According to traditions collected late in the twentieth century, an old inn called the Shipwright’s Arms, in a lonely spot among the marshes, is haunted by the ghost of an old sailor, wearing a reefer jacket and peaked cap, and smelling strongly of rum and tobacco. The story, as recently summarized by Richard Jones, is that his ship ran aground and sank in the Swale one night in the nineteenth century; he managed to get ashore and stumbled across the mudflats to the inn, where he beat upon the door. But the owner, frightened to open his door so late, shouted at him to go away. Next morning the sailor was found dead on the doorstep. His ghost is said to appear at the foot of people’s beds, glaring at them – or even, according to the son of a former landlord, trying to get into one’s bed.



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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