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Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Cumbria Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Uther Pendragon

Location: Shap - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Winter (reoccurring)
Further Comments: A large man on horseback seen galloping around on winter nights is said to be Uther Pendragon, though his motivation for being here is unclear.

Expected Accident

Location: Shap - A6, Shap Fell
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This large black dog would run across the road before leaping over a cliff that dropped several hundred feet. A few days later a serious accident would occur at that spot.

Hound-Sized Cat

Location: Skelwith Bridge - Road between Skelwith Bridge and Ambleside
Type: ABC
Date / Time: 2008
Further Comments: A witness spotted a grey-coloured creature walking up a small hill with trees on the top. The animal looked about the size of a large dog; it had a greyhound-like head with a long muzzle, but the body was much more like that of a big cat, complete with a long, thick tail.

Drowning Elopers

Location: Skinburness - Waters of the Solway
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: Stormy nights
Further Comments: Skinburness was one of the places that couples travelling to Gretna Green would pass through, hoping to find a ferryman to take them across the Solway. Such a couple and their boatman were drowned when a sudden storm sprang up as they crossed the water, and now their screams and cries can be heard when the weather is right.

Army Marching On

Location: Souter Fell - Side of Mountain visible from Wilton Hall
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 23 June 1744 (reoccurring?)
Further Comments: Over two dozen witnesses saw a mass of troops ascending the mountain on horseback, though there were no real soldiers in the area. The ghostly army had been seen twice before, always on the same date.

One Man and his Dog

Location: Souter Fell - Exact place unknown
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1745
Further Comments: Two men witnessed a man with a hound, pursuing several horses along a steep rocky ridge. Man and beasts suddenly vanished - the witnesses were at first concerned that they had all fallen over the edge of a cliff, though were unable to find any bodies.


Location: Southerfield - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Ghostly horses and their riders are reported to haunt this region.

Headless Lass

Location: Stainmore - Stainmore Pass
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1937
Further Comments: A driver stuck in snow on this pass went for a quick walk on the moorland while waiting for help. He reported seeing a headless woman sitting upon a white horse. A legend claims this to be the daughter of a Norman landowner who was killed by a Saxon chieftain after kidnapping her.

The Baron on Horseback

Location: Stainton - Baron's Hill (local name?)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Winter nights (reoccurring), but last seen nineteenth century?
Further Comments: A baron who took over the land on which a monastery stood had the building dismantled and the stones used to construct his manor house. He was cursed by monk, however, and fell off his horse and broke his neck before the house was finished. His shade still rides around the neighbourhood.

Robert Bateman

Location: Staveley - Reston Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: After building the hall in the mid-eighteenth century, Bateman died abroad - his ghost reputedly spent many years travelling back home where it once again took up residence.


Location: Styhead (aka Sty Head) Pass - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Said to be a thirteenth century outlaw, the ghost of Bjorn wanders the area carrying a bag of living cats. He is easily recognisable, having lost his head.

Sunken Town

Location: Talkin - Talkin Tarn (lake)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A small but wealthy town once stood here. The greed of its residents was legendary, and an angel was sent to investigate, disguised as a beggar. The angel was driven out of town, and it was only on the outskirts that an old woman who lived alone offered him help. As punishment, the town was submerged, but the old lady was spared.

Maggie Stobbart

Location: Talkin - Blacksmith's Arms public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century?
Further Comments: Stobbart was the landlady at the pub at around the Victorian era - her form has been reported since her death.

Cloaked Figure

Location: Tebay - Railway tracks, exact location unknown
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1967
Further Comments: David Johnson, a steam train enthusiast, accidentally caught a ghostly figure on film as he photographed a locomotive in the village.

Lady in Blue Dress

Location: Tebay - Cross Keys public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: This ghostly entity has been seen in a bedroom within the inn, and often moves makeup and toiletries around. Some have named her as Mary Baynes, a local witch who died circa 1811, who was upset with a former landlord after his dog killed the witch's cat.

Mountain Lion

Location: Thirlmere - Forest
Type: ABC
Date / Time: August 2018
Further Comments: A Mountain Leader, supervising a group of teenagers on a DofE Gold expedition, cut through the forest to meet up with them. The leader reached a fifty foot (fifteen metre) clearing and on the other side stood a tan coloured Mountain Lion. Man and cat stood and stared at each other for around a minute before the lion turned and slowly walked into the trees. The lion was headed in the direction the leader wanted to go in, so he retraced his steps and walked around the forest instead.

Leathes Family

Location: Thirlmere - Dalehead, road above
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: In Haunted Britain, Coxe says that a member of the Leathes family haunted this region, but by whom and the exact reason why are unknown.


Location: Thirlmere - Castle Rock
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Gerald Findler, in his book Ghosts of the Lake Counties, alludes to Castle Rock being haunted, but does not state by what.

House with Glowing Windows

Location: Thirlmere - Armboth Hall & Thirlmere lake
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 31 October (reoccurring), Wedding party occurs
Further Comments: After a murder of a newlywed bride, this house was left to fall into ruin. Some people reported that a glowing candle could be seen moving past various windows, while others say a wedding party occurs. The Hall is now lost below the waters of the flooded valley of Thirlmere Lake, which is home to a phantom dog which swims through the water.

Teleporting Relic

Location: Threlkeld - Threlkeld Place
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The home of a skull with history unknown, the relic returned home despite several attempts by the property owners to dispose of it. They finally stopped trying and bricked up the skull behind a wall.

Thomas Lancaster

Location: Threlkeld - Sawrey Casey
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1671 onwards
Further Comments: Lancaster was found guilty of poisoning his wife, her three sisters, her father, her aunt, her cousin and a servant. He was hanged from his own doorway at Hye Wrey before his body hung from a gibbet at Sawrey Casey. Even after his body was removed from the gibbet, people still reported seeing him there.

Putrid Smell

Location: Threlkeld - Private house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1980s
Further Comments: A nasty, putrid smell could only be detected by women in the oldest part of this property, and if a man were called to investigate, the smell would dissipate. A builder replaced the plaster, floorboards and ceiling, but nothing could be found to explain the smell. Years later the residents discovered a double murder had occurred here, the victims both being female.

Wolf Victim

Location: Ulpha - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A woman who was killed by wolves is still said to haunt this area.

Older Woman

Location: Ulverston - Private residence
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Circa 1996
Further Comments: A woman waiting outside her boyfriend's parents' house in a car spotted his mother at an upstairs window. The woman waved but received no acknowledgement in return. When the boyfriend came to the car, the woman mentioned spotting the mother upstairs, only to be told he was alone in the house. The boyfriend returned to check the house and found it empty. The woman released the figure stood at an odd angle and was not quite clear.


Location: Upper Wasdale - Exact location unknown
Type: Other
Date / Time: 16 March 1860
Further Comments: Pieces of ice so large that 'it looked like a flock of sheep from a distance' fell here during a period of snow.

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