From Eckington came a sombre fairytale related by the nineteenth-century collector S. O. Addy. ‘The Golden Cup’ is a horror story possibly told to children to stop them pestering adults. There was a little girl who owned a golden cup, and one day her mother went out, telling her she could play with her cup that day. So the child asked a maid to fetch it from a cupboard, but the maid said she was too busy. The girl nagged her and eventually the infuriated maid murdered her, burying her body under one of the stone flags in the cellar. When the mother returned, she asked for her child, but the maid claimed that she could not find her:
Then the mother was deeply grieved, and she sat up all that night, and all the next night. On the third night as she sat alone and wide awake she heard the voice of her daughter outside the door saying, ‘Can I have my golden cup?’ The mother opened the door, and when her daughter had repeated the question three times she saw her spirit, but the spirit vanished at once, and she never saw it more.
Haunted England : The Penguin Book of Ghosts – Written by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson –
Copyright © Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson 2005, 2008