The "ghost" was spotted sitting on a stile on Park Street and also wandering the pavements at Wyndham Street
Young children fainted at the sight of the frightening ghoul
By Jack Sweet Tomas Malloy Reporter
A frightening ghost was spotted wandering the streets of Yeovil in the 1880s, but it was not what it first seemed.
Locals children passed out at the sight of the scary ghoul as it walked around the town centre, according to local historian Jack Sweet.
The "ghost" was spotted on Park Street and also wandering the pavements at Wyndham Street before a group of brave locals went to find out the truth, Mr Sweet wrote in local newspaper Western Gazette .
He wrote: "Children and young girls were reporting the appearance of a ghost sitting on a stile on the nearby Constitutional Hall.
"The apparition was so frightening that some of the youngsters were said to have fainted at the sight.
"Reporting, no doubt tongue in cheek, on Friday, August 20, the newly established Western Chronicle wrote that, 'having tired of sitting on the seat, the ghost would take relief by visiting the New Cut (Wyndham Street) where its presence was equally unacceptable'."
Parents of local children took it upon themselves to stake out the "ghost" one evening, in an attempt to uncover the truth, writes Mr Sweet.
He added: "Several local men decided that it was high time to bring peace back to the neighbourhood and late on in the evening on the previous Wednesday they set out and found the spectre sitting on the stile.
"At the sight of the apparition several braver souls rushed and 'clutched the "sprite" which turned out to be a married woman of the locality who made herself "ghostly" by displaying petticoats and pulling a shawl over her head'."
Locals then allegedly attempted to subject the local woman to a "ducking" in a nearby river - a form of retribution where those accused of being witches were submerged in water.
However, local police officers soon put a stop to this community punishment.
Mr Sweet wrote: "A crowd soon gathered but before the proposed retribution of a ducking in the nearby Hendford Brook could take place, several police constables arrived and the crowd melted away.
"Who the 'married woman' was, her motive for the 'haunting' and what happened next, has, sadly for your story teller, been lost to time."