Unusual activity – St Wystan’s church, Repton.
It seems that unusual activity has taken place at St Wystan’s church since ancient times. The church takes its name from Wystan who was the grandson of King Wiglaf and who was said to have been murdered in 849 by Berhtferht the son of Wiglaf’s successor. It is recorded that a beam of light shone from the ground up to heaven at the spot where he was murdered and that it was visible for an incredible thirty days.
Wystan was buried with his other ancestors in the large crypt which can be still entered underneath the church, where, over the years pilgrims have visited and where many miracles are said to have occurred.
It is also said that some sort of non human entity has been seen in the tower of the church and also strange figures have been seen on the gravestones wreathed in smoke. Also gravediggers have become aware of being watched by a 17th century gravedigger.
The following account is taken from M J Waylands website at http://www.mjwayland.com/index.php/repton-school-ghosts/
Sir Simon Degee, travelling in Derbyshire in 1727 gives this account of an unusual story from an old labourer: “about 40 years since, cutting hillocks near the surface, he met with an old stone wall. When clearing it further, he found it to be a square enclosure of 15ft. In this he found a stone coffin, and saw in it the skeleton of a human body 9ft long, and round it one hundred skeletons of the ordinary size, laid with the feet pointing to the stone coffin. The head of the great skeleton he gave to Mr Bowes, master of Repton School. I enquired at this school and one of the present masters (who is the son of Mr Bowes) concerning the skull but it is lost; yet he says, he remembers the skull in his father’s closet, and that he often heard his father mention this gigantic corpse, and thinks that the skull was in proportion to a body of that stature. The present owner will not suffer it opened, the lady of the manor having forbidden it.”
This “grave” was in a field now covered by the northern position of the churchyard. It was eventually dug up again at the end of the 18th century, but this time only a confused jumble of bones was discovered.
Opposite Wyston church can be found Repton boy’s school, this very old school is said to have tunnels and subterranean passages, in the churchyard can be found the grave of Fredrick Railton who died from an incident of bullying in the school and his ghost has been seen on numerous occasions.