Haunted Trees and other Myths & Legends of the Forest

Jane Seymour

Location: Owslebury (Hampshire) - Marwell Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The family once owned this property, and Jane is thought to haunt the surrounding grounds. The shade of Anne Boleyn has also been reported loitering near a row of nearby yew trees.

Ninety Nine Yews

Location: Painswick (Gloucestershire) - Churchyard
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Ninety nine yew trees stand in this churchyard. It is said that it is impossible to grow another yew tree in the churchyard, as the devil always comes and removes it. . .

White Lady

Location: Panshanger Woods (Hertfordshire) - Area near an abandoned decoy air shelter
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: December 1990?
Further Comments: This area is rumoured to be haunted by a woman who committed infanticide.

Crested Dragons

Location: Penllyn (South Glamorgan) - Penllyn Castle, and surrounding woods
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: 1800s
Further Comments: The dragons (or winged snakes, according to other sources) here were once said to be quite common, if not a little shy. They snacked on the local produce, and sparkled and shimmered when escaping farmers; they were eventually all killed.

Hounds All Black and Wide-Eyed

Location: Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) - In all the woods between Stamford and Peterborough
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Between Lent and Easter (reoccurring), but last reported 1100s
Further Comments: These woods were the scene of a wild hunt, which included large black hounds and loathsome riders on the backs of mares and goats.

Pleased to Meet you...

Location: Pluckley (Kent) - Devil's Bush
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An unknown bush in the village can be used to summon the Devil, by dancing three (or thirteen) times around it, and / or saying (or not saying) a spell.


Location: Pluckley (Kent) - Screaming Woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local legend says that the screams which emerge from the woodland belong to those who became lost and died amongst the trees.


Location: Polstead (Suffolk) - Garden of Rectory, and across fields
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The spectre of a monk has been reported in the back garden of the Rectory here, sometimes walking across the fields and vanishing near Corder's House. Children living at the sight have often reported seeing other phantom children playing under the trees in the grounds of the rectory; adults have been unable to see anything.

Bleeding Elm

Location: Radstock (Somerset) - Round Hill Tump (aka Woodborough)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Pre 1937
Further Comments: An elm (or possibly an oak) tree that grew upon the barrow was reported to bleed if cut.

Maud Toogood

Location: Ramsbury (Wiltshire) - Elm tree in village (now replaced with an oak)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Oak still present
Further Comments: A hollow elm tree which was killed off by Dutch elm disease was replaced with an oak. One of the reasons for the replacement was that the shade of a local witch had taken up residence in the tree, and locals were worried that she may curse the area if the elm was fell.

Tree Spirit

Location: Ribchester (Lancashire) - Hothersall Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A ghost that pestered this household was laid under a nearby tree - while the plant lives, the spirit can not escape.

Hooded Figure

Location: Salcey Forest (Northamptonshire) - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This figure, covered so no flesh is visible, is sometimes seen darting between the trees. It could be a lover of Nell Gwynn, who the king had murdered.

Nellie & Charlie

Location: Salcey Forest (Northamptonshire) - Salcey Lawn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The figures of Nell Gwynn and King Charles II have been seen on the property, though never together.

Wild Man of the Woods

Location: Salisbury (Wiltshire) - Woodland near the town
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1877
Further Comments: A wild man who lived in the woods was shot at when he attacked and tried to kidnap a local farmer's wife. The creature was never seen again.

Black Hounds

Location: Savernake Forest (Wiltshire) - General area
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The forest is reported to be home of several black dogs which bring ill fortune to any witnesses. There are also stories of a ghostly white deer which darts between the trees, a headless woman riding on horseback, and a coach and horses which leaves the forest and heads towards a nearby farm.


Location: SE23 (Greater London) - One Tree Hill, Honor Oak Park, Dulwich
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1948
Further Comments: A female dancer was seen performing perfect complex ballet moves on the hill late at night, without making a sound on the debris ridden ground.

Sir Walter

Location: Sherborne (Dorset) - 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.

Headless Sister

Location: Sherston (Wiltshire) - Pinkney Park
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The house connected to the park is home to a skull of a woman - it is believed to belong to the ghost of a young girl who carries her head under her arm, killed by her own sister. Another legend connected to the park is the 'Elm-Ash' tree, a single tree comprising of both types of wood given in its name - it was said to have grown from the grave of a male suicide into which two wooden stakes were thrust to ensure he did not return.

Upright Beast

Location: Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire) - Deep within the forest
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A local teenage myth says that the forest is home to a tall hairy man, whose eyes glow red in the dark. There is a chance that this is a modern version of the tree spirits that were once said to live here.

Faces in the Trees

Location: Sibton (Suffolk) - Village Green, Nearby trees
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The location where a fight between two gypsies resulted in both their deaths, the trees are said to have taken on a life of their own; faces will appear in their branches, and the leaves drip blood.

Peasant Girl

Location: Silverstone (Northamptonshire) - Whittlebury Forest (and site of the former woodland)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A knight took his own life after having his love rejected by a peasant girl. Lying in his own blood, the knight cursed her, and she died soon after. The peasant's ghost remains in the forest. Another entity reported to haunt the area is the wild hunt, complete with headless horseman (thought by some to be the aforementioned knight).

Grey Lady

Location: Sissinghurst (Kent) - Approaching the village from Wilsley Pound
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s?
Further Comments: By a large tree near a white house on the approach to Sissinghurst from Wilsley Pound, a phantom grey lady occasionally stands.

Shaking Tree

Location: Stalybridge (Lancashire) - Unknown farm
Type: Other
Date / Time: Prior to a death in the family
Further Comments: The leaves in this tree would shake violently just prior to a family member dying, regardless of wind and weather conditions.

Sarah Harrington

Location: Staveley (Derbyshire) - The Hagge (former mansion, now a farm house)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Harrington was a former Maid of Honor to Queen Henrietta, and is thought to be the phantom woman in white who haunts this building. A mighty oak which stood in the garden was thought to scream and bled when cut; unfortunately the tree blew down during a gale in 1883.

Elderly Lady in Flowery Dress

Location: Stithians (Cornwall) - Kennall Vale woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: September 2004
Further Comments: Two people out for a walk in the woods watched an elderly lady bending down ahead of them, appearing to be picking something up from the ground. The witnesses looked away from the woman briefly, during which time she quickly vanished. The area is also said to be haunted by mill workers.

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