Spooktacular 2015: The Gallows at The Caxton Gibbett Inn
I’m joining in the Spooktacular Capturing History Challenge from Ed Mooney.
Here’s a link to Ed’s blog:
I really wanted to join in this challenge this month as I am doing a spooky stuff and nonsense theme on my blog leading up to Halloween. By the way, today, Monday the 26th of October is the last day to submit your photos to Ed. So if you want to join in get cracking, and email him, super pronto!!!
I was originally going to take one of those Ghost tours in Cambridge, which I still fancy doing, but then it struck me the perfect idea to post about for this Spooktacular would be the history behind the Caxton Gibbett Inn in Cambridgeshire, particularly as it features briefly in my manuscript! This place is or shall I say was about as creepy, and unlucky, cursed if you ask me, as it gets.
The inn was located between Cambridge and St. Neots. It is no longer standing as it burnt down in mysterious circumstances, in March 2009, when it had been trading as a Chinese restaurant, The Yim Wah House. In fact I had been there a few times for meals, as I have some friends who live out that way so I’m so glad it didn’t burn down when I was in there munching my spring rolls! Apparently fifty firefighters had their job cut out trying to stop the blaze. Anyway the Yim Wah has now relocated, I don’t blame them! Would you want to stay in residence there after that? Shudders. No brainer. The Yim Wah is now situated in the centre of Cambridge, good move!
The legend of the original inn is interesting Halloween fare. Apparently three travellers were murdered by the landlord, (who intended to steal from them.) He disposed of their poor unfortunate bodies down the pub’s well. The original gallows stood on Caxton Common, the replica gibbet was thought to have been made from the timber of a nearby cottage.
Punishment was a very public affair in those days, the murderer was hung alive in an iron gibbet from the gallows and death under these circumstances followed due to starvation, dehydration or exposure. Apparently thereafter the inn was haunted by mysterious footsteps that stopped at the well! Creepy , Ghoulish stuff or what? !! Enough to make you choke on your spring roll! Sounds like that land may be cursed, and it is now the home of fast food restaurants. Well, on the bright side at least with fast food you’re in and out quick, surely nothing too terrible can happen to you in such a short timescale! My advice is don’t hang about and chat too much, get out of their fast!
So not exactly good joss. Perhaps not history as such, maybe more of a legend, but it does seem to me to be an area of Cambridgeshire with a creepy predisposition, and a gallows, so beware!
The story of the inn captured my interest so much that it features briefly in my manuscript Krystallos.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Amelina spoke in a hushed spooky whisper. “Talking of ghost stories did you see that Chinese restaurant that burnt down at Caxton Gibbett? Its burnt out shell creeps me out every time I go pass it, the original inn on that site, also burnt down in the 1920’s.”
“The George Inn, yes, bit of a weird coincidence isn’t it?” said Ilaria her voice rising with excitement.
“The place was cursed. The landlord was hanged and gibbeted for murdering his guests as they slept. The room where they were killed was always intensely cold,” said Amelina, as a cold shiver ran down her spine.
“God that’s creepy, talk about gruesome,” said Joselyn, “Thanks, I’ll not sleep a wink tonight.”
“Me neither. Maybe when we’re wide awake some fit dead guy could return from his eternal slumber for a chat. Hopefully a famous rock or pop star,” joked Ilaria.
“Now that would be cool. You know I had this amazing dream once that all the rock stars came bursting out of my posters and had a party in my house. It was a bit freaky as some of them were dead. They were rocking out until the early hours,” said Amelina as she demonstrated her favourite rock hero pose playing air guitar to the girls.
Ilaria, Joselyn and Jade looked at Amelina with wide eyed astonishment.
“God you’re crazy, Amelina, I can’t believe the things you say or do. The air guitar was awesome,” remarked Jade.
Ilaria and Joselyn laughed.
© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.
Hope you enjoyed my Spooktacular post, I enjoyed taking part, I’ve been planning this for ages, this baby has been waiting part finished in my draft folder and I nearly forgot to join in, that’s just typical of me. Scatty, or Loopy depends on how you take me!
Bye for now, hope you enjoyed this Spooktacular story.
I’m hiding under the covers tonight just in case!
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx