Scouts do you remember the ghost of the Caldecote Miller? He appears once a year around this time, remembering the tragic shortage of soft white bread rolls for the squire’s daughter’s wedding. Do you remember the story?

Please come tonight with a torch, sturdy footwear and prepared for a fright.

Parents, we will be out and about tonight so please be patient with us as we endeavour to rip your children from the icy hands of the Caldecote Miller and return them home to you safely. We are working to normal timings: start village hall 7:45pm – 9:15pm finish at top-secret location but we could be running a little late.

Parents important: as mentioned above there’s a top secret pick up location for tonight which we emailed you separately Fri morning just before 10:30am. Please please don’t tell your Scouts what the pick up location is!

Here’s the story:

The ghost of the Caldecote miller

(not true – made up!)

A long time ago in the 1800s it was late, dark and cloudy, and a mist enveloped the whole of Caldecote.

The miller of Caldecote, a Mr John Campbell, was carrying a sack of flour to the village squire. The next day the squire’s daughter was due to be married and the flour was needed urgently to bake bread at the grand village wedding.

As the miller walked down the road with the flour he stopped for a rest. As he lifted up the sack of flour up it snagged on a rock, making a hole in the sack. As the miller walked away, without realising it, he left a trail of flour behind him.

The squire, wondering where his flour was, ordered his carriage driven by a team of four jet black thoroughbred horses. He went out looking for the miller just as it was getting dark.

coach-and-four-horses

As his carriage thundered through Caldecote, the squire yelled at his horses, making sure they were travelling as quickly as possible. He saw the trail of flour and he used this as his guide. He yelled at his horses, whipping them to go faster. But in the enveloping dark and mist, he didn’t realise that the miller was walking only a few yards in front of him (high viz jackets hadn’t been invented yet).

The miller had to step around a large oak tree near the road. Just as the miller stepped into the road the squire’s carriage caught him up. Without realising what was happening, the squire’s horses thundered over the top of the miller, killing the miller instantly.

The squire never found his flour. The miller’s body was found the next day by the old oak tree. The squire’s wedding was cancelled because of the tragedy (and distinct lack of soft white bread rolls to accompany the soup starter).

When the squire found out that he had killed the miller by accident (and would face unexpected wedding cancellation charges) he was devastated. He cursed the oak tree, and swore that it would never grow again. He had the oak tree chopped down, and ever since then it has been called “Miller’s Stump”.

It’s said that sometimes, when the night is drawing in, the ghost of the miller tries to make the last journey of his life again, finally delivering a sack of flour to the squire. And, if you’re ever unlucky enough to find the ghost of the miller by Miller’s Stump, you will be forced to take the ghost’s place – stuck frantically trying to make the last journey of your life: forever!