Halloween Tales, Cumbrian Ghosts and Murders.

Around this time of year it’s fun to share scary stories by the fire. I also find that Halloween is a time where local ghost and horror stories are often shared. Tales that are only really known within a local community. But sometimes it’s these tales that are the most fun to share

With the 31st fast approaching I decided to share two of my favourite spooky tales from my local area and welcome you to share your favourite spooky tales in the comments below!

The Ghost of  Henry Curwen

In the area I am from there stands the ruins of Curwen Castle, a huge building that once belonged to a wealthy local family known as the Curwens. One of the most famous members of the family was a man called Henry Curwen who lived in the 1600s and died under mysterious circumstances.

The Ruins of Curwen Castle

The story goes that a french thief had broken into the Castle to steal his jewels after hearing that Henry was severely ill and unable to leave his bed. However, Henry had decided to keep his jewels close to protect them, something the thief had not expected.

Not wanting to be seen the thief decided to kill Henry and steal the jewels. Too weak to fight back she dragged him out the room, to the top of the spiral stairs and threw him down them killing him and taking the jewels. The thief made it to the town’s harbour and escaped in a boat only for a storm to sink the boat. The thief and the jewels were never found.

In the years since, people say that Henry’s ghost can be seen riding his horse through the empty halls and when the place is silent you can hear strange banging noises from where Henry had fallen down the stairs. The story goes that it is Henry’s ghost reenacting his death.

The Murder of Joseph Glendinning

Next up we have the Murder of Joseph Glendinning, less a ghost story and more a murder mystery.

Joseph Glendinning a local man, was killed in a field on 13th July, 1808. Glendinning’s body was found under a hedge by a passer-by who was able to identify the man as Joseph.

After investigating the murder the motive was still unknown however, the attack was unusually violent which lead people to presume it was the work of a crazed individual or an act of revenge. Others claimed Joseph may have been mistaken for some else. The local paper was quoted saying “a more cruel and barbarous murder has not been heard of in any country”.

Joseph’s family offered a reward of £50 for information leading to the arrest of his killer but the murderer was never found. They had seemingly gotten away with their crime with the town no wiser to who it was or what their motives had been.

Quote from “The Gentleman’s Magazine Historical Chronicle 1808”

What makes the tale well-known locally is that Joseph’s gravestone can still be seen in the local church yard and bears this rather ominous inscription:

“You villains, if this stone you see,

“Remember that you murd’red me!

“You bruised my head and pierced my heart,

“Also my bowels did suffer part.”

Thanks for reading to the end!

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