Cemetery Love & Death Mystery

You’re hanging out in your local churchyard cemetery (as one does) and you stumble upon a strange headstone.

Headstone

Michael Murricane, died 1977, “in a road accident on the morning of his intended wedding in this church.”

At first, this sounds like the most urban legend-y crap ever. File alongside: summer camp murderer who lives in the woods and has knives for hands.

But as one Reddit user discovered, the story is totally true. Michael and his betrothed, Sally, had their the wedding set for the morning of May 28th. “Tragically Michael was killed in a car crash early on the morning of their wedding and he was later buried in Dewsall Church where they had been due to be married.”

This is where it gets even more interesting.  Buried next to Michael in the churchyard is none other than his fiancée, Sally, who died in 2011. Her headstone says “Betrothed to Michael Murricane,” even though she died 34 years after Michael.

Sally ChampionWas Sally Champion a tragic spinster, locked up in her mansion of despair, never to move on from the death of her intended husband? As it turns out: NO.

From her obituary we learn that Sally, devastated by Michael’s death, moved from Canada to London and became the technical director of the Royal Opera House. She spent her later years traveling all over the world, trekking the Himalayas and the Andes, and, while sailing around Antarctica, survived a 98-foot rogue wave that knocked out the ship’s navigation equipment.

She was buried, “as she had always wished, in a grave beside Michael in the church down the road from the house she had always loved so much.”

Sally and Michael
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  • Carol Robbins

    How interesting (and sad). Where in Canada is this?

    • Anonymous

      It isn’t in Canada. The post is wrong. They were both in Canada but were to get married back in the UK. The cemetery (and church) is in the UK.

      • Carol Robbins

        Okay thanks.

      • caitlin

        You’re right. The original obit read like it was Canada. Made the edit, thanks!

  • zeus

    But was she married ever?

    • Kristi Wing

      I would say, no, she was never married. If she was the gravestone have most likely had her maiden name and married name.

    • Hi Zeus, no, Sally never remarried, and stayed very close to our family. She was part of the family.

  • Cloggie

    What’s all this dust in my eyes? Who’s chopping onions?

  • Anonymous

    Wow, she died somewhat young (early 60’s) and it sounds as if she was the active, vivacious sort. It’s good to hear that she had a very full life. I can’t help but wonder about her cause of death.

  • Matt Brown

    Damn onions…

  • Rachel Green

    fascinating!

  • Frances

    Wow and oh so many thanks for this.

    I was playing a gig at the big house (Deswell Court) last month and went for a stroll around the graveyard before performing. I was so moved by these gravestone epitaphs that it inspired me to write a song about it.

    The song is now written but just needs a bit of tweaking before I record it.

    Send me an email addy and I’ll let you know when it’s in the can

    I live in London and was considering driving back to Deswell just to get a photo of these inscriptions, to help me finish the song, you’ve just saved me a long drive there and back, I owe you a drink.

    Regards

    Frances

    http://www.francesmckevitt.com

  • Alan

    My family knew Michael’s family well, we grew up next door to them in Milton, Scotland and they were lovely people. Here’s a photo of (l-r) Sally, Michael, my mother and father and Michael’s mother and father. This was taken shortly before the tragic event. I was 14 in ’77 and remember well when my parents went down to England for a wedding but came back from a funeral. Sally was never married.

    • Thanks for sharing this – Michael would have been my uncle, but passed away a couple of years before I was born. I haven’t seen any new pics of my grandparents in years, and it means a lot to see.

      • Alan

        Hi Sean, I had a feeling this was taken at your mum and dad’s wedding and shortly before Michael’s passing. Your grandparents were like an uncle and aunt to me and my three siblings and we were all very fond of them. I hope this finds you well!

    • Gena Wolter

      This is wonderful to see a face along with the names.Thank you for sharing.

      • Alan

        You’re welcome Gena. Upon revisiting this post and looking at the photographs it struck me that Sally’s headstone resembles Michael’s split headstone… only “put together again”.

    • SouthArapahoPeak

      @Sean…Near Loch Ness or Glasgow, may I ask?

  • Frances McKevitt

    As promised, here is the song inspired by my walk in that graveyard and stumbling upon the writings on the stones, ‘Ode To Michael & Sally.’ Inspiration comes from the strangest sources. https://vimeo.com/134954575

  • Brightbel

    This is a very sad tale. I was a child when Michael was killed and my mother and I had the job of telling the wedding goers on the morning of the wedding, that the wedding was not to be, due to a bereavement. Michael and his driver left the Grafton Inn near Hereford, after his stag party, in the early hours of the day of the wedding and because they were from Canada, assumed they were still in Canada and entered the right hand carriageway, in error. Michael was killed and his driver survived. Sally never married and, in later life turned heavily to drink and although she disguised it well, this is probably what led to her early demise. They were a lovely family and this is a very tragic and moving series of events. I truly believe that Sally was never able to fully come to terms with what happened. Dewsall Church lies at the end of a little road, just outside Hereford, where Sally’s family has lived for many years. It is a beautiful little church.