Owen Parfitt Disappearance

Owen Parfitt Disappearance


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.


The Disappearance

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…

If you have any thoughts or opinions about the subject we have covered here today please leave them in the comment section below.


8 comments on “Owen Parfitt Disappearance

  1. could be he was kidnapped by some one, though I don’t see why. who would kidnap an old man? all his former associates would be about the same age as him, if they hadn’t already all died, and what use would any of the younger people he may have associated with have for what would now be an old man? why should they bother kidnapping him?

    or may be he’d written a letter or secretly gotten a message to some one so they could come by and collect him. may be he had money or treasure stashed away some where and he decided it was time he went and got hold of it, and he didn’t feel like sharing it with his sister.

    or may be he wasn’t really crippled, or at least not severely crippled; may be he was pretending to be crippled all along, or if he was crippled, he recovered but pretended like he was still crippled, and then when his money came through, he up and left.
    may be that was why he wanted to sit out side – to wait for some friend or friends and then make off with them.

    or may be he never existed in the first place, and it’s nothing more than a made-up story, or it’s a story with a grain of truth to it that got exaggerated over the years.

    1. All good points qwyzl ( if that really is your name 🙂 ). Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts on the matter. Look forward to hearing from you again!

  2. Should we not be a bit more skeptical than to accept this story at face value? It has the earmarks of an urban legend and no real documentation that this individual existed. It sounds rather like a story thought up by Ambrose Bierce (himself having a somewhat nebulous and mystical end). It would be interesting to see if Owen Parfitt actually even existed in that place at that time.

    1. We don’t accept anything at face value here Jo – we just research, publish and wait for people’s opinions to appear on the articles. Of course, we have our own opinions but we need to be seen as ‘sitting on the fence’ for this site to work in the correct manner.

      The incident in the article is a well known incident – the only question is how much of the original incident remains in the story we hear today? 🙂

  3. Chris I have read every article on here. You have definitely created a website I can spend hours on. lol. Keep them conming

  4. There are certainly some resemblance with the story of the whole population of the Inuit (formerly known as Eskimo) village Angikuni in Canada who disappeared without a trace (see this link : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angikuni_Lake). Furthermore some instances with this are also identical with that of the mystery of the 9 students in The Mystery of Dyatlov Pass (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/SoLiOdJyCK/mystery_of_dyatlov_pass)
    As the Russians are now trying to reopen the case of Dyatlov Pass, it is possible that the mystery of Angikuni and that of Owen Parfitt will be resolved as well. One never knows. There is also a resemblance with the mysterious disappearance of the lighthouse attendants of Flannan Island lighthouse on December 1st, 1900. Just compare the details, however small, and one will come to a final conclusion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *