This case occurred in 1883 in a household in Worksop, a town in the industrial north of England, among the earliest of the kind to be investigated by the Society for Psychical research. It involved a sudden onset of shocking and violent disturbances that continued for several days. Several witnesses, including a police officer, insisted that no living person was responsible. As in many other cases of the type, it also seemed that a single individual, a girl (of unknown age), was in some way the cause of it.
Report on the Worksop Disturbances, by Frank Podmore
(Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 1, 1884, pp. 199-212)
At the beginning of March, 1883, the Retford and Gainsborough Times and other local papers gave accounts of some remarkable disturbances which had occurred in the first two or three days of the month, at the house of a small horse dealer in Worksop, named Joe White. One or two members of the Society entered into communication with the principal persons named in the newspaper reports, and with a friend in the neighbourhood, who very kindly took some trouble in inquiring into the matter for the Society. But it soon became obvious that as nearly all the witnesses of the occurrences related were of the humbler class, and unable, therefore, to write a connected account of what had happened, the best way to arrive at the truth of the matter was for one of us to go in person to make inquiries. Accordingly, at the request of the Haunted House Committee, I went down to Worksop on the afternoon of Saturday, the 7th April, with the intention of inspecting the actual scene of the occurrences, and of personally interrogating the principal witnesses; in order, if possible, to arrive at some rational explanation of the business. I spent the Saturday evening and the whole of the following day in my inquiries, and have, I think, obtained as intelligible and trustworthy a history of the matter as the lapse of time, the nature of the phenomena themselves, and the character of the witnesses will permit.
I derived my information from seven principal eye-witnesses of the disturbances, whom I interrogated, with the single exception of White himself, separately. I wrote out the statement of each witness in full immediately after the interview; and the three most important witnesses, Higgs, Currass, and White, subsequently read through my notes and signed them. The depositions of these three persons are printed in full below. My time was too short to allow a second interview with the four other principal witnesses, and I was unable, therefore, to obtain their signature to the depositions; but I have incorporated the statements of all the principal witnesses in my report.
Besides the seven chiefly concerned, I questioned, in presence of White and his wife, three or four other witnesses of the disturbances, viz., White's brother Tom, a bright looking lad of 18 or 20; Solomon Wass and his wife, next door neighbours of the Whites, the former an ordinary North countryman of the lower class, the latter a pleasant looking, intelligent woman; and George Ford (Buck Ford), a man of about 28. From these I obtained general confirmation of the various incidents, as described by White, Higgs, &c., at which they had themselves been present; but time did not permit of much cross-questioning, nor of taking down their evidence in full.
White's house has been built, according to his own statement, about eleven years. He has only resided in it three years. I was unable to discover anything about the former occupants. The house stands at the end of a piece of waste land, called the New Building Ground, with another house or cottage attached; the nearest separate building being a public-house, about 100 yards off. With that exception there are no other buildings within about 200 yards.
There is no entrance to the house by the front, the front door being locked, and the joints secured with paper from the inside. Entrance is obtained by a covered passage, open at either end, which separates the two houses, and gives access immediately to a yard, surrounded on one side by high palings, and on the other three by piggeries, stables, and the two houses. The plan of the ground-floor of White's house is apparent from the accompanying sketch. The kitchen is about 15ft. square. The upper floor is divided into two rooms, the back one, corresponding to the kitchen, being used as a bedroom for Tom and the children; the front one as a store-house for bacon, horse-furniture, and various odds and ends. There is also a garret above this, into which I did not enter, it being at the time full of bacon in salt. The whole house, not excepting the bedrooms, is hung with bacon, the very staircase being lined with it, so that I had to draw my coat close to me in going up. A large part of the bacon, as I was told by White, had gone bad during the period of the disturbances.
The front or inner room on the ground-floor was an ordinary room, like all the rest of the house, half filled with bacon, and containing, besides bedroom furniture, a large beer-barrel on trestles; everything in it filthily dirty. I looked all over the house in daylight, but could discern no holes in the walls, ceilings, nor any trace of the extensive and elaborate machinery, which would have been required to produce the movements by ordinary mechanical means.
The history of the disturbances, as gathered from the various witnesses whom I interrogated, appears to be briefly as follows:
Nothing remarkable had been seen or heard in the house until about the 20th or 21st February 1883, when, as Mrs. White was alone with, two of the children in the kitchen one evening, washing up the tea-things, at the table, the table tilted up at a considerable angle; the candle was upset, and the washtub only saved by Mrs. W. holding it. She positively assured me that she exerted no pressure whatever upon, the table, and the whole incident struck her as very extraordinary. Her husband made light of it at the time.
On Monday, February 26th, White was absent from home until the Wednesday afternoon. On the Monday his wife allowed a girl, Eliza Rose, the child of an imbecile mother, and herself regarded as half-witted, to come into the house and share her bed at night. White returned on Wednesday night, but left on the following morning until Friday; afternoon. During that one night the girl slept on the squab. On Thursday night, 1st March, at about 11 p.m., Tom White went up to bed-the children having gone up some hours before. At about 11.30, Mrs. White and Eliza Rose being then alone in the kitchen, various things, such as a corkscrew, clothes pegs, a salt cellar, &c., which had been in the kitchen only a few minutes before, came tumbling; step by step down the kitchen stairs. Tom positively and solemnly denied having thrown the articles, and the mystery was increased when, at least 20 minutes after he had gone upstairs, no one having left the room in the interval, some hot coals were thrown down.
On the following night, the 2nd March, at about the same hour – White, Mrs. White, and Rose being in the kitchen – a noise was heard as of some one coming down the passage between the two houses, and stopping just outside the outer door. White told Rose to open the door, but she was too frightened to do so. Then they heard a surcingle [a strap used in a horse's harness] and immediately afterwards some pieces of carpet thrown down the stairs. Then followed some knives and forks and other things. The girl picked them up, but they followed still faster. White then left the room to go up to Tom. During his absence one of the ornaments flew off the mantelpiece into the corner of the room near the door. Nothing was seen by the two women, but they heard it fall, and found it there. Their screams summoned White down; as he entered the room his candle went out, and something struck him on the forehead. The girl picked up the candle-which appears to have left the candlestick, and two new ones which had not been in the house previously- from the ground: and as soon as a candle was lit, a little china woman left the mantelpiece and fell into the corner, where it was seen by White. As soon as it was replaced it flew across the room again, and was broken. Other things followed, and the women being very-frightened, and White thinking that the disturbances presaged the death of his child, who was very ill with an abscess in the back, sent Tom (who was afraid to go alone) with Ford to fetch the doctor. Mrs. White meanwhile took one of the children next door. Rose approached the inner room to fetch another, when things immediately began to fly about and smash themselves in that room. After this all appear to have been absent from the house for a short time. White then returned, with Higgs, a policeman, and, whilst they were alone in the kitchen, standing near the door, a glass jar flew out of the cupboard into the yard; a tumbler also fell from the chest of drawers in the kitchen, when only Higgs was near it. Both then went into the inner room, and found the chest of drawers there turned up on end and smashed. On their return they found Rose, Wass, and Tom White in the kitchen (? and Mrs. Wass), and all saw a cream jug, which Rose had just placed on the bin, fly four feet tip in the air and smash on the floor. Dr. Lloyd and Mrs White then entered, and in the presence of all these witnesses, a basin was seen to rise slowly from the bin-no person being near it except Dr. Lloyd and Higgs. It touched the ceiling, and then fell suddenly to the floor, and was smashed. This was at 12 p.m. All then left except Tom White and his brother. The disturbances continued until about 2 a.m. r when all grew quiet, and the Whites slept. At about 8 a.m. on Saturday the 3rd, the disturbances began again.
White left the kitchen to attend to some pigs, and, in his absence, Mrs. White and Rose were left alone in the kitchen. A nearly empty port wine bottle leaped up from the table about four feet into the air, and fell into a bucket of milk, standing on the table, from which Mrs. White* was filling some jugs.
Then Currass appears to have been attracted to the scene. He entered with White, young Wass, and others, and viewed the inner-room. They had but just returned to the kitchen, leaving- the inner room empty, and the door of communication open, when the American clock*, which hung over the bed, was heard to strike. (It had not done so for 18 months previously.) A crash was then heard, and Currass who was nearest the door, looked in, and found that the clock had fallen over the bed-about four feet broad-and was lying, on the floor. Shortly afterwards-no one being near it-a china dog flew off the mantelpiece, and smashed itself in the corner near the door. Currass and some others then left.
Some plates, a cream-jug, and other things, then flew up in the air, and smashed themselves in view of all who were in the kitchen-Rose, the Whites, and Mrs. Wass.
White then lay down on the sofa, but disturbances continued during his siesta. In particular, some pictures on the wall next the pantry began to move, but were taken down at once by his brother. At about 2 p.m. a Salvation Army woman came in, and talked to White. Rose only was with them in the kitchen. A candlestick flew from the bin, and fell behind the Salvation Army woman, as she stood near the pantry door. She left the room in terror.
Other things then followed at intervals. A full medicine bottle fell without breaking. An empty medicine bottle and a lamp-glass fell and broke themselves. It was then about 4 p.m., and White could stand it no longer. He told the girl she must go; she did in fact leave before 5 p.m. After her departure nothing whatever of an abnormal character took place, and the house has remained undisturbed up to the present time.
With regard to the positions of the persons present, in relation to the objects moved, it may be stated generally that there was no possibility in most cases of the objects having been thrown by hand. It will be seen, on reference to the depositions of the witnesses which are appended, that the objects were frequently moved in a remote corner of the room, or even in an adjoining room. Moreover, the character of the movements, in many cases, was such as to preclude the possibility of the objects having been thrown.
[It will be noted that there is a discrepancy between White's and Currass' version of this incident. Mrs. White, however, confirmed her husband's account; and I have little doubt that the statement in the text is substantially accurate. Curras is more likely than White to have been mistaken in his recollection of White's position at the time, and Currass' account of his own position does not differ greatly from that given by White. The material point, and one on which both witnesses are agreed, is that no one saw the clock fall. Currass' written statement is not clear on this point, but he told me vivâ voce that his attention was drawn to what had taken place by hearing the crash. Ho only then turned round and saw the clock lying on the floor. FP]
Of course the obvious explanation of these occurrences is trickery on the part of some of the persons present. In regard to this, it seems to me a matter of very little significance that most of the educated people in Worksop believe White himself to have caused the disturbance. For most educated persons, as we know, would not be ready to admit any other than a mechanical explanation, and if such an explanation be adopted, White, the owner of the house, a man of considerable intelligence, whose record was not entirely clean, and who was himself present on the occasion of nearly all the disturbances, must obviously be the agent. But whilst believing White to be at the bottom of the matter, none of the persons with whom I conversed were prepared with any explanation of his modus operandi. That he should have thrown the things was universally admitted to be impossible. And beyond this, I could discover little more than an unquestioning faith in the omnipotence of electricity. No one professed to have any idea of what mechanical means could have been employed, or how they could have been adapted to the end in view. Still less did anyone pretend to have discovered any indications in the house itself of any machinery having been used. Moreover, there was a total absence of any apparent motive on White's part, supposing him to have been capable of effecting the movements himself. Whilst he was unquestionably a considerable loser-to the extent of nearly £9 as estimated by himself, though this estimate is probably exaggerated-by the articles broken, he appears to have reaped no corresponding advantage. The one motive which I heard suggested-if we disregard a report in one newspaper, subsequently contradicted in another, to the effect that White was anxious to buy the house, and to buy it cheap-was that he produced the disturbances in fulfilment of a sporting bet. But I saw no reason to regard this explanation as anything but a scholium evolved by some ingenious commentator from the facts themselves.
Again, had White himself been the principal agent in the matter, it is clear that he must have had at least two confederates, for he was not himself present during the disturbances on the Thursday night- which might, indeed, have been caused by his brother Tom-nor was either he or his brother present during some of the occurrences on the following day. Moreover, these confederates must not only have been extremely skilful, but they must have been capable of more than ordinary reticence and self-control. For it is remarkable that, with the single exception of the statements made by the girl Rose, no one professed to have heard even a hint from White himself, from his brother, or from any other, of any trickery in the matter.
Moreover, it is hard to conceive by what mechanical appliance under the circumstances described, the movements could have been effected. The clock, for instance-a heavy American one-was thrust out from the wall in a horizontal direction, so as apparently to clear a 4ft. bedstead which lay immediately beneath it, and the nail from which it depended remained in situ on the wall. The objects thrown about in the kitchen moved generally, but by no means always, in the direction of the outer door. And it is noticeable that, in most cases, they do not appear to have been thrown, but in some manner borne or wafted across the room, for, though they fell on a stone floor 15ft. or 16ft. distant, they were often unbroken, and were rarely shivered. And it is impossible to reconcile the account given of the movement of some other objects, variously described as "jerky," "twirling," and "turning over and over," with the supposition that the objects depended on any fixed support, or were in any way suspended.
Lastly, to suppose that these various objects were all moved by mechanical contrivances argues incredible stupidity, amounting almost to imbecility, on the part of all the persons present who were not in the plot. That the movement of the arms necessary to set the machinery in motion should have passed unobserved on each and every occasion by all the witnesses, is almost impossible. Not only so, but Currass, Higgs, and Dr. Lloyd, all independent observers, assured me that they examined some of the objects which had been moved, immediately after the occurrence, with the express intention of discovering, if possible, any clue to an explanation of the matter, but entirely failed to do so. These men were not over-credulous ; they certainly were not wanting in intelligence ; and they were not, any of them, prepossessed in favour of White. But they each admitted that they could discover no possible explanation of the disturbances, and were fairly bewildered by the whole matter.
Statement of Joe White
A fair witness. I think that he always intended to speak the truth, but that occasionally his memory proved treacherous. In all important points, however, he was corroborated by his wife (an excellent witness), Higgs, and Currass. FP.
I returned home about 7 on the Friday night (March 12th). I had been absent from home on Monday and Tuesday nights: and it was during my absence that my wife took in the girl Rose, who shared her bed in the front inner room. I slept at home on Wednesday, and the girl then slept on the squab in the kitchen. I left again on Thursday morning, and returned as mentioned on the Friday.
When told by my wife and Tom what had happened on Thursday night I said some one must have been tricking, and didn't think much more about it. But I chaffed the lass (Rose) a good deal, for she was much frightened. About 11.30 on Friday evening, when my wife, the girl, and I were alone in the kitchen, just going up to bed, I heard a noise as if some one had come down the passage between the two houses, and were standing just outside our door. They didn't knock; but I said to Rose, "Go and see who's there." But she was frightened and didn't go. Then presently, a lot of things came rattling down the stairs. I don't know what came first: but a lot of things came-a surcingle, bits of carpet, knives and forks, a corkscrew, etc. The girl went to pick them up, and put them on the table, and just as fast as she put them on more things came down. Then my wife said to me, "The salt cellar came down last night, but you won't have it down to-night, for here it is on the table." She was using it at the time for salting Tom's dinner for next day. She had hardly said this, when the salt-cellar flew off from the table, and into the corner near the outer door. Rose was in that corner, and not near the table: my wife was at the table but certainly didn't touch the cellar. I saw the thing go, though 1 couldn't believe my eyes. My wife didn't see it go, but we both saw it as it struck the wall in the corner. All the salt was spilled out of it. I fairly couldn't believe my own eyes; but I couldn't help thinking it must be Tom. So I went upstairs to him, and told him to leave off. "Thou'lt frighten our Liz to death." He said, "It's not me, Joe. I'll take my oath it isn't. I've never, thrown nowt down." Whilst I was still talking to him, I heard a crash downstairs, and the women screamed, and my wife cried, " Come down, Joe." As I was just coming into the room the candle which I held in my hand went out-I don't know how at all-and we were left in darkness, except for the firelight. Then something hit me on the forehead, and I cried out, "Who threw that?" Then there was a crash in the corner. I found out when we had a light again, that the salt cellar had fallen again into the corner, and broken itself. Then I found out that the candle was not in the candlestick, and asked where it was. I told the girl to look for it, and then she felt among the things at the bottom of the stairs and picked up three candles, two of them quite new. We had only had two candles in the house [Mrs. White expressly confirmed this. FP] which had been bought just before, and both had been partly burnt. I lit the old ones, and left the new ones on the table; but they disappeared afterwards, and I have never seen them since.
When the candle was lit again, I saw the little china woman jump off from the mantelpiece, and go into the same corner. It fell on its side, and then righted itself, and stood upright, unbroken. I distinctly saw it go through the air; it passed near me as I stood about the middle of the room. None of us were near the mantelpiece. I picked it up, and presently it fell into the corner again, and broke itself.
Then the tea-caddy and the candlestick, all from the mantelpiece, followed. Then I went out and found George Ford ("Buck" Ford), and asked him to fetch Dr. Lloyd for the child-for they had told me that all this disturbance meant the death of the child, who was very ill with an abscess in its back.
Then I got my wife to take the little lad out, and lay him next door, he lying on the squab in the kitchen at the time. [Mrs. W. denied this, and said he was in the inner room.-F. P.] Rose went with her, and they took all the children with them. Before going, Rose had to go into the inner room, and then things began to fly about there and make a disturbance. All had been quiet there before.
I went after the others into the next house and stayed there some little time. When I came back, I found the Police-constable Higgs in the kitchen. He and I went alone there. (Rose all this time was next door.) We heard a crash in the inner room, and we went in-Solomon Wass and Tom, who had just entered with us, and Higgs with his lantern, and we found the chest of drawers turned up on end, and the lustres and looking-glass, and everything else that had been on it, in pieces on the floor. Then we came back into the kitchen, and we saw the cupboard door open, and a big glass jar flew out, and flew into the yard and broke itself. Also some things flew off the bin at the side of the door, from the end near the fire; and they pitched in the corner, and then went out in the yard. Things often pitched on the floor by the door first, and then got up again and flew out into the yard.
Then Dr. Lloyd came in with my wife, and Higgs showed him what had happened in the inner room. Then when we had got into the kitchen again, and were all standing near the door of the inner room-Higgs, my wife, and Tom, and Wass, and Lloyd-who was about six feet from the bin, and the nearest to it of our party-we all saw a basin which was lying on the bin near the door, get up two or three times in the air, rising slowly a few inches or perhaps a foot, and then falling plump. [Mrs. W. corroborated this, and so did Mr. Wass, the next-door neighbour, who was also present. FP.] Then it got up higher, and went slowly, wobbling as it went, up to the ceiling, and when it reached the ceiling, it fell down all at once, and broke itself. (During this scene the room was lighted by one candle, Higgs' lantern, and a blazing fire ; so that the light was pretty good.) Dr. Lloyd then looked in the bin, saying the devil must be in the house, and then left. All the others shortly afterwards left, Mrs. W., Rose and the children stopping in the next house Tom and I sat in the chair on either side of the fire until the next morning at 8 a.m. Things kept on moving every now and then until about 2 a.m., and then was all quiet, and we got to sleep a bit. At about 8 a.m. I had to go out to see after a pig, which had been pigging, and then things began again; and a lot of folks came in to see about it. Currass came in, and I went with him into the inner room and showed him the chest of drawers, he and I alone; we came out leaving the door open-I am quite sure it was open-and I was sitting near the fire, and Currass was just inside the kitchen, not far from the open door, when Wass's little lad, who was sitting at the table, said, "There's the clock striking," meaning the big clock which hung over our bed. I couldn't hear it, and I said it was a lie. Just then we heard a crash, and I asked what it was, and Currass looked round, and said it was the American clock had fallen right across the bed, and lay on the floor at the foot, with its bottom knocked out. Then I took it into the yard. I don't think-indeed, I am sure that Coulter was not here when all this happened. The other clock fell and was broken, but whether before or after I cannot remember; and he may have seen that. I don't remember where the girl Rose was when the American clock fell. She may have been in the kitchen, but she certainly wasn't in the inner room ; no one was in that room, I am sure. I don't remember saying just at that time, though I often did say, that wherever she went the things smashed.
After that, Currass and I and one or two others were standing near to the outer door talking, when the china dogs, or one of them, flew off the mantelpiece and smashed ; and lot of things kept on flying into the corner and smashing. I saw one of the dogs leave the mantelpiece and go through the air. I don't remember exactly when Coulter came; he may have been here when the china dog was smashed, but I don't remember that he was. Then a cream jug fell off the table ; it had done so four or five times without smashing. At last I filled it with milk, and had placed it on the bin, when it suddenly fell off and smashed, and the milk was all spilt.
Then I was tired, and lay down on the squab; but things kept moving. I was told some pictures on the wall began to move, but I didn't see them. At about 2 p.m., a Salvation Army woman came in and was talking to me as I lay on the squab; she stood near the inner door; Rose was near the outer door having brought in some carpet. There were two candlesticks on the bin, at the end near the fireplace. Suddenly something dropped behind the Salvation Army woman. No one saw it going through the air; but we turned round and found that it was one of the brass candlesticks. It was half balanced on the small end where the candle goes, and was wobbling about on the end. Then the Salvation woman said, “I must go”; and she went.
Then a little after, when Rose was going to lay down the carpet, and no one else in the room, a medicine bottle, full, fell from the bin on to roll of carpet, about three or four yards off, and was broken. A lamp-glass had fallen several times without breaking; but at last that fell and broke. Then an empty bottle flew off from the mantelpiece. That was one of the last things that happened. Well then, I couldn't stand it any longer. Wherever the lass seemed to go, things seemed to fly about. So G said to her, "You'll have to go." She began to roar. But my wife gave her some tea, and she went. That was between 4 and 5 p.m., very soon after the last disturbance. Nothing happened after she left. We sat up in the kitchen that evening, a lot of us, as the newspapers tell; but nothing happened at all.
I have been in the house three years. I think the house had been built four or five years before that. Nothing of the kind had ever happened in it before, as far as I know, except that once I thought I heard some one moving in the yard, and fancied it might be some one after the fowls ; but there was no one there ; and there was that strange tilting of the table when my wife was washing up the things about a week before.
The Wasses and the Willises [Mrs. Willis is Wass's sister - FP] had lived together in the next house ; but since all these disturbances, the Willises have left the house; but Mr. and Mrs. Wass are still there.
(Signed) JOSEPH WHITE.
New Building Ground, Worksop.
April 8th, 1884
Statement of Police Constable Higgs
A man of good intelligence, and believed to be entirely honest. Fully alive, as becomes his official position, to White's indifferent reputation, but unable to account for what he saw. FP.
On the night of Friday, March 2nd, I heard of the disturbances at Joe White's house from his young brother, Tom. I went round to the house at 11.55 p.m., as near as I can judge, and found Joe White in the kitchen of his house. There was one candle lighted in the room, and a good fire burning, so that one could see things pretty clearly. The cupboard doors were open, and White went and shut them, and then came and stood against the chest of drawers. I stood near the outer door. No one else was in the room at the time. White had hardly shut the cupboard doors when they flew open, and a large glass jar came out past me, and pitched in the yard outside, smashing itself. I didn't see the jar leave the cupboard, or fly through the air; it went too quick. But I am quite sure that it wasn't thrown by White or anyone else. White couldn't have done it without my seeing him. The jar couldn't go in a straight line from the cupboard out of the door; but it certainly did go.
Then White asked me to come and see the things which had been smashed in the inner room. He led the way and I followed. As I passed the chest of drawers in the kitchen I noticed a tumbler standing on it. Just after I passed I heard a crash, and looking round, I saw that the tumbler had fallen on the ground in the direction of the fireplace, and was broken. I don't know how it happened. There was no one else in the room.
I went into the inner room, and saw the bits of pots and things on the floor, and then I came back with White into the kitchen. The girl Rose had come into the kitchen during our absence. She was standing with her back against the bin near the fire. There was a cup standing on the bin, rather nearer the door. She said to me, "Cup'll go soon ; it has been down, three times already." She then pushed it a little farther on the bin, and turned round and stood talking to me by the fire. She had hardly done so, when the cup jumped up suddenly about four or five feet into the air, and then fell on the floor and smashed itself. White was sitting on the other side of the fire.
Then Mrs. White came in with Dr. Lloyd ; also Tom White and Solomon Wass. After they had been in two or three minutes, something else happened. Tom White and Wass were standing with their backs to the fire, just in front of it. Eliza Rose and Dr. Lloyd were near them, with their backs turned towards the bin, the Doctor nearer to the door. I stood by the drawers, and Mrs. White was by me near the inner door. Then suddenly a basin, which stood on the end of the bin near the door, got up into the air, turning over and over as it went. It went up not very quickly, not as quickly as if it had been thrown. When it reached the ceiling it fell plump and smashed. I called Dr. Lloyd's attention to it, and we all saw it. No one was near it, and I don't know how it happened. I stayed about ten minutes more, but saw nothing else. I don't know what to make of it all. I don't think White or the girl could possibly have done the things which I saw.
(Signed) WILLIAM HIGGS, G.E. 30.
April 10, 1883
Statement of Arthur Ourrass
A coal-miner; a Methodist, and apparently a very steady, respectable man. Believed that White did it, but couldn't guess how it was done. FP.
I had to go out on the Saturday morning (March 3rd) to get some swill for the pig, about 8.15 a.m. I passed by White's house, and hearing a disturbance, I looked over the railings, and White said to me, "There's something in the house that's breaking all afore it." I asked him what it were, and he told me to come and see. I got over the railings, and I followed White into his own house. He took me into the front place where the clock was hanging over the bed's head, and was showing me a nest of drawers, where his suit of clothes came out of the bottom drawer into the top one but one. While I was looking at the drawer, and the broken pots there was lying there, the clock by some means came from the wall, slanting wise about seven feet, and dropped clear of the bed's foot onto the floor. It had been fastened up on the wall, near the bed's head, and it fell between the bed's foot and the door. I said, "What is that ? " White said, " It's something else smashed." I turned round and saw that it was the clock. The nail still remained in the wall. The girl Rose was coming out of the kitchen towards the inner door, but had not got quite up to it. She seemed to be much frightened. White said to me, "It doesn't matter a damn where that lass goes, there's something smashes." The clock was taken right away into the yard and placed on an empty cask, and there it stayed. White and I were alone in the front room when the clock fell. White and I then went into the back kitchen, and I remained about four feet from the outer door, with my face towards the fireplace. I then saw a pot dog leap from the mantelpiece, and come within about five feet of the pantry door and break, passing close to me. There was nothing attached to it, and there was no one near it. I then began to move away, and just then Coulter appeared. This would be between 8.30 and 8.45 a.m. Coulter had not come before whilst I was there, and certainly had not been present when the clock and the dog were broken. The clock was in the yard when he came, and I showed it him there.
(Signed) ARTHUR CURRASS.
John Street, Worksop,
8th April, 1883.