SEAN McNEANEY highlights a dubious appearance of the Green Lady of Thorpe Hall and other ghosts to be encountered on the roads of Lincolnshire.
Much has been written over the years about the ghostly Green Lady who haunts Thorpe Hall, a Tudor mansion situated near Louth. The ghost is said to be the shade of a beautiful Spanish noblewoman who, after the battle of Cadiz in 1595, was taken prisoner by Sir John Bolle, the then owner of Thorpe Hall. It is said that during her captivity the lady fell in love with Sir John, and according to one dubious legend she killed herself when her love for him was unrequited.
The fact she never visited Thorpe Hall (nor England) during her lifetime, has not stopped reports of her ghost dressed in green (giving rise to her being called the Green Lady) haunting the hall and its environs down through the centuries. The Reverend H J F Arnold, a former vicar of Wainfleet, had a strange encounter with the Green Lady of Thorpe Hall, because he claimed to have seen her on a road many miles from her usual haunting ground.
It happened on a rainy December evening in 1935, as Arnold was driving to Aisthorpe, near Lincoln. Suddenly in the glare of his headlamps he saw a woman step into the road in front of him:
“Alarmed lest I should run into her, I applied my brakes and stopped. I took my eyes off her for a second while getting into neutral gear and in that second she had disappeared.”
Arnold was later convinced the woman he saw – dressed in a green silk gown with a tight bodice and flowing skirt, and with bare head, arms and neck – was none other than the Green Lady of Thorpe Hall. He based this assumption on a rather tenuous connection that a mansion belonging to a relative of Sir John Bolle had once stood at nearby Scampton.
Another ghostly woman, shrouded in a cloak, has been seen running across the road in Pear Tree Lane, Utterby. Elsewhere in the village, in Ings Lane, sounds of a ghostly horse and carriage have been heard.
There are also a variety of headless ghosts haunting Lincolnshire’s highways. A headless bride walks the lanes of Scremby at midnight, and the phantom coach of Ostlers Lane, Maidenwell, has a driver who keeps his own severed head on a seat beside him.
None of the above has been seen to my knowledge within living memory and I suspect they are folklore rather than actual phenomenon. Unless of course you know different!