I have been thinking about local ghost stories, there doesn't seem to be too many but the one I remember being told about is the ghost of the headless horse that haunts Burnham Green and the surrounding area.
During the English Civil War a farmer, by the name of Pennyfather, lived at Welch’s Farm and was a staunch Royalist. It is said that the Roundheads attacked his farm and decapitated the farmer placing his head on a spike in the stable yard as a warning to all. It is also said that the spike still existed in 1981. Pennyfather’s favourite white horse would not be lead away quietly and was also decapitated. Now a spectral horse, which is believed to be Pennyfather’s, haunts Whitehorse Lane. It has been seen on several occasions and was described by one witness from Tewin Orchard as ‘pure white’ and standing fifteen hands high. This witness believes that she saw the horse early one evening in the 1960s. At first she thought it was a living horse grazing in the orchard behind her cottage but it later disappeared when there was no where for it to have gone. Many locals have seen the headless horse and people say that you can not make any animal walk along the lane at night. At the top of the lane is the White Horse public house which opened in 1806 and is named after the legend.
An alternative version is centred around the road to Harmer Green from Burnham Green is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a headless horse. Whitehorse Lane which is at the end of Harmer Green Lane is similarly haunted so it is possible that they are the same ghost or there has in the past been a confusion of tales or locations. Many of the roads in this area are sunk deep into the landscape due to erosion over the centuries. These roads are believed to date from as long ago as the Bronze Age. It is on one of these roads that the headless horse is seen and it is said that the haunting relates to a battle which took place there between the Saxons and the Viking invaders in the year 1002.
Now I have driven and walked down these lanes (not walked at night) and I have yet to see the famed headless horse. If you look carefully on the picture of the pub you will see that it shows the headless horse, a rather gory picture involving blood where the head should be!!!