Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/196

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193
SKULLS

the house till it was restored. Once it was flung into the moat, which had to be drained to recover it.

And now I come to a case that, if I mistake not, lets in light on the subject of these screaming skulls, and explains the reason why they exist.

Burton Agnes is situated in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and the hall is a noble structure. The estate, which was anciently owned by the De Somervilles, passed in the reign of Edward I. to the Griffith family, which died out in three co-heiresses, sisters, in the last years of Queen Elizabeth. As they were very wealthy, they resolved on rebuilding the family mansion in the style of the period, and the youngest sister, Anne, took the keenest interest in planning and furnishing the hall. When it was complete, the ladies took up their abode in it; but one day soon after, Anne was murdered on her way to visit some friends by ruffians, then called wood-rangers, for her purse and rings. She had been stunned by them by a blow over the head with a cudgel, and was carried back to Burton Agnes; but although she lingered during five days, she never recovered, and finally died. In her last conscious intervals she besought her sisters, when she was