The town of Tedworth in England was plagued by a mysterious and perplexing force in 1661 that to this day is investigated and still perplexes those who visit the house once owned by John Mompesson. The house, the locals will tell you, was once home to not only a family but a demon as well. The story was documented in 1841 by Charles Mackay who dismissed it as a hoax. But the events that took place within those walls still send a shiver down many spines as they talk about it.
The events came as John Mompesson was away on business. As he came home he was informed by his wife that during his absence a strange knocking sound had been heard throughout the house non-stop for several days. That night as they were sleeping the knocking resumed. John got up and grabbed two pistols intent on defending his home from whatever burglar was attempting to gain entry to his home. As he went to the front door he saw it rattling as though someone were attempting to tear it down. Opening the door, John produced his pistol and held it out into the darkness, but saw nothing. As he stood there watching his breath crystalize in the chilly night air he found that no one was anywhere near the house and returned to bed. But as soon as he finally got back into bed the knocking resumed. Once again he investigated but saw nothing. And once again the knocking continued. Over the weeks the knocking was followed by a sort of “poltergeist activity” with planks of wood pulling themselves up from the floors, and objects suddenly being thrown around the room. A local priest summoned to cleanse the house was even assaulted by a massive piece of wood that had been hurled across the room, but noticed that as it impacted his head it could not have landed more gently and was unharmed. John eventually came to remember that he had informed the authorities that a man was wandering around his property banging a drum and begging for money. As was the custom in those days, he had the man arrested and thrown into jail. The drum, which had been confiscated, made a sound very similar to the one that was heard night and day in the house. As time went on and news of the mysterious phenomenon happening in the Mompesson house spread, eventually an official investigation was sent by King Charles the II. As they arrived the drumming immediately ceased until they had concluded there was nothing unusual going on in the house at which point the drumming began almost as soon as they had walked out the door.
Though the events did not stop up until Mr. Mompesson’s death, the drummer was confronted while serving out his sentence and asked if he was the cause of the mischief. The man replied that he had cast a spell on John Mompesson as punishment for taking away his drum and would never stop until he had his drum back. When asked how he had cast the spell, the drummer was eerily silent.