Velma had been spending her vacation on a bat study in Wiltshire and was relaxing in the bar of a local hostelry when she was approached by the Mayor of Monkton Farleigh. The Mayor was very concerned. There had always been odd rumours and ghost stories surrounding the area known as Sally in the Wood, and the locals had considered that these added some harmless charm to the area. However, more recently the level of reported spectral events had escalated and this was deterring a significant number of visitors from this fascinating area. Just as the Mayor was beginning to despair about what to do, he had learnt the incredible coincidence that none other than Velma Dinkley was staying nearby and he hoped to engage Mystery Incorporated to investigate the paranormal problem.
Velma almost choked on the botanically brewed ginger beer that she'd been savouring in the pub's snug. As much as she enjoyed the scientific study of bats, a ghost mystery could not be ignored. Before you could say "Jinkies", the rest of the crew had been contacted and arrangements were being made to ship the Mystery Machine over from Coolsville, Ohio.
A few days later, all of the Mystery Inc. crew were assembled around the pub's log fire in Monkton Farleigh: Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and of course Scooby (his pet passport was up to date). Scooby was especially content, as he was enjoying the pub's speciality duck jerky strips, as long as they were amply chewed, almost as much as his beloved Scooby Snacks. The Mayor was running through a PowerPoint presentation on Velma's laptop, bringing the team up to speed.
"Over the years there have been several ghostly tales about the area; for example, the very pub we are sitting in is reputed to be the most haunted in Wiltshire. However, the most well-known stories concern the namesake of the nearby road: Sally in the Wood. The ghoulish tales include women named Sally - ranging from gypsy girls to aristocratic ladies - being locked in Brown's Folly Tower. Then we have ghostly girls in white running across the road, causing traffic accidents or even getting knocked over themselves, although there is of course no body to discover afterwards. There are unsubstantiated reports of disembodied screams in the woods and the sounds of crying babies. Paranormal groups visit the woods at night, sense unearthly presences, and leave again, usually rather anxious.
"There is a more prosaic explanation of the road's name that relates to a fierce woodland skirmish at Monkton Farleigh in the Woodland-wald-grownd in the foote of the hill; this was during the build-up to the Battle of Lansdown Hill in the English Civil War, in July 1643. The term sally was then used to mean 'a sudden rush out from a besieged place upon the enemy'. However, since the road was not built until a century and a half later, this is not a theory favoured by many."
It has to be said that the combination of a warm log fire and the lack of modulation of the Mayor's rather lecturing tone (he worked at a nearby university when not on mayoral duty) was sending some of the gang into a light doze, but of course Velma was rapt. The Mayor continued.
"No, by far the most credible theory concerns a woman…"
But the Mayor was interrupted. A huge blast of wind blew down the chimney, instantly extinguishing the log fire, and simultaneously all the pub's electricity was cut, plunging everywhere into darkness. All that remained lit was Velma's battery powered laptop, which mysteriously switched to a slideshow from one of her early photo albums.
And then an eerie sound emanated from the pub's speaker system. Fortunately Velma was quick off the mark and recorded it on her phone app, but Scooby in particular was so distressed that he buried his head in Shaggy's shirt, his teeth chattering and his paws over his ears.
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After a short time, the electricity supply returned and the log fire spontaneously re-ignited. An inevitable chase around the old haunted building ensued…
Residential Geocoin (April 2018)
Amberel kindly made one of his Top Cache geocoins for this cache. It is called Shaggy's Dog Story. I have chosen to hide it as a RESIDENTIAL geocoin, attached to the logbook. Feel free to discover it, but please do not remove it. Thanks.