Spooky stories surround The Written Stone of Longridge, Lancashire, including tales of boggarts, says RICK HALE
“Written in stone” is a phrase that we are all familiar with. It’s an old term that emphasises finality to an idea. If it’s written in stone that means there is no argument.
But what else can be written in stone? Can past events be written in stone? Events that play themselves over and over again, oftentimes to the utter fright of those unfortunate enough to witness them.
In the village of Longridge, Lancashire, along Dilworth Toad, can be found an old Roman road and a curious slab of stone with writing on it.
A stone where numerous people from all walks of life claim to have had encounters with frightening ghosts and an inhuman entity that delights in making people’s lives a living hell.
Just what is it about this particular stone, and what could be written upon it that has caused such dreadful problems?
If you were expecting a curse of some kind, I hate to disappoint you, because all that is written on it is this:
“Ravff Radcliffe laid this stone to lye for ever A.D. 1655.”
That’s it! That is all that is carved into this stone. Anti-climatic, I know. However, it’s not what’s written on the stone, but rather a grisly murder that took place centuries ago.
A Murder And An Exorcism
It’s believed that a member of the prominent Radcliffe family met his fate at the hands of another.
And the stone was laid to exorcise his lost and angry soul that caused his family a great deal of trouble.
The laying of the stone appeared to work well with the Radcliffe man anyways. His spirit seemed to be laid to rest after the stone was put in place.
Nevertheless, the murder seemed to attract another kind of spirit, an inhuman entity to be precise.
A boggart is said to reside under the stone and delights in making the lives of those who encounter him a living hell.
Most people are only familiar with a boggart through the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
And surprising as it may seem, these much loved films are not too far off the mark.
According to folklore, the boggart lives in marshes and holes under large heavy rocks.
If angered, boggarts cause violent dismay in homes by spoiling milk, hiding household items and attacking dogs.
Child abduction has also been attributed to boggarts. Boggarts will steal a child from their crib and leave a grotesque double in their place.
As you can clearly see, they are quite troublesome. And one appears to call the written stone home.
The Farmer’s Story
Among the countless encounters with the boggart over the years, there are two that standout among the rest. Starting with a farmer who paid the price for making an egregious error.
According to the story, a local farmer unknowingly angered the creature by moving the stone the creature lived under.
The farmer believed the stone was perfect for a buttery stone and should have noticed something was amiss when it took a team of horses to move the stone.
And in the process of bringing it back to his farm, several of his helpers suffered serious injury, leaving a few completely incapacitated. But the worst was yet to come.
That night, after the farmer had brought the stone home, he and his family were awakened by an unearthly screeching sound that echoed throughout the house.
Loud bangs on the walls followed the demonic screams. Furniture was violently tossed about the house and the farmer’s family was subjected to violent physical attacks.
After a night of unrelenting terror, the farmer decided to return the Written Stone to it’s former resting place.
When the deed was done, peace and quiet returned to the farmer and his household. The boggart, I’m sure, was pleased.
A Simple Country Doctor
A second story concerning the wrath of the boggart centred around a simple country doctor who just so happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
As the doctor and his horse passed the stone, the horse suddenly reared up as if it was terrified by something only it could see. The doctor was tossed from the horse’s back.
The doctor, being well acquainted with the bizarre stories of the Written Stone, bravely walked up to it and threatened the boggart.
Suddenly the creature appeared and placed it’s vise-like grip around the good doctor’s throat and strangled him.
Before passing out, the doctor managed to escape and fled into the night. I’m sure questioning his life choices at that very moment.
Lady Of The Lane
Although the boggart may be the most prominent, shall we say, thing to haunt the Written Stone, there is another equally frightening spirit that wanders the Lane. The grotesque, lady of the lane.
The horrific apparition of a blood-soaked woman carrying her own head has been seen traversing the ancient road.
Her dead eyes and gaping mouth staring down anyone unfortunate to behold her. Needless to say, Written Stone Lane is not for the feint of heart.
Most people who walk past the Written Stone are blissfully unaware of the dark history surrounding this seemingly innocent stone.
Nevertheless, the locals know all too well the horrors associated with centuries old stone.
Have you seen anything strange around The Written Stone? Tell us in the comments section below!