Recorded by the Rutland Local History Society is the tradition of an animal ghost – and unusually an animal actually known in the village rather than a shape-shifting bogey.

Cottesmore Hall was the home until 1913 of the Countess of Lonsdale, remembered for her generosity in giving blankets to the widows and poor people, and presents to the children at Christmas, not to mention a fine supper for the bell-ringers.

The Countess brought back from Egypt a donkey she named ‘Pharoah’, and she would ride this round and round the covered exercising ring, or at the ‘treadmill’, a path around the adjoining field. After the death of the animal, it was said to haunt the Hall yard.

Perhaps he was treated more kindly at Cottesmore than he had been in Egypt, and after death was loath to leave the place he loved.



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