Murder at Hanging Ditch

All the neighbours agreed that Thomas and Mary Ann Midgley were a happily married couple with hardly a harsh word between them during 10 years of marriage - yet in January 1865 the "perfect" husband cut his wife's throat.

Thomas had been "odd" for several weeks, the neighbours reported. On the night of the murder Sarah Dawson, who lived in the house underneath the couple's at Hanging Ditch, Todmorden, told how she heard strange scratching noises.

An ear-splitting scream of terror sent her running to fetch Thomas' father; on entering the Midgleys' home, the pair discovered a truly awful scene: Thomas, crouching in a corner, was covered in blood while Mary Ann lay in front of the hearth, her head almost severed from her body. A knife lay nearby.

There is a strange twist to the tale of tragic Thomas, who was tried for murder but declared insane. Milltown Memories reveals all.

Read the full story in Milltown Memories, issue 6. If this or other stories stirs a memory, we'd be happy to know - send us your memories and comments.