Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Jan/1855) – Extraordinary Mode of Finding a Missing Human Body

The death of Sarah Ann Lumb is also covered in this blog post.

In March 1855, Miss Challand also attempted to contact the Seed Hill Ghost.

Extraordinary Mode of Finding a Missing Human Body.

The following statement will be sufficiently intelligible without any explanation on our part :—

An inquest was held by Thomas Taylor, Esq., coroner, at the Ship Inn, Mirfield, last Friday afternoon, on view of the body of Sarah Ann Lumb, who was 15 years old, and the daughter of a farmer named James Lumb, residing at Marsden. It appeared from the evidence that on Thursday the 14th ult. the deceased left her home about eight o’clock in the evening, the weather being very boisterous, and having gone about 300 yards with a schoolfellow, she turned back, and is supposed to have accidentally walked into the river Colne, particulars of which occurrence were given in the Chronicle of December 23rd. Samuel Whitehead, of Marsden, builder, deposed that deceased was his niece ; that her skirt was found in the river on the 15th ult„ about a quarter of a mile below Marsden, and that her shawl was discovered on the following Tuesday, her flannel petticoat on the 24th, and her dress skirt on the 28th ult. Advertisements were published offering a reward of five pounds, for the recovery of the body, and witness at the request of deceased’s friends, though opposed to his own judgment, had been to Holmfirth to consult a “wise man,” who, however, could give no information. Enquiries were made at Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Wakefield without success. However, on Tuesday last the witness received a letter stating that Captain Hudson was mesmerising persons in Huddersfield, and last Wednesday he accompanied Mr. Joshua Farrar, mill-owner, of Marsden, to the mesmerist’s lodgings. The captain on being asked if he knew of any person who could give information respecting a young woman who was missing, mentioned the name of a female residing at Mold Green, named Challand, a dressmaker. The witness, accompanied by Mr. Farrar, went for her and brought her back in a cab, but did not tell the purpose for which she was required. She was immediately mesmerised, and then asked if she knew what the two gentlemen had come about. She replied “Yes, about the young woman who was drowned at Marsden.” She was then asked if she knew the shawl there on a chair ; she said “yes, it is the shawl that young woman had on her head when she was drowned.” She also identified the dress-skirt which was very much torn, and was told to see where the missing woman was. The mesmerised person appeared to be asleep for about five minutes, and then gave a description of the progress of the body down the river, and ended by saying that the body was covered with mud, except her feet, within 100 yards of the second bridge in Mirfield, where horses go over. In conscience of this statement the witness went to Mirfield last Thursday, and commenced searching in the river Calder near Legard Bridge, but was told that Shepley Bridge was the second, and he accordingly had the workmen removed to the latter, where after three or four throws deceased was found in the mud about 20 yards above the bridge, and her feet did not appear to have been buried. The distance by land between Marsden and Mirfield is about 14 miles. A post mortem examination proved that deceased had come to her death by drowning, and the jury returned an open verdict. The name of the Clairvoyante is Mary Ann Challand, aged about 18; and her father for 20 years has acted as traveller to Mr. James North, of Kings Mill. She knew nothing of deceased previous to being in the clairvoyant sleep.

Extraordinary Mode of Finding a Missing Human Body