Edgehill Ghosts

Perhaps the reason that the Edgehill ghosts haunt the scene of the battle is that it was such a pointless loss of life that achieved nothing.

The Battle
It was 23 October 1662 and it was the first real fighting of the English Civil War. The Royalist Troops were marching to London in support of the King and the Parliamentarian troops intercepted them at Edgehill, half-way between Banbury and Warwick. The heavy fighting went on for three hours and both the Royalist and Parliamentarian armies suffered heavy losses. The Parliamentarian troops withdrew to Warwick Castle but for some reason the Royalists did not push on to London and so both sides could be said to have lost.

Ghostly Armies
The Battle of Edgehill didn't end when the smoke cleared and the dying had taken their final breath. In the weeks that followed, the terrible carnage was often heard and seen re-enacted. In the night sky above Edgehill, the phantoms of the fighting soldiers were observed by several very reliable witnesses. King Charles I, was so intrigued by the reports that he sent a Royal Commission to investigate. They too saw the ghastly spectacle and even recognised some of the protagonists, including Sir Edmund Verney, the King's standard bearer.
The re-enactment continued to be repeated for some time and some people travelled for miles to watch it. Eventually, the appearances became less frequent until they ceased all together.

Edgehill Today
However, to this very day, people report hearing sounds of battle and feeling very uneasy in the area of Edgehill, particularly around the anniversary of the battle.

Incidentally, as a result of the Royal Commission's investigation, the Public Record Office officially recognises the Edgehill ghosts. They are the only British phantoms to have this distinction.



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