Friday, 10 July 2015

The Ghost of the Pickled Parson!

With a title like that you want to know more, surely? Or are you a bit blasé about pickled folk, whether they be clerical or secular? Anyway, I think you should read the excellent article by Jim Moon at the link above. His blog is absorbing to anyone who likes horror and folkore, and well worth a good old perusal.

Sedgefield, where the parson was allegedly pickled (or perhaps salted) is just up the road from my home. It's in County Durham, one of England's lesser-known but rather fascinating counties. Among its many attractions is Barnard Castle, a tucked-away place with a huge museum built in the style of a French chateau, and containing an amazing automaton, great works of art, and more fancy frocks than you can shake a stick at.

But I digress, again...

Re: pickling parsons, it's perfectly possible that someone would preserve a dead body in the way described. But I can't help wondering if even an 18th century physician would be fooled. Perhaps the story was concocted after it became known that Nelson's body was preserved in brandy after his death at Trafalgar?

Still, it's a cracking story.

No obvious signs of parson pickling. But you never know...

2 comments:

Aonghus Fallon said...

Reminds me of an old well-worn anecdote (which I don't want to spoil by actually googling in it) about some naval officer who was injured and died while at sea during the napoleonic wars. Apparently whatever about sailors (who were buried at sea), officers were shipped home for burial, usually in a cask of brandy to preserve the body. This was all duly done. However a week or so later the captain noticed a terrible stink emanating from the casket - apparently and despite knowing what else it contained, the crew had been secretly tippling from it with inevitable and disastrous results.

Aonghus Fallon said...

In the story, the officer is usually Nelson, which I thought a bit of a stretch, but not necessarily -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucking_the_monkey