Robin Hoods Grave, Kirklees. Yorkshire

Does Robin Hoods Grave lies at Kirklees Park Estate, West Yorkshire,

Robin Hood is a heroic outlaw in English folklore, and, according to legend, was also a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Does an unmarked grave in Kirklees wood hold the remains of one of Englands greatest heroes… Robin Hood

“The Armytage family lived over the brow of the hill on a splendid site once occupied by Cistercian nuns. It was called Kirklees. There was more than an insularity which set the mansion apart. There was a mystery about it which local people only reluctantly tried to penetrate. The mystery was helped physically by the thick shroud of trees that surrounded the place and was sustained by local tales of ghosts of prioresses and nuns and or the death of Robin Hood whose grave is so imperturbably marked as lying within Kirklees grounds in spite of any facts which might suggest to the contrary.”
THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT.

This would appear to be the first reported mention of ghostly activity around Robin Hood’s Grave, but considering the history of Robin’s death; cursed by a witch on his way to the nunnery, murdered by an apostate nun and cast into an unhallowed grave which is on the crossing of ley lines; it is hardly surprising that the site is reputed to have unquiet spirits hovering around.

Contemporary Ghostly Accounts

An elderly lady, Mrs Edith Ellis, witnessed silver arrows in the sky above Kirklees when visiting her old aunt at Hartshead in the early years of the last century. She also reports hearing Robin calling for Marian. Another sighting was made by a tenant farmer of Kirklees in 1926. One day,” he recalls, “I was sitting on the grave shooting rabbits. As I was about to shoot I felt a tap on my shoulder, and my shotgun went off accidentally, removing two of my front teeth on its recoil. There was nobody to be seen at the time.

On another occasion I was on my way home from the Three Nuns. As I was walking through the woods something fell out of a tree and knocked me to the ground. When I got up I could see the old gatehouse. In the window I could clearly see a man with a bow. My family always said it was the drink, but it was Robin Hood’s ghost.”
In 1963 guitarist Roger Williams took an unofficial stroll up to Robin’s grave with a friend. About twenty yards from the grave he saw a white robed woman who suddenly seemed to glide towards the two men. What made Roger’s hair stand on end was how silently she moved over the twigs and bracken. At about five yards from Roger the woman stopped and stared at him with “dark, mad eyes.” Then she moved away and vanished. It was 2.30 p.m. and a bright,sunny day.

Roger Williams saw the same apparition again in 1972, in full daylight, and again she stopped a few yards from him and his companion. This time Roger remembered a few more details. The woman was wearing a long white dress with a square neck and long sleeves which accords with the habit of a Cistercian nun. Again she looked at him angrily before moving off, but the eerie sequel to this experience was that Roger’s house then experienced a series of strange noises and bangings. After this, Roger swore that “wild horses would not drag me up there again.”

Mark Gibbons, a member of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society, had a similar experience in 1998. With other members of the group he had gone up to try and find Robin’s grave one moonlit night, but they had got lost in the dark, tangled wilderness of the Kirklees woods Suddenly Mark saw a white figure pointing in a certain direction which turned out to be exactly where the grave was situated. Mark however was too unnerved to continue and fled back to the roadside while his companions continued their quest.

Famous Investigators

A later explorer to Kirklees, vampire hunter Bishop Sean Manchester, had a similar experience when he was confronted with a “wild staring hag with red eyes” and his fellow vampire hunters deserted him, one of them becoming impaled on a bramble bush.

It is true that Robin’s grave was excavated in an amateurish way by a Victorian Armytage (who was reputed to be in his cups at the time) and the ground beneath found to be undisturbed, but the many historical documents naming Kirklees as Robin’s final resting place cannot be ignored.

The fact is, his bones could lie anywhere on that hillside, while a gravestone resembling the original one drawn by Dr Johnstone, is to be found in nearby Hartshead churchyard, to where it may have been moved during the Civil War. Many visitors to the grave have recorded their experiences for posterity, including the following quote from a Victorian tourist :

“I had the strangest emotions when I first stood over the grave of this old forest hero. I stood there and had no words, nor can I find any now to tell what my feelings were. Bravehearted Robin ! Thou hast found a fit resting place in this glorious park, among these solemn yews and silent trees .”

A hundred years later it is a different story:

“There it was, looming out of the dark, a massive,broken edifice, a huge ship of stone, wrecked in the everglades of Kirklees. Fallen pillars and twisted railings were were all that remained on Yorkshire’s buried treasure. We had found Robin Hood’s Grave.” – MARK GIBBONS, SECRETS OF THE GRAVE.

Feature Length Interview : Robin Hood’s Grave Revisited with David Farrent

Maybe the last word should be with Victorian poet, George Searle Phillips, a friend of the Brontes, who visited the grave in 1848, and wrote an epic poem, a small section of which is printed below :

Tread lightly o’er the earth and speak no word
Till the Great Spirit doth unloose your tongues
For where those yew trees nod their funereal plumes
Upon the highest platform of the hill,
Lies gentle Robin Hood, his mighty heart
All muffled up in dust and his bright eyes
Quenched in eternal darkness. Never more
Shall the woods echo to his bugle horn,
Or his unerring arrow strike the deer
Swift flying, till it hits the bloody grass.

Haunted Island would like to thank the Author of this story Barbara Green for her valuable contribution.

The Ancient Ram Inn. Gloucestershire

Built in 1145, in Wotton-under-Edge, the old inn is reputedly the most haunted in Britain.

Built in 1145, in Wotton-under-Edge, the old inn is reputedly the most haunted in Britain.

The Inn is a Grade II listed building, and ceased to be a working pub in the 1960′s. A large black cat is often seen in the Beaufort Room, which is reported to be the most haunted room in what is now a house. Highwaymen regularly stayed at the Inn and some say they might still visit in spirit form. Investigators have managed to capture some very ghostly images on camera at the Ram, including white vapour, ghost lights, and most convincingly a man in a lace collar who’s face is reflected in a photograph of a grandfather clock.

UPDATE: 14th Feb 2014 – is this Britain’s most haunted B&B – where terrified guests have been left so scared they have even jumped out of the windows.

“I knew nothing of the hauntings when I bought the place. It wasn’t until the first night, when I felt a pair of cold, hairy hands pulling me out of bed, that I knew something strange was going on at the Ram. My daughters regularly saw a large black cat like creature and I have since found out that this animal – an evil incubus – features in many paranormal situations. Several of our visitors have been thrown out of chairs and others have felt icy hands in bed”.
John Humphries, Owner.

More Information About The Ancient Ram Inn

Haunted House. Cuckfield. Sussex.

I had been invited to another friend’s house in a little village called Cuckfield which is in West Sussex.

Cuckfield is a large village in the district of West Sussex, England. It lies 34 miles (55 km) south of London, 13 miles (21 km) north of Brighton, and 31 miles (50 km) east northeast of the county town of Chichester.

Its in the Village of Cuckfield where our latest personal account comes from courtesy of Kevin Conway.

Many years ago I had been invited to a friends house in a little village called Cuckfield. I had stayed at the house before with no unpleasant experiences. So this was quite a surprise.  The names I’m going to give are all changed as I have my own theories as to what happened and frankly I don’t believe my friends would thank or believe me if they were to learn of my suspicions.

One weekend I traveled down as a guest at a party for my friends two year old son, we’ll call him Ben, his parents, particularly Mike the father, had been a friend of long standing, but I had now known Sue his wife for several years. It was summer and the majority of the party was staged outside in a quite large garden, the weather was great, the sun was out, there was no breeze. What took place however happened in the house so it’s perhaps best to give a general impression of what this was like.

Although the house was double fronted (window on each side of the front door) the house was in fact semi detached. I’m thinking it was of early Victorian build because of the styling of the front and the fireplaces etc inside. The front door opened to a hall way which rose at the end into the stair way. Facing in there were two doors on the right, the first was a small study and the next was into the kitchen. On the left was the door into the living room, this room ran the length of the house and had a sash window at the front and French windows at the back. Neither of these were open.

The party was going well, Ben and his friends were all running about as kids do at parties and the adults were helping themselves to the food and beverages available. Sue and I were both smokers so at various intervals we would retire inside the house for a crafty cigarette. We would quietly disengage from the party and go into the living room shutting the door for privacy. On this occasion we were just talking generally, catching up and enjoying our cigarettes. Sue was in a chair to the right of the door and I was sitting on the sofa to the left of the door. Suddenly, without warning – there was no noise, the door dramatically burst open. At first I expected to see Ben with his hands outstretched, standing giggling in the doorway.

From my position I could see the hall and the stair case, Sue could see the hall up to the study door and into the kitchen. There was no one there and there had been no time for anyone to throw the door open and not be seen. It gets better. At the speed that the door opened it should by rights have swung completely on its hinges and straight into the wall. It didn’t, the door came to a sudden full stop half way through its turn, as if someone were holding it. I have to admit that I didn’t know what to think, I looked at Sue who was gauging my reaction but not saying anything. I felt it odd that there was no shared look of surprise on her face, after a pause we merely picked up the conversation from where I think we had left it.

That night I was given the front bedroom to sleep in, this was over the living room. I don’t remember it being very late by the time I got to bed, but despite being summer it was nevertheless dark. I was quite tired and lay in bed and turned off the light. There was a street lamp on the road nearby so there was still some light. As I shut my eyes and tried to drift off I suddenly became aware of something a rapidly developing and irrational sense of foreboding. It’s difficult to explain but it felt like there was something in front of my bed hovering near the ceiling defying me to sleep because if I did….

I switched on the light and sat upright. Whatever it was I could practically hear its thoughts, this was a heavy threatening malevolence I had never encountered before. I knew if I shut my eyes I would find out what true terror was. It seemed to want me to understand that sleep should be the last thing I should do but tormenting me at the same time with its inevitability.

As time went on my eyelids began to get very heavy as I resisted with all my strength the urge to sleep, I could actually hear them closing slowly and had to force myself to keep them open. I was really desperate for the morning to come. At various times I felt myself drifting off only to feel the entity reminding me of its presence and I jolted myself back. I tried to distract myself by reading but realised quickly that lowering my guard was not the best thing to do. Then after several hours of feeling this impending threat I noticed the atmosphere suddenly became acutely more oppressive. A kind of heaviness, a change in pressure, the gnawing exertion and anxiety of staying awake. Perhaps this was it making its move? I was hit by a wave of nausea that demanded I immediately use the bathroom.

To say I was scared is to put it mildly, I have never run so fast or so blindly. I was violently ill and would be so on two more occasions during the rest of the night as the thing continued its hostilities. When the morning light started to show, I felt a tremendous relief and a lifting of the sense of threat. I never mentioned any of this to either Mike or Sue, but tried to restrict my overnight stays afterwards. Subsequent visits became easier when Ben outgrew his cot and moved into the front bedroom.

I never heard of Ben having any problems. My visits to Mike and Sue have gradually petered out over the years, Ben will now be in his teens. The reason I have not seen so much of them is that wherever they have lived since Cuckfield, they have moved a couple of times, I have always felt uncomfortable and unable to sleep. The visits in any event were fraught, Ben has an unrecognised (by his parents) hostility towards me which was demonstrated at every visit.

It became formulaic, I knew beforehand that Ben would misbehave to gain attention, there would follow loud angry voices of parental remonstration and Bens temper tantrums in reaction. I may be paranoid but I knew that Ben resented my intrusion and this was his way to get back at me. I can’t in closing this story, not ponder on whether there is something of the Damien about him, it’s an idea that has just occurred to me. Ben was conceived in the house in Cuckfield and it may be that the entity in the house considered me some sort of threat and continue s to have some kind of connection to him.

Did I see a ghost? Am I going mad?

Haunted Cambridge

This Halloween I did something that I realize was probably quite foolish. I had read about an urban legend that stated if an unmarried woman were to look in the mirror on Halloween at midnight she would either see her future husband or a skeleton indicating she would die before marriage.

After I read this my curiosity was aroused (I didn’t really believe it). It was one of those things that you know is stupid but can’t help but want to do yourself, like with the whole bloody Mary thing. Anyway at midnight (or around that time) I got home from my sisters place where we’d been watching scary movies.

When I realized what time it was I remembered what I had read and decided to try it out, to be honest I just wanted something interesting to tell my friends. I turned the light on in the living room and looked in the mirror – nothing, just me and the couch. I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed. Then I lit two small candles, placed them on the mantle besides the mirror and turned the lights off.

In retrospect I wish I had never done that. I don’t know if turning the lights off caused what I saw but I really don’t understand why it would. What I saw in the mirror scared the life out of me! At first there was nothing unusual, just my shadow looming over me, but then the shadow grew larger and larger without me moving. When it stopped a face appeared on the shadow! I could have passed the growing shadow off as the flickering candle light causing my shadow to move – but the shadow suddenly having a face froze me to my core. It wasn’t just any face either. This face was bone white with flared nostrils and angry lips, if it had eyes I couldn’t see them but it didn’t matter because the worst part about this face was that it had a few ugly scars that resembled black lines.

It was only when I focused on the face did I notice that one of the scars began to bleed! Dark crimson red started seeping from the wound like slow snakes. At the sight of this I screamed like I’ve never screamed before (if my neighbors had actually been home they no doubt would have come over to see what the commotion was). The face disappeared then and I’m pretty sure the shadow shrunk back to my height but it was hard to be sure of anything at that point. I quickly turned towards the lights.

I was alone and the image had vanished. I felt ridiculous but still deathly afraid. I went to bed in tears last night. The thought of being alone was terrifying but I didn’t want people to think I was losing it because honestly I was beginning to wonder that myself however I almost phoned my parents begging them to come over but at the last second I decided not to.

I’ve seen (and felt) some strange things in my life, things that I’ve always attributed to my guardian angel but last night’s events I cannot explain. I don’t for one second believe it had anything to do with that stupid urban legend! For a while I sat on my bed with my back pressed against the headboard with the lights on. I don’t know how I eventually drifted off to sleep but I did.

Today when I woke up I saw I the most beautiful flower sitting in the tree that’s branches were near my window. It was hard to say exactly what type of flower it was. It looked like a mix between a poppy and a rose. It was certainly no flower I had ever seen before. The leaves around it were mostly dark green, some dying ones were orange and brown but this flower was brilliantly red, it glistened and glowed. I stared hard at it to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me but no, it was definitely there! I wasn’t sure what to make of it other than that I found it strangely comforting. I looked away only for a second to see it was gone when I looked back! I wondered if it had been a sign from my guardian angel telling me that he/she was protecting me.

I’m still too scared to tell anyone about what happened, partly because I’m not at all sure of what happened. Did I see a ghost? Am I going mad? – Sam form Cambridge

Go Ghost Hunting This Halloween.

Ghost hunting this Halloween

Looking for a fantastic Ghost Hunt this Halloween? Look no further…

If you’re fascinated by ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night then have we got a treat for you! Haunted Island has teamed up with the spooky ghouls over at http://www.hauntedrooms.co.uk to bring you a fabulous selection of places you can Book, for you to haunt this Halloween.

The selection of Ghost hunting locations up and down the the country means you will not have far to travel to experience first hand paranormal activity and ghostly goings on! Below is our top pick curtsey of Haunted Rooms

Margam Castle Ghost Hunt, Port Talbot, Wales
Saturday 19th October 2013

Paranormal Activity at Margam Castle

Wales is full of history and Margam Castle is no exception. Featured on Living TV’s ‘Most Haunted’ people who say this hotel is haunted are very much mistaken! Margam Castle oozes poltergeist and paranormal activity from the very foundations of this Gothic Castle, the reported paranormal phenomena is endless! For booking information and more details click here

Smethwick Baths, Sandwell, West Midlands
Friday 25th October 2013

Haunted Tunnel Network Under Smethick Baths

Opened on the 30th March 1933 and designed by Chester Button and Roland Fletcher, The baths had had many a function. During WWII, the vast network of underground tunnels and cellars which lie beneath the complex were used as an air raid shelter; posters and drawings from that time can still be seen to this day. In later years the buildings where transformed in to an entertainment venue playing host to the top celebrities of the 1960 and 70′s.

Since the early years there have been many reports of ghostly apparitions and poltergeist activity, eerie sounds and shadows moving in the dim light of the tunnels, are you brave enough to discover more? For booking information or more details click here

For the full selection of ghost Hunts available this Halloween visit Haunted Rooms