jump to navigation
  • Ghost at Lynton January 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback


    Beach is a sucker for these ghost stories from the Victorian, the Edwardian and immediate post Edwardian period. This particular series of horrors relates to the Ewings who lived as tenants at St Vincent’s Cottage, Lynton, 1937, ‘where a large number of bones have been found’. Here is Mrs Ewing:

    From the very start of our residence in the cottage we began to hear noises… There was a sort of supernatural feeling in the air which we could not account for at all. We have been in the kitchen and heard strange, unaccountable noises, and my husband has searched the place from top to bottom without finding anything at all. Friends who have visited us have also heard the noises. One night definitely and plainly heard somebody walk down the garden path, in through the front door, which was locked and bolted, and up over the stairs. It sounds incredible, but it is perfectly true. My husband took his torch and searched the house inside and out, but there was not a sign of anyone about. On another occasion, my husband was walking downstairs and heard light steps behind him. Thinking it was the dog, he turned to tell it go back to its usual place. There was nothing there.

    So far this is low grade stuff. But now the geiger counter begins to click.

    Other disturbing events led to the supposition that an upstairs box-room, disused except a lumber room, was the seat of the mystery. Mr. Ewings, keen bird fancier, brought a number of canaries from Exeter and kept them for breeding purposes in the box-room. ‘I bred as many as twenty-three,’ said Mr. Ewings. ‘Everyone of them died. The door of the box-room,’ he continued, was kept closed means by of a hapse. During the day it I kept shut perfectly securely, yet almost every morning when woke up it was ajar.’

    Now the kids started to get jumpy: though of course that is what kids do. It goes without saying, too, that children are often the source of ‘paranormal’ events, albeit older ones typically.

    Mr. and Mrs. Ewings have two children, a boy three years old and eight-months old baby. ‘On one occrsion’ said Mrs. Ewings, ‘the baby was in its cot in the bedroom. It fixed its eyes the box room door and remained continuously looking at it. It became so frightened that it went into hysterics [?] and we had great difficulty in consoling the child. It has seemed frightened of that door ever since. About the middle of March we decided to turn out the little box-room and put in a bed so that our three-year-old son could sleep there. This was done and my son spent three or four nights the room. He would not sleep, but cried continually the whole night through and seemed scared to death. He can only just talk, and when we tried to find out what was wrong he used to say repeatedly: ‘Nasty old man.’ My husband, decided to sleep in the room to try and find out what was wrong.’

    We are now moving towards resolution.

    Describing his night in the box-room, Mr. Ewings said: ‘I got into bed and found that my son did not cry while was there. About 11.30 I began to feel that there was somebody else in the room. I distinctly felt another presence, and also heard queer noises. I am not terribly nervous, but then I was definitely scared I lit a candle and had a good look round the room. It was then I noticed there was a wall space which I could not account for. I saw the form of a fireplace which had apparently been filled in. I made up my mind to investigate in the morning and spent the rest of the night lying awake and smoking, with a lit candle at the bedside. Next morning my wife and I commenced work in the box-room with a hammer and chisel. We discovered that a space of three feet by two feet had been boarded up and covered over with a thin layer of cement which had been thickly whitewashed. It seemed to properly finished job, possibly the work of a carpenter. The place smelt horribly musty. The interior of the cavity was large enough to accommodate three average men in a crouching position, and was heavily festooned with cobwebs.

    Was this an old priest hole?

    We tore these down and discovered several very old bones scattered about and covered with thick layers of dust. There were also two carcases of rats, a dead bat and a child’s boot to fit a child of about six years.

    Shoes are sometimes deliberately left by builders, as with dead cats.

    Altogether, we found three four dozen bones. After consultation with my wife’s father, Mr. T. Floyd, a member of Lvnton Urban Council, we decided to take the bones to a doctor, and subsequently they were handed over to the police.’ Mr. Ewings said that no skull was found but expressed the opinion that if the remains were those of a child the skull would have been soft and undeveloped, and would all probability, have crumbled to dust.

    Sceptical about that.

    Although it has been stated that close examination has revealed the bones to be animal remains, Mr. and Mrs Ewings are convinced they are human. The strangest feature of their story is that since the discovery of the bones, the atmosphere of the house has become perfectly normal. There have been no more unusual noises or incidents, and the feeling of uneasiness has completely disappeared. ‘I should not have the slightest qualms now about sleeping the box-room, or even the recess itself,’ said Mr. Ewings.

    And so the haunting ends with a whimper… Anything more on St Vincent’s Cottage: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com