Monday, 17 September 2012

Double Tragedy at Walhampton, Hants


It is a double tragedy that lies behind the haunting of the Wagon and Horses pub at Walhampton across the estuary from Lymington. Back in 1893 the body of local farmer was found lying in nearby fields. He had been shot dead with a single blast in the back from his own shotgun, which lay nearby. Foul play was, naturally, suspected but the hapless farmer did not seem to have any enemies, was clear of debt and there was no obvious suspect or motives.

Then Walhampton gamekeeper Henry Card came forward with a theory. He stated that the farmer had accidentally shot himself in the back. Card said that it was relatively easy for this to happen if a man were in the custom of carrying a shotgun in a particular way, then tripped and fell in such fashion as to jar the gun suddenly. He offered to put on a demonstration for sceptical police and others at the Wagon and Horses. On the appointed day, Card appeared with his own shotgun and proceeded to show how he thought the mishap had occurred. Tragically for him, his own gun was not unloaded as he clearly believed. The demonstration went only too well and Card shot himself in exactly the manner the farmer had done. He died instantly.

For decades after that fatal day the ghost of Henry Card was encountered in the bar of the Wagon Horses. He was most often seen standing staring out of the window. After the 1950s the phantom was seen less often and today the ghost is rarely if ever seen. It is, however, blamed for any keys or other objects that go missing.


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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Henry Card was my great-great-great-grandfather (maybe one more "great" in there), although I am a Green, not a Card. This pub used to have a plaque on the wall that said "Tragedy in the Tap Room" followed by a description of Card's unfortunate death. I have heard they took the sign down some time ago, although I'm not sure since I left England for Canada in 1965 just before I turned eight. One of these days I'm going to drop in here an hoist a pint to my foolish ancestor.