Strangehistory has given previously some space to the Cornish ‘Methodist metaphysician’ Samuel Drew (obit 1833). Last time Samuel Drew had been accused, almost certainly falsely by Wikipedia, of witnessing a ghost army. This time Samuel’s witnessing of the paranormal can be substantiated as it appeared in his biography, the author, his son, having apparently taken the material from his father. The text that follows was written by the son (misleadingly in the first person), with reference to others who had heard the tale, as close to his father’s words as possible. SD was at this time a young man apprenticed to a shoemaker. We are in the 1770s or 1780s.
There were several of us, boys and men, out about twelve o’clock on a bright moonlight night. I think we were poaching. The party were in a field adjoining the road leading from my master’s to St Austell, and I was stationed outside the hedge to watch and give the alarm if any intruder should appear.
St Austell is a town in Cornwall and Beach might note that poaching expeditions often led to paranormal encounters, perhaps simply because they were tense affairs that took place at night.
While thus occupied [as a look out] I heard what appeared to be the sound of a horse approaching from the town, and I gave a signal. My companions paused and came to the hedge where I was, to see the passenger. They looked through the bushes, and I drew myself close to the hedge, that I might not be observed. The sound increased, and the supposed horseman seemed drawing near. The clatter of the hoofs became more and more distinct.