"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

 This musical ghost story appeared in the “Shippensburg Chronicle” on November 20, 1919:

Hereford, Eng. The little village of Avenbury, which Iies in a secluded valley of Herefordshire, has a haunted church. 

The church is of the Norman period and tales concerning its ghost have become like household words. There are many stories of different ghosts in various forms, but the most astonishing visitant is one which plays the church organ.

"I have heard the ghost play twice myself," said the Rev. Archer Sheppard, the vicar. "Some neighbors brought the matter to my notice first.  They heard the sounds when they were walking by the church one afternoon, and thought that it was my organist practicing. They found, however, that the church was locked up. 

"The first time I heard the ghostly playing was while I was gardening. I believed that the woman who cleaned out the church was allowing her child to use the organ, and I went to see into the matter. The music stopped when I was a few yards from the church, and I found that the building was locked and empty." 

"This ghost was at Avenbury before Mr. Sheppard became vicar," said Col. Purser of Bromyard. "I told him the story, but he did not believe it until he heard the music himself. My children and I have heard it, and it sounds like a voluntary. Once my children were In the church when there was a groan. They rushed out into the chancel whence the sound appeared to come, but there was nothing to be seen.

Via Newspapers.com


"Mysterious will-o'-the-wisp lights are also said to have been seen, and a volunteer band which was marching by the churchyard was badly frightened in this way.

"Avenbury church has always had a ghost. A certain Nicholas Vaughan burnt down a palace of the Bishop of Hereford in the Middle Ages. His ghost was laid by twelve clergymen with twelve candles. A small piece of the twelfth candle was burnt and the remainder put in a silver casket under a stone, which stands ten yards above the church footbridge over the River Frome. They put a spell on the ghost not to return until the candle was burnt out and the casket carried into the Red Sea."

The church was closed in 1931, and now lies in ruins.  The site is still said to be haunted.

1 comment:

  1. You've had a story or two about ghostly church musicians before. It seems that playing the organ is popular among ghosts who haunt churches.


Comments are moderated. Because no one gets to be rude and obnoxious around here except the author of this blog.