Don’t go down in the woods

THOSE who want to bring back capital punishment might like to take note of the story of one David Leaney who in the 19th century took lodgings with a certain Benjamin Russell and his wife.

As recorded by David Scanlan in his Paranormal Sussex (Amberley Press), the two men decided on a poaching trip in Glydwish Woods, near Burwash.

During a brief separation, Leaney heard a crashing sound and found his friend and landlord dead among the trees.

A doctor was summoned and later declared the cause of death as arsenic poisoning, possibly because village gossip suggested that Leaney had been romantically involved with Mrs Russell.

Leaney was found guilty of murder and duly hanged, despite protesting his innocence.

However, further examination of Benjamin Russell’s body revealed he had actually died of a heart attack. But it was too late for poor old Leaney.

People over the years have claimed to have seen his spectre wandering those same woods in ragged clothes and clutching at his throat.

Don’t go down in those woods today!