Monday, 21 September 2015

A Headless Spectre Robs a Rectory!

I do love a good ghost story and even better, one with an unexpected twist in the tale. On Saturday 12th March 1791, The Star published a not-so terrifying tale of a headless spectre terrorising an innocent rector!

Read on for the chilling truth...



The temporary residence of the Rector of Frodensham in Suffolk, being lately robbed by some person who got in during the night, a farmer who has the care of it, employed two stout men to sit up the night after with blunderbusses. It seems that not finding the business they expected, brought on a conversation about Witches and Ghosts, which was so heightened by the credulity of the relaters, that the thief, then concealed in a press just behind them, had the address to avail himself of their panic! accordingly throwing open the doors, and making at the same time the most uncommon noise he was capable of, with correspondent gestures &c. it had such an effect upon the heroes, that falling directly upon the floor, the supposed spectre got clear off by the way in entered; notwithstanding that they still persist in affirming that it had no head and was otherwise mortally frightful.

Gillray's Gown Metamorphose'd into a Ghost, 1797
Gillray's Gown Metamorphose'd into a Ghost, 1797


  1. an enterprising burglar indeed!

    1. And some rather unimpressive "stout men"!

  2. How strong the rum was is another question.

  3. there's a pun about spirits there waiting to be made

  4. oh nothing profound, just along the lines that the headless spectre, like genies and all other spirits, came out of a bottle...