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Halloween Countdown, Day 17

"Historic places are imbued with legends too, and (possibly) true stories. It seems that Lord Scarsdale of Sutton Scarsdale Hall in Derbyshire was so appalled by the execution of King Charles I that he had his grave dug in the grounds of the Hall and went and lay in it every Friday to reflect on the sorry state of earthly affairs. The 'licking stones' in the dungeon at Carlisle Castle are said to have been worn away by the tongues of countless prisoners whose only means of easing their thirst was to suck at the moisture running down the walls. The body-shaped lead coffins still to be seen in the little chapel at Farleigh Hungerford Castle -- among them presumably mothers who died in childbirth, entombed with the tiny coffins of their babies on top of them -- were once real people with real lives. Who were they? What were their names? And why are their coffins still lying there in that small, semi-public place, after so many centuries?"

- from This Spectred Isle: A Journey through Haunted England written by Val Horsler and Susan Kelleher

A lead coffin in Farleigh Hungerford Castle's crypt. (Source: English Heritage)



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Tom Hillman
Oct. 17th, 2015 01:50 pm (UTC)
With a name like Farleigh Hungerford, I was expecting prisoners to have starved to death in the dungeon there.
Oct. 18th, 2015 12:21 pm (UTC)
Good point!
Oct. 17th, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC)
This post resonates curiously with Crimson Peak, which we saw last night with friends, and quite enjoyed; it captures the qualities of classic Gothic, but in the form of a Henry Jamesian narrative about relationships between English and American characters, which itself seems authentic.
Oct. 18th, 2015 12:29 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad to hear it! I'm very much looking forward to seeing Crimson Peak. I love Guillermo del Toro's Gothic works.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )