Monday, 4 April 2011

The Ghost Coach of Homme House, Herefordshire

It must be said that the internal combustion engine - for all the benefits that it has brought to man - has not been kind to the supernatural world, especially in Herefordshire. Many of the more haunted places in the county lie off the beaten track, often on hillsides or beside streams that can be reached only by footpath or bridleway.

In years long gone by the countryfolk used these paths on a daily basis to get to or from work, visit friends or go courting. Now they are trodden only by people out for a quiet weekend stroll, or by ghosthunters curious to locate an elusive phantom. People prefer to drive or travel by bus these days. So there are many ghosts that are rarely reported simply because there are no longer people around to see them.

Nor are cars, busses and lorries prone to become spectral entities after they have been taken to the scrapyard. Perhaps they are simply too mechanical to have a spirit that can return to haunt the world of the living after they have passed on.

But it was not always so.

At the village of Dilwyn there once stood a grand old home named Homme House. One of the servants died in the downstairs areas early in the 19th century. The death was officially put down as being due to a sudden seizure, but rumours and gossip abounded that foul play had been involved.

Soon after the death a servant was in the hallway when he thought he heard a coach and horses draw up on the gravelled drive in front of the house. Thinking that some visitor was calling, the servant opened the door but the driveway was empty. A few days later another servant had the same experience - this time she was even certain that she heard a coaching whip crack as the vehicle came to a halt, but again there was nothing visible outside the door.

No actual ghost was ever seen outside Homme House, but the phantom coach continued to be heard every few weeks through the years that followed. Nobody was entirely certain what the link between the ghostly coach and the mysterious death might have been, but the fact that the phantom began to be heard so soon after the death caused everyone to assume that some link existed. Perhaps, some speculated, the coach was a phantom hearse come to collect the dead. But since nobody ever saw the ghost this could not be known for certain.

All that can be said with any certainty is that the ghost was never encountered again after Homme House was demolished in the 1880s.

No comments:

Post a Comment