Pond Secret?

It was about seventy years ago when doors in a Shelfanger farmhouse started opening and slamming on their own, when a towel roller in the kitchen began spinning violently as if powered by an unseen hand, when ornaments in the parlour crashed to the floor as if hurled with a terrific force - and when some saw the ghostly figure of a woman appear, a woman who some years before had cut her throat and then drowned herself in a nearby pond. Today only the derelict remains of that farmhouse can been seen but there are still one or two people at Shelfanger who refuse to go anywhere near the ruins or the dried up remains of the pond that to this day are considered to hold the secret of those strange happenings. There is one Shelfanger man however, for whom the old building and the pond give rise to no fear - in spite of the fact that he witnessed most of the ghostly activity years ago. That man is 77-year-old Mr Clifton Porcher, who runs a 30-acre Glebe Farm, at Shelfanger. He recalls with vivid clearness the frightening activity in that farmhouse where he was born. The story he tells goes back before the days when the farmhouse, at what was called Bumbler's Farm, was bought by his great grandfather to the days when it was owned by a Mrs Freeman. Following a dispute over the land she cut her throat, she made her way out of the farmhouse, explained Mr Porcher, and went into the pond. The candlestick stayed in the pond, he went on. His father heard the story of the woman and the candlestick through his grandfather, and had been warned that if ever the pond was cleaned the candlestick had to be left where it was. Then came the day when the pond was cleaned and out with the mud came the candlestick. Mr Porcher was about six at the time. That night it was though the "devil" was in the farmhouse. Things got so bad that when Mr Porcher's father hired a man to turn over the three tons of mud, find the candlestick and put it back in the pond. Even then strange occurrences continued to some degree up to the time when the family left the farmhouse 64 years ago. It has been empty since. A brother of Mr Porcher saw the apparition of a woman in the house. No one, however, appears to have noticed anything out of the ordinary at the spot in recent times. But that does not alter the fact that Mr Porcher's sister in law and house-keeper, Mrs H Porcher, just refuses to go anywhere near the ruined buildings. local paper cutting c1956 - thanks to Sheila Churchyard