All posts tagged Witch

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.

Chanctonbury Rings

Dominating the hilltop above the small village of Washington, which nestles gently in the South Downs National Park lies the ancient hill-fort of Chanctonbury Rings.

Commanding a strategic position from both a military and historical perspective, the hill-fort has had over the years many uses, including religious and sacrificial. There have also been numerous reports of Ghosts, Paranormal activity including levitation UFO’s and witchcraft.

The Beech trees found at Chanctonbury were the life long dream of a 20 year old young man named Charles Goring. When he decided to plant the trees on top of the Chanctonbury hill-fort there was a public outcry, for it was believed the trees would spoil the landscape and the majestic view of the beautiful South Downs. Charles Goring died in 1829, reaching the grand age of 85 years old and, fortunately, he witnessed many of his trees reach maturity despite the public opposition.

As the Beech trees grew thought the years their roots disturbed a previously undiscovered ruins of a Romano-British temple buried on the site. An excavation was conducted in the early 1900’s, the results of which showed the site to be that of a temple with a court, which had sunken into the soil.

Further excavations would reveal several finds of coins and other objects of worth dating back to Nero (54-68 AD) and Gratian (375-383 AD).  In addition to the Roman offering Anglo-Saxon coins have been also found, which suggests  the temple was of significant importance and of great spiritual value to both the early Romans and Saxons of Britain.

Ghosts, Witchcraft & the Supernatural

With this full and established history however comes many stories and tales of supernatural events that span the paranormal and supernatural realms. Chanctonbury Rings has become connected with ghosts, witchcraft, UFO’s, and paranormal forces. There have been several investigations in to the rings and one of the most informative came from the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group.

In 1974 the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group was formed in order further investigate the claims of supernatural and extraterrestrial phenomenon.

On the 24th August 1974 four members of the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group, camped down for a night at Chanctonbury Rings, during the latter part of the evening a member of the group who walked through the centre of the Ring was lifted several feet off the ground by an unseen force.

Witnessed by the other members, the gentleman in question was heard crying out ‘No More! No More!’  and was obviously in considerable pain. After several seconds he was dropped to the ground landing injuring his back.

Over the past 50 years and more there have been an large number of UFO sightings reported.  In most cases the sightings of UFO’s are nothing more than unidentified lights in the sky. But one particular reported case stands out from the rest.

On  31st October 1972. At around 10.45 pm,  Mr. Simpson of Worthing, West Sussex was out walking up to the Chanctonbury Rings with two friends. As they approached the rings they saw what they thought were flames from a bonfire flickering among the trees on hill top. As they drew closer however the light faded out and out of the blue a  loud noise was heard by the group above them and, looking up they saw a dull red glow emanating from a large object hanging in the evening sky over the tree tops.

Further information on the above event can be found  at Chanctonbury Rings – Mysterious Britain

Canewden Church. Essex

Canewden village has long been associated with witchcraft.

Canewden village has long been associated with witchcraft.

According to a prophecy by the famous 19th century James Murell, the Essex village of Canewdon would be populated with Witches “forever”. The spirit of a faceless witch (who was executed 300 years ago), is said to rise from her grave and float among the headstones. The ghost then floats through the west gate and disappears at the river. Continue reading →

The Bell Witch. Tennessee USA

One of the most famous hauntings in American history is the Legend of the Bell Witch

One of the most famous hauntings in American history is the Legend of the Bell Witch. An evil spirit tormented the Bell family, family members were scratched, and blankets were pulled off beds.

12 year old Betsy Bell was frequently slapped, kicked, and pinched. John Bell believed a strange force was of eerie menace had moved into his home. The evil spirit identified itself as the ‘witch’ Kate Batts. Batts have been a neighbour of the Bell’s and who John Bell had business dealings with in the past.

Continue reading →