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East Anglian Ghosts

16 Oct

East Anglia has always been rich in tales of the supernatural, as is perhaps befitting for a region full of lonely roads, ancient churches, isolated farms and graveyards overgrown with weeds. This area is also infamous for the witch trials which swept through here at the time of the hated Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins, who left a trail of death and destruction behind him in his blind pursuit of ‘justice’. The four English counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire are replete with stories of ghostly black dogs, phantom coaches and spectral monks so it is no surprise that M R James drew much of the inspiration for his supernatural fiction from this area, where he was born the son of a rector in a small village in Suffolk and later lived as an adult attending Cambridge’s famous university. But even James’ incredible imagination cannot compete with East Anglia’s own local folklore in the form of the many stories which have been passed down from one generation to the next, the true factual basis of which may have been long since lost in the mists of time.

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