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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Norfolk: The Happisburgh Phantom

The coast below the village of Happisburgh is the reputed haunt of a terrifying apparition. Over the years, people have claimed to have witnessed a figure with no legs and its head hanging down its back from a strip of flesh. It was first seen in 1765 by two farmers who were making their way home one night along Whimpwell Street. It was reported to be wearing sailor's clothes and appeared to be holding a sack to its chest. Upon reaching a well, it vanished. The well was later searched and the remains of a dismembered man were found hidden in two sacks. A pistol was also found with the corpse. It was surmised that he may have been a smuggler and had been murdered by his colleagues after some dispute over booty.

The spectre is still said to haunt the area. The well has long gone but some still claim to hear strange moans and groans emanating from the spot where he was found. Apparently, the ideal time to see the ghost is on moonlit nights.

Another ghostly tradition is also linked to this area. Off the coast, lies the submerged remains of the village of Eccles. It was largely lost to the sea in the 17th century but fishermen still claim to hear the bells of the church tower when storms or a death are imminent.

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