With Halloween approaching the Watford Observer has again joined forces with Watford Museum to recall some grisly stories from the town's past.

Watford did use to have a reputation for bodysnatching. This wicked trade was rife as a lot of money could be made from robbing bodies from graves & selling them on to medical colleges.

It was thought that bodies were dug up in Watford’s graveyards to send on. Grieving relatives would go to great lengths to protect their loved ones.

Graves were marked and watched for several days and even nights, until it was thought decomposition would stop the removal of the body.

Watford Observer:

At the Rose & Crown, one of three major inns & stage coach points, which stood in Watford from the 15th Century until 1968 a strange parcel arrived with instructions for it to go with the stage coach that evening.

It was placed on a table in the public room, where it soon attracted the attention of the landlord’s dogs. A customer hinted that the parcel could be suspicious and should be opened immediately.

Loathed as she was to unwrap the parcel, the landlady eventually did and all were horrified to find it contained the body of a young girl, later identified as Eliza Smith of the Rookery. She had been hamstrung to fit her body into as small a space as possible.

This article was first published on the museum's Facebook page www.facebook.com/watfordmuseum