The drowned bride of Armboth, Cumbria
Two centuries and more ago, in the quiet hamlet of Armboth below Helvelyn and the Wythburn Fells, wedding preparations were in hand for a wedding. The daughter of the manor house there, Armboth House, was to be married the next day, November 1. Which made the eve of her wedding Halloween, tempting fate too far.
Suddenly the contented bustle was stopped for good. A man burst into the house and shouted that the bride-to-be had been drowned, and not by accident - she had been brutally shoved into the cold waters of the little lake.
Though they suspected their poor drowned girl's fiance to have killed her, nothing was ever proved by the family, which went into bitter decline, a decline not helped by strange events every Halloween: furniture would move; the sound of bells pealing for a wedding would be heard coming from the water; a ghostly dog was sometimes sighted. Soon enough the family left the house which quickly decayed.
But the abandoned house did not give up its dead resident as easily as the living. Still those brave enough to pass on Halloween would see lights in the place; a wedding table set for the celebrations that never took place would appear; and it was even said that other unavenged spirits from miles around would gather to join the spectral feast.
In 1894 Armboth itself was drowned as our Victorian ancestors created a huge reservoir still serving Manchester many miles distant. But the ghosts of the place paid little heed to this inundation, so every year on the night of October 31 the wedding bells are heard from long lost Armboth; and the ghostly hound swims the while in Thirlmere.
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