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The Screaming Skull of Anne Griffith
Centuries ago, Sir Henry Griffith of Yorkshire, England, is said to have had three daughters who all lived happily at Burton Agnes Manor. Anne, the youngest sister, was especially enamored with their residence.
One evening, while walking home from a neighboring village, Anne, was attacked and left for dead by a gang of marauders.
Although quickly rescued by some of the townspeople who had heard her screams, Anne had been badly hurt by the thieves.
Anne was taken to her beloved home, but was so severely injured, that she didn’t have much time left in this world. Her last request was to her sisters. After her death, she wished to have her head removed, and her skull kept at Burton Agnes Manor.
Ultimately deciding to disregard Anne’s last bizarre request, the family buried her body, head included, in the family vault of the nearby churchyard.
Almost immediately after Anne’s interment, the family at Burton Agnes Manor began to hear bloodcurdling screams, slamming doors, and loud crashing sounds in the huge mansion. Unable to find a source, it was at last determined that Anne must be expressing her anger at having her final wish ignored.
The family decided to exhume Anne’s body to recover the skull. Upon opening the casket, the family was surprised to find the head detached from the body, and totally devoid of any hair or flesh, unlike the rest of her body.
After bringing the creepy cranium home, the screams and other disturbing noises stopped immediately.
Years later, when different members of the family moved into the Manor, the skull was thrown out to the trash cart, by the maid.
The horse pulling the rubbish wagon refused to move until after the skull was removed. Upon learning the story of Anne and her skull from other villagers, the new inhabitants decided not to throw it out.
The skull is now said to be enclosed in a wall at Burton Agnes Manor. Evidently the discontentment of Anne’s spirit has passed, but still reluctant to leave the home she loved so much, her ghost is sometimes seen on the main stairway.
Now open to the public, visitors are welcome to visit Burton Agnes Manor and the beautiful gardens surrounding it.
Ventura, Varla. The Book of the Bizarre: Freaky Facts & Strange Stories. SF: Weiser Books, 2008. Available at: www.weiserbooks.com.
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