Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Dead White Roses

August 1st is Yorkshire Day and as a Leeds-born lass, I had to mark it somehow. This blog being centred around a ghost story, I wanted to find something eerie.
Dead White Roses by Jeremy Cherfas
I love the elegantly macabre. I'm for the lovely but unnerving, so abandoned wreaths, the bouquets of forgotten brides and the remnants of faded beauty delight me. 
A skeleton form lay mouldering there
In the bridal weeds of a lady fair.
from the Mistletoe Bough by Thomas Haynes Bayley 1884
(Note: I've chosen a West Riding singer for this)

Now the War of the Roses included the bloodiest battle on English soil at Towton near Tadcaster. Not only was it gruesome, it also gave rise to several ghost stories (of Cock Beck running red with blood on the Palm Sunday anniversary, of groaning unseen warriors, and lights seen at night in Lead Chapel, which has no electricity) - and a legend about a rose.

The story goes that wild white roses grew around the site but ever after the battle, they came up splashed with blood from the dreadful battle. See here for more.

So ghosts, brides and roses have a welcome place here, and in my imagination, today and every day. 

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