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Some Noted Haunted Houses page 2


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Lastly, one must refer to what was known at the time as the Cock Lane ghost. It appears that in the year 1760 a stockbroker named Kent lived in Cock Lane, near West Smithfield, in the house of Parsons, who was the parish clerk of S. Sepulchre's. Kent had lost his wife the previous year, and his sister-in-law, who went by the name of Miss Fanny, kept house for him. The two soon conceived a strong affection for one another, and each made a will in the other's favour. Parsons had borrowed money from Kent, and differences arising in consequence between them, Kent, accompanied by Miss Fanny, left Cock Lane and instituted legal proceedings against Parsons for the recovery of the borrowed money. While the case was yet pending Miss Fanny was suddenly taken ill and, despite every care and attention, she died.

About two years later, that is to say, in 1762, rumours arose that Miss Fanny had met with foul play at the hands of Mr. Kent, who seems to have evinced considerable eagerness to come into her property, and it was stated that Parsons was haunted by the deceased lady's ghost. Parsons, it appears, took good care to encourage these reports; and in answer to numerous inquiries said his house had been haunted for the past two years, in fact, ever since Miss Fanny's death, by loud and mysterious knockings and scratchings on the walls and doors. Only one person testified to having seen Miss Fanny's ghost, and that was Parsons' daughter, a girl of about twelve years of age. The case aroused enormous interest, and among the many who flocked to Cock Lane to hear the alleged super-physical phenomena were Horace Walpole, the Duke of York, Lady Northumberland, Lady Mary Coke and Lord Hertford. Attempts were made to get in touch with the ghost through the medium of Mary Frazer, the Parsons' servant, who professed to have been much attached to Miss Fanny, and knockings on the wall were interpreted as stating that Mr. Kent had poisoned Miss Fanny.

However, suspicions of trickery were eventually aroused, and it was proved, without a doubt, that Parsons' wife and daughter, through the connivance of Parsons, Mary Frazer and others, had faked the phenomena and had, in fact, impersonated the ghost. Kent indicted the tricksters for conspiracy, and they were all found guilty. Mr. and Mrs. Parsons and Frazer were imprisoned, whilst the rest were heavily fined. And thus the celebrated Cock Lane Ghost was very effectually laid.

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Pictures for Some Noted Haunted Houses page 2

HERMITAGE CASTLE, A BORDER STRONGHOLD THAT IS HAUNTED BY THE GHOST OF WICKED WILLIAM LORD SOULIS
HERMITAGE CASTLE, A BORDER STRONGHOLD THAT IS HAUNTED BY THE GHOST OF WICKED WILLIAM LORD SOULIS >>>>
THE COCK LANE GHOST
THE COCK LANE GHOST >>>>
THE REMORSEFUL SPIRIT OF LADY ELIZABETH HOBY AT BISHAM ABBEY IN BERKSHIRE
THE REMORSEFUL SPIRIT OF LADY ELIZABETH HOBY AT BISHAM ABBEY IN BERKSHIRE >>>>
THE GHOSTS OF KIMBOLTON CASTLE: TRAGIC CATHERINE OF ARAGON AND JUDGE SIR JOHN POPHAM
THE GHOSTS OF KIMBOLTON CASTLE: TRAGIC CATHERINE OF ARAGON AND JUDGE SIR JOHN POPHAM >>>>
CASTLE RUSHEN, ISLE OF MAN, WHICH THE GHOST OF A GIANT IS SAID TO HAUNT
CASTLE RUSHEN, ISLE OF MAN, WHICH THE GHOST OF A GIANT IS SAID TO HAUNT >>>>
S. JOHN'S CHAPEL, TOWER OF LONDON, WHERE WALKS THE GHOST OF ANNE BOLEYN
S. JOHN'S CHAPEL, TOWER OF LONDON, WHERE WALKS THE GHOST OF ANNE BOLEYN >>>>
ORFORD CASTLE, SUFFOLK
ORFORD CASTLE, SUFFOLK >>>>

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