Owen Parfitt the criple vanishes into thin air
Owen Parfitt, crippled, was resting in a chair outside his home in 1793, in Shepton Mallet. His sister and a neighbour helped him into it but when she went to get him back in – Owen was mysteriously gone.
Some farm workers had been labouring close by, so she asked them if they had seen if anyone had come to get him. They’d witnessed nothing, so everyone searched the nearby area, but there was no trace of him.
Owen had apparently led a wild life, regaling his friends with stories of pirates and women, and some said pirates had taken him away, so they could find out the location of a buried treasure. Others said the devil had taken him, as there were rumours he was involved with the occult and black magic.
This wasn’t the first time Owen had disappeared- he’d vanished in his youth while working as a tailor and no one knew where he’d gone for decades. He turned up again in 1760, when a man returned to Shepton Mallet, claiming to be Owen Parfitt.
There’s one more twist to this tale – a witness said they saw Owen fleeing the area, a short time after he vanished. So did he pretend to be crippled to fake his disappearance or were supernatural forces at play? We only know one thing for certain – the last time Owen vanished, he was never found again.