The Ghostly Vicar of Lapford

Location: Lapford, Devon - St Thomas of Canterbury Church and neighbourhood.

In the 1860’s the vicar Lapford, John Radford, for reasons best known to himself, murdered his curate.

He was consequently tried for murder. However, the Jury, which consisted of his parishioners, felt unable to condemn their own vicar to the gallows, so in spite of overwhelming evidence, he was acquitted and returned to his duties in the church.

Seemingly, Radford had a strong wish to be buried in the chancel of the church and made the ominous threat to his parishioners that he would return to haunt the village if his wishes were not carried out.

John Radford was buried outside the vestry door, not in the chancel as he wanted. True to his word, his ghost continues to haunt the village to this day.


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