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Dorset Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Another Thrown Stone

Location: Shaftesbury - The Popple Stone, Doncliffe Hall Farm (private property)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This large stone was thrown into position by the Devil (as he chilled at Bul Barrow).


Location: Shaftesbury - Shaftesbury Abbey
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Monk unknown, man in 1971
Further Comments: When this man died, he was the only one to know the true location of the Abbey's hidden treasure. He now returns to ensure it remains hidden. It is worth noting that the ghost 'walks' on his knees - one assumes this is because of a change in ground level. Several people claimed to have seen a phantom man running around the ruins at night; some say that this was the ghost of King Edward.

Grey Lady

Location: Shaftesbury - Grosvenor Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: This phantom woman is thought to be a nun who escaped from a nearby Abbey. An ethereal, hooded monk is also reported to haunt the hotel cellar, and some guests have reported having their sheets removed.

Two Men with Pack Horses

Location: Shaftesbury - Gold Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Two men leading pack horses escort the body of Edward the Martyr Prince to his final resting place.


Location: Shaftesbury - Area close to St James' Rectory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early twentieth century
Further Comments: Three phantom monks wearing wide-brimmed hats were spotted by a local man.

Cloven Hoof Card Player

Location: Shaftesbury - Three hundred year old barn (likely no longer standing), French Mill Lane
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The story goes that young people would meet at the barn to play cards on a Sunday. One day they were joined by a stranger who sat in for a couple of games. He dropped a card, and as he bent down to pick it up, other players spotted that he had a cloven hoof. None of the card players ever played on a Sunday again.

Shadowy Woman

Location: Shaftsbury - Grosvenor Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This building has been home to sightings of a phantasmal grey lady and phantom monks. An order of monks once lived here before the building became a public house.

Arthur's Victory

Location: Shapwick - Badbury Rings
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Battle in sixth century(?), entities in late twentieth century
Further Comments: This hillfort has been named by some as the location where King Arthur defeated the Saxons. Several phantasmic events also surround the Rings, including the sighting of a ghostly warrior on horseback, a spectral woman wearing a black dress, and an ugly dwarf-like entity which peers into the windows of parked cars. Finally, there are stories of a golden coffin buried in the area.

Irish Wolfhound

Location: Shapwick - Road surrounding Badbury Rings
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A large phantom dog that has been reported running along the road is thought to be an Irish Wolfhound looking for his master.

Sir Walter

Location: Sherborne - 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.

Murdered Farmer

Location: Shillingstone - Gain's Cross
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century?
Further Comments: A murdered farmer took up haunting this lane and could be seen sitting on an old wooden gate. When the gate fell apart, it was replaced with a metal one, which apparently drove the ghost away.

White Woman

Location: Shipton Gorge - Private residence along Dorchester Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A headless woman in a white gown was said to haunt this location.


Location: Shipton Gorge - Location which was known as Gadger's Hole
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Midnight (reoccurring), but date unknown (likely nineteenth century)
Further Comments: This was one of several sites across Dorset where a phantom funeral procession was reportedly seen

Vanishing Hound

Location: Shipton Gorge - Exact area unknown
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A dog was encountered by a local man as he walked home late one night. Wanting to move the creature from his path, the man threw a stick at it - the piece of wood passed straight through the hound, causing it to vanish.


Location: Silton - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom holy man has been watched as he moves from the altar to the vestry.


Location: Sixpenny Handley - Spots Green, between village and Upwood
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1910s
Further Comments: A phantom policeman was observed walking along the road before vanishing.

Susan Gibbs

Location: Sixpenny Handley - Woodland near Rushmore
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Susan Gibbs, a maid who worked at Rushmore House, was found hanging from a tree in nearby woodland. Her ghost, minus her legs, is said to haunt the woodland path.

Walking Woman

Location: Sixpenny Handley - Road between Upwood and Deneland, and Common Drive
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early / mid twentieth century
Further Comments: A tall dark woman wearing a cape has been seen by a couple of villagers - she would vanish while walking. Other roads in the area are reputedly haunted by a man who also vanishes without warning.


Location: Sixpenny Handley - Endless Pit (hollow in the ground)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It was reported that ducks in the water filled pit could dive under the water and reappear several miles away in the village of Gussage.


Location: Sixpenny Handley - Bottlebush (or Bottlebrush) Down
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1924, onwards and previous
Further Comments: This figure on horseback is supposed to date from the late Bronze Age, which probably makes him the UK's oldest ghost. When a nearby barrow was excavated, it revealed the bones of a man and horse. The area is also said to be home to fairies.

Nanny Diamonds

Location: Southwell, Portland - Road between Southwell and Cheyne
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Little folk are still reputed to dance and cause mischief along this piece of road.

Groaning Man

Location: Sparleford - Quaker's Burying Ground (local name for the place where three roads converge)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Quaker, a large man in black clothing, has been seen carrying a spade and jumping over a nearby hedge. After disappearing, loud groans can be heard

Husband, Please.

Location: St Alban's Head - St Aldhelm's Chapel, aka Devil's Chapel
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Chapel still present
Further Comments: By dropping a pin through a hole in the single pillar supporting the roof, girls are said to be able to find a husband. Wishes are also said to be granted by leaving a pin stuck in the wall.

Stained Christ

Location: St Ives - Billsdown Poultry Farm
Type: Other
Date / Time: 1976
Further Comments: The head and shoulders of Christ on a cross became visible in the grey stains on an asbestos hen house wall.

Stone Lions

Location: Stalbridge - Stalbridge Park
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Midnight
Further Comments: The pair of lions that stand on the gateposts to the park leave their positions and drink from a nearby pond when they hear the church bells ring.

Records 326 - 349 of 349

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