The Haddock Ghost

When James Haddock died in 1657 he left part of his land in the Malone area to his wife Arminell and the rest to his young son. The executor of the will was one Daniel Davis, who eventually married widow Arminell. They had a son and Davis altered the will to benefit this son instead. Davis nearly succeeded with his deception except ........

Francis Tavener comes face to face with Haddock's ghost!  Cartoon by Brian Willis.

Five years later James' friend, Francis Tavener, was riding over Drum Bridge late one night when his horse reared up and there before him stood Haddock's ghost. "Take Daniel Davis to court" moaned the ghost (ghosts always moan!!) "There is something strange happening to my will."

This apparition appeared on several occasions, until at last Francis did take Davis to court.

The case was heard in Carrickfergus under Bishop Jeremy Taylor. By now the country was all agog, for news of the apparition had spread. The courtroom was packed. The blinds were drawn and in the gloom the proceedings began. Eventually came the moment all had anticipated.

"Call James Haddock" shouted the Usher - No reply. The crowd laughed nervously. "Call James Haddock" - again silence. The crowd held their breath. "Call James Haddock" went the cry again and slowly a hand, draped in a shroud, arose from the witness box and a disembodied voice boomed out "Is this enough?"

The crowd erupted. It was indeed enough and Davis was found guilty.


For the believer no proof is necessary, for the non-believer no proof is possible (Stewart Chase 1929)

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