People: Local Ghost Story

The following article is reproduced by kind permission of Yvonne Gilbert:-


As you stand beside the entrance to Tokenbury Manor you see a grove of beech trees. Mr William Stapleton (known as Bill) told me this story:-

At the time of the Civil War the Cavaliers were marching up the main road to Caradon (this is the one that leads into Jimmy Goodman's Lane) and three of the recruits tried to escape. (It was the King's army's practice to force any able bodied men they encountered on their march to join the Army). Sadly they were caught and hung from these trees as an example. Remember it was the 17th century and they would have been dressed in smocks.

Bill went into Tokenbury to visit the farm manager and remained playing cards. It was after 11pm when he cycled home. It was a crisp, frosty night and the whole world sparkled in the moonlight. When he reached the gate opposite the grove he stopped and looked at the beautiful view. A man appeared beside the gate and Bill assumed he had walked behind him. He said:

'It's a beautiful night' 'Yes,' replied the stranger, 'but there will be a heavy frost in the morning.' 'Do you live around here?' asked Bill. 'Yes,' replied the stranger. 'Have you been here for very long?' The stranger threw back his head, laughed and said 'I have been here for a very long time!'

It was then Bill saw the vivid red weal of the hangman's noose. As he stared in amazement the man faded but the last memory Bill had was of his manic laughter.

He never traversed that drive again after dark !!!

Yvonne Gilbert

This story has never been proved and so it is folk history

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