A tradition of a phantom funeral was reported by Charles Kent in 1910 at Croxton. He writes that, on Croxton Heath many years ago, some poachers killed a gamekeeper and, not knowing what to do with his body, put it in a cart in among the dead hares and rabbits. As they got nearer to Thetford, a chalk-pit by the road seemed a convenient place to dump him. However, as they were lifting the gamekeeper out of the cart, he partly revived and swore to haunt them all their lives. Then they finished him off and buried him.

Ever after a strange sight might be seen, so it is said, of a hearse, coffin and bearers, coming out of the pit at dead of night and after going some little distance down the road, turning in at a field gate and returning to the place of burial.

He adds, ‘Several decades ago young people of the neighbourhood used to go in parties to see this wonder.’



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

Related Articles

Great Longstone

Shady Lane, a stretch of road running between Great Longstone and Ashford-in-the-Water, is said to be haunted at twilight by a procession of twelve headless…

Cranborne Chase

According to a strong local tradition recorded early in the nineteenth century, there was a violent encounter between deer poachers and forest keepers in Cranborne…


An anecdote from the mid nineteenth century given by Charlotte Burne illustrates the differing ways in which a paranormal occurrence could be explained. A man…


North of Caldecott, the Uppingham road (A6003) leads past the site of the deserted medieval village of Snelston. The sole remaining trace of the village,…