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02 August, 2008

The ghost of Pc. Hosea Pope.

It's been a while since I updated this site. Nevertheless, I've been working away quietly in the background, researching some new articles. For my next few articles, I'd like to focus on some of the paranormal happenings in my homeland, Wales, and bring these events to a wider audience. This first article details a ghost tale from the South Wales valleys.

Many witnesses have reported seeing a spectral figure along a lonely, tree-lined stretch of the A4046 road, between Aberbeeg and Abertillery. The figure is described as that of a man wearing a cloak and a tall hat - not unlike the uniform worn by police constables in the early twentieth century.

In 1911, a police constable named Hosea Pope was in charge at Aberbeeg police station, close to the towns of Abertillery and Ebbw Vale. Aberbeeg was a thriving and bustling industrial village, nestled in a deep valley, close to a railway line. As Pope walked his beat on 14th July 1911, at around 11 PM, he encountered a well-known local rowdy, James Wise. The latter, probably drunk, was hurling stones around. Pope, not a man to tolerate such behaviour on his patch, apprehended Wise, and attempted to take him into custody.

According to a bystander named Stephen Brown, a skirmish broke out when Wise resisted arrest. The scuffle ended abruptly when 34-year-old Pc. Pope fell down, dead. Wise panicked and fled the scene. A local medic, Dr. Kemp, was called to the scene, and determined Pope had died of a heart attack. However, the local press raised a clamour, declaring the policeman's death to be 'wilful murder'. After an escape from custody, and a subsequent recapture, Wise was found guilty of manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and hard labour.

Local people believe that Pc. Hosea Pope still walks his old beat, even today. Many have reported seeing his cloaked figure patrolling the stretch of road where he died, with reports beginning in the 1950's. A large proportion of the witnesses reported seeing the figure suddenly vanish before them, as if swallowed up by the very air around it.

In 1980, a local man walking close to a nearby hotel, had a very close encounter with a cloaked figure wearing a top hat. As they passed one another, the figure stared him straight in the eye, took out a pocket watch, and glanced at it. Just then, a woman's screams emanated from nearby woodland. The figure carried on along the road, apparently staring towards where the screams came from. The local man, although terrified, decided to follow the strange figure. To his shock, the figure suddenly dematerialised, leaving no trace behind.

Although it is impossible to prove that the road is haunted by the ghost of a vigilant policeman, still looking for wrong-doers on his patch, something strange has clearly been witnessed by many people on the Aberbeeg to Abertillery road. And there is no question that Hosea Pope was a real policeman, who lost his life along this stretch of road. A photograph of his gravestone can be seen here, where his widow was laid to rest alongside him, almost seventy years after his death, in the graveyard at St. Peter's Church, Llandevaud. His name, and the circumstances of his death also appear on Gwent Police's Roll of Honour. Who knows? Maybe Hosea Pope really does patrol his old beat along the A4046, still hoping to detain his assailant.

Further Reading

Abertillery Online
Folklore of Llanhilleth
South Wales Paranormal Research


Unknown 24 February 2010 at 22:31  

i have seen the ghost of Hosea pope going to work at the local hospital one morning for aday shift i went under the bridge down by the flyover garage then by the side of the river i came face toface to face with Hosea pope a tall shadowy figure wearing a cape and a tall hat and the picture of a face with a beard came into my mind i had to walk right past this figure and i had the most strangest feeling cold and goose bumps and i sweare that the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.But i was'nt afraid i think now that he was trying to warn me beceause a few weeks later a very good friend of mine was to drown in a tragic accident on that stretch of road fell into the river and i do belive that he was trying to warn me.. Linda Watkins

Jess keep on looking 17 September 2016 at 17:58  

About 20 years ago, a girl I was very friendly with at the time, told me that her dad was driving her home to Ebbw Vale very late at night along this road when she saw a man walking carrying a lantern. She described him as having a beard, wearing a helmet or hat and a cape. She said his clothing and lantern looked old fashioned.
This year, I was travelling this road with another friend and mentioned the road was haunted. He said his mother was present as a passenger in a works van when the driver had an encounter with what sounded to me as the same ghost. The driver saw a bearded man with a lantern (wearing a dark tunic) standing in the middle of the road holding his arm up as if to say 'stop'. The driver pulled over to discover the man had vanished, even though he got out of the vehicle and had a good look around.

Unknown 24 July 2017 at 23:38  

Worked in crumlin lived in cwm at time abt 1995 travelling On my motorbike seen Brite light in mirror i stopped nothing there turned around went back down road nothing went back towards cwm same thing happened bt i went home my uncle when I told said abt a policeman with a lantern tried to slow traffic down bt he was a ghost?

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