The Bells! (Audio link) Interestingly, as well from the story below, the church dates from around the 13th Century and a coffin lid from this period appears to have survived. By 1958 the sixth bell of the church was added. Five black marks on the front porch of the church are said to have been left by the devil, who attacked the church trying to get Sir Roland Alstons. Sir Roland is said to have sold his immortal soul to the Devil and was seeking sanctuary when the time to hand it over had arrived.

The ghost of Sir Rowland terrorised the neighbourhood so badly that one night 12 Clergymen with bells, books and candles ambushed him and performed an exorcism which consigned the man’s spirit to the water, the spirit was trapped at Odell Wold (a pond) and there he remained for over 100 years. He got a bit bored of it though and found his way back to dry land where once again the Devil was waiting for him.

So apparently he made it to the church and floated in through the keyhole, the devil was so angry that he shook the church and left the five marks from his claws in doing so. The stories probably vary but the outcome is the same, the Devil was cheated out of his dues. It’s assumed he sold his soul for wealth and power, he was an MP for a time as well as a landowner.

The ghost of Sir Roland is said to appear at the church riding a black mount every 100 years. By the way if you are wondering when that next works out to be it’s 2044 for the next like ride of terror.

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