Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Goodramgate Ghost in York

Also in Goodramgate stands Marmaduke’s Restaurant, which takes its name from the ghost that haunts it. Marmaduke lived here in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. He had a tragic life, however, having been born badly crippled. In those less understanding days, those with physical deformities were not as caringly treated as they are today. If a person could not earn a living they were a burden on their families and did not always fare well. Poor Marmaduke did his best to be helpful about the house, but his family made it clear that they resented the waste of the money they spent on food and clothes for him. Eventually in 1715 the unhappy Marmaduke hanged himself in an upstairs room. Before he died the boy scratched into the wall the inscription:

Marmaduke Buckle

The numbers being his birth and death dates together with his age.

Strangely, this tragic death did not mean that the spectral Marmaduke has become embittered toward humanity. He does not return to wreak vengeance on the society that caused him so much pain in life. Indeed Marmaduke has continued to be a helpful soul about the place. He will tidy up pencils on desks and put away magazines that have been left lying about.

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