Ghost Stories Project

For my current project “Narrative Fantasy” I am focusing my idea on ghost stories from my village back home. Which for such a small not well known village has may legends. Boxted is a small village just outside of Colchester in Essex. I have lived there all my life and it is so familiar to me that it makes this project a lot easier for me. I researched in the end into five stories in the village to cover in my book at the end of the project. It was originally going to be six but due to one not having as strong images I decided to not include it in the end. Each story is based of legend and up to who ever hears the story weather to believe it or not. I will give here in this blog post each story with a few pictures that I have taken and edited to far to use at the end in the over all book. 

The fist story is based around the time of the Black Death which hit in 1348 and wiped out nearly half of Boxted population. The story related to this historical even is of a plague doctor who worked in the village. He himself died of the black death after trying to treat and help multiple families in the village. It is now said that he wanders the public foot path the goes along side Boxted St Peters church, as it is a unmarked grave for those that died from the black death in the village. He wanders the path not able to pass over from the gilt of not being able to heal everyone that he treated. 

The second story from my village is “Betty Potter’s Dip” this is about a witch who lived in my village in 1645 and was hung for it by local village people. Elizabeth Potter was known locally as Betty Potter. She lived in a small cottage at one end of the old gateways to the parish (Betty Potter’s Dip) Legend has it that she cured the daughter of a wealthy Colchester merchant, who in gratitude richly rewarded her. Her envious neighbour reported her to Matthew Hopkins the witch finder general. On hearing the accusations the merchant arranged for her escape from Colchester, wandering the district for some time before settling in the cottage in the dip in Boxted. Later she supposedly bewitched a team of horses pulling waggons of wheat from rivers hall to the mill at Mile End, demanding a sack of wheat to lift the spell. The event was reported to the lord of at rivers hall, whose son organised a party to “take the witch” They seized Betty Potter and hanged her from a near by tree. Matthew Hopkins furious on hearing this rode out with a party to retrieve the body. Only to see Betty Potter descend from the tree, cross the track and disappear. Leaving only her clothes. Her ghost is now said to appear at midnight every 21st of October, to wander the road where she was hung. 

Following on from this was the story of the Vicar of Boxted St Peter’s church that was thrown from the top of the tower. Nathaniel Carr was defrocked and ejected in 1662. Local legend says that Carr was a womaniser, and when a local women bore him a son outside of marriage, he said he was married to the lady and produced the church register to prove it. He had tampered with it to cover himself. Later the women later denied all knowledge of the marriage to which Carr said that her mind had gone. Carr was thrown from the top of the tower of the church by the - men - at - arms. It is now said that Carr’s ghost has been seen wandering around the bottom of the tower, not able to pass due to the regrets and betrail that he caused.

In the year of 1669, a young chimney sweep is said to have got stuck up a chimney in a cottage in the village where he suffocated to death. His ghost has been seen in the local park near the cottage, by a number of children who do not realise he is a ghost till he suddenly disappears. 

And the last story a I will be covering is a ghost who apparently lived in my own house. The building is made up of four little cottages that are all joined together. The house used to be a hospital for tuberculosis patients. In 1851 there was a young nurse who worked in the hospital treating young patients. She died at a young age but no one knows why but she has been seen by my younger brother sitting by his bed and a number of other children that live in the other cottages. She sits next to then when they are sleeping watching over the youngest members of each family. 

Over all these are the stories that I will be photographing and focusing on for the outcome of my project. Researching into each in more detail and experimenting with the concepts and images over all. 

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