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Friday, 2 January 2015

The Phantom Rider and Other Ghosts of Cadeby Hall




Cadeby Hall is situated some eight miles north-west of the market town of Louth and lies in a valley between the old Roman road known as Barton Street and the foot of the Wolds. Built from Ancaster stone, parts of its structure are said to date back to Tudor times and have been added to over the centuries. Not too long ago, this magnificent old building stood derelict and neglected. Fortunately in recent years it has been restored to its former glory. Like many old and historical buildings, Cadeby Hall is said to have its fair share of ghosts.

One of the apparitions associated with the hall takes the form of a spectral coach and four that drives up to the house on a night when a relative of the owner is about to die. The phenomenon was witnessed most notably in the early part of the last century when the then owner of the hall, was woken in the early hours by the sound of coach wheels crunching on the gravel drive. In the early dawn light he saw “a coach that was very old. Probably one of the earliest coaches made, and of bare wood, unpainted, with a black-clad coachman sitting on the box in front.” The apparition then faded into the misty dawn and the owner, who was familiar with the legend, was not surprised to learn the next day that a relative of his had died.

 Another reportedly strange occurrence is that all the doors in the house, no matter how well secured the night before were almost always found open the next morning. There are secret passages under the house said to be the relics of a monastery built on the site during the reign of King Stephen, in which strange sounds and the rattling of chains have been heard. A more tangible reminder of these ancient times is the appearance of a ghostly hooded monk that haunts a terrace appropriately known as “Monks Walk”


Another story tells how a bereaved mother put a curse on the house when her seven-year old son went missing in the grounds. Despite an extensive search the boy was never found. However, Years later workmen discovered his skeleton in a hollow tree, and the mothers curse said none of the owners eldest son`s would inherit cadeby Hall.




You may think that Cadeby Hall has its fair share of ghosts, more than enough in fact, but as you will see Cadeby Hall is a supernatural glutton for punishment.



It had rained without remission throughout the night and in the small hours of that November morning in 1980; there was no indication that the new day was to be any different. The foul weather and early hours had conspired to keep the roads empty of all but essential traffic. An example of this was the lorry conveying twenty tons of wetmix towards Louth. The man behind its wheel yawned and switched on the radio. He had flicked through every station and the late night cocktail of bland music and banal chat had almost sent him into torpor. He was almost pleased to exchange it for the perpetual hiss of rain and the comforting sound of the windscreen wipers as they swept away torrents of water and occasional leaves. A driver of some experience, he was undaunted by the climate and unsociable hours. This was a run he had made countless times before.

 The B1431 Laceby to Louth road was an unremarkable even boring road he thought as he half noticed the North Thoresby turn off. Not long after this, he had negotiated a familiar bend in the road and was straightening the lorry again when something appeared in his headlights. In panic he braked abruptly but the vehicle went into a skid. He could only watch helplessly the imminent collision of his lorry with what appeared to be a horse bearing a clocked figure. In the frozen eternity before horse and lorry connected, the hapless driver could only close his eyes and brace himself for the sickening impact. The lorry ground to a halt and he opened his eyes again. Horse and rider appeared to have vanished beneath the cab of his vehicle. The horrified driver leapt out expecting a scene of carnage to greet his eyes. He raced to the front of the cab to see… Nothing! The twin beams of the headlights revealed an empty road swept by slamming rain. Fearing the worst, he fumbled for the torch he kept in his cab, fetched it, turned it on and looked under the lorry and searched the grass verge. Finding nothing he was about to check the other side of the road when the torch light fell upon what appeared to be a gravestone. It was inscribed; he crouched down to read the following:

“This stone marks the spot where George Nelson of Cadeby Hall was killed January 16th, 1885 aged 16 yrs.”

The man was back in his cab and on his way even before the curse he involuntary uttered was dying on his lips. He has not been the only motorist to have observed the ghostly re-enactment of a tragedy over the years and even pedestrians walking the road have reported hearing the drumming of horse’s hooves in the vicinity of the memorial stone. Local history maintains that George Nelson did indeed die on that very spot when he was thrown from his horse. So a word of warning to those of an equestrian nature who might find themselves riding their horse along this stretch of road in the small hours. If the animal should bolt and throw you, then don`t be surprised not to receive any help from passing motorists.




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