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The man at the centre of this story was Thomas Bowser Cumpston Jnr., the son of a Leeds linen merchant, Thomas Bowser Cumpston Snr., living at the time of the 1871 census at Woodfield House Potternewton, a posh suburb of the town (several of the Duchess of Cambridge’s more affluent ancestors came from there). He was baptised on the 13 October 1847. He married Annie Martha Carter, the daughter of a surgeon, in Leeds Parish Church on April 10 1873 and died on the 9th December 1893 at his home “Rosehurst” Grosvenor Road, Headlingley, making Annie Martha the executor of his £4,153 estate.
Some further details of his life can be found here:
This site however incorrectly attributes the “paranormal episode” to his father, which would have been problematic to say the least as he died in March 1873!
The story has elements of a shared hynopompic hallucination, with elements of aware sleep paralysis and or night terrors. No doubt if it occurred today, the police would be testing the couple’s blood for not altogether legal substances.
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This article has also been published on the Magonia Archive website: