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

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Derbyshire Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana


Location: Belper - Manor House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940s
Further Comments: One report from this building concerns a phantom stranger. A woman sleeping here awoke to mounting pressure on her neck and the heavy breathing of a man. However, she could see no one in the light of the moon.

Old Lady

Location: Birchover - Druid Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 08 January 2012, around 23:00h
Further Comments: A worker at this public house watched the elderly lady drift through the older part of the building before vanishing into a wall.

Cloaked Man

Location: Birchover - Rowter Rocks
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wayne Anthony, in Haunted Derbyshire and the Peak District, writes the phantom that haunts the area around the rocks is said to be a cloaked man who appears to travellers passing the area alone.

An old postcard of Derbyshire's Bolsover Castle

Burning Baby

Location: Bolsover - Bolsover Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wayne Anthony, in Haunted Derbyshire and the Peak District, writes that the ghostly woman seen in the kitchen area of the castle carefully places a small child into the fireplace before vanishing. Phantoms have also been reported in the chamber under the castle - a man wearing ruffs and a woman in a scarf have been spotted standing together just before vanishing.

Almost a Disc

Location: Bonsall - Over village
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 2000
Further Comments: A UFO videotaped over the village was circular with a semicircle missing from an edge, rather like a digestive biscuit with a bite taken from it.

Headless Woman

Location: Bowshaw - Unknown road (led to Hullat Hall (likely no longer exists))
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A second headless woman was said to haunt another road in this area.

The Fish

Location: Bradwell - Lumley Pool and nearby wells
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 25 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: A local wiseman by the name of Master John transformed the spirit of a murdered girl who had taken to haunting the neighbourhood into a fish. This ghostly fish would appear in nearby waters on Christmas Day.

Invisible to Some

Location: Bradwell - Town gates?
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Only one of the two lead miners playing cards at the gates to the town could see a large black dog as it approached them. The man tried to point the creature out to his co-worker, but his friend was completely obvious to the phantom hound which then disappeared. Shaken, the witness refused to go to work the following day, and later heard his co-worker and several others had been killed when a shaft collapsed.


Location: Bradwell - Wells in the village
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Easter Sunday (tradition died out nineteenth century?)
Further Comments: Children in the area would drop pins in the village wells for luck. Each well had a fairy protector who would know whether a child had not performed the ritual. The following day, children had glass bottles tied around their necks on string; if a child had not dropped a pin, the fairies would break their bottle.

Margaret Vernon

Location: Bradwell Dale - Hazelbadge Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Margaret lost her mind after her lover married another woman - her shade is seen leaving the hall on horseback, riding off to the church where her boyfriend wed.

Queen Elizabeth

Location: Bradwell Vale - Heading towards Hazelbadge Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Once yearly, though exact date not known
Further Comments: Travelling with a royal entourage, the ghost of Queen Elizabeth I heads towards the hall.

Misty Figure

Location: Branston - Clays Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 10 March 2019
Further Comments: A local news outlet reported that a couple had encountered a misty figure which ran out in front of their car before vanishing.

Woman in Floral Dress

Location: Bretby - Mount Road and Ashby Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2015
Further Comments: A local newspaper carried two stories about drivers who had spotted a woman in a floral dress standing on the roadside. On one occasion she stood with a bicycle. As one driver passed her, they looked in their rear view mirror and noticed that she had vanished.

Cedar of Lebanon

Location: Bretby - Tree on the grounds of Bretby Hospital (no longer standing)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Tree felled during 1950s
Further Comments: A local legend said that Lady Margaret had thrown herself off a tower here, her blood spilling on the tree which resulted in it being cursed. If a branch fell from the tree, a member of the family residing at the hall was said to die soon after.


Location: Bretton Clough - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1930s
Further Comments: Riding across the moorland with a pack of hounds, this phantom huntsman once ensured no one strayed onto his lands at night. The apparition was last heard by two friend who were unaware of the legend.

Farm Girl

Location: Brough - Traveller's Rest public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The pub is haunted by a local farm girl who died after falling down the stairs trying to escape a drunken labourer on Christmas Eve. A phantom woman in black has also been seen drifting around the inn holding a large set of old fashioned keys.

Under the Bed

Location: Burbage - Trafalgar House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One owner of the house heard doggy footsteps run along the corridor outside his bedroom that then entered his room and stopped under the bed. Believing the sound to have been created by his dog, the man turned on the light and looked but could see nothing there. He also realised that the door to the bedroom was closed, making it impossible for the dog to enter. The house was also haunted by an entity that opened and closed doors.


Location: Burbage Bridge - Layby along Ringinglow Road
Type: Other
Date / Time: 11 December 2016
Further Comments: Two witnesses in the back of a camper van heard horse's hooves outside their vehicle (even though they did not hear the creature approach). They heard the creature depart before it returned soon after, this time brushing against the rear window. The witnesses drove away, unable to see anything in the darkness. The driver turned the van around a few hundred metres down the road and returned to see what had been harassing them, but nothing was found.

Speed Wolf

Location: Buxton - A6 northeast of Buxton
Type: Werewolf
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Although this creature is reported to resemble a normal wolf, it moves at fantastic speeds and covers great distances in a single bound. It is unclear whether the wolf is a physical entity, but the nearby village of Wormhill claims to be the location where the last wolf in England was killed in the sixteenth century.

Ben Stiles

Location: Buxton - Harpur Hill area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Wayne Anthony, in Haunted Derbyshire and the Peak District, writes that the body of a man named as Ben was discovered here, and as no one knew his surname, locals referred to him as 'Stiles'. Maybe upset at this, Ben's ghost would appear at dusk and hang around until daybreak.

Water Spirit

Location: Buxton - Moorland near the Roaches
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Appearing just before the witness went skinny-dipping, this thirty foot tall water elemental scared the potential swimmer away.

Headless Shadow

Location: Buxton - Newhaven Inn, between Buxton and Ashbourne
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One witness described this entity as a black and grey shadow without a head. Thankfully, the ghost is more likely to manifest phantom footsteps along the corridors.


Location: Buxton - Old Hall Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Mary Queen of Scots stayed in room 26 prior to her execution. Some believe her presence is still felt.


Location: Buxton - Skies above Harpur Hill area
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 1973-1974
Further Comments: A phantom helicopter was reported flying around the area at night several times over a two year period. Press and police were unable to discover who or what was behind the mysterious craft.

Pretty Nun

Location: Buxton - Yhelt Cottage
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1951-1953
Further Comments: A pretty nun in her late twenties surrounded by light haunted this cottage for a couple of years, subjecting the occupants to poltergeist activities and infrequent visitations until exorcised.

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