I’ve always admired Billy Bragg’s songwriting and his ability to tell vivid stories about love, politics, and more through his well-crafted lyrics. But I had no idea he was also great at spinning spooky tales. Recently, he took to his social media to share a spooky ghost story, stating that “Midwinter is a traditional time for ghost stories and I love a spooky tale.” He then shares his love for the Uncanny podcast on BBC Sounds, where host Danny Robbins explores spooky encounters with the paranormal. Then he launches into his own tale, which starts like this:
Last summer I had my own encounter with the paranormal when something strange was unearthed in our garden. We were having a new patio put in and this necessitated uprooting a clump of bushes behind the house. In among the shrubbery, the landscaper tasked with the job came across a large stone slab, shaped like a broken gravestone. Lifting it up, he saw something half buried in the earth beneath – a Celtic cross made of stone and beside it a tiny stone angel, of the kind you find in a Victorian graveyard.
When he recounted his find to me as he was leaving for the day, I was reminded of what the old farmer who lived up the road once told me about our property, that it contained a pit that local people used as a place as a dump. The shrubbery was within the area he spoke of.
That night, I could not get out of my mind the idea that the landscaper had uncovered the grave of a baby, perhaps the product of a late termination that someone had wanted to dispose of, seeking to hide evidence of a secret affair. I imagined some poor local Tess of the D’Urbervilles laying the cross and angel alongside a small bundle on a moonless Dorset night.
Awoken by my bladder in the small hours and heading to the bathroom, I was transfixed by the notion of the baby lying in the pit below our bedroom window. I imagined I heard its cry and felt a chill come over my whole body. We had disturbed something out there and now it was weeping.
I won’t spoil how it ends! To read the rest, go check out his Instagram.