Mrs. Blunden buried alive!
Blunden was the wife of a local malt merchant in the 17th century. She was
described as a fat, gross woman with a fondness for drinking and it was this
fondness for the demon drink that eventually led to her down fall. The families
maid lived in Wote Street with the Blundens and was always busy tending to the
needs of Mrs. Blunden.
One evening in July 1674, Mrs. Blunden felt ill,
her husband was away in London on business, so she asked the maid to pour her
some wine to ease her pain. Unfortunately the overworked maid poured out
poppywater by mistake. Mrs. Blunden drank it down and within minutes fell into a
deep coma. Due to lack of medical knowledge at the time it was mistakenly
believed that she had died.
messenger was dispatched by horseback to relay the news to Mr. Blunden in
London. Members of the family, however, decided that the "dead" Mrs.
Blundens body might begin to smell in the hot summer night, so they buried her
in the Holy Ghost Chapel in Basingstoke. In the morning, some children playing
amongst the grave stones heard strange tapping noises coming from Mrs. Blundens
grave, and ran to fetch someone to explain the noise. after some delay workmen
gathered to listen to the tapping and eventually permission was given to dig up
the grave. The delay was too long
and when the coffin was opened she was dead, she had made an attempt to escape
but the ordeal had killed her.
Although Mr. Blunden forgave the maid for her
mistake, neighbours continued to blame her. She eventually lost her mind and
died a tragic death.