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  • At Okehampton a strong and mighty castle once was found.

  • Now all that's left are ruins atop a grassy mound.

  • And if you ask a local guide to tell a ghostly tale,

  • They'll speak of Lady Mary and her curse to make you quail.

  • Lady Mary was an heiress much desired as a bride,

  • Who came into a fortune when her drunken father died.

  • Four times her suitors wooed her,

  • Four times the lady wed,

  • Four times she killed her husbands,

  • Or so the locals said.

  • And as her crimes were wicked and her deeds were thought the worse,

  • Her punishment was fitting. It was an eternal curse.

  • *scary music*

  • At the hour of midnight a traveler unwary

  • Might see a phantom coach; within, the ghost of Lady Mary.

  • And if you linger longer as it rattles o'er the stones

  • You will see that Lady Mary's coach is formed from human bones!

  • A hell hound follows in her wake,

  • Up to the castle, where

  • It must pluck each night one blade of grass

  • Until the mound is bare.

  • So she is doomed to journey thus

  • Until the judgement day,

  • In a coach made of her husbands' bones

  • Or so the locals say...

  • The story of the Lady of Okehampton is that of a female serial killer allegedly who turns

  • in a supernatural monster, and was probably none of those things.

  • The legend of Lady Mary is that every midnight

  • her ghost rides out of her old family home at Tavistock in a coach made of human bones,

  • specifically the bones of her four dead husbands and of other people she'd murdered. The skull

  • of each of her husbands is placed decoratively at the corners of the coach. And to make things

  • worse, or better, a phantom black dog trots in front of her and together Lady Mary and

  • the pooch ride across Dartmoor to Okehampton where the hound takes a single blade of grass

  • in its mouth and then brings it back to Tavistock by the end of the night. When the hound has

  • stripped the Okehampton area of blades of grass Lady Mary's penance will be over and

  • her soul will be free to pass on.

  • In one respect the story of Lady Mary is a very common one, that of the sinner who is

  • sentenced to a long penance of an impossible, repetitive task in order to purge away their

  • sin. The Greek Sisyphus who has to push a stone endlessly uphill is the eldest one of

  • these but in Devon and Cornwall there are people who make ropes of sand or empty a big

  • lake out with a cockle-shellful each night, and so it goes on.

  • The reason why Lady Mary became a folk villainess is almost certainly just because she went

  • through four husbands in short order in a time when most women could get through one.

  • So people got the idea she must have bumped them off and probably other people as well,

  • and she ended up with the reputation of a villainess. I think a better word for her

  • would be victim.

At Okehampton a strong and mighty castle once was found.

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英國民間故事#5:奧克漢普頓的冤大頭夫人 (Tales from English Folklore #5: The Wronged Lady of Okehampton)

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    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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