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16 October 2014
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Drumbridge and the tale of James Haddock

James Haddock was a farmer and lived with his wife, Arminell, and small son, in the Malone area.

Ghosts & Superstition

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"Call James Haddock"

James Haddock had a great friend called Francis Tavener. When James died in 1657, he left part of his land to wife Arminell and the rest to his young son when he became 21. The executor of the will was one Daniel Davis who several years after James' death married widow Arminell. They had a son and Davis managed to alter the will so that this new son would be the beneficiary instead of James' original boy. Davis would have succeeded in this ploy if it hadn't been for a most unusual phenomenon five years later.

Drumbridge, near Drumbeg
Drumbridge - almost overgrown with greenery,
nestles behind Drumbeg Churchyard

James' old friend Francis Tavener was riding over Drum Bridge on the outskirts of South Belfast, near St.Patrick's Church at Drumbeg late one night when his horse reared up and there before him stood Haddock's ghost.

"Take Daniel Davis to court" moans the ghost.
(Ghosts always moan.) "There is something strange happening to my will".

This apparition appeared on several occasions until Francis did indeed take Davis to court. The case was heard in Carrickfergus under Bishop Jeremy Taylor.

The Courtroom

By now the country was all agog, for news of this apparition had spread. So the courtroom was packed.
The blinds were drawn and in the gloom the proceedings began. Eventually came the moment all had anticipated.
"Call James Haddock", shouted the Usher. No reply. The crowd laughed nervously.
"Call James Haddock". Again silence. The crowd held their breath.
"Call James Haddock" went the cry again and slowly a hand, draped in a shroud, arose from the witness box and a disembodied voice boomed out "Is this enough?"
The crowd erupted. It was enough. The case was proved - and Davis was found guilty.

Audio Clip: Matt Neill - tells the story of James Haddock's Ghost




James Haddock is buried in Drumbeg Parish Church graveyard. However, there's a story afoot that says his gravestone never stays upright and always falls over when re-erected. Have you heard that one?

There is a full article with audio clips about the historic graves to be found in the Drumbeg Parish Church graveyard - Click here to see it...

There is also another account of this story on the site - read it here...


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