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Cock Lane Ghost

A tale of terror without truth; an imaginary tale of horrors. In Cock Lane, Stockwell (1762), certain knockings were heard, which Mr. Parsons, the owner, declared proceeded from the ghost of Fanny Kent, who died suddenly, and Parsons wished people to suppose that she had been murdered by her husband. All London was agog with this story; but it was found out that the knockings were produced by Parsons' daughter (a girl twelve years of age) rapping on a board which she took into her bed. Parsons was condemned to stand in the pillory. ( See Stockwell Ghost )

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Cock Lane Ghost from Infoplease:

  • Cock Lane Ghost - Cock Lane Ghost A tale of terror without truth; an imaginary tale of horrors. In Cock Lane, ...
  • Stockwell Ghost - Stockwell Ghost A supposed ghost that haunted the village of Stockwell, near London, in 1772. The ...
  • Sampford Ghost - Sampford Ghost (The). A kind of exaggerated “Cock Lane ghost” (q.v.), which ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: C - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "C"

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