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The Cripplegate Ghost

Scary Books: Apparitions; Or, The Mystery Of Ghosts, Hobgoblins, And Haunted Houses

The following story, well authenticated in the neighbourhood of

Cripplegate, will convince the reader, that vicious intentions are

sometimes productive of much good to the parties they intended to


A gentlewoman in that parish, having lain for some days in a trance, was

at length laid out and buried for dead, with a gold ring on her finger.

The sexton knowing thereof, he and his wife, with a lantho
n and candle,

went privately the next night, and dug up the coffin, opened it, untied

the winding sheet, and was going to cut off her finger for the sake of

the valuable ring buried with her, they not being otherwise able to

remove it; when, suddenly, the lady raised herself up (being just then

supposed miraculously to come out of her trance). The sexton and his

wife ran away in a horrible fright, leaving their lanthorn behind them;

which the lady took up, and made haste home to her house. When knocking

hard at the door, the maid-servant asked who was there? "'Tis I, your

mistress," replied the lady; "and do, for God's sake, let me in

immediately, as I am very cold." The maid, being much surprised and

terrified at this reply, neglected to open the door, ran away to her

master, and acquainted him with the circumstance; who would scarcely

believe her tale, till he went himself to the door, and heard his wife

relate the dreadful particulars. He immediately let her in, put her into

a warm bed; and, by being well looked after, she soon perfectly

recovered, and lived to have three children afterwards.

This extraordinary resuscitation is conjectured, by the faculty, to have

been occasioned by the sudden circulation of the blood on the villain's

attempting to cut off the finger.

A monument, with a curious inscription of this affair, is still to be

seen in Cripplegate church.