WEIRD SUFFOLK: It’s the village which is a favourite haunt for a host of ghosts
- Credit: Archant
Is Wissett a magnet for the paranormal? The village in East Suffolk has more than its fair share of spectral residents, strange beasts and wildmen.
A pretty Suffolk village with a rich historic past which stretches back to the Bronze Age, Wissett hides a haunting secret: it is home to a whole host of ghosts and oddities.
Written about in the Domesday Book the village, close to Halesworth, boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the paranormal: not only is it incredibly haunted with many ghosts, it is also one of Black Shuck's hunting grounds and is home to Woodwose on the church font, the hairy wildmen of the woods.
Devil dog Black Shuck is the ghostly black dog said to roam in East Anglia inland and at the coast, often believed to be an omen of fast-approaching death, his name is from the Old English word "scucca", meaning devil or fiend. He is said to haunt two bridges over a stream in Mill Road, waiting for poor souls who try to cross the water. If you ever see him, shut your eyes and hurry away: if you look into his fiery eyes, you are unlikely to see another sunset.
Close to Black Shuck's lair is a place called King's Danger, and - it is said - there is a place here where nothing at all will grow which marks the spot where a man once took his own life.
At Bleach Farm, the sound of heavy chains being slowly dragged along the floor was heard by a resident and close by, at Halleluiah Cottage it was said that a pond was haunted by a phantom horse and cart that once careered into it, causing the deaths of all within it.
On Grey's Lane, a ghost can be seen swinging from the tree where he ended his life in this realm (said to be the eponymous Mr Grey, a well-known Wissett name from 1669 to 1823) while at Paradise Cottage, there was once a pond where a Grey Lady (any relation?) would vanish into after floating from the homestead.
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A tiny bridge on the Rumburgh Road, Cole's Arch, is said to be haunted by the figure of a woman who perches there, waiting, while at Lodge Pond on Lodge Lane, a ghostly woman has been spotted, said to be a poor soul who drowned in the water, possibly deliberately. She is said to appear with a rustle of silk on moonlit nights from a nearby barn before she glides across the road and over the surface of the pond.
While some may scoff at the stories above, it cannot be denied that there are wildmen in Wissett church. In St Andrew's on Lodge Lane, there are woodwose carved into the font and evidence that they were once painted in vibrant shades of turquoise. One can be seen stroking his beard - wondering, perhaps, why quite so many ghosts choose such a quiet village to make their eternal home.