Churchyard haunted by ghost of woman after tomb destroyed by ‘spirit hunters’

A graveyard has been haunted by the ghost of a woman for more than 100 years after jobs destroyed her tomb.

One night in 1898, a group of fearless young lads wrecked the substantial last resting place at the graveyard at the Ber Street church in Norwich after going ghost hunting.

In what has become an urban legend, the boys went hunting for the spirit of a 28-year-old woman named Charlotte Wallace who died on July 10, 1862.

The ghost was rumoured to appear wearing the waxed cloth used for wrapping a corpse before burial as it would climb out of her grave.

In an archived article, the Eastern Daily Press wrote: "Quite lately the boys of Ber Street have taken it in their heads that there is a ghost to be seen in the churchyard, and in their efforts to track the uncanny thing to its lair, they have literally wrecked a substantial tomb.

“The story of the ghost dates back in its origin some three or four weeks when a woman who lives in the parish gave her friends and neighbours some vivid assurances on the subject.

“She admitted that she had not seen it herself, but her daughter had and seen it so plainly that she was able to describe the cerements (cloth for waxing a corpse) of the grave in which it was attired.

“Whether this fearful shadow of the dead was seen to come out of the tomb, or whether it was detected in the act of returning there, is not clear.”

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The ghost hunters had a theory that the ghoulish figure may have been Charlotte as older residents of the town remembered how poor her life was.

The woman was said to have been shunned by her family due to her “weak intellect” as special educational needs were heavily neglected and misunderstood at that point in history.

In the days after the first sighting of her, several people – including police officers – went on a ghost hunt.

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The boys laid low until the cops left before they "broke down the iron railings, prised out a couple of thick iron rods which had served as cross-pieces, and using these implements as crow-bars they actually shifted the memorial slab."

Reports say the ghost did not respond to the boys but it remains unknown whether her remains were still in the damaged tomb.

It's unknown whether she has been sighted since but her story still haunts the locals.

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