Dunsford

According to a tale recorded in 1936, there was once a certain Squire Fulford who haunted Fulford House ‘because they didn’t bury he proper, where he’d wished’. A parson advised them: ‘You must take up old Squire and bury he in the sand down by the river, and you must bind he down wi’ straw beens [binds].’ And so they did, ‘but every night he takes one cockstride nearer Fulford House. And I suppose one night he’ll get back there again,’ said the local narrator. ‘Anyone can see him at 12 o’clock at night, for I expect it goes on just the same.’

This tale ingeniously combines the motif of a corpse or a skull which refuses to lie in a churchyard and insists on some peculiar resting place, with that of a banishment from which the dead man returns at the rate of one cockstride a year. Theo Brown doubted that the squire’s body was reburied in the sand; she thought that ‘judging by other stories, it was more likely his clothes and personal belongings, which, if left in the house, were supposed to attract the spirit home.’ She was probably referring to the story of Mr Lyde’s ghost at SALCOMBE REGIS.

SEE ALSO:

SOURCE:

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

Related Articles

Bridport

Writing in 1922, J. S. Udal records that it was thought in the 1880s that Bagley House near Bridport had long been haunted by a…

Highworth

In 1922, the writer Alfred Williams, describing the countryside of this area, mentioned a story of ghost-laying which provides a humorous variation on this popular…

Black Anne Pool

Commemorated in an anonymous Victorian poem entitled ‘A Legend’ is the story of Tom Treneman, a fifteenth-century squire of Sowford House, Ivybridge, who reappeared in…