Dorset - Paranormal Database Records

Smartly Dressed Woman

Location: Shaftesbury - Shaftesbury Theatre
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: Seen only once, this woman in autumn clothing stood on a catwalk seventy foot above the stage - she was passed by a builder who was sent to fix the ceiling damaged in a storm. At first it didn't register that she was out of place, and when the worker went to speak to her, she had vanished.

Another Thrown Stone

Location: Shaftesbury - The Popple Stone, Doncliffe Hall Farm (private property)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This large stone was thrown into position by the Devil (as he chilled at Bul Barrow).

Shadowy Woman

Location: Shaftsbury - Grosvenor Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This building has been home to sightings of a phantasmal grey lady and phantom monks. An order of monks once lived here before the building became a public house.

Arthur's Victory

Location: Shapwick - Badbury Rings
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Battle in sixth century(?), entities in late twentieth century
Further Comments: This hillfort has been named by some as the location where King Arthur defeated the Saxons. Several phantasmic events also surround the Rings, including the sighting of a ghostly warrior on horseback, a spectral woman wearing a black dress, and an ugly dwarf-like entity which peers into the windows of parked cars. Finally, there are stories of a golden coffin buried in the area.

Irish Wolfhound

Location: Shapwick - Road surrounding Badbury Rings
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A large phantom dog that has been reported running along the road is thought to be a Irish Wolfhound looking for his master.

Sir Walter

Location: Sherborne - Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 28 September, St Michael's Eve (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Sir Walter Raleigh is said to appear here once a year, near a tree that was named after him. Other ghosts claimed to haunt the castle include horses and a ghostly child. At one time, it was thought the castle was cursed, as ill fortune befell several of the owners.

Vanishing Hound

Location: Shipton Gorge - Exact area unknown
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A dog was encountered by a local man as he walked home late one night. Wanting to move the creature from his path, the man threw a stick at it - the piece of wood passed straight through the hound, causing it to vanish.


Location: Silton - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom holy man has been watched as he moves from the altar to the vestry.


Location: Sixpenny Handley - Bottlebush (or Bottlebrush) Down
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1924, onwards and previous
Further Comments: This figure on horseback is supposed to date from the late Bronze Age, which probably makes him the UK's oldest ghost. When a nearby barrow was excavated, it revealed the bones of a man and horse. The area is also said to be home to fairies.


Location: Sixpenny Handley - Endless Pit (hollow in the ground)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It was reported that ducks in the water filled pit could dive under the water and reappear several miles away in the village of Gussage.

Walking Woman

Location: Sixpenny Handley - Road between Upwood and Deneland, and Common Drive
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early / mid twentieth century
Further Comments: A tall dark woman wearing a cape has been seen by a couple of villagers - she would vanish while walking. Other roads in the area are reputedly haunted by a man who also vanishes without warning.


Location: Sixpenny Handley - Spots Green, between village and Upwood
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1910s
Further Comments: A phantom policeman was observed here before vanishing walking along the road.

Susan Gibbs

Location: Sixpenny Handley - Woodland near Rushmore
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Susan Gibbs, a maid who worked at Rushmore House, was found hanging from a tree in nearby woodland. Her ghost, minus her legs, is said to haunt the woodland path.

Nanny Diamonds

Location: Southwell, Portland - Road between Southwell and Cheyne
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Little folk are still reputed to dance and cause mischief along this piece of road.

Groaning Man

Location: Sparleford - Quaker's Burying Ground (local name for the place where three roads converge)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Quaker, a large man in black clothing, has been seen carrying a spade and jumping over a nearby hedge. After disappearing, loud groans can be heard

Husband, Please.

Location: St Alban's Head - St Aldhelm's Chapel, aka Devil's Chapel
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Chapel still present
Further Comments: By dropping a pin through a hole in the single pillar supporting the roof, girls are said to be able to find a husband. Wishes are also said to be granted by leaving a pin stuck in the wall.

Stained Christ

Location: St Ives - Billsdown Poultry Farm
Type: Other
Date / Time: 1976
Further Comments: The head and shoulders of Christ on a cross became visible in the grey stains on an asbestos hen house wall.

Burning Woman

Location: Stalbridge - Stalbridge Manor (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early nineteenth century
Further Comments: A serving girl who was due to be married to the son of the manor owner was pushed into the fireplace to prevent the union. It is not clear whether the burning figure that haunted the building was that of the girl or the murdering mother who was determine to retain her son's status.

Stone Lions

Location: Stalbridge - Stalbridge Park
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Midnight
Further Comments: The pair of lions that stand on the gateposts to the park leave their positions and drink from a nearby pond when they hear the church bells ring.

Thomas Hardy's Grandfather?

Location: Stinsford - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 December 1919
Further Comments: After placing a sprig of holly on this grandfather's grave, a figure in eighteenth century clothing appeared and said 'A green Christmas'. Hardy replied 'I like a green Christmas', and watched the figure enter the church. Hardy followed, but found the church to be empty.


Location: Stoke Abbott - Between Stoke Abbott and Beaminster
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Driving a phantom coach over road and field, an angry ghost of a former squire is doomed to relive his journey over and over.

Soft Ringing

Location: Stourpaine - Church
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The little people ring the church bells after covering them with dew, ensuring the soft ringing is seldom heard by mortals.

Dog That Still isn't There

Location: Stourpaine - Village square, heading out towards the hills
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: Heard dragging chains as it ran, this phantom hound is never seen. It is thought the dog died while escaping from a master who mistreated it. A similar story is told in Pimperne, Dorset.


Location: Studland - Agglestone (aka Devil's Anvil, aka Devil's Nightcap)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Rock still present
Further Comments: The Agglestone came into being when the Devil, angered by Corfe Castle obstructing his view from Needles Rock (in the Isle of Wight), removed his nightcap and threw it in an attempt to knock the towers over. He failed.


Location: Studland - Cliffs
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The cliffs around this area are known as Old Nick's Ground, while sea stack made from chalk is called Old Harry (Harry being another name for the Devil). Another rock stack that stood here was said to be the Devil's Wife (or Daughter), but it collapsed during a storm in the 1890s; the remains of the stack is just visible during low spring tides. The caves in the cliff are said to still be warm as Harry likes to spend time there.

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