Weird Norfolk: Is this Norfolk’s weirdest road?

Woodland between Great Hockham and Wretham on the A1075 where a white Grim Reaper figure was seen. P

Woodland between Great Hockham and Wretham on the A1075 where a white Grim Reaper figure was seen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Last year, we brought you news of the Wildman of Watton or Bigfoot of the Forest who has been spotted along the A1075 in a number of sightings from 1986 onwards – witnesses have reported bear-like creatures and shaggy beasts that walk on two legs in the wooded areas that shroud the road.

But our tale today is of a very different kind of paranormal entity, one which has been spoken of in hushed tones for centuries and whose form is well-known to practically everyone: the Grim Reaper.

Many passengers on bus journeys find their eyes drawn to the scenery they pass through – but only one has reported seeing the Grim Reaper peering at them from woodland on the A1075.

The passenger in question took a bus ride in 1995 – the month isn't stated – and was looking out of the window at the wooded area between Great Hockham and Wretham when their eye was caught by something unusual: a figure that looked like the Grim Reaper, but instead of his usual black garb, this reaper was wearing white.

When recounting the tale several years later, the witness in question was told that other people in the area had spotted the soul-collecting spectre and that he was connected to a chapel in the area which could be either the Great Hockham Primitive Methodist Chapel or its predecessor, which was a barn at Puddledock Farm.

For thousands of years, the Grim Reaper has been a figure which represents death with the most enduring image of all being a skeletal figure shrouded in a dark, hooded cloak and carrying a large scythe with which to reap human souls. He comes for everyone, in time, an hourglass in his hand, waiting for the last grain of sand to fall before collecting his bounty with a well-practiced cut of his blade.

Death is, however, sometimes personified as wearing a white burial shroud and with no mention of a scythe, perhaps the person in question saw a wholly different kind of spirit – they did, after all, live to tell the tale…

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