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Two Halloween Ghost Stories from the Fens

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

As Halloween approaches I thought I would share a couple of ghost stories. Although the first is from my childhood I do believe I have seen a ghost.

My parent’s live in an old house in Spalding that was built in 1900. Behind the house is a long garden surrounded by trees with a path down one side. When I was about six or seven in the 1970’s I was playing outside in the garden when I looked across and saw what appeared to be a monk walking down the garden path with his hood pulled up. It was not frightening, but I did feel a tingling sensation down my back reacting to this passing stranger that was totally silent. I said nothing about it until I was an adult and my older sister admitted that she too had seen an identical figure. Now what makes this interesting is the history of the site down Stonegate in Spalding. Going back in time the neighbours house was built on an area that was a leech pond used by monks in the Priory of Spalding. At the time of the Priory the land where my parent’s house was outside the priory walls, but would have been cultivated, no doubt for the benefit of the priory and the community. Indeed a tithe barn was situatued near the top of Stonegate. So did I see the apparition of a ghostly monk from Spalding Priory?

It is not unusual for Wildfowlers to have stories of will o’ the wisp, methane flames glowing earily over the marshes of the Wash invoking stories of long lost ghosts looking for King John’s treasure lost as his party crossed the Welland estuary. However, the following is a combination of two tales told to me by wildfowlers whilst shooting on the inland washes at Earith in Cambridgeshire. The first was a wildfowler who whilst sat in his fibreglass boat with his dog on the flooded Earith Washes one evening felt his dog raise his hackles and start to growl. Whether it be the wind or the cold of winter he felt a chill and as he looked across the water he saw the feint figure of the top half of a man glide slowly across the water before vanishing into the dark. On a second occasion another wildfowler was walking across the wash at Earith when a ghostly figure appeared before him dressed in full flying suite like an extra from a WW2 movie. I used to help manage this site and we had a grazier who also did certain works on the ditches on the site to comply with our countryside stewardship scheme. It was whilst doing some of this work that his digger hit something metal, he managed to get a chain around it and started to lift it out. As soon as he realised what the object was he returned it to the ground from whence he came…. it was an aircraft engine. Apparently during WW2 an American bomber returning from Germany nose-dived into the site with such force that the whole aircraft disappeared beneath the soil complete with its valiant occupants. Because this is a well known story in the Earith area he assumed that the engine was from this bomber and that the airmen should be left in peace. To this day the site has been left undisturbed.

Do you believe in ghosts.

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