Some 4 or it may be 5 years ago, an account was given in the Thetford and Watton Times of Mary Barley, who died at Feltwell in the year 1975 at the age of 67 years. Few people now remember her, but she is said to be seen at times in the Borough; (the triangular patch of land between the left and right forks in Short Beck) though why she walks, that is if she does walk, was not explained in the account given of her. Possibly there is a hoard of money, buried or hidden somewhere, which she is unable to leave. She lived in a house in Short Beck. In a later pamphlet from the same source is stated "an oldish woman who is said to appear at night in the Borough; she is tall, is dressed in dark clothing, wears a Shawl and is, or was, Known as Mary B"
If a Ghost you should meet; as you walk down the
The Street of Short Beck as its known.
Just hold your head high; and don't cry Oh! My!
Or with fear you'll be chilled to the bone.
These Ghosts are so cleaver; they always endeavour
To frighten you out of your wits.
But the Ghost in Long Lane; you should treat with disdain.
Or you'll suffer some panicky fits.
Now, what I would teach you; and to learn I beseech you;
If a Ghost you should meet - don't take fright.
It then cannot harm you; and need not alarm you,
As politely you wish it - Good Night.
The reference in this poem to the 'Ghost of Long Lane' refers to the following tale.
Henry Heading, a farmer, whose farm premises were in Long Lane, Feltwell, died over 70 years ago. Since his death he is said to have been seen at various times in Long Lane. One person who stoutly declared that she had seen him was able to give a full description of the clothes he was wearing and how they were worn. But unfortunately for the exactitude of her story she also declared that it took twelve parsons to read him down. Evidently a robust ghost.
From a 1949 pamphlet also by Rev. Daubeney comes this extract.
"The Ghost for instance at Denton's Lodge, Feltwell, is obviously a Smugglers' Ghost and can be dismissed at once as a forgery. Capt. Denton, of the Merchant Service and a great smuggler, owned and occupied the Lodge in the days of George IV; and the house and grounds were used extensively for smuggling purposes. To scare people and keep them away, nothing could be more effective than a Ghost, and so the place was said to be haunted; it was one of the regular tricks of the smugglers' trade. According to the story told there was a haunted room at the Lodge, with an iron-bound door, and the room was kept securely locked as the Ghost was dangerous, at times even fatal.
Like many Norfolk parishes Feltwell has the traditional Coach and Horses which drives down Lodge Road, through the parish and along High Street, at the dead of night; the horses have the reputation of being headless, but it is tradition only and as such calls for no further consideration.
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