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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Pedlar of Swaffham


Swaffham Church

Tradition says that there lived in former times in Soffham (Swaffham), alias Sopham, in Norfolk, a certain pedlar, who dreamed that if he went to London Bridge, and stood there, he should hear very joyfull news, which he at first slighted, but afterwards, his dream being doubled and trebled upon him, he resolved to try the issue of it, and accordingly went to London, and stood on the bridge there two or three days, looking about him, but heard nothing that might yield him any comfort.

At last it happened that a shopkeeper there, hard by, having noted his fruitless standing, seeing that he neither sold any wares nor asked any almes, went to him and most earnestly begged to know what he wanted there, or what his business was; to which the pedlar honestly answered that he had dreamed that if he came to London and stood there upon the bridge he should hear good newse; at which the shop-keeper laught heartily, asking him if he was such a fool as to take a journey on such a silly errand, adding: "I'll tell thee, country fellow, last night I dreamed that I was at Sopham, in Norfolk, a place utterly unknown to me, where methought behind a pedlar's house in a certain orchard, and under a great oak tree, if I dug I should find a vast treasure! Now think you," says he, "that I am such a fool to take such a long journey upon me upon the instigation of a silly dream? No, no, I'm wiser. Therefore, good fellow, learn wit from me, and get you home, and mind your business."

The pedlar observing his words, what he had say'd he dream'd, and knowing they concentred in him, glad of such joyfull newse, went speedily home, and digged and found a prodigious great treasure, with which he grew exceeding rich ; and Soffham (Church) being for the most part fallen down, he set on workmen and rectified it most sumptuously, at his own charges ; and to this day there is his statue therein, but in stone, with his pack at his back and his dogg at his heels ; and his memory is also preserved by the same form or picture in most of the old glass windows, taverns, and alehouses of that town unto this day.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Guest on Blog Talk Radio



I was Leo's guest. We had a chat about various subjects including ghosts, reincarnation and crime. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Horseshoes



To find one lost by a horse is said to you bring luck. The horseshoe, if hung up, must have the open end upwards to prevent the luck falling out. In the Middle Ages in England, a horseshoe on the door was believed to prevent witches from entering.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The ghosts of Thetford Priory, Norfolk


Thetford Priory of the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre dates from the 12th century. As you would expect, ghostly monks have been seen walking through he ruins. Chanting has also been heard. A group of teenagers claimed to have seen one monk running through the grounds in 1992. Jangling keys heralded his appearance. 

On another occasion, a monk was seen standing in an upstairs window. The full account can be read by clicking here LINK

Apparently, summer evenings are the ideal time to see and hear the phantom brothers. 




Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Devil Dog



The following story was once told by 'beach-folk' along the East Anglian coast:

An Italian gentleman once appeared in a small seaside hamlet. He spoke English and soon befriended a local fisherboy, offering to take him abroad. The boy refused and so the stranger asked him to look after his dog instead, a large black retriever. 

The Italian left the area, the dog being left in the boy's care. It was noted that the dog and man had never ever been seen together during the gentleman's time there.

The lad often went for a swim in the sea, and the dog always joined him. One day, he swam far out to sea and was horrified to find that the dog would not allow him to return to shore, snapping and snarling at him as he tried to turn for land.

On and on he swam, the dog never far behind. At one point he turned and was terrified to see, not the dog but the face of the Italian! Grinning the man changed back into the dog and made for the boy's neck. At this point, the boy hailed a passing ship and was quickly pulled abroad. The dog, deprived of his victim, dived like a whale, never to be seen again. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The screaming stone of Postford Wood

I have already written about the haunting of Potsford Gibbet - LINK - but there is another interesting legend connected with the wood. According to tradition, there was a large stone or boulder next to the gibbet which screamed if you kicked it with your heel! Whether this story started circulating after the execution of Jonah Snell is not known.



It appears that the stone has long since vanished as a recent visit to the wood revealed not a single trace of it's whereabouts.