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Cumbria Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Small Staircase

Location: Beetham - The Fairy Steps
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Too small for normal human use, the stairs are believed to have been designed for fairy use. A local legend says if you can climb them without touching the stone cliffs on either side, you will be granted a wish.


Location: Bennethead - Maiden Castle
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Legend says this hillfort was built by a king to protect his daughter after he was told at her birth she would die by drowning. The princess lived in the fort until reaching her teenage years, when she stumbled and drowned in a barrel filled with water.

Church Stones

Location: Binsey Fell - General area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: misty nights
Further Comments: The Fell was created when a giant accidentally dropped an apron full of rocks that he was using to build a church, to redeem himself from his life of sin and violence. A large ghostly figure wearing an apron is said to appear when the mist grows thick.


Location: Birdoswald - Cambogianna
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The countryside here is another place speculated to be the final battleground of Arthur and Mordred.

Sleeping Place

Location: Blencathra (aka Saddleback) - Concealed under the peak
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Blencathra is another location that may contain King Arthur and his troops, ready to be awoken when Britain requires them most.

Smartly Dressed Male

Location: Bolton - Eden Grove (former school, closed 2013)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The man who reputedly haunted this site had a whiff of tobacco and sweet flowers about him, with a smart wardrobe consisting of sports coat and flannel trousers.

Flowing Blood

Location: Bothel - Bothel Spring (unknown if currently active)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 30 January 1649
Further Comments: On the day King Charles was executed, the spring ran red with blood.


Location: Brampton - Capon Tree (a memorial stone now marks the location)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1746 onwards, said to occur once a year in October, but exact date unknown
Further Comments: Six of Bonnie Prince Charlie's supporters were hanged from the tree that once stood here. Their ghosts were said to appear once a year on the date of their deaths.

Headless Woman

Location: Branthwaite - Exact location unknown
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This decapitated entity moves through the area moaning and crying, according to a local rhyme.

Joseph Wilson

Location: Brigham - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid Eighteenth century to mid Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Wilson was a hangman who finally killed himself out of depression. A stone rope was engraved on his headstone as a tribute to his career choice, but after it was stolen, Wilson started to haunt the area. The ghost disappeared after his grave was desecrated.

Cursed Cranium

Location: Brougham - Brougham Hall
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Creating havoc whenever removed from the property, the skull was finally walled up in part of the building.

Bele Sheephead

Location: Broughton Moor - Moor and roads in the area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local story recounts how a young girl found her pet lamb killed by a fox - instead of mourning, she drank the blood of the lamb and was turned into a human/sheep hybrid (humeep?). This entity has now achieved urban legend status, preying on unsuspecting motorists and killing them if given the chance. The moor is also said to be haunted by a figure known as Bible John, as he carries a bible in which is hidden a pistol.

Scalded Woman

Location: Broughton Moor - Wood House (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This woman was killed in the boiler room of a house which once stood here - her shade returned and screamed so much that the occupiers fled. The haunting was said to have prevented the sale of the house.

Large Cat

Location: Bullgill - General area
Type: ABC
Date / Time: Circa 2009
Further Comments: Sighted in fields around this area, this large cat was said to be too big to be a normal cat, and too small to be anything else.

The British Roswell?

Location: Caldbeck - Cumbrian fells - exact area not known
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 04 March 1954
Further Comments: A disc shaped alien spacecraft crash landed in this area. Three people witnessed the event; a farmer and son who were held by military personnel for two weeks, and a poacher who claimed to have seen two bodies, with 'faces like the Devil's' (the poacher had a breakdown soon after). The RAF (?) removed all evidence of the incident from the area.

Black Dog

Location: Caldbeck - Lane leading to Branthwaite
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Very little is known about the hound that is said to have frequented this area, other than it was black and large.

Chained Person

Location: Caldbeck - Rectory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: While never seen, this ghost can be heard rattling its chains, trying to escape from unknown bounds.

Corpse Candle

Location: Caldbeck - Bushay House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: On several occasions a ghostly light was seen flickering around the garden.

Spinning Balls

Location: Caldbeck - Crossroads at Goose Green
Type: UFO
Date / Time: March 1998, approximately 20:00h
Further Comments: Two witnesses watched three large white spinning balls holding equal distance from each other for around twelve minutes. The balls eventually moved at speed; one flew left, one right, and the third straight up, all vanishing from sight within a couple of seconds.

Black Tom

Location: Camerton - St Peter's church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Black Tom was a former lord, some comparing him to Robin Hood, who is said to have constructed secret tunnels around Camerton. The lord and his whippet are said to haunt these tunnels.


Location: Cark - Victorian farm, Quarry Flats
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1967
Further Comments: Harry Wood told the local press that he was too afraid to go up to his bedroom as voices would keep him awake at night. Harry's sister reported seeing a white shape which pushed open a door - it floated around for a bit before leaving.


Location: Carlisle - A6, Barrock Hill near Carlisle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An infamous highwayman, Whitfield was finally caught and hanged for murder - but the rope was not tight enough and several days later a passing coachman heard Whitfield crying and moaning, dangling from the noose. To end the suffering, the coachman shot the hanging man; Whitfield's ghost can still be heard today crying for help.

Margery Jackson

Location: Carlisle - Botcherby area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: A farm cottage on top of a hill, long since demolished, was said to be haunted by an old woman. Jackson always wore old clothing and wooden clogs and was thought to be poor, though after she died, she was found to have hidden away fifty thousand pounds. it is thought her ghost was seen in one of the houses since built on the site of her home.

Little Man

Location: Carlisle - Brown Lane, opposite the Cathedral
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Circa 1868
Further Comments: Two people watched a little man dressed in brightly coloured clothing with large silver buckles on his shoes vanish into the proverbial thin air.

Labrador-Sized Cat

Location: Carlisle - Bypass close to wooded area near Asda
Type: ABC
Date / Time: 04 August 2012
Further Comments: Raymond Sant reported seeing a large black cat with a long tail, the size of a Labrador, as he and his wife drove to Asda.

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