Boxing Day, so an appropriate day, I suppose, for another ghost story.
Apart from this, its been so quiet today, that there’s nothing else to really write about! ENJOY . . .
The Ghost of St Mary’s
THERE IS an old cemetery in Hull, dating back to the 18th century, which has for a long time been associated with stories of ‘ghosts’ and other unusual happenings. Situated in appropriately named ‘Skullgate Lane’, and adjacent to the church of St. Mary’s, this old graveyard is now overgrown and derelict and attracts few visitors; nevertheless its ‘ghostly reputation’ has alarmed local residents, many of whom will not venture near the area at night. Stories and rumours abound, (indeed, as is the case with much speculation about ghosts) and perhaps inevitably, there will always be an elements’ of ‘die-hard’ people anxious to brave some ‘ghostly environment’ to prove that such things do not exist.
St. Mary’s churchyard would seem to be no exception, and if local rumour is to be believed, only a few years ago a group of Hells Angel’s used to hold their meetings in the cemetery, and on some occasion, after raiding broken graves, actually ‘shot’ at several skulls after lining them up on a wall. Supposition or fact remains unclear, but if true, and if the cemetery houses some genuine phenomenon, such actions could hardly be seen to contribute to the cause of serious psychic research.
Another local story has it, that one day, a local man was fishing in a canal that ran alongside the cemetery. His line got caught, and after he ‘freed’ it, he pulled out a ‘half dressed skeleton’. He called the police, but they said the bones were only those of a dog, and they advised him not to ‘say anymore about it’.
Perhaps this incident could be based on a factual occurrence. Some fifty years ago, the canal flooded swamping the graveyard, and a lot of the graves had to be moved after their contents were lost in the floodwater; bodies that were recovered were replaced hastily amidst growing concern that many had not been put back in their original graves. So much is fact – or fact as it has been reported. What did enter this case as a refreshing surprise, however, was a report I received as recently as 1997 from a local resident who swore to some ‘tangible presence’ that confronted him on an innocent visit to the churchyard – notwithstanding that he was not prepared for the possibility of ‘ghosts’…
Paul Grantham, himself relatively new to the area in 1995, decided to visit St, Mary’s churchyard late one evening. He had explored the churchyard, but after a seemingly worthless excursion that revealed only a mass of undergrowth and desecrated graves, he sat down on a small wall briefly before leaving. At this point, (and he was at the edge of the churchyard), for no apparent reason, a waver of ‘utter sadness’ swept over him; so intense, that he was almost in tears.
He decided to leave, but not before he caught sight of a very ‘tall dark figure’ standing in the churchyard just yards away from where he was sitting. He rushed home, convinced he was being followed, although the streets were empty. Once home, he went to bed, saying nothing of the night’s events to his girlfriend. But that night, he had trouble sleeping, unable to forget this experience. Then, in the early hours, he suddenly found himself wide awake, and again experienced the same feeling of overwhelming sorrow, mixed with a feeling of terror. This increased steadily and he realized that whatever was causing it was in the immediate vicinity, having sensed that ‘something’ was slowly climbing up the stairs. He lay in bed, unable to move, but he then remembered an old protection symbol a friend had told him about to repel evil forces. He visualized a white pentagram on the bedroom door, and this seemed to make the ‘thing’ back off.
It would appear this measure had some temporary effect; at least, for the remainder of that night. But the next morning, Paul’s girlfriend awoke and promptly vomited, besides his two children being sick and feverish all day. Paul, himself, felt drained of energy, and to add to this, the television and video were switched on and off for no reason. This went on for some while, and even friends who visited the house complained of feeling ill every time they went there.
Eventually, tired of all these occurrences and the gruesome atmosphere that seemed to have taken possession of the house, and not least because of the pleas from his family who were convinced some ‘malevolent presence’ lingered there, Paul decided to leave the house.
Of course, it is sometimes difficult to define the causation of many psychic phenomena, let alone to be specific about their precise nature or intent. But it may be a fair observation in this particular case, to say that Paul Grantham – albeit unwittingly made contact with some malignant form of psychic energy that ‘attached’ itself to him, and remained in his house.
Paul Grantham, is now quite philosophical about events concerning this ‘ghost’, although he is in no doubt that the actual presence of this entity – which actually caused him to leave his home – remains an undying reality.
© David Farrant
The above case was first published in David Farrant’s book : ‘Dark Journey – True cases of ghostly phenomena from the files of the British Psychic and Occult Society.’
As a Man Of Letters perhaps you can answer this question. In my cat-scans of the internet I recently noticed that “So late into the night” is a reference to a poem by Lord Byron entitled “So we’ll go no more a-roving”,
One wonders what this poem means, with such lines as “the sword outwears its sheath”.
My poor cat brain cannot quite suss it out.
Thanks for the compliment Cat (if it was a compliment!), but I’m not really an expert on poetry, even such famous poets as Lord Byron. I can take your word for it though that “So Late Into The Night” was one of Byron’s poems. The problem is, you get so many cheap imitations of Lord Byron nowadays, that sometimes its hard to tell.
It’s a pity really, because one of my ex-secretaries was really into Lord Byron and would have known if the ‘title’ of the poem was genuine or not, as this apparently appeared recently. Well, she’s a member of his ‘fan Club’, at least, so would not have been able to fooled by any ‘imitation Prowse’.
But thanks for pointing this out Cat. I had not actually realised that this was the title of one of the genuine Lord Byron’s poems.