Leigh Gothic

Do not mock the dead, this night of all nights.  The gravestones may read ‘at rest’ but wander between them beneath this haunting moon and you’ll find no rest.  For the dead of St Mary’s lie uneasy on All Souls Eve.

There be Jeremiah Flood, the tanner, murdered by his wife and her lover, grabbed from behind and throttled with a length of his own leathern twine.  They would have hung for it too but they made it look like he took his own life.  Even in death there was no justice for Jeremiah Flood.  The pair were laid out beside him, laughing at him for eternity.  Jeremiah’s not at rest.

Nor be Emmanuel Badd.  Poisoned was Emmanuel.  Poisoned by the lad he took in and trained to take over from him as apothecary.  No gratitude in some.  Only impatience.

That draught of Madeira was a draught of sulphuric acid.  Screamed did Emmanuel as it burned through his throat until there was no throat for him to scream through.  An accident, they said.  An accident they recorded.  An accident they wrote on his tomb.  But Emmanuel knew it were no accident and now he waits for justice, an unblinking vigil kept from beneath his stone.  Judgement Day will come and until Judgement Day he’ll wait; silent, listening.

No rest neither for Alice Crathorne, nor for her babies.  They lie beside her the innocents.  Consumed by fire all three of ’em.  Revenge they said and they hanged a man for it, an innocent man.  An accident it truly was and Alice knows it and now she can’t sleep neither.

So on All Souls Eve they ups and they walks and they tells anyone with ears to hear of the wrongs done ’em or done in their names.

And the comfortable folk with their faces painted and their bags of sweets and bottles of wine by the fire, they don’t listen.

So if you be in Leigh this night, don’t you be dancing between the graves of St Mary’s or you may have to listen to their complaints for all eternity.

Happy Halloween.

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