The ghosts of Comet country
PUBLISHED: 15:27 29 October 2010
AS Halloween approaches and the weird and eerier side of life is celebrated, The Comet has decided to get into the spirit of the dastardly day and pick our top five local ghosts.
Reginald Hine from nearby Hitchin was espicially fond of Minsden Chapel, an ancient and crumbling ruined church near the town.
He frequently visited the spot and eventually obtained a lifetime lease of the building from the vicars of Hitchin.
So fond of the chapel was he, that he even bid “trespassers and sacrilegious persons take warning, for I will proceed against them with the utmost rigour of the law, and, after my death and burial, I will endeavour, in all ghostly ways, to protect and haunt its hallowed walls.”
Mr Hine’s ashes were scattered at Minsden Chapel after he stepped in front of a train while talking to a friend at Hitchin Train Station.
Goring the Cavalier
Hitchin Priory is said to be haunted by the spirit of a royalist killed by Roundheads a few miles down the road during the civil war.
Goring allegedly appears once a year on June 15 travelling to his last earthly destination.
Trigg lived in the building now occupied by NatWest in Stevenage Old Town during the 18th century and requested that after he died his corpse was concealed in the loft (pictured above) to protect his body from grave robbers.
His death wish was granted and over the next 250 years dozens of morbid souvenir hunters removed the bones from the coffin.
A lonely shade is said to stalk the building looking for his remains.
The Running Dog
A bell ringer allegedly poisoned a pooch at St Nicholas Church, in Stevenage, after the dog’s incessant yapping drove him over the edge.
The animal died an agonising death and some claim the dog now runs around the church, floating slightly above the ground.
The Crying Child
Hinxworth Place in Baldock is said to be haunted by the spirit of a crying child which only appears during stormy autumn nights.
It is thought to relate to an ironic incident where a maid accidentally killed a child who had dressed as a ghost to scare her. The infant’s screams can now apparently be heard echoing down through the ages.
Special thanks to Richard Whitmore and Margaret Ashby for the use of their pictures.
More information on the life of Reginald Hine can be found in Mr Whitmore’s biography, The Ghosts of Reginald Hine.