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Stop me if you’ve heard this one: there’s this legal case about the paranormal… No, not that one. This one is about a man that was seen being chased into hell right around the time of his death.

Wikipedia indicates the following (Wikipedia contributors 2020):

On May 12, 1687, Captains Barnaby, Bristow and Brewer with Mr Ball, a merchant of Wentworth, went to go shooting on Stromboli,1 aboard the Spinks. Later, as they prepared to leave on the 15th, they saw two men running and Capt Barnaby cried out, “Lord bless me! the foremost man is Mr Booty my next door neighbour in London.” He was in grey clothes with cloth buttons, and the man who was chasing him was dressed in black. They both ran into the mouth of the volcano and at instant there came a great noise. Capt Barnaby said “I do not doubt, but it is old Booty running into hell.”

They arrived at Gravesend on October 6. After some discourse, Capt Barnaby’s wife said “I can tell you some news, old Booty is dead.” He answered, “that we all know: we all saw him run into hell.” Mrs Barnaby related this to an acquaintance in London, who informed Mrs Booty of it. Mrs Booty was very much displeased and went to court about it. The Judge asked Mrs Booty what time her husband died. She told them and it agreed with the time in which the Captain and his crew saw him running (Totten 1825).

Lord have mercy upon me, and grant I may never see what you have seen; one, two or three may be mistaken, but thirty never can be mistaken.—Herbert CJ

She lost her suit, based on the statements of thirty witnesses who were there and their journals (Thiselton-Dyer 1898, 241–43).

What’s the moral of the story? Next time you and your crew see a ghost being chased into hell, take note of it (and for god’s sake, Instagram that shit!), it may save your legal behind(s) one day.

References and Bibliography

(Lifted from Wikipedia and passed through pandoc.)


  1. Later reports mention the island as Lessaria 1 and another called Shumbalon.


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