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Don't Lose Your Head

Some time in the eighteenth century, at her house in Bishopthorpe on the fringes of the city, a wealthy lady was murdered for her fortune, and her body afterwards hidden a short distance from her house. It was some time before her body was discovered, by which time the nature of decay had run its course to the extent that the head had become separated from the body, giving rise to the headless ghost of this un-avenged murder victim, seen in the vicinity of where her undiscovered body had lain.

Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, York
Holy Trinity, Goodramgate

The other headless spectre said to inhabit York is that of Thomas Percy, headless 7th Earl of Northumberland. As a staunch catholic in conflict with the protestant dogma imposed by Queen Elizabeth I (see 'Rebels, Rioters & Reformers' for the full account of the demise of the headless Earl), after execution in front of All Saints Church, Pavement, befitting of a traitor, his head was stuck on a spike over Micklegate Bar.

Remaining in situ for some two years, Northumberland's head was eventually rescued by a sympathiser and buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Goodramgate. However, as the remainder of the Earl had been laid to rest in an unmarked grave in the churchyard of St Crux after his execution, it is not surprising that his headless spectre has been repeatedly seen over the years staggering amongst the graves at Holy Trinity, searching in vain for his headů Thomas Percy has spiritual company in his quest though, as it is said that a ghostly nun has also been seen haunting the churchyard at Goodramgate.


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