In this article we will be covering the strange case of the Owen Parfitt disappearance from 1763…
The Wild Child
Owen Parfitt spent most of his days recounting the ‘wild boy’ tales of his youth to anyone that would listen. Old age had left him near enough crippled and locals believed this was a penance for his younger sins.
He would often brag about his former links to piracy and the amount of women he had ‘bedded’ without any sign of guilt or remorse. Many locals got to the point where they took his ramblings with a pinch a salt.
His condition left him with no alternative other than to rely on his sister to help him through each day. They both lived in Shepton Mallet and were well known in the area.
One day in June of 1763, Parfitt insisted on sitting outside his sister’s house as he was tired of being cooped up inside. It was a warm day and he wanted to get some of the fresh summer air in his lungs.
He was a rather large man by this point so his sister had to get the help of one of their neighbors to carry him to his chair on the porch.
He was sat down comfortably in his chair and his sister returned to the house. There were many farm workers across the road carrying out their field duties and more than a few locals passing by.
Inside the house Parfitt’s sister looked up at the darkening skies and realized that there was a storm approaching. She returned outside to help her brother inside before the bad weather hit their area.
The chair rocked silently and empty on her front porch – her brother was nowhere to be seen!
Parfitt’s sister was instantly worried – there was no way her brother could get up and move about by himself. He had been immobile for a few years now and walking was certainly out of the question.
She ran over the the farm workers and asked each one if they had seen what had happened. Most of them recalled seeing the old man sitting there but had no idea what had happened to him.
In a state of complete panic she begged the farm workers to help her with her search. They set about going from door to door to enlist the help of the neighbors that knew the aging wild child.
They performed a thorough search of Shepton Mallet and the surrounding villages but never found a trace of Owen Parfitt.
The Owen Parfitt Disappearance
The disappearance soon became part of local legend with everyone having their say on what had happen to Parfitt. Many of the neighbors that knew him believed that the devil had finally caught up with him and snatched him from his porch chair.
Others believed that his piracy past had finally caught up with him. They spread tales about his former employers kidnapping him and torturing him for the location of buried treasure.
In 1813 routine construction in Shepton Mallet unearthed the remains of a human skeleton. This led to a whole new generation being introduced to the local legend.
The locals of Shepton Mallet waited anxiously to hear news on the discovered remains – could this be the missing legend’s last resting place?
After a short medical examination it was determined that the remains were that of a young female – the mystery of the Owen Parfitt disappearance remains unsolved to this day…
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