Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A True Life Horror Story

One of the most overused themes in the horror genre is the house built upon a graveyard - often an ancient one - whose inhabitants are disturbed by the living presence above their eternal abode. So what happens in real life when a woman in Britain finds that her home is built over a centuries old Quaker graveyard. There is indeed horror . . .


This from the Daily Mail:

When Catherine McGuigan began digging an extension in her cottage, she thought she had budgeted for every contingency.

But she could not have prepared for what would emerge after workmen found ten skeletons buried under her dining room.

The gruesome episode began three weeks ago when she found her five builders white as sheets and hugging mugs of tea.

"It was like something out of a horror movie," said Miss McGuigan, who has a son, Cameron, ten, and lived in the cottage for 11 years.

"The men said they had found what they thought was an old pipe but when they pulled it out of the ground they realised it was bone.

Then they looked down and there in the earth was a skull and the rest of the skeleton."

Miss McGuigan, who had moved out of the cottage during the building work, called police and within minutes her cottage was cordoned off for a forensic search of the hole beneath her dining room.

To her relief, the remains turned out to be over 100 years old and the police did not need to get involved.

But within days of restarting work, another skeleton was found. Since then eight more have been recovered.

"It's been heart-breaking and now I can hardly bear to go to the house.

"Some skeletons are just a few bones but others have been dug up intact actually still in their coffins."

And it is thought up to 40 more bodies could be buried at the cottage in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire – on the site of Quaker burial ground from the 1700s. . . .

Read the entire article. If you were to unwittingly build over an unmarked graveyard and risked a haunting, best that it be over a graveyard of deceased Quakers - the world's penultimate pacifists. As one old Quaker joke goes:

An old Quaker farmer heard some rustling in his barn. He grabbed his gun and investigated. Finding a man stealing from him yet wishing to adhere to the Friend's Peace Testimony, the old Quaker said very kindly, "Friend, I mean thee no harm, but I am about to shoot where thee art standing."

Even if they decide to haunt you, there really is not too much to be afraid of from spectral Quakers - other than a possible threat to your sanity if you get one who spends the after-life proselytizing.

And indeed, the owner has made no claim of any spectral horrors visiting her or her family in the dead of night. Having said that, this is in fact is a real life horror story. It seems the she is being stuck by the local government with a bill of $60,000 to remove and rebury all of the bodies. . . . .


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