Monday, 12 September 2016

A Curious Occurrence at Hayfield

from Vivian Preston Dubé
7 September · Glenbrook, NSW, Australia

Hayfield, besides being the chief portal to Kinder, is not without some singular event to keep its
name in remembrance. Indeed, it seems to have had a resurrection on its own account in 1745.
Dr. James Clegg, a Presbyterian minister, who resided at Chapel-en-le-Frith in the middle of
the last century, gave an account of the extraordinary occurrence in a letter to his friend, the Rev.
Ebenezer Latham, then the principal of Findern Academy.
' I know,' he wrote, ' you are pleased with anything curious and uncommon by nature ; and if what
follows shall appear such, I can assure you from eye-witnesses of the truth of every particular. In a
church about three miles from us, the indecent custom still prevails of burying the dead in the place
set apart for the devotions of the living ; yet the parish not being very populous, we could scarce
imagine that the inhabitants of the grave could be straightened for want of room ; yet it should seem
so ; for on the last of August several hundreds of bodies rose out of the grave in the open day in the
church, to the great astonishment and terror of several spectators. They deserted the coffin, and
arising out of the grave, immediately ascended towards heaven, singing in concert all along, as they
mounted through the air. They had no winding-sheets about them, yet did not appear quite naked ;
their vesture seemed streaked with gold, interlaced with sable, skirted with white, yet thought to be
exceedingly light, by the agility of their motions, and the swiftness of their ascent. They left a most
fragrant and delicious odour behind them, but were quickly out of sight ; and what has become of them,
or in what distant regions of this vast system they have since fixed their residence, no mortal can tell.
The church is in Heafield, three miles from Chappelle-en-le-frith, 1745.' (Taken from The History of Derbyshire by John Pendleton 1886)

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