The Piper's Tale
Steve Roughley is an ex-serviceman dedicated and devoted to his bag pipes. He found what he thought was the ideal place to practise – A workingmen’s club opposite St. Lawrence church graveyard. However, from the first night he knew he was not alone. He became aware of a presence like ‘darkness’ or a ‘shadow hanging over me’. When he played ‘flower of Scotland’ and ‘One Hundred Pipes’ there was a mighty gust of wind – an icy cold blast that twisted into the room rocking and rattling the fixtures and exploding the lights.
Steve was certain in that intense moment that he could hear close beside him another piper playing.
A psychic investigation and historical research has convinced Steve that he has been touched by the spirit of James Reid whose story is a shocking and tragic one. Enlisted in Lord Ogilvy’s 1st Battalion he was captured at Carlisle then imprisoned in York for a year before being tried for treason.
An educated articulate man Reid defended himself against three judges. He claimed he was a piper not a soldier. The judges sneered that his ‘pipes were his weapons’ and that ‘his music inspired men to war’. His eloquence may well have been regarded as insolence and he was condemned to death. This ruling appears unique in history. Reid was the only man to be executed for simply playing music.
In November 1746 he was hanged drawn and quartered. His body butchered, dissected and mutilated. His body parts may well have been displayed on Walmgate Bar opposite St Lawrence church where Steve first practised his pipes.
Steve believes it is this cruel humiliating and degrading treatment that has tormented his spirit but through their mutual love for music they connected. Steve’s aim is to tell the story to understand the suffering and thereby bring a kind of peace to the soul of James Reid forever.
The Lost Boy
The Strange Tale of "the lost boy"
In our ancient City there is a ghost of a boy. He haunts several sites such as the inside or outside of old Victorian buildings. Dirty and barefoot. A ragged child no more than 10 or 11 years old.
His presence is first felt by a stillness followed by a gust or a light breeze like the opening of an unseen door or window. Then he appears, shocked to see you as you are to see him ,and then he is gone. In that brief moment his stare is fiery and intense his story deep and sorrowful and his purpose unfulfilled.
Why and for what is he searching for ?
If anyone has any information please get in touch.
We refer to him as "the lost boy".
A house in Castlegate, York
In the early 1900s my Grandmother Gladys Mary Smith lived at Castlegate with her family, her parents Alfred and Mary Smith and her sisters. This is a story she recounted many times to me.
One evening Gladys had a school friend staying and the girls had settled down to sleep in Gladys' bedroom on the third floor.
Hearing the bedroom door open, the girls both sat up at once. They could see a figure in a long, hooded gown walking around the end of the bed. Gladys assumed that the figure was her mother looking for the matches to light the lamps, and spoke, "The matches are on the dressing table mother." Without responding the figure continued walking towards the window, stood and looked out for a moment then turned and left the room. The girls were both confused, Gladys climbed out of bed, grabbed the matches and went into her parents bedroom which was across the landing on the same floor.
Her father Alfred sat up in bed surprised and asked her what she wanted. "What did mother want? I've brought her the matches." was Gladys' reply.
Alfred shook his head and told her that Mary had not left her bed since they had both retired nearly an hour before.
Over the years Gladys became used to the spectral visitor and often was aware of its presence and she once recalled to me hearing the rocking chair in the corner of her bedroom move in the small hours. The robes which she had mistaken as her mother's dressing gown she came to believe could have been those of a monk as the apparition often lingered at the bedroom window gazing at the church opposite.
Send us your stories - click here