The Graveyard Shift

Towards the end of the nineteenth century a Gorleston grave-digger made a gruesome discovery when he arrived for work one dark winter’s morn. The graveyard was known locally as the dead centre of Gorleston and roughly in the middle of this dead centre was a faux-chapel where the implements of interment were stored for the night, along with a supply of materials with which the grave-digger intended to brighten up his morning.

When the grave-digger arrived at the chapel he got the shock of his life. Pinned to the door was a black cloak and peering from underneath the cloak was the face of a man literally frozen in fear.

It later transpired that the previous night, the man now a stiff twice over, had been totally relaxing in a local tavern. A commerical traveller up from Bungay for the night, he had entered into a lively argument with locals concerning the existence of ghosts, goblins and black dogs. To prove his point (and win a 1/2 a crown wager), the traveller had agreed to go into the graveyard at midnight and plunge his dagger into the chapel door. Accompanied by his fellow drinkers he arrived at the graveyard entrance at 10 minutes to the witching hour, scaled the iron gate and set off down the path towards the chapel. It was a moonless night and the traveller soon disappeared from view. When he failed to reappear, it was assumed that he had had a change of heart and run off back to his lodgings to avoid paying the wager.

So, with much griping and many a harsh word about the morals of people unlucky enough to hail from Suffolk, the crowd dispersed.

No-one had reason to suppose that the traveller had indeed made it to the chapel. However when he plunged his dagger into the door he inadvertantly pinned his cloak and, suddenly scared by the howl of a dog, he hurriedly turned, felt a tug on his cloak from a ghostly hand and promptly died of fright.

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