Friday, 18 November 2011

The Black Monk of Monkton Farleigh

A very peaceful phantom is the black monk of Monkton Farleigh, Wiltshire. As the name of the village would suggest, this manor was once the preserve of a monastery. The monks did not actually live here, but they owned the land, collected the rents and supervised the community. The King’s Arms itself was erected by the monks as the local building where they could do their paperwork, sort out any local disputes and generally manage the lucrative estates. The oldest part of the building dates back to around 1090, though most of it is some four centuries younger. Not far away was a spring of pure water, which the monk’s blessed and pronounced to be holy. They constructed a small stone shelter over the spring and sanctified it again.

Then a monk was found dead slumped over his accounts in what is now the bar of the King’s Arms. At the time foul play was not suspected and the brethren came and took the body of their companion away for burial. But they could not take away his ghost. Unlike the miner who walks to the pub, the Black Monk walks away from it. He makes his way to the small building at the spring, pushes open the door and then vanishes. What strange mission he might be on is unknown.

Nor is it entirely clear why the Black Monk gets blamed for the various odd things that go on around the pub. “We have glasses jump off the shelves, sometimes,” reports Maria. “Stuff like that. And things get moved around. When you know you put them in one place they turn up in another. It’s right annoying.”

From Haunted Places of Wiltshire by Rupert Matthews

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