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    Cradley Links

    The Ghost of Oldnall Farm - Norman Bird

    Cradley has been free from ghosts for the past 150 years. The last one, which was eventually exorcised, wandered abroad in the vicinity of Oldnall Farm, the house of which was demolished between the wars. The garden, overgrown with nettles, brambles and rose trees gone wild,is still in evidence, but the well which caused all the trouble has been filled up.

    It appears that a youth, who worked on the farm, was ill treated to such an extent by his master, that he decided to end his life in the cold waters at the bottom of the well.

    Soon afterwards, many curious incidents began to take place. The bucket, which was always hooked securely at the top after use, was more often than not found at the bottom when wanted. The farmer's dog disappeared one day; a pig was lost, but both were found in the well. In fact, when anything was missing, this well was generally the first place to explore.

    Furthermore, there was something about it which attracted people with suicidal tendenc]i]es.

    All these occurrences took place in the daytime, while at night a ghost wandered abroad terrifying people passing that way. It was obvious to all that the impish spirit of the youth was at work, staying in the well during daylight, but emerging when darkness fell.

    So concerned were the people who frequented this part of Cradley, and the farmer's wife who had witnessed these extraordinary happenings, that they consulted their Vicar.

    With the Vicars of Oldswinford and Halesowen, he arranged for a service of exorcism to take place on the spot. During this service, a lighted candle with an appropriate biblical text was placed in the bucket and gently lowered down the well.

    As it neared the bottom, the candle went out so the bucket was wound up, the candle relighted and lowered again. Again the light went out.

    This operation was repeated six times with the same result.

    On the seventh attempt however, the candle remained alight, and from that day to this the Ghost of Oldnall Farm has never been seen or heard.

    Did the spirit with the impish antics get tired of blowing the candle out or was there some other agency at work?

    Norman Bird (August 1955)

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