Paranormal

Peterborough Ghosts

Peterborough Ghosts
Josie Palmer

JOSIE PALMER looks at Peterborough’s ghostly tales of the First World War and Victorian bodysnatchers


Peterborough has a long history and many ghost stories associated with it. The cathedral is home to a number of ghosts as are the city’s public houses. Lesser known places also play host to the city’s dead.

Among the places which are haunted is the city’s museum. The ghost of a First World War Australian Soldier, Sergeant Thomas Hunter, is said to walk the corridors. The museum, once the Infirmary, acted as a hospital during the First World War and Sgt Hunter was brought there after being wounded.

Sgt Hunter served in the 10th Corps Australian Expeditionary Force and was from Kurrii Kurrii, New South Wales. He was wounded in France, during the Somme offensive of July 1916 and died in the Infirmary on 31st July 1916. He is buried in Broadway Cemetery and a memorial tablet can be seen in Peterborough Cathedral.

After the visitors have gone, and only the staff remain, curators have reported hearing footsteps walking through the deserted rooms. Sgt Hunter was last seen drifting up the staircase, though those that feel an icy hand on their shoulder whilst wandering the museum believe that they have encountered the late Sergeant.

The Cowgate area of the city, now located near Queensgate Shopping Centre, hides a dark history. A graveyard used to be located here but was removed when the shopping centre was built.

Eerily, it was one of the last known places to be raided by grisly bodysnatchers. During the Georgian and Victorian periods, bodies were difficult to come by as it was only legal to perform a dissection on the corpse of a recently executed criminal. Bodysnatchers, also known as resurrection men, made money by digging up fresh corpses and selling them to medical schools and hospitals.

The Huntingdonshire Quarter Sessions Court records show that in December 1830, the recently buried body of Jane Mason was dug up from Yaxley churchyard by William Patrick and William Whayley, labourers from Forncett. The bodysnatchers alleged that a Mr Grimmer had offered them half a sovereign to dig up the body and that it would be sent down to London. The men were spotted in the churchyard by Jane Mason’s son and the churchwarden. They fired shots but the men fled with the body. The body was later found, buried in a shallow grave, in the cemetery at Cowgate.

The Peterborough Examiner also reported one such case in 1862. One evening a cart was spotted outside the cemetery and a passerby noticed two men loading suspicious sacks into it. The alarm was raised and the men fled, the cart chase ending near Norman Cross on the edge of the city. Here they abandoned their grim cargo and fled over the fields.

According to local reports, their victims still wander Cowgate, eternally trapped and angry at their sad fate.


 

 

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Paranormal
Josie Palmer
@picklepod

Josie Palmer has spent most of her life fascinated by vampires and the supernatural. When she isn't reading or writing about the undead (or just plain dead), she likes nothing better than to spend time on the beach. She lives in deepest darkest Norfolk with a growing taxidermy collection and a random assortment of living animals and other humans. Her blog www.thetivoligardens.com

More in Paranormal

Kellie-Castle

Haunted Kellie Castle, Fife

Staff Writer7th May 2016
Claypotts-Castle

Haunted Claypotts Castle, Dundee

Guest Writer5th May 2016
Haunted-Burleigh-Castle

Haunted Burleigh Castle, Perth and Kinross

Guest Writer4th May 2016
Haunted-Earlshall-Castle

Haunted Earlshall Castle, Fife

Guest Writer1st May 2016
Bridgnorth-in-Shropshire

Witness describes Bridgnorth’s Phantom Hitchhiker encounter

Andrew Homer30th April 2016
Haunted-Kilkenny-Ghost-Tour

Bounty Hunters, Hexes and Hauntings Kilkenny Ghost Tour REVIEW

Ann O'Regan30th April 2016
Crathes-Castle

Haunted Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire Scotland

Staff Writer28th April 2016
Haunted-John-Kavanagh-Gravediggers-Pub

Dublin’s 11 Most Haunted Pubs!

Ann O'Regan25th April 2016
Haunted-Fernie-Castle

Haunted Fernie Castle, Fife Scotland

Guest Writer23rd April 2016
Dunnottar-Castle

Haunted Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire Scotland

Guest Writer21st April 2016
Haunted-London-Viaduct-Tavern

30 most Haunted London pubs (that you probably didn’t know had ghosts!)

Becky Keane19th April 2016
Haunted-Balgonie-Castle

Haunted Balgonie Castle in Fife, Scotland

Guest Writer19th April 2016