Of all the Churches in Horsham , St Johns seems to have the most 'stories' attached to it. Standing as it does against the edge of a hurricane damaged forest the church itself looks altogether more welcoming than it did in years go by. Before the storm hugh trees towered up around the building giving it a dark and eerie backdrop. At night it was a place much feared by local youth the last place you would want to pass on a cold moonless night.

These youth never referred to the church by it's proper name , preferring to call it Domesday church instead.The front gate is an item much referred to in conversation as it appears to have been constructed like a five pointed star. Closer inspection reveals it to in fact be a six pointed affair that resembles the star of David.

Several people have related this story of a doctor and his wife but no obvious proof seems to exist as to the authenticity.it seems that way back in the mists of time a and his good wife frequented the church at Doomsday attending every Sunday service. And then something came between them that caused a serious and irreparable split in their marriage. It was then the good doctor decided to do away with his troublesome partner. The story says that on one dark, still night he lured her on some pretence or other up to the graveyard of the churchand as clouds tumbled across a windy sky, strangled her to death amongst the headstones.

What he did with the body is not known but it is presumed that he buried her alongside the other unfortunte souls, it being the perfect place to hide a corpse. To this day no one really knows if it ever happened at all, but one thing her convinced some that it did. Come the anniversary of the murder the smell of surigical spirit can be smelt wafting around the graveyard of this small , remote church.

As was mentioned in the beginning. Doomsday church was not a place to linger after dark if you possessed an over active imagination. But for one youth, well aware of the stories surrounding the church, fate almost made his worst nightmare come true.

The individual in question travelled between Mannings Health and Horsham on a regular basis. His preferred mode of transport was a two stroke motorcycle which was both economical and nippy to ride despite being fairly old. On the night in question our motorcyclist was returning from Horsham along the Hammerpond Road when he casually spied the church up ahead. Subconsciously his mind instructed his hand to open up the throttle of his machine a little more. He did not wish to spend more time than strictly necessary in the vicinity of the church.

As he drew level with the stone wall that surrounds the graveyard his engine cut dead and the bike began to coast. Though not a religious man we are told the biker began to pray most earnestly for his machine to start. But it was to no avail. Repeated opening of the throttle produced only the customary wallowing sound exhibited by two strokes in distress.By now man and machine were directly opposite the church and the icy cold fingers of fear were beginning to get a real feel for the biker leather. More feverish yanking of the throttle followed but the engine seemed well and truly dead. And still bike rolled.

Slower and slower under a pitch black night sky. Fully twelve yards from the end of the grounds the motocyclist began to show real physical signs of panic, until that moment , held securely within him. He most definitley did not want to bread down here of all places.

Travelling barely one mile an hour and rider passed the last corner of the stone wall and at the exact moment they did so the engine burst into life. And before you could say Jack Robinson the lucky biker disappeared into a cloud of blue/grey exhaust fumes.

To this day he swears it was the strange forces that did it. For the exact time he was opposite the church grounds engine was dead as a door nail. He says he was lucky to have entered the 'shadow' of the chuch at the speed he did. Any slower he would never have escaped its grasp. If any engine is likely to cut out in this it would a two stroke. The nature of their action means that lubricating oil is burnt with petrol making them dirty engines to run. This dirt often finds its way onto a plug causing it to cease functing temporily. But it is still strange that it should choose to happen at the exact place it did. And even stranger that the problem should elect to clear itself when it did. Coincidence ? Not if the biker had anything to say about it!