A ghost story for you – seeing as it’s Christmas Day!
In North Staffordshire, the most famous ghost story is that of Molly Leigh (or Lee).
She was a real person, and most likely was simply just a secretive woman – but she lived alone too, and that was enough to give any credulous eighteenth-century man his suspicions that she was a witch.
Sure enough after her death, she was ‘seen’, as if in life, sitting in her cottage with her pet bird.
And here the real story starts. The local parson, horrified at what had been seen, ordered her tomb to be turned sideways. Unlike all god-fearing folk, who are laid to rest east-west, Molly’s tomb, in the graveyard at St John's Church in Burslem, was now laid on a north-south axis - as you can see in the photo above. Molly's tomb is the big one on the right of the photo.
In fact, this was a very rare occurrence, so the tomb is quite an historical oddity.
Even until recently, local kids would dance around the grave singing “Molly Leigh, Molly Leigh, You can’t catch me” - but… it’s not advised… you never know what might happen...
The story of Molly Leigh
This post was featured on the Cemetery Sunday website