It was believed that the spirits of those destined to die in the parish over the coming year appeared on St Mark's Eve - 24th April. You had to sit in the porch of the church for three hours from 11 pm if you wanted to see the ghosts. You had to do this for three successive nights. The third night would see the spirits come up the path and enter the church.
Those fated to die first would be at the front of the procession and those destined to live out most of the year would be last to enter the church. Stories were told of watchers sometimes seeing themselves in the procession!
It was considered dangerous to fall asleep during the vigil - to do so would invite death within a year!
John is a producer, TV/Radio presenter and writer living in Suffolk