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SINGULAR DISCOVERY OF
A SUSPECTED MURDER.


Some few weeks ago, a man assisted by his son, was digging turf in a
lonely part of Longton Moss, near Preston, he discovered the remains of
a human body, under the following circumstances:

In the course of his labours, he came to a spot of ground which had
long been called the "grave" from the peculiar form and appearance of
the grass growing over it being in the shape of a grave, and the sods
upon it much more verdant than the surrounding vegetation. When he put
his spade down among the turf, and was working it about to loosen the
mass of soil which he wished to dislodge, he encountered something that
obstructed his operations, which he thought was an accumulation of
matted sticks, frequently found in turfaries. It proved however, to be
hair, and a human skull which he had just thrown out was covered with
long tresses. He then became aware that he had opened the resting place
of a fellow creature, and in the breast of the earth which his labours
had cleared, the traces of a body were apparent. All was decomposed,
except some of the larger bones; but where the head and neck had lain,
the earth was of a different colour, as though it had been soaked with
blood. The remains were most of them collected and removed to a
neighbouring house, where the hair was washed, and found to be of a
very dark colour.

    The singularity of the occurrence caused no small talk in the
district, and various were the surmises offered to account for it, and
in the course of which the following statement was  gathered, which
appears to be the most probable one, and which is submitted in hopes
that it may, perhaps lead, to the discovery of the individual by whom
the crime has been perpetrated: -

About twenty-two months ago, during the summer months, a man and a
woman, both of whom were strangers, were seen, one Sunday, on the Moss,
in company together; and, by the singularity of their appearance and
behaviour, attracted the attention of the country people, who thought
they were "courting." The evening was calm, and at midnight a
respectable inmate of Sod Hall, which was the nearest house to the
spot, was awoke from her sleep by loud piercing shrieks at some
distance. She opened the window to listen, and heard a female
screaming, in an agonized manner, "Spare my life; do not murder me."
All then was hushed, nor did she hear anything further.

A few days afterwards a red shawl was found near the place, which was
recognised as being the one worn by the woman who was seen on the
previous Sunday, and some one remarked an appearance on the Moss, as
though the sods had been removed. Some slight inquiry was made by the
constable, but the place was unopened, nor was further notice taken of
it until some years after, when the grass had grown so verdantly over
it, and it was so singularly formed as to acquire the name of the
"grave;" and sods were frequently cut from it, on account of there
being better than any near it. The ground when dug into, was still
looser than the surrounding earth, as moss soil, when once disturbed is
a long time before it again becomes firmly bound together. - Preston
Chronicle.
 
 
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