To be saddled with the nickname, 'Cripplegate Ghost' cannot be very pleasant. But that is what happened to a woman in the 19th century living in the Cripplegate area of London.
She was the wife of a very well-to-do man and one day she apparently died. Not to put too fine as point upon it, in those days before refrigeration, the deceased were buried with some haste. The grieving husband laid his wife to rest in the church of St. Giles, Cripplegate wearing her wedding dress and wedding ring.
The ring was valuable and a thief heard about it. He bribed the church warden to open the woman's tomb and coffin inside, within which the woman lay. The thief attempted to remove the ring from the woman's finger but it would not budge. So he then used a knife and tried to cut off her finger.
Not only did the finger start to bleed but the 'corpse' suddenly sat up in the coffin. Not surprisingly, the thief and the church warden were so shocked that they fled the church, leaving their lantern behind.
The woman somehow managed to stagger home where she pounded on her front door. A servant answered the door and saw her mistress standing there pale and exhausted. The servant screamed and slammed the door on the woman thinking that she was a ghost.
Fortunately, her husband was at home and heard the commotion. When he saw his wife, he instantly realising that she was no spectre and let her into the house where she eventually made a full recovery.
She lived for many years and she and her husband had another four children. However, she was ever after known by people in the area as the, 'Cripplegate Ghost'.