Pondering his recent run of bad luck, John Butterfield of Tring came to the conclusion that he was bewitched. Remembering an old dispute he had with a local woman Ruth Osbourne, it wasn’t long before he had roused enough local feeling to implicate her in a witch-hunt. Despite valiant attempts to hide, Ruth and her husband John were soon apprehended by a mob led by one Thomas Colley – a local chimney sweep.

The couple were dragged to Long Marston, near Tring, where they were bound and thrown into the pond, the standard test for a witch. Old and frail, the Osbournes died from their ordeal, but it was not long before the forces of justice caught up with the ringleader. On August 24, 1751, Colley was gibbeted for his crimes at Gubblecote Cross where ever since, his spirit roams in the form of a huge black dog.

Colley's Dog