Posts Tagged ‘Peterborough’

The museum is located in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England and I used to regularly visit this Grade II listed building up until I was in my late teens. We used to go because Priestgate area was near my Nan’s cleaning work and she would finish up and then we’d go home with her for tea… all in all as it was free and it had dinosaurs it was a great place to spend some time. The building has been there for over 75 years and looks rather different now, it was originally a small area of office space and ran by Mr Yarrow as the full time caretaker, his wife and two children helped him. They lived in a flat on the first floor and this proved to be eventful itself.

September 1931 Mr Yarrow took his sons out for the afternoon and left Mrs Yarrow to lock up when the last of the visitors departed. With this done she went to the flat to start the evening meal, after half an hour or so she heard a noise on the main staircase and assumed they had returned, so she went out to meet them.

Mrs Yarrow came to see that there was a young man coming up the stairs, he was about 30 years old with brown hair and wore a green suit. She thought she had locked in a visitor by mistake, which seems a fairly reasonable assumption. It soon dawned on her that this might not be the case as his footsteps were unnaturally loud, and he was floating not walking. He reached the landing, walked through the doors near her and then without opening them headed off down the corridor and was not seen again. Spooked she left the building as quickly as possible.

The ghost might be that of a First World War Australian Soldier, Sergeant Thomas Hunter who was born in Newcastle in 1880. He emigrated to Australia as a young man and worked as a coal miner, in 1914 he enlisted in the Australian army and served as Gallipoli and on the Western Front. In 1916 he was seriously wounded, and was treated in a field hospital. He was then sent to Britain as he required more specialist care.

The medical staff found that his condition was worsening and they stopped at the next place they could, Peterborough. The hospital he was taken to is now the museum and sadly it was too late for him, he died there 31st July 1916. The operating theater there and is a rare example of a Victorian operating theater, when the redevelopments are finalized (probably have been by now) it’s due to be part of the public displays.

The soldier is buried at Broadway cemetery and his figure hasn’t been seen since the 1970’s but the anecdote has continued to be part of the museums history. Alongside this the staff has found furniture moved around at night too.

Along with the First World War soldier the museum is said to have a Roman Soldier and a White Lady there too. Alongside this in the geology gallery they are saying that a little girl likes to leave messages on tape recordings there and that she once popped up to terrify a workman.

I have to admit I don’t know if it was the fact there were loads of old things there, or maybe the giant plesiosaur looming over us, but it has a pretty creepy atmosphere in some sections. Then again you are talking to someone that shuddered when touching a half-bald taxidermy giraffe so who knows…

 

Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery - geograph.org.uk - 1777376

This is a myth prevalent with Northern, Western and Central Europe. I best know it from Peterborough where I used to live. Wherever the local legend is heard it is the same, a phantasmal steed with a group of huntsmen who madly pursue something either along the ground or just above it.

Seeing the Wild Hunt was through to be a precursor to a catastrophe such as war or a plague, or at best (yeah lovely this) it meant the death of the witness. Mortals getting in the way of the hunt might well find themselves kidnapped and taken into the land of the dead.

The Norse god Odin came to be associated with the Wild Hunt, the passage of this hunt was known as Odin’s Hunt and those who saw it and mocked it were cursed, those that
joined in sincerely would be rewarded with gold. In the passing storm identified with the hunt a large black dog would be seen afterwards. To remove it the dog would have to be
tricked out but if not they would need to keep the hound and tend to it for a year.

In England this associated with St Guthlac who reported that Hereward the Wake participated in a Wild Hunt. In the Peterborough Chronicle there is a record of the hunt appearing at night, beginning with the appointment of an Abbot, Henry d’Angeley in 1127 that proved disastrous.

…many men both saw and heard a great number of huntsmen hunting. The
huntsmen were black, huge, and hideous, and rode on black horses and on black
he-goats, and their hounds were jet black, with eyes like saucers, and
horrible. This was seen in the very deer park of the town of Peterborough, and
in all the woods that stretch from that same town to Stamford, and in the
night the monks heard them sounding and winding their horns

In Wistman’s Wood, Devon, England as an example it is said that the hunt is comprised of hell-hounds that chase sinners or the unbaptised. In Devon tey are know as Yeth or
Wisht Hounds. Spain – Count Arnau is a legendary nobleman from Ripollès who was known for his cruelty and lechery is condemned to ride followed by the hounds as his flesh is devoured by flames.

The ring wraith’s from Lord of the Rings seem to have been inspired by a similar idea with the large black horses and their unknown faces. They are also a particularly awe inspiring sight on the big screen!

Black Shuck, a ghostly black dog that is said to roam the countryside of East Anglia. The name may have been derived from the Old English of Scucca (demon) or the local dialect word Shucky meaning hairy.

Shuck is one of many ghostly dogs along the British Isles. He has been recorded as an omen of death, or sometimes as a companiable animal, it is classified as a cryptid.

Inhabitants of England report that he dogs have red or green demonic eyes. The size of Shuck varies from a large dog to nearly the size of a cow. Dr Simon Sherwood suggests that the earliest account comes from an incident recorded for the Peterborough Chronicles in 1127.

In 1577 his appearance at Bungay and Blythburgh secured the famous legend and made him part of the iconography of the area.

The Holy Trinity Church has 18 pairs of carved and painted angels hanging from the roof beams. Another interesting part of the Church is the North Door, it has scorch marks on it which, it is claimed, was made by the Black Dog that appeared before its congregation in 1577.

The church was struck by lightning in 1577 and the spire toppled, it’s possible the damage was caused then but personally I prefer Shuck’s tale.