The extraordinary ghost of Cock Lane

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Ghost stories, although not believed in them, are fascinating to many people. Scotland takes the palm in the number of haunted houses, but it is not the only place in the United Kingdom that has ghostly legends. In London they also had their own and one of the most famous cases was that of extraordinary ghost of Cock Lane. He was so well known that even Charles Dickens himself quoted him in three of his works. Join us and discover the story!

The extraordinary ghost of Cock Lane

The extraordinary ghost of Cock Lane | Discover the story!

In the history of Cock Lane ghost various elements are joined that make it different from others: the rigid norms of the Methodist church, usury, revenge and paternal fear. Although, as you can imagine, everything that happened was a fraud.

The story begins in Norfolk, to beginning of the 60s of the 18th century, with a usurer of the place, called William Kent. This man married Elizabeth Lynes and, after a short time she got pregnant, the young woman’s sister, Fanny, He moved to live with them. Elizabeth died of childbirth and Fanny stayed in the house taking care of her nephew and when the boy also died, she remained helping her brother-in-law. The couple started a relationship, but since they were brothers-in-law and also the baby had lived a time, according to the rules of the Methodist Church, they could not marry. To continue with his love, they moved to London where they rented an apartment in Cock Lane.

The extraordinary ghost of Cock Lane | Discover the story!

The house was close to the Smithfield market and St. Paul's Cathedral. William lent money to his landlord named Richard Parson, who had uan 11-year-old daughter also named Elizabeth. Fanny got pregnant and Richard, who had to go on a trip, asked Elizabeth Parson to sleep with her in case she felt bad. Overnight squeaking began to be heard similar to what a cat would do with its nails and both women explained it the next day and the successive ones in which the horrifying sound continued to be heard. The inhabitants of the area, very interested, they started talking about the ghost of Cock Lane, until he became famous. The newspapers and magazines of 1762 mention it many times. The girl said she believed the ghost was William's first wife, although I did not know the reason why it was manifested.

The extraordinary ghost of Cock Lane | Discover the story!

Actually, it was Elizabeth herself who made the noises to please her father, who took advantage of the stir to blackmail the usurer: either forgive him what he owed him or explain to the church that he lived in sin with his sister-in-law. William and Fanny denounced Richard Parson, leaning on the Anglican church, which did not consider their union sinful. Fanny, before giving birth, died of smallpox, and the Cock Lane ghost reappeared. In addition to the sounds, several people saw white shadows in the house and a spiritualist and a priest who in one session interrogated the spirits were called. These, based on blows that meant yes or no, explained that Fanny had died poisoned with arsenic. The stir around the case of the ghost of Cock Lane was then enormous and many Londoners believed in him without any doubt.

The extraordinary ghost of Cock Lane | Discover the story!

Fortunately, a commission was sent directed by several honest and rational people who discovered that everything was a farce from Richard Parson to take revenge on the lender William and who forced his daughter Elizabeth to make noises.

Richard Parson was sentenced to two years in prison, but the case was so famous that besides Dickens it is mentioned by other authors of the time. He also fueled the controversy between Methodist and Anglican churches over marriages between brothers-in-law. Did you know the case of the ghost of Cock Lane? Do you know similar ones? Share them with us! We are great enthusiasts of the stories of spirits. If you like ghost stories, don't stop reading: Are there Real Ghosts? | 3 chilling stories.


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