A couple of years ago my partner and I went to Edinburgh for the weekend.
We did a few of the touristy things and decided to go and find the statue of Greyfriar’s Bobby.
We found it and were rather unimpressed with it, So we decided to go and have a look in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard right next to the statue. I had seen this place on a programme like Most Haunted or similar years ago but completely forgot that the place was meant to be haunted.
We wondered around the churchyard for a while, It’s actually quite a pleasant place to visit, Its like a little oasis of calm in the middle of the noisy city, After about 20 minutes or so we decided it was time to leave and find a pub.
When we got out of the churchyard I was surprised to discover 4 small scratches on my right hand, They were fresh and still bleeding, I had not scraped my hand on anything, We had stayed on the path, I didn’t touch anything the whole time we were there, After a minute or so I shrugged it off and thought oh well, I must have scraped it on something, And off we went to the pub.
Once we had got a drink we went to sit down and I realised the whole lower half of my body felt freezing cold, The top half of my body was a normal temperature, There were no breezes coming from anywhere and it was a blazing hot day outside, A rarity for Scotland. After w few minutes my body temp went back to normal but I was spooked by the whole thing.
When we got home I decided to do some research on Greyfriar’s and discovered that hundreds of people have reported being attacked by an unseen entity in the last few years, The entity is believed to be the spirit of George Mackenzie, Also known as Bloody Mackenzie, One time Lord Advocate during the rule of Charles ii and also considered one of the most vicious religious persecutors in history, Most of the attacks are reported to take place in an area of the churchyard known as the covenantors prison, Which is not open to the public but we had stood just outside the entrance to it, But attacks have been reported in other areas of the churchyard too.
A couple of days after we got back, My son, (who was 12 at the time) told me that for the past 3 nights, He had seen the silhouette of a man in a hat on his bedroom wall at night, We had not mentioned any of what happened to him so as not to scare him, But it left me wondering if I had bought an unwanted souvenir back home with me!
In 1977 a small semi-detached council house in Enfield, North London, became the centre of an investigation into poltergeist activity.
The case of the Enfield Poltergeist held the nation spellbound 30 years ago, and continues to this day! All manner of professions where caught up in the story which puzzlled policemen, psychics, experts in the occult and hardened reporters alike .
This May Sky Living is airing a 3 Part drama based upon the events at the house in Enfiled. Called the The Enfield Haunting
Enfield Poltergeist involved levitation, furniture being moved through the air, and flying objects swirling towards witnesses. There were cold breezes, physical assaults, graffiti, water appearing on the floor, and claims of matches and wiring spontaneously bursting into flame.
Mrs Harper and her four young children who lived at the property where subjected to unexplained knocking on the walls, furniture moving across a room by its self amongst other terrifying events that would lead on of Britain’s national papers into the foray. The family in the Enfield case consisted of a mother, two daughters and two sons; Margaret aged 12, a younger sister Janet aged 11, Johnny aged 10 and Billy aged 7.
The incidents were duly investigated by Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, both members of the SPR, who were convinced by the evidence which they encountered during their thirteen month investigation. The investigators captured the event of a chair being flung across one of the young girls bedrooms, with a signed affidavit to that effect by serving policewoman. Interference with the electrics, knocking on walls and floorboards, blankets torn from the beds, and even accounts of the children levitating in mid air all added to the horrors the Harpers had reported and now the investigative team had to endure.
Of all the accounts recorded by Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, the most troubling is that of the daughter Janet aged 11, the young girl at the centre of the events seemingly acted as the mouthpiece for Bill Wilkins, a foul-mouthed, grumpy old man who had died in the house many years before.
Janet was witnessed and recorded speaking using false vocal folds for hours on end while she was apparently possessed by another entity. Speaking in this way is believed to be impossible, although not medically proven. When speaking with the false cords Janet said she was “Bill” who had died in the house of a brain haemorrhage. The “Bill” persona habitually made jokes and exhibited a very nasty temper, swearing at Maurice, once calling him a “fucking old sod”.
Several recordings were made of these occurrences by the BBC, who left recording devices to capture any audio anomaly’s, when the recording team recovered the devices they found the metal inside of the recording machines bent, and all recordings erased.
Later due to the mounting media interest Grosse was contacted by a man who claimed to be Bill’s son, who in turn confirmed the details of his father death and personality.
Over the course of 13 month many inexplicable events took place, at least 26 of which the investigators considered could not be accounted for by fraud. These included moving furniture, flying marbles, interference with bedclothes, cold breezes, pools of water on the floor, apparitions, physical assaults, graffiti, equipment malfunction and failure, disappearance and reappearance of objects, apparent levitations, and fires which spontaneously ignited and extinguished themselves.
Naturally, many questioned whether it was all a hoax — but no explanation other than the paranormal has ever been convincingly put forward
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.
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.
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.
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.