Bedfordshire-Buckinghamshire-Matthew/dp/1853068861/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1425126333&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=rupert+matthews+bedfordshire