Haunted Trees and other Myths & Legends of the Forest

Long Necked Entities

Location: Fritton (Norfolk) - Fritton Woods
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: July 1997
Further Comments: Two strange, dark human like creatures startled a couple as they sat in their car at the woods - the witnesses said the entities were quite tall, and had long necks and hands. When the car was started and the headlights turned on, the creatures vanished behind a tree.


Location: Glenullen (County Derry / County Londonderry) - General area, Abhartach's final resting place marked by a large stone with a thorn tree growing up from the side
Type: Vampire
Date / Time: Fifth century
Further Comments: In a battle for the throne, the warrior Cathrain killed his rival Abhartach. Abhartach, however, returned from the grave two days later and preyed on the locals. Cathrain once again killed the undead fiend, but two days later, Abhartach came back and continued his attacks. Cathrain discussed the problem with druids, who told him to stab his adversary through the heart with a weapon made of yew. This he did, and Abhartach never returned.

Pony Sized Dog

Location: Grantown (Moray) - A939, normally around the Glenlivet forest area
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This strange hound stands as tall as a pony, has green tinted fur, and either has a very small head or none at all.

Old Ned

Location: Grindleford (Derbyshire) - Stoke Hall (currently a hotel)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Headless woman 1880s, other sightings not known.
Further Comments: Ned hanged himself in a barn close to the hall, though he first tried to tie the rope around the branches of several nearby trees which all broke under his weight. His shade can be seen running around the trees, repeating the search for a suitable hanging location. Author Wayne Anthony says that the hall itself is reputedly haunted by Fair Flora, murdered nearby by persons unknown, and a headless lass who was seen walking down the stairs in the 1880s.

Wailing Cries of Two Lost Children

Location: Griston (Norfolk) - Wayland Woods, near Griston
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Having 'inherited' two of his brother's children, an uncaring uncle lured the youngsters into the forest and left them there to die. The children can still be heard on moonless nights, crying for help. This is possibly the source of the classic 'Babes in the Woods' story.

Lady Winter

Location: Haddington (Lincolnshire) - Lady Winter's Walk
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This headless figure walks under the trees, awaiting her husbands return.

Georgian House

Location: Hadleigh (Essex) - Wood between Leigh-on-Sea and Hadleigh
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 1946
Further Comments: While walking a familiar path, a brother and sister spotted a strange Georgian house that they had never seen before. A girl and a dog walked down the driveway, and passed them. They were later unable to locate the house, even on old maps. M H Coleman, writing in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (vol 63, no 853) does offer compelling evidence that the house actually exists, and the witnesses were mistaken in their belief that what they had seen was ghostly.

Charlie Pearce

Location: Havant (Hampshire) - Havant Forest, Gypsies' Clump
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Charlie died whilst drinking gin on horseback - he hit an overhanging branch while his mare galloped along a darkened path, crushing his windpipe and killing him almost instantly. Those wounds are immediately apparent on his phantom.


Location: Haytor (Devon) - Woods near the village
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Said to come and go irregularly, the cottage matches none that can be remembered or placed in the area.


Location: Highclere (Hampshire) - Church
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A tree in the churchyard was home to a Grampus, a kind of water loving animal similar to a dolphin. After upsetting the locals (by harassing their teenage daughters), a priest was called in and banished the creature for a thousand years.

Aeroplane Crash

Location: Hockley (Essex) - Woods
Type: Other
Date / Time: Summer 1973
Further Comments: A person called police after hearing a loud crash and screams for help in the woods, which they thought to be an aircraft crash. On investigation, nothing could be found.

Long Wyrm

Location: Holford (Somerset) - Shervage Wood
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This wood was once the home of a long dragon, which caused some concern prior to being hacked apart by a forester.

Poisonous Dragon

Location: Horsham (Sussex) - St Leonard's Forest
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: 1614
Further Comments: This wooded area was home to a nine foot long dragon in the seventeenth century - it killed men with its poison, but didn't eat them, preferring rabbits and smaller creatures. It was coloured black, with a red belly. Even today, there are reports of another unknown creature that travels in the branches of the trees, rarely descending to the forest floor.

Duke of Monmouth

Location: Horton (Dorset) - Woodlands - Monmouth Ash Tree
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 16 July (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Even though the Duke was executed at the Tower of London, his ghost now frequents the area he was captured after his failed rebellion. The ghost is said to carry his head in his hands.

Headless Bird Man

Location: Hythe (Kent) - Sandling Park
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: November 1963
Further Comments: A group of teenagers ran from a creature that emerged from behind a tree and approached them. It was described as man shaped but headless, completely black, had webbed feet, and a pair of large bat wings. Prior to this, they had watched a mysterious light flickering about the sky.

Manipulated Dream

Location: Ipsden (Oxfordshire) - Watch Folly Tree (oak), SW of village
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The tree marks the site where a shepherd boy was murdered by a gang of footpads. If slept under, the dreamer witnesses the crime taking place.

Big Collie

Location: Keighley (Yorkshire) - Woods just outside village
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1893
Further Comments: This spectral dog appeared briefly to prevent a robbery on the roadside, vanishing once the threat had passed.


Location: Kellington (Yorkshire) - Marshy forest
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A shepherd called Ormroyd and his faithful dog fought a dragon which lived here; the pair managed to slay the creature, though died soon after.

Stone Snakes

Location: Keynsham (Somerset) - Forest
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Saint Keyna once lived in the woodland in this area, and is said to have turned all the snakes into stone.

The Thing of Delamere

Location: Kingsley (Cheshire) - Delamere Forest
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1974
Further Comments: Many locals reported a dog-like creature in the forest here, standing sixty centimetres tall. While the beast was described as having a tail similar to a fox, it looked more like an Alsatian dog.


Location: Kingston by Sea (Sussex) - Unknown tree in the area
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: There is said to be a tree somewhere in this area where the skeleton of a murdered man is intertwined amongst its roots. Running around the tree seven (or nine) times is said to summon Old Nick.


Location: Knaresborough (Yorkshire) - Nearby Forest
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Dressed in white clothing, this small squad of soldiers were armed with swords. The one that appeared to be in command wore red.

Boy playing Flute

Location: Liphook (Hampshire) - General area
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This figure was seen and heard on the lanes, in trees and behind bushes in this village - the music he produced described as enchanting, but with an underlying danger. The same area is haunted by a pale white calf.


Location: Little Wakering (Essex) - Tree between Barrow Hall Road & Little Wakering Road
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It was once said that running around the tree one hundred times would summon the ghost of a baker who hanged himself there. Unfortunately, the tree no longer stands, and a housing estate has replaced it.

White Hound of Feens

Location: Littlewick Green (Berkshire) - Wooded area
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: 1985 / 1986
Further Comments: A legend says this hound, which can be heard howling in the night, is sometimes accompanied by a young lady in grey on horseback. She, in turn, has been known to ride with a wild hunt called the Dorcas Noble, in an attempt to win the heart of a former boyfriend. A large white hound was seen in the area during the 1980s - the size of an Irish Wolfhound, in one instance the creature vanished as if running behind a black sheet.

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