As Halloween approaches with alarming haste, the Echo looks back at spooky stories from the past - including this terrifying tale of a physician who brought a woman back from the dead:

It was said that he once brought a woman back from the dead after she had been executed by hanging. 

Born in 1623 to a Romsey clothier, William Petty was a remarkable physician and his accomplishments were nothing less than remarkable.

He was a voracious reader, mastering mathematics and mechanics while studying at Oxford. Furthermore, he qualified as a physician and even had the opportunity to socialise with some of the most renowned men of his era. He was an inventive individual who made numerous contributions in his lifetime.

At the age of 37, William Petty experienced an incident which has gone down in history. Although renowned as an economist, scientist and philosopher, it is this occurrence that people remember him most for today.

At the age of 22, Anne Green found work as an in-house maid at an affluent Oxfordshire country estate. It was here she was seduced by one of her aristocratic employers who spurned her when she got pregnant.

Daily Echo: The Romsey home William Petty was born in.

Desperate to conceal her pregnancy, Anne Green tried to obscure its existence and, after giving birth to a premature child, buried the body in an attempt to hide it.

Authorities discovered the deceased boy and charged Green with his murder. Ultimately, the court deemed that her sentence would be death by hanging - the typical method of execution at that time.

It was a cold December day when the young woman was forced to climb the stairs to the gallows and a noose placed around her neck. There she was pushed off before dangling in mid-air for 30 minutes.

After her death, her body was placed into a coffin and transported to Dr Petty of Oxford University, who had requested it for his anatomy lectures.

As the medical team converged to dissect the body, they were stunned to see the supposed corpse draw breath and emit a noise from her throat.

Forgetting the idea of performing an autopsy, Petty instead attempted to revive the woman with haste.

He stood the coffin up and held it steady as he carefully wrapped a band around the deceased's face, forcing her jaws open. Hot liquid was then trickled slowly into her mouth.

This induced an involuntary coughing reflex. Feeling encouraged to continue with the resuscitation in order to help her he began rubbing and massaging her fingers, hands, arms and feet.

It was 15 minutes before Petty was able to administer more of the warm drink to the patient, and when they gently tickled her on the neck with a feather, she opened her eyes briefly.

Daily Echo: William Petty

Anne kept receiving treatment, and eventually, it was deemed necessary to place her in a bed with another woman for warmth. This individual's sole purpose for this time was to make sure Anne stayed warm throughout her recovery process.

The should-be cadaver made some utterances a mere 12 hours after her "execution". Astonishingly, within two days, her memory had been fully restored.

She went on to marry, had three children and lived for 16 years after her famous “execution”. 

Petty went on to become a well-known public figure and famous diarist Samuel Pepys even regarded him as one of his closest friends.

Petty's zeal for maritime exploration and penchant for innovation yielded a singular creation - the first ever catamaran, or "double-bottomed" boat.

Unfortunately, while attempting to traverse the Bay of Biscay, his endeavour ended in failure when the craft, Experiment, was lost along with her 17 crewmembers.

Despite Petty attributing the loss to a lack of crew, as some had been taken away, the design of the vessel was essentially too top-heavy and lacked stability. Its successor, Invention II, benefited from being structurally more stable and subsequently performed better than its predecessor.

Eventually, in 1685, Petty made his way back to London where he passed away two years later.

He was buried in Romsey Abbey.