Just off Coney Street runs the snickleway of Judge’s Court, where a ghostly man heralds his imminent appearance in a most unusual fashion. In the few seconds before he manifests himself visibly, this ghost emits a soft tinkling sounds as if a small metal chain is being dragged over the stones that form the pavement here. There then gradually appears the figure of a large man wearing a heavy overcoat or cloak of some kind. The man is seen to stand in a corner of the snickleway, before he fades away again.
This is one of the most active ghosts in the City of York, being reported several times each year. He even appeared when a tourist guide was escorting a group of foreign tourists around the city and paused here to point out a feature of historic interest. The guide was struck momentarily dumb by the apparition, but then managed to get on with his story. The ghost, on that occasion, was seen by several of the tourists as well as by the guide.
Although the ghost’s identity is unknown, his history is not a total mystery - and neither is the strange tinkling sound. In the 1960s some renovations were being undertaken to one of the houses that overlook Judge’s Court. An old, sealed up well was found under the kitchen floor and it was investigated. At the bottom lay the skeleton of a large, burly man. The unfortunate man was still wearing the remnants of a pair of tough riding boots, complete with spurs. But one of the spurs was broken in such a way that the dangling metal would have made a tinkling noise as the man walked.
from "Haunted York" by Rupert Matthews.
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