The Folly Inn
54 London Street, Faringdon, Oxfordshire
Although a curious name, it is commonplace for an inn, with there are several examples throughout the country. Occasionally, on these inn signs is portrayed a cavorting merry jester. The parish churchyard of All Saints exhibits ghostly manifestations. these include the headless ghost of Hampden Pye. The ghost of Pye manifests on regular occasions and typically at the Folly Inn, holding his mangled head in his hands. Pye had been conducting a love affair with a barmaid at the Folly Inn and his parents bought him a commission in the Royal Navy. This was to get him away from the town and avoid scandal. His wicked stepmother arranged to have his head shot off by a bribed captain during a naval engagement off the Spanish coast. The captain of the ship engaged the help of one of the more coercible members of his crew, ‘Hairy-faced Dick’. During their next battle, Hampden Pye stood on the fore deck, cutlass in hand, ready to fight. As the enemy bullets flew around their heads, Dick waited for the signal from his captain. At an opportune moment, Dick pushed Hampden in front of cannon. It was subsequently it was fired. Pye’s body was brought back to Faringdon in a full rum barrel.