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  • The Wesley Ghost #7: Psychology of the Haunting November 17, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #7: Psychology of the Haunting

    There is a long history of trying to explain poltergeist events with reference to fakery of household members; or extreme angst within the family circle. The first is absolutely credible, given the vagaries of human nature, but difficult to deploy as an explanation when the experiences were so bizarre and so, well, ‘total’ as in the […]

    The Wesley Ghost #6: Feeling the Ghost November 15, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #6: Feeling the Ghost

    Physical manifestations are, after noises, the most common features of poltergeist hauntings. In this sense Jeffrey did not disappoint, but given the sheer richness of the sounds that the family heard: and the three creepy sightings of Jeffrey, the albino mongoose from hell, the casual reader might have expected that the family would have been […]

    The Wesley Ghost #5: Seeing the Ghost November 14, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #5: Seeing the Ghost

    Unusually for a poltergeist case – or is this actually a wider phenomenon? Drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com – Jeffrey was not just heard and felt. He was also seen. There were three occasions. I) On the first Susanna Wesley (mother not Suky) saw a ‘headless badger’ (!) under her daughter’s bed after a fit […]

    The Wesley Ghost #4: Hearing the Ghost November 9, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #4: Hearing the Ghost

    The main feature of the Wesley haunting were the noises that the family heard. For the most part these were banal ghost knocks but there were lots of other more exotic sounds. The following could almost stand as a prose poem: the gobbling of a turkey, (142); dancing in a closed room (142); ‘tingling’ of […]

    The Wesley Ghost #3: Time November 8, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #3: Time

    An important preliminary to the haunting is to sketch out the period of Jeffrey’s activity. Most reference works (and this blog) refer rather carelessly to December 1716-January 1717. But a careful reading of the Wesley files shows that actually the haunting was rather more drawn out than that. First, in a very important passage we […]

    The Wesley Ghost #2: Dramatis Personae November 7, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #2: Dramatis Personae

    Samuel Wesley was an Anglican churchman who had been given in the late seventeenth century, through royal favour, a living at Epworth in Lincolnshire. He was married to Susanna with whom he had nineteen children: including perhaps the two most important figures in early Methodism, Charles and John Wesley. At the time of the haunting […]

    The Wesley Ghost #1: Introduction November 6, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #1: Introduction

    ‘The Wesley ghost’ is one of the best attested instances of a poltergeist haunting prior to the twentieth century. There were apparently twelve people living in the Parsonage House (pictured), Epworth (Lincolnshire) at the time of the disturbances, disturbances that centred on the period December 1716 to January 1717: three servants, the Wesley parents and […]

    Duelling Schoolboys May 7, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Duelling Schoolboys

    Duelling is really all about grown men acting like complete asses. However, at least in one case in 1874 it appears that early teens in Lincolnshire, the UK emulated their elders. One Gerald Maurice Burn shot, 7 March 1874, at George Seagrave, both boarders at a local school run by a reverend no less. Burn […]