Friday, 1 June 2012
The Ghostly Procession of Seend, Wiltshire
The phantom procession always used to and still does make its way to the parish church and although the traffic on the main road seems to have blocked its appearances there the last section of its route is still haunted by the rustic parade. The lane that runs from the A361 to the church is some 200 yards long and is flanked on both sides by high stone walls that cut it off from the grounds of neighbouring grand houses. This is a secluded, almost lonely spot. The lane ends in a pair of tall, ornate gates and an arch of wrought iron. It is here that the ghosts vanish.
One old book records that the ghostly procession is a funeral making its way to the church. A witness who saw the ghosts one evening recently disagrees. “There were about 20 people coming down the lane towards me”, the witness said. “I was leaving the church to go home. It was early evening. I thought it odd that so many people would be coming to the church at that time. They were dressed in old-fashioned clothes, which is why I noticed them, but otherwise they looked perfectly normal. I looked down to get something from my handbag, and when I looked up they had gone. There was nowhere along that lane they could have gone to, so they were the ghosts for certain.” Had there been a hearse or coffin? “No nothing like that. They all seemed quite cheerful in fact. Chatting to each other and stuff, you know. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, they were too far away for that. In fact, now I come to think about it, I’m not sure I heard anything at all.”
Just how ancient the old fashioned clothing might be is another feature of the hauntings that seems rather obscure. Descriptions say that the ghosts are dressed in the smocks, loose gowns and wide-brimmed hats that characterised rural day dress for some centuries before modern, mass-produced clothing put fashion in the purchasing range of almost everyone. Perhaps the phantoms are a century old, perhaps three centuries.
But however old the ghosts of Seend might be they are most certainly persistent.
from HAUNTED PLACES OF WILTSHIRE by Rupert Matthews. Buy your copy HERE