Ghosts in armour in churchyard; eight people died from shock

 Great Yarmouth Minster Church by night

Great Yarmouth Minster Church by night - Credit:

Most people are aware of the story of the mummy of an Egyptian princess in a casket, which was given by a teacher to the Priory School.

Because it smelt, the mummy was buried at the dead of night in St Nicholas Churchyard and the casket was returned to the school. After this, a tapping on the vicarage door was heard on several occasions and when the vicar opened the door, expecting to find someone who needed his ministrations, he found no one there. Later, because of the consternation, it was decided to re-open the casket and the mummy’s arm was found inside.

The arm was re-united with the buried remains of the mummy and the tapping ceased.

Stories of ghosts in the churchyard abound. In October 1922, three ghosts in armour riding on white horses in St Nicholas’ Churchyard were spotted. It was said eight people died in Howard Street from shock.

Thousands of widely excited children and many adults were drawn to Church Plain and Northgate Street, where they peered for many hours through the railings in the hope of seeing the spirits. Every now and again a person shouted they had seen a ghost flitting amongst the gravestones, perhaps due to the moonlight and the electric light playing between the grey gravestones of the former inhabitants of the town casting shadows, and the crowd became frantic.

Policemen went in search of the ghost, but found nothing.

One brave church official offered his services as a leader to search the churchyard, but no-one dared to take him up. For many nights crowds gathered, especially children, who were convinced that a ghost was about. In the magistrate’s court eight months later, a woman confessed to being the ghost, she had been suffering hallucinations.