All Saint’s Church, Easington
Originally dating from 1190AD, the Parish Church of All Saints is a Grade I listed building. The grave yard attached to the church was used up to 1883, after which a closure order was made. According to ‘Haunted Hull and East Riding: 25 ghost stories for Halloween’ (Hull Daily Mail on 31October 2014). ‘It was a custom for some people to sit outside Easington church on Saint Mark’s Eve (April 24) to watch the spirits of those about to die in the next 12 months march through the door. The legend does not say what would happen if a watcher saw his or her own spirit walk into the church.’
The following extract is from a letter between Edmund Spencer (Chaplain to Colonel Robert Overton of Easington Hall) and Richard Baxter. It was dated 26 July 1673.
‘I suppose you may have heard of watching the Church-yard on St. Mark’s Eve. It was frequently practised by those poor ignorant souls where I was. I have heard the manner of it from severall of them. They go two of them on St. Mark’s Eve, and stand in the Church-yard, within sight of the Church porch, and at a certain time of night (they say) the likenes of all those of the parish that shall dye that year, passeth by them into the Church, and in that order they will dye, and when they are all in they hear a murmuring noise in Church for awhile, and then they have power to return. This they tell me was practised at Pattrington, and they that watched saw 140 pass into the Church, and one saw the likenes of the other. That year the plague came into the town, and so many dyed, and both the persons that watched.
One of my hearers of Kelnsey (which you will find in the map) told me a servant of his being in the field at work, a mile from the town, he went down to him, and while he was with him the bel rang. Saith the master, Somebody is dead. Saith the man, it is such an one. Saith the master, how do you know. Saith the man, I was coming over the Church garth one night late, and when I was hard by the Church door, I had no power to stir ; by and by there passed by me the likenes of twelve, and this is such an one. I know he is dead, for it is his turn now. And as the man said so it proved. They told me that Easington Church-yard had been often watched, and that it was so one year that I lived there, and the watchers confidently reported that an old woman who was wont to hear me would dye that year, but they or the devil were mistaken, for she lived more than another. Sr, I fear I shall tire you with reading wt. I am weary with writing. I pray if you have occasion to make publick anything which I have written concerning the house I lived in, let not the family be named. I am, Sir, Your reall friend and unworthy Br. in the Lord work. — Edm. Spencer. ‘