Monday, 31 January 2011

The Sad Spectre of Lighthorne, Warwickshire

The Battle of Edgehill brought fame to the soldier Oliver Cromwell at Burton Dassett, but at Lighthorne it brought only tragedy and sadness.

As the armies of the King and of Parliament formed up for battle a few miles to the south, the good folk of Lighthorne shut their doors and hid their goods from the notoriously light-fingered soldiers that marched and countermarched across the landscape. One man, however, chose to set off to join the fighting. Burning with religious zeal for the puritan form of Christianity and appalled by the king’s high handed imposition of high church rituals, the young man set off to fight for Parliament.

He never came back, being killed on the field of battle.

When the news was brought to his wife, a bride of less than three months, she collapsed in the street. She never really recovered from the shock, wasting away and dying just a few months later. Her ghost returns to Church Lane, where she heard the terrible news. She appears as a thin, pale young woman with drawn features and a tear-stained face. Sometimes she seems just to stand and stare, but at other times she weeps and wails in mourning for her lost love. She can be a heartbreaking ghost to encounter.

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