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The Ghost of Dorothy Dinglet


The ghost of Dorothy Dinglet was seen on a number of occasions in a field, then known as Higher Brown Quartils, and also on a nearby road. Her hauntings are centred on the period shortly after her death, in 1662. Dorothy Dinglet was well acquainted with the Bligh Family, of Botathan House. Around the time of Dorothy’s death, the elder son of the Bligh Family moved away. It is thought that Dorothy died in childbirth and that the elder son was the father of the child.

Three years after her death she appeared to the younger son of the Bligh Family, who was crossing a field on his way to School. He could see the woman coming towards him, pointing her finger at something distant. She appeared to take no notice of the lad and passed him by, gliding rather than walking. This apparition occurred several times whilst the lad was crossing the field, but Dorothy Dinglet was not seen by anyone else at this time. The lad was upset by the constant appearances and began to change in his mood. Noticing the change and being concerned, his Parents turned in desperation for the help of the local parson, John Ruddell, then Curate of Launceston. The priest accompanied the Bligh’s back to their house and heard the full story from the boy. The boy appeared to be telling the truth, so the next day he went with the boy to the field and they both saw the apparition coming towards them, gliding over the grass, in the early January light. Parson Ruddell had intended speaking with the apparition, but when he saw her he was powerless to speak. He had no doubt, however, that he had seen a ghost. His wife was taken unwell shortly afterwards, so the Parson had to postpone for a few days, a journey to Exeter to see the Bishop where he applied for permission to exorcise her.

Having obtained the necessary permission, he prepared to meet Dorothy alone in the field. He wore a ring, on which was engraved the “Scrutum Davidis”, and he carried a rowan stick. On 27th July 1665, he awaited the arrival of Dorothy Dinglet in the field, and she in due course appeared gliding over the field. Parson Ruddell called out to her but at first he was ignored. It was only on his third call that she stopped, turned and faced the Parson. There followed a rather lengthy conversation and the ghost said that she haunted the field because of an unconfessed sin she had committed at this Plane. After her confession, she asked John Ruddell not to divulge the secret of their conversation, and in turn agreed not to haunt the lad, or the field, again. She then set of towards the west and was not seen again.

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