Headless Bert of Robin Hood’s Bay

In the small town of Robin Hood’s Bay once lived a very frugal farmer named Bert Marshall. Now, a lot of Yorkshire folk are frugal, we tend to save money where we can and heaven forbid we pay out money for something we don’t need. Bert Marshall went way beyond looking after the pennies and even went as far as stealing a set of dentures from a


Bert’s ghost still haunts the railway line

corpse to replace his old teeth with.

Now Bert didn’t have a way to travel around, he had an old horse that couldn’t make it very far down the road and it seemed outrageous to Bert to buy a new horse, so whenever he needed to be anywhere he would walk. Most of his journeys went on the route of the Whitby/Scarborough railway line, and one of his favourite journeys to make was to the pub, if Bert would splurge on anything it would be alcohol.

Every Friday night Bert would walk down the railway line towards his favourite haunt the Windmill Inn, in Stainsacre (a good five mile walk). He would remove his teeth to get more for his money, so he could swirl the beer around his mouth and savour the taste of that one luxury he felt comfortable spending his money on.

As all ghost stories start; it was a dark and stormy night when an intoxicate Bert made his way home along the railway line. No witnesses were around so how the accident happened is a mystery, but it seemed that whatever happened knocked Bert’s teeth out and he had to bend to get them. On his way down Bert toppled over and landed across the active railway line, lying unconscious Bert’s fate was set when an on-coming train was speeding towards him. Bert was decapitated by the train.

When the police arrived at the gruesome scene they found his lifeless body on the tracks, but were unable to find his head what became of it no one knew, and no one ever found out. It was assumed that wildlife had taken it to feast upon.

Bert’s family searched tirelessly for his head, as it was important in those days for all the body parts to be buried together so that when judgement day came his body was whole, but his head was never found. Due to be buried without a head some have suggested that Bert’s spirit will never rest, and his headless ghost is still seen on moonless nights along the train tracks. Some have said that Bert still carries his false teeth with him as he searches for his head, clanking them together like maracas hoping to get a response from his missing head. He carries on, in his eternal quest to find his head.


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