Ghostly death in Sheffield city centre

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Sheffield’s newest ghost book, Scared To Death, tells the tale of a woman who literally died of fright.

We are featuring a different story from the book of Victorian ghosts each day this week.

Dave Clarke with his new book Scared To Death.

Dave Clarke with his new book Scared To Death.

It is written by former journalist David Clarke and compiled using newspaper archives from the time.

On March 3, 1855, under the headline ‘Frightened To Death By A Ghost’, Henry Pawson, editor of the Sheffield Times, announced that ‘. .. this ghost story is one of the prettiest we have heard for some time. ...

‘The ghost has appeared to three persons.

‘The first it alarmed, the second it threw into fits, and the third it killed.

‘What more can be needed to convince the most sceptical?’.

The ghost’s victim was 48-year-old Hannah Rallison.

She was the wife of labourer John Rallison and they rented a room in the Park district of Sheffield.

Hannah fell victim to a ghost which had been spotted many times on Campo Lane, and whose existence had led large crowds to gather.

At the inquest the jury questioned a number of those who were present at Campo Lane but ‘could not make anything of the ghost story’ and returned a verdict of death through natural causes.

Hannah’s death certificate, held by Sheffield City Register Office, records the cause as ‘sudden death in a fit believed to have been brought on by fright’.

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n David Clarke will be signing copies of the book in The Star shop from 3.30pm on Friday, followed by a free ghost walk in the city centre from 5.15pm.