Coombs Moss

Fletcher Moss, a local historian writing in the 1890s, was told by one of his informants that when the railway to Buxton was being built, some of the navvies, for a lark, stole an old skull which had been kept for generations in a farmhouse at Coombs Moss. From then on, they had nothing but bad luck: earth slips buried much of the track they had laid, and other stretches were destroyed by subsidence; many of the men fell ill, and all were alarmed by horrible and inexplicable noises. When they told their boss, he ordered them to take the skull back where it belonged, and offered to give its ghost a free pass on his railway line for ever. After that, there was no more trouble, though the scars of the landslips long remained visible.

This particular legend cannot go very far back into the Victorian period, since it involves the construction of a railway line; the general theme of a skull that resents being disturbed is, however, quite widely found (see CALGARTH, Westmorland).

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SOURCE:

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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