The vicarage at Elm, Cambridgeshire, England is built on the site of an old monastery and it is said to be haunted by the ghost of a monk, Ignatius, who died over 800 years ago.
One of Ignatius's many responsibilities in his earthly life was to keep watch on the water level in the nearby Fens and give warning to the monastery in times of dangerous floods. One night, while on watch, he fell asleep and did not raise the alarm as the water level rose and drowned some of his fellow monks. This left poor Ignatius racked with shame and guilt at the neglect of his duties.
In the mid 20th century a vicar and wife moved into the vicarage filled with enthusiasm at the thought of taking on a new parish. But it wasn't long before they started to have their sleep disturbed by the sound of footsteps in the middle of the night. Investigation found no reason for them or even their source. Shortly after the footsteps began the vicar's wife was to meet the phantom monk, Ignatius, as she walked along an upstairs corridor one evening and heard him say 'Do be careful.' With remarkable presence of mind she found the courage to ask him who he was,he replied in a pleasant voice 'Ignatius, the bell ringer'. The phantom was wearing a brown monk's habit and sandals and afterwards she saw him on many occasions in all parts of the old house. He always appeared initially as a faint outline, and then gradually firmed into the figure of a man about 33 with dark curly hair and fine features. His usual time of arrival was around dusk.
One evening in September of the year they moved in the woman decided to sleep as she often did, in a bedroom which was normally kept for guests. The family dog usually slept on her bed but on this particular night seemed unsettled and whimpered a great deal. The animal ran from the room several times growling before being eventually calmed and encouraged to stay. The vicar's wife quickly fell asleep only to wake suddenly and feel something tied around her throat. Panicking she switched on the light and found a tendril of vine that grew outside of the bedroom window lying across her neck. As she removed it she was picked up violently, thrown sideways over the bed, and became aware of a sinister black shape leaning over her. A pair of heavy gnarled hands appeared from a haze and gripped the terrified woman by the throat, gradually tightening their hold until she began to choke and felt she would die.
At this point Ignatius appeared and, coming toward her, reached for the hands and pulled them forcefully away, letting her fall back, exhausted, onto the bed. Before she had time to recover she was shocked again, this time by the sight of a vague creature with a huge head and red face bending over her. Her dog began to snarl and fight with something invisible! Somehow she tore herself free and rushed into her husband's bedroom to discover he had heard nothing!
The marks on her badly bruised necked were visible for days afterwards and the next time she spoke to Ignatius he told her she had been attacked by a man who had been murdered in the room in which she had slept. However, some good did come of the unpleasant incident. By saving the vicar's wife, it would seem Ignatius had completed his penance and could now be forgiven for falling asleep on duty. He was never seen again!
Submit Your Own Article