It is presumably through a pun on the name of this village that there arose the tale that some unknown lady was buried, for reasons unknown but presumably sinful, beside the village’s holy well rather than in the consecrated ground of the churchyard. Once a year, at precisely midnight on New Year’s Eve, she is permitted to rise and move towards the churchyard for the distance of one cockstride. It will take her till Judgement Day to get there, but when she does she will find salvation. The story was recorded by the folklorist Sabine Baring-Gould towards the end of the nineteenth century; the motif of the ghost’s painfully slow journey is found in several other West Country legends.



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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