This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Ghost Story and I decided to share my own ghost story with you. I’ve always been a bit sceptical about ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night but this curious incident might have changed my mind a little, then again it may have been just my imagination, and apologies if you have heard this story before.
When I started my family history research 20 years ago I spent a couple of years visiting local churchyards searching for the graves of my ancestors and one gloomy October afternoon in 2007 I visited Chiddingly Church.
I walked round the graveyard looking for Funnell graves and despite having walked around the graveyard a couple of times I could not find any at all. There were supposed to be loads of Funnells living in the Chiddingly in the early 1800s but I couldn’t see a single Funnell grave. You can tell that by the series of photographs I took on that afternoon, a squirrel, some fungi and some Jonathan Harmer terracottas.
I had walked round 3 times and I was just deciding to head home when out of the corner of my eye I caught a movement and looked up and I saw the dark shape of a person heading across the graveyard towards the Yew tree. I hadn’t noticed anybody else in the graveyard despite having been there for some time now and for some reason felt compelled to follow the figure. I arrived at the Yew tree and the figure had disappeared, nowhere to be seen in the graveyard or the car park behind the fence which was odd.
Anyway I realised that under the yew tree there were a number of graves that I had not seen on any of my 3 previous times around the graveyard and every single one of them was a Funnell.
Now you can scoff and say what you like but whatever it was I saw led me to the Funnell graves that I had been searching unsuccessfully for. I am convinced it was Funnell who got fed up of my aimless wandering and thought they would help me along! But whatever the truth is, it makes for a good memory!