The Hammersmith Ghost Murder Case

In the winter of 1803, residents of Hammersmith, which at the time was a small village on the outskirts of London, was terrorized by a ghost. Most of who had seen the specter described it as a figure covered in a large white shroud. Others said it sometimes wore a calf skin wrapped around its body and had large glass-like eyes.

The ghost instilled fear among the villagers because the specter was not a mere apparition but appeared to be full of malevolent intent. It attacked and harassed people, often grabbing them as they tried to run. A pregnant woman was reportedly seized by the ghost while walking near the churchyard, which frightened her so much that she died of shock a few days afterwards. A driver of a wagon, pulled by eight horses and carrying 16 people, was so shaken by its appearance that he fled on foot, leaving the horses, wagon, and passengers at the scene. Thomas Groom, a brewer's servant, gave a vivid account of his encounter with the ghost:

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I was going through the church yard between eight and nine o'clock, with my jacket under my arm, and my hands in my pocket, when some person came from behind a tomb-stone, which there are four square in the yard, behind me, and caught me fast by the throat with both hands, and held me fast; my fellow-servant, who was going on before, hearing me scuffling, asked what was the matter; then, whatever it was, gave me a twist round, and I saw nothing; I gave a bit of a push out with my fist, and felt something soft, like a great coat.

The Hammersmith Ghost frightening a woman.


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