The frightening tale of a flesh-hungry werewolf unleashed by an archaeologist from Langrick is told in a new book.
Lincolnshire Folk Tales, by Maureen James, is a collection of terrifying and bizarre stories told across the centuries.
The author says the county once nurtured many folk tales, harking back to a time when people would huddle around a fire and recount the such tales to wile away winter evenings.
Such stories include ‘Farmer and the Boggart’ and ‘Shape-shifting Witches’.
Two featured from the Boston area are the Langrick Werewolf and a the tale of how King John died after drinking at Swineshead Abbey.
Sounding like a bizarre version of Indiana Jones, the former story recounts a young archaeologist ‘by the name of Jones’ in the 1920s who unearths some strange humanoid bones with a wolf’s skull while digging a peat bog in Langrick Fen. He took the skull home to examine it, but it was this night, as he heard a scratching outside, the true horror of what he had unleashed came home.
James writes: “He looked out the window and by the light of the moon he saw a strange dark figure with a human form and a wolf’s head. The creature started to claw at the window and snarl.”
The account was terrifying for the young archaeologist who had no explanation - but only one solution to bring the creature’s torment to an end.
Then onto the curious tale of King John in 1216, who while on his way around the county with his knights collecting royal treasures from various religious houses. King John heard that the baggage train carrying all his treasures was lost to the tide while trying to cross the Wellstream. He stopped at St Mary’s Abbey in Swineshead to ‘drown his sorrows with wine and women’.
James recounts how the monks in the abbey were appalled at his behaviour and treament of the woman he commanded to his chamber and plotted to poison him. Suffering sickness pains which many took to be dysentry, he carried on his journey only to die a few days later.
The book is out now, priced £9.99.