Moor, which surrounds the chapel at Roche Rock in Cornwall, is said to be
haunted by the ghost of Jan Tregeagle and his despairing cries.
was an unpopular local magistrate in the seventeenth century who managed to
earn a great fortune through dubious deals and swindles. He spent half of his
the clergy to bury him in consecrated ground when he died, even though he had
committed some awful crimes. This did not help him in the end, for only a few
years after he died he was brought from the grave to appear as a witness in
has it that a court case was taking place which involved a piece of land that,
when Tregeagle had been alive, had wrongfully claimed was his. As the judge
was rounding up the case, the defendant called another witness. The room
developed a sudden chill and then Tregeagle appeared in the witness box. After
an initial pause while the court recovered from the shock, he was
cross-examined and found guilty of fraud. His spirit remained in the court
room despite the verdict. Tregeagle was passed over to the local clergy, who
took it upon themselves to set him tasks that would keep him occupied for all
eternity; as long as he toiled, he would be saved from the Devil.
was given the task of emptying the bottomless Dozmary Pool with only a cracked
limpet shell. Packs of headless hounds guarded him, ready to attack if he
stopped working for a single minute. One night, he did stop working because of
a tremendously fierce storm and ran across the moor to the chapel at Roche
Rock, the hounds in hot pursuit. When he reached the church, he only managed
to thrust his head through the window and his body was left to the hounds. His
screams were so loud that eventually one of the clergy came to his rescue,
freed Tregeagle and banished him forever to the moors.
ghost of Tregeagle can now be seen wandering on Bodmin Moor performing endless
tasks and mournfully crying over his misfortune.