The Aylmerton Shrieking Pits

The Aylmerton Shrieking Pits is part of my North Norfolk Trilogy of novelettes based on local folklore. This one is based on a tale of a ghostly woman who is heard shrining through the fields near Aylmerton, a couple of miles inland over the ‘ridge’ from the North Norfolk coast. I wondered why some heard her, and others didn’t, and what happens to those who did.

When Kate hears a woman shrieking in an empty field she assumes her husband Andy can hear it as well. But when they stop and he hears nothing, Kate cannot stop herself from investigating.

Kate does see a pale figure, but is distracted by her crying infant son Samuel who Andy holds at the edge of the field. When she turns back, the shrieking woman has gone.

Anxious to call the police, they stop at the nearest house, where an old man tells her of the tale of the Aylmerton Shrieking Pits that seems to include a woman fitting the description of the one Kate has just seen.

But why does Kate hear her, and not Andy? The more she finds out about the legend of the Shrieking Pits, the more Kate thinks it may have something to do with Samuel, and the circumstances around his conception.