Sir Rowland Alston
Phantom lord who terrorised
12th July 1984
Ampthill and Flitwick Times
SIR Rowland Alston was notoriously wicked in his lifetime - and just as bad when he was dead. The ghost of this depraved baron used to walk through walls and tree trunks in broad daylight and ride a phantom black charger into the hall of his ancestral home, Odell Castle, where hoof marks could be seen on the flags of the floor.
He terrorised the neighbourhood so much that one night 12 clergymen with bells, books and candles ambushed him and practised an exorcism ceremony that consigned his spirit to a pond on Odell Wold. Here he remained for more than 100 years and although passers-by sometimes heard his snoring, his mischievous hauntings ceased for the time being.
Eventually he tired of his watery bed and managed to crawl out on dry land, only to find the Devil waiting for him! He was chased all round the countryside but managed to reach the village church just before the Devil pounced.
He floated in through the keyhole as Satan shook the church in rage, leaving five giant fingermarks on the stone jamb of the porch. Nowadays Sir Rowland contents himself by riding a charit and pair around his former estates once every 100 years. His next appearance will be in 2044.
Page last updated: 3rd February 2014