A number of ghosts have appeared at Hitchin, including the Ancient Greek poet Homer, who, according to the poet George Chapman (c.1559–1634), appeared to him on Hitchin Hill and commanded him to translate the Iliad and the Odyssey. The most attractive phantoms, however, are those of two Hertfordshire clergymen, Mark Hildesley (1698–1772), vicar of Hitchin, and Edward Young (1683–1765), rector of Welwyn and author of the elegiac poem Night Thoughts, written after the death of his wife.

These clergymen used to play bowls together of a summer evening behind the Sun Inn, where there was a bowling green running down to the River Hiz. Still on summer nights, according to Reginald Hine, writing in the 1930s, ‘those who inhabit the nearer rooms can hear the chink and kiss of the “woods,” and Young’s deep voice as he disputes the score.’



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