1 9 8 2 (UK)
1 x 55 minute episode
Based on Edward Chitham’s 1973 novel, this pleasingly old-fashioned ghost story was first broadcast on BBC1 on New Year’s Eve 1982.
Tess (Judith Allchurch) and David (Ian Stevens) are two young school friends and history fanatics in the Black Country who have been copying inscriptions from gravestones in the cemetery at the local Church.
They are particularly interested in the gravestone of Abigail Parkes, whose gravestone indicates that she died in 1890 “innocent of all harm.”
Investigating, they learn that Tess is related to Abigail and finds herself seemingly possessed by the dead girl.
Abigail was traumatised by the death of her true love in a mining accident and subsequently drowned, apparently killing herself in her grief. But the kids uncover a very different – more tragic – story.
Abigail swears after the death of her love that she will wear his ring always. She accidentally drops it into a canal and – distraught at the loss – she attempts to retrieve the ring but drowns in the process.
The coroner incorrectly records a verdict of suicide, which in those days was a sin
Now Tess and David must prove the death was accidental and so free Abigail’s troubled spirit.
Jean Willetts/Abigail Parkes