Friday, December 6, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Revisited: the man who murdered a ghost


Posted on Sunday, 27 October, 2019 | Comment icon 9 comments

It turns out that some ghosts aren't quite dead... Image Credit: John Atkinson Grimshaw (1880)
When Francis Smith pulled the trigger on a ghost in 1804, it sparked one of the UK's strangest court cases.
The story began several months earlier when various people around Hammersmith, London reported seeing what they believed to be the ghost of a suicide victim haunting the streets.

So prolific was this alleged spook that some residents even claimed that the problematic ghost had physically grabbed or attacked them in the vicinity of Hammersmith churchyard.

Keen to put an end to the troublesome spook's shenanigans, local man Francis Smith set out with his shotgun on January 3rd, 1804 in the hope of tracking it down and permanently laying it to rest.

Things quickly took an unfortunate turn however when he managed to shoot and kill bricklayer Thomas Millwood after mistaking his white work clothing for that of the specter.
Smith was subsequently charged with wilful murder and sentenced to death, however in an interesting twist the verdict was later changed to manslaughter and Smith's sentence reduced to just one year in prison with hard labour because he had honestly believed that the man he shot was a ghost.

The actual 'ghost' who had been plaguing the area later turned out to be a real person - shoemaker John Graham - who had been going around wearing a white sheet as a prank to scare his apprentice.

Smith's 'supernatural defense' would go on to become a point of contention in law for 180 years until in 1984 a similar verdict was reached during the case of a man who attacked someone who had been dragging another man across the street, only to find that he had actually been apprehending a thief.

The conviction of assault was quashed as he had legitimately believed a crime was being committed.

Source: Londonist.com | Comments (9)

Tags: Ghost, Francis Smith

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Desertrat56 on 26 October, 2019, 21:12
Well, the end of that tale was a bit disturbing. Now there is a legal precedent that might be used again. What's wrong with asking questions about what is going on before intervening?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Aaron2016 on 26 October, 2019, 23:33
Maybe it was the invisible sword's man?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Desertrat56 on 27 October, 2019, 15:39
One of my favorite movies. Thanks.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Matt221 on 27 October, 2019, 18:16
And that's why you never see anyone on any of the those ghost hunting programs use a twelve bore shotguns it not big and it's not clever .
Comment icon #5 Posted by godnodog on 27 October, 2019, 20:36
OMG I love the 3 Amigos
Comment icon #6 Posted by Scholar4Truth on 27 October, 2019, 20:48
How can one shoot a ghost? they are already dead.
Comment icon #7 Posted by jowasmus on 28 October, 2019, 21:32
The problem here is that the original ghost wasn't actually a ghost, but somebody trying to scare somebody else wearing a sheet. I wonder what would have happened had the man shot the man wearing a sheet. Would he still have gotten sentenced killing a man dressed as a ghost while hunting a ghost back at the time when the reports were going on? Would have made an interesting case. LOL
Comment icon #8 Posted by 'Walt' E. Kurtz on 28 October, 2019, 21:54
Trespassers will be Trespassers will be shot survivors again :-)
Comment icon #9 Posted by jowasmus on 31 October, 2019, 13:50
The proverbial "BOOM! There it is!" LOL


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6606739
276124
182842

 
Planet found orbiting white dwarf in world first
12-5-2019
Astronomers have discovered a huge planet orbiting the burnt-out husk of a star that was once like the Sun.
Can your dreams predict a person's death ?
12-5-2019
A 25-year study has looked into the correlation between precognitive death dreams and a person actually dying.
Navy officer saw 'two-mile-wide UFO' over base
12-5-2019
Lee Adams, who once served aboard the USS Nimitz, recalls witnessing a huge object over a base in Virginia.
NASA reveals Parker Solar Probe discoveries
12-4-2019
The groundbreaking solar probe has sent back its first observations from the edge of the Sun's atmosphere.
Stories & Experiences
My reptilian encounter
11-24-2019 | Ireland and Australia
 
The day I found out I am immortal
11-24-2019 | Hialeah
 
Recent activity in my home
11-24-2019 | Kansas City, MO USA
 
The houndsman
10-26-2019 | Michigan, USA
 
Birthday balloon
10-26-2019 | Usa
 
Devil man in a suit
10-26-2019 | Ohio
 
I accidentally called myself ?
9-28-2019 | United States
 
Giant wolf in my basement
9-28-2019 | Connecticut
 
I saw a shadow figure...
9-26-2019 | Australia
 
A haunting in Iowa
9-26-2019 | Central City, Iowa
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Interview with Sophia the robot
Posted 11-21-2019 | 12 comments
The popular robot recently made an appearance on 'This Morning' in the UK.
 
Coke and butane
Posted 11-17-2019 | 0 comments
The Slo Mo Guys return with another dangerous slow-motion stunt.
 
Origins of the Kraken
Posted 11-15-2019 | 0 comments
A look at the origin of the legendary multi-tentacled sea monster.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2019
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ