1934


11
YEARS

THE DERELICT MILL

“Another ghost story

that came to my knowledge…”

“...in those far-off days…”

“...concerned a haunted mill…”

“...not far from Hitchin…”

“An Uncle who was staying with us

had taken me for a long walk and we stopped

to look at the derelict mill one summer’s afternoon…”

The view from Windmill Hill, Hitchin.

“An elderly man who lived nearby

got into conversation with my uncle,

and we were told that the mill was haunted..”

“...curses and mutterings

had been heard

on September nights…”

“...when the wind was strong…”

“The old man told us that the figures

of a struggling man and a girl

had been seen at the upper window...”

The story concerned a former owner of the mill,

who was known to have been a vile

and treacherous man...

One night

the mill owner ended up in a bitter struggle

with a woman he had wronged...

But as they fought,

“...some kind of explosion seemed to occur…”

“…within moments the mill was a blazing furnace…”

The next morning...

“…in the ashes…”

“…the bodies of the miller and the girl

were found…”

“...still locked together…”

“There were still people who said they

heard a girl’s scream and the sound of a man cursing

when they passed the ruined mill…”

“…and there were some who swore that they had seen

the struggling figures of a man and a girl…”

“...at the open window of the room

that now had no floor…”

“I visited the mill several times…”

“...and tried to find witnesses…

of the strange event…”

“...for this story…”

"...and the possibility that

tragic and violent happenings…”

"...might leave some traces

that could be picked up by certain people…”

“...fascinated me,

and spurred me to seek out true ghost stories…”

“...and eventually hunt seriously

for ghosts...”

No Common Task
pp.32-33

Underwood discusses the relationship between ghosts and violent pasts.