WEIRD SUFFOLK: The Beck Row ghost that warns people worse is to follow

A spirit warning of worse to come was seen in Beck Row.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

A spirit warning of worse to come was seen in Beck Row. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

What’s more frightening than seeing a ghost? Seeing a ghost that tells you there’s something even more frightening on the way.

It's terrifying enough to see a ghost - but to see a ghost that appears to be speeding away from something even worse…well, it doesn't bear thinking about. In Beck Row in Suffolk, this is precisely what happened. On the road from Beck Row to Holywell Row, a traveller was making their way along the track when he heard the sound of heavy, fast footsteps behind him. Before he knew it, something had raced past him leaving a blast of icy wind in its wake and calling out to him: 'Don't fear me, fear my follower!'

In Here Are Ghosts and Witches by James Wentworth Day, published in 1954, the account of Mr Morley, an 'indefatigable storyteller of the Fenland' was published. 'When I was a boy I had to come from Beck Row to Holywell Row weekly to collect the butter - 10d to 1/-d. a pound then - and I had to pass Whitings Farm which was said to be haunted,' it reads. 'It stood empty for several years, and I think there must be something sinister about it, as two men have committed suicide there in my time.

'On my way home I had to pass Aspal Hall and Beck Lodge and the horse-keeper told me when he has been going home late on different occasions he has seen a lady in a long, black cloak pass along the road and right through a bricked up gateway in the wall.

'I did not loiter here at night and heaved a sigh of relief when I passed that door.

'Another old friend of mine, a man I greatly respected, told me he and some friends were passing Aspal Farm one night when something huge passed them, shaking the ground as it went, and saying 'Don't fear me - fear my follower.'

'Immediately something passed them like a terrific gust of wind, but nothing was seen.'

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While Aspal Hall has been lost to time, demolished in the post-war years with the land sold for development Beck Lodge Farm still stands. What, precisely, did follow the ghost? Another spirit? Death itself?

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