Tunstead farm has a skull named Dickie that had its height of fame during the 19th century. The name seems strange in that legend suggests the skull is actually that of a woman, who was murdered within the house. Before she died she managed to blurt out that it was her wish for her remains to stay within the house forever. Over the years the skeleton was gradually lost until only the skull remained, and the tradition grew that if the skull was removed then all manner of things would go wrong at the farm. Accounts in the 19th century also suggest that the farm was haunted by the woman’s’ spirit who was seen as a guardian kind of figure. The other story is that the skull belongs to Ned Dixon – hence Dickie – who was murdered at the farm by his cousin when he returned from some nameless war in foreign parts.
The tradition of the skulls power was so well known in the local district that it was blamed on the diversion of the 1863 Waley Bridge to Brunton railway. A bridge was being built near to the farm, but had to be abandoned due to unstable foundations. This was attributed to Dickies influence, obviously not wanting such a noisy diversion to his purgatory slumbering.
The skull is also said to have been stolen and taken Disley, where the thieves were plagued by such frightening disturbances that they returned it to the farm. Along with other screaming skulls one owner is said to have provoked its wrath by burying it, inevitably having to return it to the farm to restore peace.