Thomas Pittford 1820–1860

Welcome back to picturesque Pitfford Cemetery! The Pittford family has a few stories to tell if you know how to listen.

Content Warning: This episode contains horror themes and events that may be unsuitable for younger players.


Scene summaries may contain spoilers
Welcome to Dead Men's Shoes, covering the best of British cemeteries. Old Mary is glad you have returned and she guides you to a weathered cross headstone. It's the grave of Thomas Pittford, one-time scion of the family who owned the cemetery – although it's rare that someone from the family itself gets interred here. Old Mary goes to find him. Keep your ears open for his call.
Thomas speaks to you and describes himself: a tall man in fine clothes, with a moustache. He's delighted to be heard. He asks you to do him a favour and walk around the graveyard so he can see parts of the cemetery other than his own grave.
Thomas says that you may be disappointed in the story of his life. His family seat had once been Gurnwell Abbey, gifted to the family by Henry VIII, but they lost the Abbey to bad marriages a century before Thomas was born, so he grew up in nearby Pittford Hall. His family were obsessed with marrying back into ownership of the Abbey, so for a while Thomas was promised to a cousin who might permit that to happen. But Thomas always found wealth something of a cage. He offers a wager: if you can make a circuit of the cemetery in under five minutes, then he will tell you a secret nobody living knows, and if you lose... you stay with him until midnight. Go!
Good show! Although Thomas admits that he has no idea how long that took, he just enjoys the thrill of a wager, and a secret is a small price to pay. Thomas did not, as the history books state, die of a fever. That was just a lie to save the family from scandal. He was actually murdered here, in Pittford Cemetery. Night has fallen, so what better time to tell the tale?
Thomas was always a disappointment to his father, even more when he became a pleasure-seeker, indulging at the gambling table. He had "the Touch", the same as Old Mary, however it manifested for him in the ability to see through lies and bluffs, making it easy to divest people from their money and enrich himself. His father did not appreciate this, and dragged Thomas back to Pittford Hall to attempt to save him from the temptations of the city.
While he was confined, Thomas would take evening strolls around the estate, including this cemetery at the outer edge. On some nights, rough men would gather here to gamble, and one night Thomas joined them, even though he could see that they were dangerous. Thomas won, of course, but his luck had run out, and the men killed him brutally. His father never attempted to find those responsible, and had him buried quickly. Thomas thinks he is ready to return to his grave now.
Thomas thanks you for listening. He will remember your kindness. Old Mary returns, and says that she saw the whole thing. As the dead rot, their stories curdle until all you remember is the worst of them. But you are still hungry for more tales, are you not? Come another evening then. There is someone she would have you meet. Don't forget to subscribe and check out the Patreon!


Cast listings may contain spoilers
Six to Start Ensemble
Dead Chorus
Six to Start Ensemble
Old Mary
Six to Start Ensemble
Jonathan Sims
Six to Start Ensemble
Jonathan Sims
Ella Watts
Sound Designer
Matt Part