W. P. Witcutt noted in the journal Folk-Lore in 1944 that from 1922 to 1929 the attic of the manor house here was reputedly haunted by a phantom known as Plantie’s Ghost. The trouble began when workmen re-slating the roof disturbed a box made of lath and plaster, with a highly polished wooden door, and various bits of metal and wire fixed to the sides of it. The villagers called this contraption a ‘husher’, and said it had been put there ‘to amuse the ghost and keep it from harming people’. ‘Plantie’ was not, apparently, the name of the ghost itself, but that of a previous owner of the house who had tried to catch it and imprison it in a bottle; presumably the attempt failed and the ‘husher’ was installed as a second line of defence.

Though no exact parallel to this find has been reported, the underlying principles are sound, in folkloric terms. The roof-space is vulnerable to attacks from external evil forces, so protective charms of various kinds are sometimes placed there; various distracting devices, such as tangles of coloured threads in a bottle, can also be used to divert a supernatural creature from its harmful purposes.



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

Related Articles


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…


In the 1950s and ’60s, members of Women’s Institutes in Cheshire compiled two volumes of ‘village memories’, which include many interesting items of tradition and…


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…