The Paranormal Database

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

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Dorset Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Panther

Location: Dorchester - Field near Dorchester Football Stadium, and Talbothays Road
Type: ABC
Date / Time: August 2007, and 2006
Further Comments: This large black cat, said by the witness to be the size of an Alsatian, was observed for several seconds in 2007. The year previous, another (or the same) black cat was spotted along Talbothays Road.

Horses

Location: Dorchester - Icen Way
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sounds of horses dragging prisoners to their execution site are said to be heard along this road.

Condemned Man

Location: Dorchester - Judge Jeffrey's Restaurant
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Used as a court room by Judge Jeffreys, the ghost that reputedly haunts this building is one of many that the Judge had hanged.

Dreaming Dreams

Location: Dorchester - Maumbury Rings
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A Neolithic henge and Roman amphitheatre, those who fall asleep here are said to dream only of the Roman soldiers who frequented the area.

Wildmen

Location: Dorchester - Yellowham Hill
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown (but not recent)
Further Comments: This area was once thought to be the home of large hairy men, who abducted women.

Coach in the House

Location: Dorchester - Wolfeton (aka Wolveton) House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One owner of the property won a large amount of money when he drove a horse and coach up the stairs inside the house - his victorious ghost reportedly re-enacts the antic. A separate entity is that of a headless grey woman, a member of the Trenchard family who slit her own throat, while a priest is said to haunt the gatehouse (where he was held prisoner).

Gorilla?

Location: Dorchester - Unnamed Park
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: March 2013
Further Comments: A teenager photographed a strange creature close to her home in parkland, before it ran up a tree and disappeared. The teenager said the creature resembled and moved like a small gorilla, although the nearby Monkey World attraction denied they were missing any of their animals.

Water Fairies

Location: Dorchester - Thorncombe Wood - Rushy Pond
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: While some say this pond is home to fairies, others maintain it is home to a more spectral entity (though who or what is unclear).

Grey Lady

Location: Dorchester - Site of gibbet
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom figure seen around the site where the gibbet was stood is thought to be either a Tudor woman or the ghost of Martha Brown, the last woman to be hanged for murder in Dorset.

Prisoner

Location: Dorchester - Pond along towpath
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century onwards?
Further Comments: An escaping prisoner tripped and drowned in this pond, weighed down by his chains. The sound of rattling is still said to haunt the area.

The Only Way is Up

Location: Dorchester - Old Malthouse, High East Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century?
Further Comments: The sounds of someone climbing the stairs and opening a door were heard several times by a former occupant of the building, though they never heard anyone come back down. Upon investigation, the upper part of the building was always found empty.

Headless Woman

Location: Dorchester - Dorset County Museum
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid 2010
Further Comments: The PIT (Paranormal Investigation Team) group claimed to have photographed two entities within the museum, Judge George Jeffreys and Mary Anning. The latter was headless in her picture.

Laurence

Location: Dorchester - Antelope public house (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Lawrence of Arabia would once frequent this public house, and it was said that the figure in motorcycling gear that would appear by the fireplace was the man himself.

Lantern Carrier

Location: Dorchester - A352 roundabout (towards Bournemouth)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Summer 1992
Further Comments: While returning from a gig with a friend, one man drove past a figure holding a lantern. The figure resembled the old man featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin IV. The driver asked his friend whether he could see the figure, to which the friend replied 'Yes, don't stop'.

Nurse Kitty

Location: Dorchester - Former hospital, Prince's Street (since redeveloped)
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Nicknamed Kitty by other staff members, this phantom nurse was said to appear shortly before a patient died.

Jeffreys

Location: Dorchester - Shopping arcade along Antelope Way
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Hanging Judge is said to walk in this area, following a path that he took during life.

Nathaniel Templeman

Location: Dorchester - St Peter's Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 or 25 December 1814
Further Comments: A former rector, Templeman is only said to materialise to protect the church and its property against thieves and vandals. He was also seen in 1814 by two churchwardens as they rested after decorating the church - they made the mistake of drinking communion wine to warm themselves up, and Templeman manifested to shake his head at them before floating along the north aisle and disappearing.

Woman in Bonnet

Location: Dorchester - Wessex Royal Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wearing a bonnet and a long dark dress, this phantom woman has been seen from outside the hotel, glazing from a window on the ground floor.

Roman

Location: Dudsbury - Hillfort known as Riddles Ford (near Redhill Common)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The ghostly Roman soldier is thought to have once been stationed in the area.

Nurse

Location: Durweston - Area of land close to the rectory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre-twentieth century
Further Comments: A ghostly nurse was said to haunt this area, and if seen by a child, the child would die within a year. When a bishop heard of the haunting, he visited and laid the ghost.

Hammering

Location: Durweston - Unnamed cottage, Norton
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Winter 1894/95
Further Comments: Two orphan girls moved into a cottage occupied by Mrs Best, followed by an outbreak of poltergeist activity. Gentle raps soon became hammer blows, and stones were thrown through windows. Spirit writing manifested, claiming that money was hidden in the garden, although none could be found. When the girls were moved out, the poltergeist ceased.

Horse & Cart

Location: Durweston - River Stour
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The phantom horse and cart that haunts this area came into being after falling into the river and vanishing without trace.

Moved Church

Location: East Chelborough - Castle Hill
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A church was in the process of being constructed at the base of this hill when local fairies took exception. They moved all the stones to Lewcombe, where the church was finally built.

Mother and Child

Location: East Lulworth - Unnamed road in the area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1982
Further Comments: A driver passed a mother and child both dressed in clothing from the 1860s; the child was crying, and the mother looked angry. When the driver turned for another look, the figures had vanished. The driver spotted the couple several times in the same area during 1982, but never again after the year ended.

Fighting Armies

Location: East Lulworth - Flower's Barrow and Grange Hill
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: December, during wartime
Further Comments: The ghostly figures found here when Britain is at war generate screams, horses and the clashing of swords as they move over the hills overlooking the coast. The apparitions are said to have last appeared during the Second World War.

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