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Wigan ghosts!

Thanks to Ron Hunt for providing an interesting story about a ghost at Almond Brook, taken from the Wigan and District Advertiser, 24th December 1890.


A correspondent writes:- About eight years ago a certain married woman, who shall be nameless, lost her purse, containing £3 16s. A man in the neighbourhood got on the spree, and was suspected to have found it, and swallowed it in the shape of "best British fours." The good man died a few years after, and the lady firmly believed that his spirit could get no farther than Fiddler's Green until her purse and money were restored. It appears that a number of old women and hair-brained crackies in every part of the country believe that Fiddler's Green is the purgatory of thieves and bad payers. To the surprise of our heroine something entered her house a short time ago just after dark. She could make neither head nor tail of it, and whether it had a head or tail was more than either she or any of the wise old women in the neighbourhood knew. It "woz sumot," but she never saw anything like it before. While wondering what in the name of owd Scrat it could be, she saw her lost purse on the floor, and then shouted to her husband, "Jack Wallop's ghost has bin un brought me pus back, but there's only £1 17s. 7d. in it, un heel have to go back to Fiddler's Green uf he dozent fotch rest." She told the story to all the petticoat philosophers in the neighbourhood, who held a grand consultation on the ghost from Fiddler's Green. They all saw something enter the house, but could not say what it looked like. One thought it looked like the ghost of Nan Cockle's pig that "wuz killed tother wick." Another was sure it looked more like Bill Twither's tom-cat that "wuz frozen to death some time since in a hare trap." One old woman said "it favured Jack Trump's donkey us wuz choaked eating Sal Wollop's carrots." Several agreed that it smelled of brimstone, and had red eyes as big as a frying pan, and that it jumped over the chimney after coming out of the house. Dick called the council of old women together, a lot of "crazy foos," and swore it "wuz nothur Nan Cockle's pig, nor Bill Twither's tom-cat, nor Jack Trump's donkey; it wuz noout no better nur wuz ten Spring-heeled Jack!" The old woman screamed out, "Good gracious! has Spring-heeled Jack's ghost come back? We'll all be lost afour th' eend ut world takes place!"

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