Great Britain is the home of many ghosts, or perhaps the English are just more comfortable with the idea of ghosts, and so they maintain the local stories about them.
A Yorkshire farmer named Ames had a problem with just one tree in his apple orchard. Each year, the apples would wither before they could be harvested. This blighted tree was not the only strange phenomenon at the farm.
About the same time as the blight, one could hear the barks and snarls of a pack of foxhounds. The farmer kept only one dog on his farm, so it was not a case of the farm's dogs getting loose and chasing unknown quarry.
The farmer could never see any foxhounds when investigating a new round of barking. He was doubting his sanity when a visitor to the farm confirmed that he heard the barking, too. The two of them tracked the source of the sounds to the base of the apple tree. They arrived in time to get a glimpse of a huntsman in green and black. He was flailing his arms about as if fending off attackers.
The scene faded from view. The huntsman was a ghost, apparently fighting off the unseen hounds. Was this an annual reenactment of some horrible mauling?
The farmer's inquiries about the history of the farm eventually met with success. It seems that in 1880, the farm was owned by a dog-loving huntsman who treated the hounds as if they were human. Unfortunately, he met an untimely death. It is said that his hounds kept up a mournful wailing for two days after he died.
Now the next owner of the estate was the complete opposite as a dog owner. He was a cruel master who beat the dogs --- not all the time, just when he was drunk. And he was often drunk. He also underfed the dogs, tossing them only bones and scraps.
The legend continues that one day the pack turned on him en masse. The hounds cornered him under the apple tree, and tore him to pieces in a bit of poetic justice.
And the tradition also said that the tree never again bore fruit. The apples were always blighted before they could ripen. And each year the scene was re-enacted in all its gory realism, complete with sound effects.
This story happened before the era of ghost busters on cable television. But the farmer had an idea, and began asking around for a local huntsman who was known to be kind to his hounds. He figured that the hounds would ignore or even attack a nasty dog owner.
He found such a man and proposed an unusual task for him: at the next anniversary of the attack, show up with his horn. The huntsman, named Perkins, raised an eyebrow. The huntsman needed an explanation of this odd request.
The cycle of ghostly barking had already begun that year, and so the two of them had to act fairly quickly. "Let me see if I have this straight, sir," Perkins said. "You want me to come out to your farm tonight and have a try at calling some ghostly foxhounds with my horn?"
Assured that the farmer was completely earnest about this request, the huntsman agreed to come. The huntsman could hear the dogs as soon as he arrived, and was positive that someone had been careless in latching a pen.
But Perkins and the farmer walked towards the apple tree, and could clearly hear the sounds of the pack. There were no dogs, not visible ones, anyway. Yet they heard what they heard.
Perhaps unnerved, but nevertheless resolved to perform his duties, the huntsman cracked his whip, called to the dogs, and heard the sounds of padded feet and baying all around them as they responded to the authority in his voice. Perkins sounded the horn in the 'going home' call, handicapped somewhat by the chattering of his teeth.
The farmer reported that at once, the hound noises faded away. Eventually he and the huntsman heard only the echoes of the dogs nails on the stony escarpment in the distance. The farmer was at last able to harvest apples from his tree, and the dogs never returned.
Ames and Perkins silently vowed to treat their dogs even better.