Winterborne Abbas

Here, as at LULWORTH, there is a story of a seventeenth-century sighting of a phantom army initially assumed to be real and subsequently interpreted as some form of ominous vision linked to present events – not, as would probably be the case nowadays, as ghosts from the past. The account comes from a tract entitled Eniantos Teratios, Mirabilis Annus, published in 1662:

Upon the 29th June, a reverend and godly Minister, one of the King’s chaplains, as he was travelling with his man between Winterbourne and Dorchester, saw a great troop of horses upon the top of a hill with colours flying, some of them alighted and walked down the hill; his man also saw the same, and did both really believe that they were a troop of horse, in as much that they put on and rode hard, that they might get in to Dorchester before the horsemen, to provide themselves of convenient quarters. But they still expecting when the troop should come, and none coming, upon enquiry found that there were really no horsemen thereabouts that day.



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