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28 October 2014
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The Lincoln Imp

Imp sure most people have seen or heard of the Lincoln Imp in the angel choir at Lincoln Cathedral but there are many different stories about the Imp which are not very well known

Imp writing the most common stories and you will see similarities between them

Lincoln Imp made by the web team - this was thought of as a productive day
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HAVE YOUR SAY

Do you know of any paranormal happenings in Lincolnshire? Have you had a strange experience? Tell us your stories.

E-mail: lincolnshire@bbc.co.uk

SEE ALSO

Bassetlaw Ghost Research Group

Ghostly goings on at the Sun Inn, Saxilby


Tom Otter

I will start with the basic story which is the background for all of the stories on the Lincoln Imp. The basic story is that Satan sent the Imp to the cathedral to cause trouble and the imp was destroying the angel choir when an angel appeared but the imp jumped up onto a pillar and started throwing rocks at the angel. The angel then turned the imp to stone as he is today.

The above story is the general story and is the most commonly told version but there are other versions. This next story is practically the same just more detailed. The story goes back in the 14th Century Satan sent two Imps down to earth to do evil work. Firstly the two Imps went to Chesterfield and sat on the church spire twisting it(that is why it chesterfield still has a crooked spire). After vandalising the spire the two imps headed to Lincoln Cathedral. When they arrived the devil instructed them to cause as much mayhem as possible. The Imps started by smashing up tables and chairs and tripping up the Bishop and then they started destroying the angel choir. Then an angel appeared and told them to stop. One of the imps was brave and started throwing rocks at the angel but the other imp cowered under the broken tables and chairs. The the angel turned the first imp to stone and this gave the second imp a chance to escape.

Another story is that the imp was blown into the cathedral by strong winds and because we was one of the devils creatures he began causing mischief such as dancing on the alter and annoying the angel choir until they could take no more and turned him into stone and he sits at the top of a column near the angel choir with a mischievous grin on his face.

Another version of the story with two imps is that they were sent by the devil to cause trouble in the cathedral and they soon started to annoy the angel choir. The angels told the two imps to leave but the first started to throw things at the angels and the second hid. The angels turned the first imp to stone but this gave the second imp a chance to escape. The second imp is said to have escaped with the help of a witch. The imp went off with the witch on her broomstick but the witch was so found of the imp she turned the imp into a black cat.

This account gives more details to the story. The Lincoln Imp is said in legend to have been sent by the devil to plague the clergy in the cathedral. He was blown in the great west doors by the west wind and blew out the candles, scattered the hymn sheets and attacked the choristers. He flew into the angel choir and when he threatened to pluck out the angels feathers the smallest angel turned him into stone.

Another story is that the imp travelled around the country blown by the wind looking for places to cause mischief and then he came to Lincoln cathedral and started destroying the angel choir. He then went up to the top of the nearest pillar to admire his handy work where an angel turned him into stone. This is why the imp is sat cross-legged and has a evil grin on his face.

All of the stories do seem to have the same basic details however there are some big differences between the stories which is most likely due to fact that the legend has been around for hundreds of years. No matter what stories people hear thousands of people come to see the imp and it has been used for company logos and the Lincoln City football club. It is now recognised as a triumph of good over evil.

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E-mail: lincolnshire@bbc.co.uk
 




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