The Dorset dialect poet William Barnes (1801–86) spent his youth in this village, and in later life told his grandchildren how he used to believe that a house he often passed on the lane leading from there to Sturminster Newton was haunted, and how on one occasion ‘all at once he saw the ghost in the form of a fleece of wool, which rolled along mysteriously by itself till it got under the legs of his horse; and the horse went lame from that hour and for ever after.’

Vague shapes encountered in dark lanes were sometimes interpreted as ghosts, as here and at UPTON ST LEONARDS, Gloucestershire, and sometimes as other types of supernatural being such as boggarts.



Haunted England : The Penguin Book of Ghosts – Written by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson
Copyright © Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson 2005, 2008

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