The Phantom of Ned King

Knights of the High Toby.

The first half of the eighteenth century was the heyday of the highwayman, those ‘Knights of the High Toby’, who, immaculately dressed and as glamorous to the general populace as stars of film and television are today, rendered travel a dangerous undertaking anywhere in the Kingdom.

Above from sleeve cover of ‘Knights of the High Toby’ by John Barrows 1962.

The Merry Dance of the Highwayman by William Powell Frith 1860.

The Sanctuary of Lancashire.

In the late 1730’s, two highwaymen fled Essex, both wanted men with a high price on their heads. They travelled north and west, eventually arriving at the village of Hurst Green, between Longridge and Clitheroe. The two fugitives were Dick Turpin and Ned King, both members of the infamous Essex Gang of robbers. Most of the gang had been captured and hung at Tyburn Gallows for horse theft, deer poaching and highway robbery.

 Punchbowl Inn.

On Longridge Road at Hurst Green, known as the B6243, stands the Punchbowl Inn where Turpin and King sought refuge and decide what their next move would be. Turpin chose to move on and set off for York, (he would be caught and hung within twelve months) leaving King at the Punchbowl. He struck up a friendship with the landlord, John Briscoe, who employed Ned King as a Groomsman.

This gave King the opportunity to check out the guests as they arrived by horse or carriage and observe what valuables they carried. He soon became partner in crime with the landlord Briscoe and together they planned who to rob.
Once they had identified their next quarry, King would ride ahead to the crossroads at Mitton and wait for their victim to arrive, shouting those famous words, “stand and deliver.”

 Punchbowl Inn Sign.

Between 1739 – 41, King and Briscoe held up at least fourteen coaches around Hurst Green and Mitton.

The authorities had no suspects as to who was committing these highway robberies with impunity, so they set a trap.

The Ambush.

One evening in May a coach set off from Whalley, bound for Preston using the Longridge Road through Mitton and Hurst Green. The coach contained a grenadier captain and twelve grenadier redcoats, all marksmen.
An opportunistic King was waiting at the crossroads, brandishing a pistol in each hand on his trusted horse, Black Tarquin.
The coach was forced to stop and King shouted, “Stand and deliver.”
Twelve muskets appeared at the door and windows, pointing at King, followed by the order, “fire.”

British redcoats in action during American War of Independence 1783.

King was hit in chest by two musket balls, but managed to stay on his horse and galloped back to the Punchbowl Inn, warning Briscoe that the redcoats were coming.

The Gunfight.

The inn was surrounded, but King and Briscoe refused to surrender, exchanging fire with the grenadiers, killing three. Briscoe decided to make a bid to escape and fled across the fields at the back of the inn. He was quickly spotted and killed instantly by a fusillade of musket balls.
King ran out of ammunition and the grenadiers stormed the inn, dragging the highwayman from the loft.

The loft in the Punchbowl Inn where King was arrested.

The captains instructions were to take the robbers dead or alive. He ordered for a rope to be thrown across an over hanging branch of a tree opposite the inn and King was hung on the spot.
The redcoats dug a grave by the roadside and King was unceremoniously buried in a makeshift unmarked grave, where he reputedly, still lies to this day.

The Ghost of Ned King and Black Tarquin.

For more than 250 years Ned King’s ghost has often been seen in the Punchbowl Inn and on the road to Mitton, with his horse, Black Tarquin. There have been many such reported cases and in 1942 an exorcism was performed at the inn specifically to rid the premises of Ned King’s presence once and for all. It would appear to have been unsuccessful, as recent documented sightings has included a crew of fire-fighters attending an emergency and swerving to avoid a horse and rider at Mitton crossroads, who mysteriously disappeared.

The phantom of Ned King the highwayman still frequents his local inn and rides his phantom Black Tarquin along the the Longridge Road to Clitheroe.

 Punchbowl Inn Today.

The Punchbowl Inn closed its doors for good in 2012. In October 2018 planning permission was granted for the 18th century inn to be converted in to five holiday flats and a cafe.

A derelict Punchbowl Inn. Photo courtesy of The Lancashire Evening Post.

Reference sources: Lancashire’s Ghost & Legends by Terence Whitaker; Ghostly Tales of the Unexpected by Simon Entwistle; Wikipedia; mysteriousuniverse.org & Knights of the High Toby by John Barrows.

Photos courtesy of Google Images and The Lancashire Evening Post.

Advertisements

A Lancashire Christmas Ghost Story

Dunkenhalgh Hall.

The name Dunkenhalgh comes from Roger de Dunkenhalgh who built the manor house at the end of the 12th century. Much has happened to the Tudor house in its 700 year history and of course many people, good and bad have died there during that time.
Dunkenhalgh Hall is on the outskirts of Clayton le Moors and the River Hyndburn runs through the extensive grounds a few hundred yards away.

The Petre Family.

Lord Robert Edward Petre, 9th Baron, was a British peer and member of the English Catholic nobility. He inherited exceptional wealth and was one of the richest men in the Kingdom, with properties in Mayfair and large estates in Essex, Surrey and Lancashire.
The Lancashire estate was Dunkenhalgh Hall, passing into the Petre family in 1712 and remained with the family until 1947.

The Governess.

In the 1778 a young French woman named Lucette, became governess to the Petre’s children at Dunkenhalgh Hall.

A British Army captain from the light regiment named Starkie, was a guest of the family and took a shine to Lucette. He was aware that he was soon to be posted overseas to fight George Washington’s forces in the American War of Independence, but was determined to have his way with Lucette before his posting.

17th Light Dragoons Who Fought During The AmericanRevolution.

Captain Starkie and Lucette conducted a secret liaison at the hall. The young governess fell in love with the dashing dragoon captain, soon becoming pregnant. Captain Starkie, being an officer but not a gentleman, denounced Lucette and his unborn child, promptly leaving for America to join General Sir Henry Clinton’s forces.

Lucette was mortified. Unable to tell her strict Catholic employers that she had become pregnant outside wedlock and unable to return home to France, only to bring shame on her family, that Christmas Eve, poor Lucette threw herself off the bridge into the raging River Hyndburn below.
Her body was found in a reed bed the following morning and carried back to the house as the family were getting ready for the Christmas Day church service.

Dunkenhalgh Bridge (Photo attributed to Chris Heaton).

The Woman in White.

The ghost of Lucette still haunts the grounds and the house to this day. A woman in a white shroud has been seen many times, especially at Christmas, moving through the grounds towards the bridge, where Lucette took her life and the life of her unborn child.

There have been numerous paranormal investigations, seances and even television programmes to capture evidence and make contact with The Woman in White, some being more successful than others.

The Dunkenhalgh Hall is now the luxury five star Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa. Many guests and staff have reported seeing the ghost of Lucette, some of the sightings have been of a white figure sat on the edge of the bed, but most are of a woman in white wandering through the grounds.

The hotel offers ghost weekends and promotes itself as one of the most haunted hotels in the United Kingdom. A travel website lists the Dunkenhalgh Hotel in the ‘top ten most haunted hotels in the world’.

If you are lucky enough to be staying at the five star Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa over Christmas, you may get more than you expected……………

Sources of reference: Lancashire Evening Telegraph, BBC web page – Haunted Houses, Simon Entwistle(paranormal investigator) and Wikipedia.

All photos, apart from the one credited to Chris Heaton, courtesy of Google images.

Thanks for having a look at the horror bound books blog.

Have a peaceful Christmas and New Year.

 

A Lancashire Unsolved Murder

Bashall Eaves March 1934.

Five miles north-west of Clitheroe stands the village of Bashall Eaves, traditionally associated with King Arthur, who is said to have fought a battle here. Beyond the village lies the ancient Forest of Bowland and the Bowland Fells, separating Lancashire from Yorkshire.

Edisford Bridge over the River Ribble.

Jim Dawson.

Jim Dawson lived at Bashall Hall Farm with his sister, Polly Pickles. The farmhouse was a short walk from The Edisford Bridge pub.

On a rain sodden Sunday evening on 18th March 1934, Jim Dawson, a 46 year old farmer and bachelor was walking home, along Back Lane after visiting his local, The Edisford Bridge. Back Lane was then and is still a narrow country lane with no street lighting.

At around 9pm, with his head down against the wind and rain he walked along the secluded lane towards the farmhouse, when headlights of two approaching cars briefly illuminated a man standing nearby. Jim Dawson had never seen this man before.

As both vehicles passed, Jim noticed his farmhand, Tommy Kenyon sat in the backseat of the first car with four friends. He did not recognise the occupants of the second vehicle. He then looked for the stranger he had seen lurking nearby, but he had disappeared.

Jim continued along the near pitch-black Back Lane when he heard a strange ‘click’ noise immediately followed by a sharp stinging pain to his right shoulder. He thought someone had thrown a stone at him, had another look around before carrying on his way, arriving home at 9.20pm. He had supper with his sister and went to bed a short time later.

During the night Jim’s shoulder became extremely painful and the following morning asked his sister to have a look at his injury. She was horrified at the wound and suspecting her brother had been shot, called for the local G.P. Doctor Cooper and the police to attend.

An x-ray revealed some kind of bullet, the size of a small birds egg lodged below his shoulder. Fearful of surgery, Jim Dawson refused to have the object removed and his condition quickly worsened with blood poisoning. He gave a detailed statement of the incident, but was unable to explain his injury, though he was able to show the police where the attack took place. He eventually agreed to an operation and a homemade steel bullet, tapered at both ends and seemingly cut from a steel rod, was removed from his back.  On 22nd March, Jim died from septicaemia.

It was now a murder enquiry.

Murder Investigation.

Lancashire Constabulary’s senior detective, Chief Superintendent Wilf Blacker led the investigation and immediately met a wall of silence from local residents. He was certain someone in the village knew the identity of the murderer. All firearms in the area were seized for examination, workshops, garages and sheds searched for metal cutting equipment and the original steel rod. An extensive search of the scene and surrounding country side was made, but nothing was found.

An ominous twist to this tragedy was that a few days before the fatal shooting, Jim Dawson’s much loved dog, Shep was also shot and killed. It is not on public record what type of firearm was used to kill the dog.

Forensic Expert.

Robert Churchill, the country’s leading forensic ballistic expert was called to assist the murder investigation. He concluded the murder weapon was an airgun, such as a ‘Poacher’s Arm’ air cane, which is a single shot pneumatic gun that can fire many times on one charge of air.

The Weapon.

The air cane  was a walking stick/cane with a firearm built into it and was common amongst wealthy Victorian gentlemen and ironically the criminal underworld.

The weapon consisted of two sections which came apart allowing air to be pumped and pressurised in the top half, where the trigger was situated and the shot/ammunition  was loaded into the barrel section. They are virtually silent apart from the click of the trigger and deadly at close range and accurate up to 100 feet.

Examples of air cane guns.

Means, Method and Opportunity.

Means, method and opportunity are the three key elements to every crime. Detective Chief Superintendent Blacker had the means: the firearm, the opportunity: the deserted lane at night time but could not get the evidence to arrest a suspect for the method.

The Suspects.

The police enquiry revealed that Jim Dawson had relationships with numerous local women including his neighbour, seventeen year old Nancy Simpson, who was more than half his age and lived with her parents. Tommy Kenyon, who also had feelings for young Nancy, resented them seeing each other.

But Tommy Kenyon believed the bullet was meant for him. Nancy was pregnant and her father, Tommy Simpson was convinced Kenyon was the father and as a result, a few days earlier the two men had grappled and exchanged punches.

Ten days after Jim Dawson died, Tommy Kenyon hanged himself.

The murder investigation looked at the women Jim Dawson was seeing, but was unable to prove any connection with a jealous husband or boyfriend.

The Inquest.

In June 1934 the coroners court jury came to ‘an open verdict’ on Jim Dawson’s death, not satisfied he had been shot.

Wall of Silence:  The Peculiar Murder of Jim Dawson At Bashall Eaves.

This is the title of a book written by Jim Dawson’s great niece, Jennifer Lee Cobban published by Demdike Press in 2005 and available on Amazon.

To this day, over eighty-four years later, the murder of Jim Dawson remains unsolved.

The Ghost of Jim Dawson.

It is said Back Lane is still avoided at night, as many people have seen the ghost of a figure, with a gaping wound to the back passing through a hedge into the farmyard of Bashall Hall Farm.

The ghostly sightings have been dismissed by Jennifer Lee Cobban, but she has been quoted as saying, “… the ghost story has without doubt, helped to maintain this puzzling murder mystery.”

Reference Sources: Lancashire Magic & Mystery by Kenneth Fields; WolfieWiseGuy blog; lancashirefolk.com & Lancashire’s Ghosts & Legends by Terence Whitaker.

All photos courtesy of Google Images,

Vampires

VAMPIRE, dictionary definition: (pronounced vam’pir) a dead being that leaves its grave to feed on the living.

Vampires have existed for thousands of years. The first known record is in ancient Greece during the 8th century BC.
Some think vampires are mythological creatures, existing only in literature and folklore, others know better.

In 1734 the German scholar, pastor , historian and self proclaimed expert on vampirism, Michael Ranfts, published the first serious paper on vampires based on his own investigations.

The same year, the word ‘vampyr’ entered the English language.

Identifying Vamipres

According to Vampires.com, a website dedicated to the vampire culture, there are several ways to identify your neighbour, friend, colleague or a loitering stranger at night, as a vampire.

Remember, vampires look like everyone else, most of the time.

  • Notice the people around you and look out for those who truly have repulsive teeth and fetid breath. Vampires are not concerned with oral hygiene.
  • Look at the teeth, elongated or pointed ‘canine’ or front teeth may indicate vampirism.  If fangs are visible, then you need to get as far away from that person as possible.

  • A vampire’s skin is much colder and paler than the average human body temperature. Try and find out by casually touching their skin, if safe to do so, or offer to shake their hand in greeting, also taking note of particularly long fingers and talons.

  • When someone is injured and a suspected vampire is offering first aid, observe if their focus is more on the wound itself rather than the person’s welfare, as vampires have an unhealthy fascination with blood.
  • If the opportunity arises, ask in a casual manner if they have a blood donors card (not having a donors card is not conclusive evidence of vampirisim).
  • When being kissed by a possible vampire, for example on a first date, have they bitten you on the neck hard enough to draw blood?

  • Is the person affected by sunlight?  A good trick is to coax them into the sun and see if their skin blisters.

  • A vampire’s home will always be kept dark with the curtains or shutters closed during the day.  Do not confuse this with someone working nights.
  • Be wary of friends or acquaintances who have a holiday home or timeshare in the Carpathian Mountains and are eager for you to join them for a long weekend.

  • They can smell blood and will react immediately to the sight or smell of spilt blood, becoming agitated and very demanding.

Conclusion

If you know what to do and what to look for, vampires should be relatively easy to identify.  Most vampires react to garlic, do not cast a reflection in a mirror, will retreat from sunlight and cringe and cower when confronted with holy water or a crucifix.

Do Not Invite A Vampire Into Your Home. 

A vampire can enter any building they like (except churches, obviously), but needs to be invited into where you live.

Once a vampire has been invited into a home, they cannot be uninvited, so don’t waste precious minutes insisting they leave.  According to those who know about this phenomena, it is all to do with the ‘threshold’ point of entry.  The ‘threshold’ acts as a barrier to supernatural energy and can only be breached by invitation of the occupier.

Never Enter A Vampire’s Dwelling. 

Traditionally, most vampires live in mountain top castles, dilapidated mansions with a long lease taken by person(s) unknown or graveyard crypts and mausoleums.  The majority of suburban residents have nothing to worry about, unless the large detached house next door that has been empty for as long as anyone can remember, is suddenly illuminated by candle light in certain rooms ad there is an old hearse in the driveway.

The President of the Vampire Hunters Association UK, Doctor Dirk Van Helsing (Retired), great grandson of Professor Abraham Van Helsing, who famously ended Count Dracula’s reign of terror in 1897 states, “there can only be one reason and one reason only to enter the lair of the Nosferatu and that is to kill the beast, but remember, never enter as the sun is setting or after midnight”.

Her Majesty’s Government Advice. 

Surprisingly, there is no government advice available as to what the best course of action to take if confronted by or residing next door to a vampire.

How To Kill A Vampire. 

Above is a typical ‘tool box’ with everything a vampire hunter would need. 

As emphasised by Doctor Van Helsing in his Sunday Times bestseller, Confessions of an Impaler, there is much preparation in hunting and killing vampires and such a task should be left to experts accredited to The Vampire Hunters Association.  Nonetheless, the Doctor’s book provides life saving tips for the layman, listing basic tools and the need for a strong stomach.

There are only four ways to kill a vampire (bearing in mind they are already dead):

1: Stake through the chest.

2: Decapitation.

3: Fire.

4: Sunlight.

Garlic, Holy water and crucifix’s will only act as a temporary deterrent to ward off a vampire attack and would probably enrage the monster even more, but may give you vital seconds to reach for an axe or Molotov cocktail which you should have with you.

Vampires are nocturnal predators who feed solely on human blood.  They have supernatural strength, speed and agility.  They possess hypnotic powers with a mesmerising stare that can render the unprepared victim into a trance.

Finally. to quote Doctor Dirk Van Helsing, from his controversial appearance on BBC’s Newsnight on 31st October 2017, “vampires do not just appear on the streets at Hallowe’en, they live amongst us, watching and feeding and have done so since the dawn of mankind”.

Reference sources: ragingswan.com, pitlanemagazine.com, vampires.com.

All photos courtesy of Google Images.

 

Horror Movies for Halloween

The Top Ten Biggest Grossing Horror Movies of All Time.

This list is compiled from the IMDb (International Movie Database), an online database  for the world of films, television programmes, home videos and video games, internet streams, cast, production crew, biographies, plot summaries, reviews and ratings.

IMDb is recognised as the worlds most comprehensive entertainment related database. It is owned by Amazon and includes Box Office Mojo.

 

10. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999).

Three film students vanish after travelling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

Worldwide ticket sales: £188,304,423.00

9. GET OUT (2017).

Chris and his girlfriend, Rose travel upstate to meet her parents. At first Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behaviour as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could never have imagined.

Worldwide ticket sales: £193,460,174.00

8. ANNABELLE (2014).

A couple begin to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists.

Worldwide ticket sales: £194,786,684.00

7. THE CONJURING (2013).

Paranormal Investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorised by a malevolent ghost in their country house.

Worldwide ticket sales: £241,896,152.00

6. THE CONJURING 2 (2016).

Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to North London to help a single mother and her four children plagued by a supernatural presence. This is based on true events, known as The Enfield Haunting in the 1970’s.

Worldwide ticket sales: £242,578,751.00

5. ANNABELLE; CREATION (2017).

Twelve years after the tragic death of their little girl, a doll-maker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shattered orphanage into their home, where they soon become the target of the doll-maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

Worldwide ticket sales: £270,328,575.00

4. THE EXORCIST (1973).

When a girl is possessed by an evil entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Worldwide ticket sales: £333,999,274.00

3. WORLD WAR Z (2013).

Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the zombie pandemic that is crushing armies and governments and threatening to destroy humanity.

Worldwide ticket sales: £408,835,666.00

2. I AM LEGEND (2007).

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Worldwide ticket sales: £443,104,568.00

1. IT (2017).

A group of bullied kids band together when a shape-shifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

Worldwide ticket sales: £530,222,191.00

For nearly forty years The Exorcist had been the biggest grossing horror movie globally, until the release of I Am Legend in 2007. Ten years later in September 2017, Stephen King’s IT became the number one box office horror movie ever, within a matter of months.

This list does not include movies such as The Sixth Sense (1999) Global sales: £509,402,126.00, Jaws (1975) Global sales: £356,329,159.00 and Ghostbusters (1984) Global sales: £220,804,200.00.  IMDb do not consider them to be horror films of the genre, instead classifying them as supernatural, thriller and comedy, respectively.

Other listings do include The Sixth Sense, Jaws, Ghostbusters and similar movies which will create a different table.

The most successful movie of all time is not horror, but the science fiction blockbuster, Avatar (2009) with worldwide sales of £2,110,647,089.00.

The most successful horror movie franchise is The Conjuring/Annabelle productions with four movies in the ‘all time top ten’.

This is not including the fifth movie of the franchise, The Nun, on general release September 2018. It still being shown in cinemas world wide and has already taken £272,347,985.00 in global sales.

The Conjuring franchise has taken over a billion pounds in sales to date.

Photos courtesy of Google Images.
Movie information gathered from IMDb.

Priest Town

A Horror Bound Novel.

A horror story set in Victorian Preston.

Carriage Outside Addisons and Turks Head Yard, Church Street, Preston 1899.

Preston circa 1890.


Priest Town Synopsis.

In November 1888 Jack the Ripper ceased his bloody slaughter.

Eleven years later Detective Inspector Albert Meadowbank would find out why as he investigates the murder of two women with horrific wounds chillingly familiar.

To add to the death toll a priest is lynched in his own church, graves are robbed of corpses and fear grips a Lancashire mill town as vigilante mobs and a deranged killer stalk the streets.

Retired Chief Inspector Frederick George Abberline, the famous Ripper Detective is called in to assist the investigation.

A few months later, as the Boers invade Natal, Charles Cadley, millionaire industrialist and benefactor of Ribbleton Manor, sets sail for the Cape. Hell-bent on the recovery of a fortune in diamonds from the besieged town of Kimberley, he leaves behind madness and bloody mayhem. Both wait patiently for his return. 

Kimberley Diamond Mine circa 1900.

Then there is the lake, in the grounds of the magnificent manor house, the family home of the Cadley dynasty, eager to reveal secrets it has kept hidden for centuries.

From the soot laden cobbled streets of a northern town to the vastness of the South African savannah, the hunt is on to catch two bloodthirsty killers who are destined to clash as Meadowbank and Abberline race to bring both maniacs to justice, oblivious to a supernatural force yearning for its release. 

British Forces in Action During Boer War 1899 – 1902.

Priest Town is available on Amazon as a paperback or as a free ebook download via the link on the blog page. (www.horrorboundbooks.wordpress.com)

All photos courtesy of Google Images.

The Ghosts of Lytham Hall

Lytham Priory.

Lytham is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and described as an area of ‘moss and sand’.  In 1190 Benedictine Monks took advantage of the arable land and established Lytham Priory, built on the present site of Lytham Hall.

Aeriel view of Lytham Hall today.

The Cliftons.

The Clifton family were originally of Clifton village, near Preston and later of Westby near Blackpool.  Cuthbert Clifton acquired the village of Lytham in 1606 and it became the seat of the Clifton dynasty. Cuthbert was knighted in 1617 and built his new manor house on the ruins of the old priory.

A portrait of Sir Cuthbert Clifton can still be seen at Lytham Hall.

Sir Cuthbert died at the age of 52 in 1634 and the estate eventually passed to his descendant, Thomas. He replaced the Jacobean hall with the current house, built between 1757 and 1764 to the design of John Carr of York. The Clifton’s lived on the 8,000 acre estate for the next two centuries.

The Great Hall.

The aristocratic Cliftons were extremely wealthy and travelled the world, owning extensive estates in England and Scotland.
Henry Talbot de Vere Clifton, born 1907, spent many years in Hollywood during the 1930’s as an actor and film producer. He maintained a suite at The Dorchester and The Ritz in London for when he visited the capital and purchased the 150 acre estate of Rufford Abbey in Nottingham, but let it fall into disrepair. He died penniless in 1979, having squandered his family wealth of millions and the estate passed to his main creditors.

The Ghosts of Lytham Hall.

In the bedrooms on the first and second floor the sound of loud clumping footsteps and clanking of chains being dragged have often been heard and reported, together with the spectre of Sir Cuthbert Clifton who died nearly 400 hundred years ago.

Many have claimed to have seen the ghostly female form of ‘The celebrated White Lady’  floating along the Long Gallery.
During the Second World War, the hall was requisitioned and used as a military convalescent home. During that time there were numerous sightings reported of the White Lady by nurses and patients. To date, the White Lady has not been identified.

The Lytham Witch.

John Talbot Clifton, the squire of Lytham  had a much loved race horse called ‘The Witch’ and exercised the horse in the grounds of Lytham Hall. In January 1888 the horse, ridden by the squire, fell and died from its injuries in woodland surrounding the hall. He had the horse buried where she fell and a gravestone still marks the spot.

The eerie sound of The Witch still cantering through the grounds of Lytham Hall has often been heard by visitors and volunteers and the woodland where she fell is known to this day as Witch Wood.

Witch Wood.

Witch Wood is a remnant of The Big Wood, once the west and south boundary to Lytham Hall. It is free access to the public and maintained by the Lytham St Annes Civic Society and is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Lytham Hall, described as the finest Georgian house in Lancashire, is owned by the Lytham Town Trust (charity no. 1000098) and managed by Heritage Trust for the North West (charity no. 508300). Their website: lythamhall.org.uk provides details of open days and events at the hall.

I have no connection or affiliation with Supernatural Tours or Lytham Hall Trust.

All photos courtesy of Google Images.

Reference source include: Wikipedia; Lancashire’s Ghosts & Legends by Terence Whitaker published by Granada Books & lythamhall.org.uk.