The Way We Were with John Taylor: The ghosts, apparitions and general scary things on Milton Keynes

Ghostbusters (pictured busting some ghosts)
Ghostbusters (pictured busting some ghosts)

There are many imponderables in life. Why do dogs Christen lamp posts? What is it with women and shoes? And, of course, ghosts.

Specifically the ghosts of Milton Keynes. Not the ‘city’ but the rural village which the city was named after.

Before the modern developments the village was surrounded only by fields, through which a ghostly monk had been seen to walk on several occasions. In fact one evening, upon glimpsing the phantom, a lady turned to her friend to point at the apparition when it promptly disappeared. However on being told of the sighting her father-in-law said he had also once seen the ghost.

A figment of the imagination perhaps but another who had seen the monk was the very credible Sir Richard Gambier Parry, director of the Diplomatic Wireless Service. Appropriately called ‘Abbotts Close,’ his 300-year-old thatched home had previously been a smallholding.

Another old building in the village is of course The Swan pub, which not so long ago suffered a disastrous fire. Yet many years before there had been another fire, after which the resident ghost - ‘Charlie’ - was never heard nor seen again. The landlord and his family had often heard Charlie’s footsteps tramping across the upper rooms.

As for the abbot, today there are no longer any fields to walk through, only urban sprawl. So if any residents happen to see a shadowy hooded figure fleeting across their lounge it might just be the abbot, continuing his spiritual perambulations. Or it could just be the local ‘hoodie,’ trying to nick your plasma TV.