The Paranormal Database

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

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Oxfordshire Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

A Warning to the Superstitious

Location: Heythrop - Heythrop House (original building rebuilt)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1831
Further Comments: One room in this property was said to be haunted, with staff too afraid to enter it after dark. Unfortunately, this belief resulted in an unattended fire spreading out of control and burning the house down. The house was later rebuilt.

Sitting Woman

Location: Highmoor Cross - Witheridge Hill, west of village
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Perched upon a wall in this area, a phantom woman has worry across her pallid face.

Grey Lady

Location: Horspath - Manor house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: December 1878
Further Comments: Killed by her husband and her body hidden in a priest hole, this phantom grey lady has been seen several times. In 1878 a man armed with a pistol fired three rounds at the ghost, only to find two bullet holes left in the wall behind where the figure had stood.

Small or Far Away?

Location: Idstone - East of area
Type: UFO
Date / Time: February 1985
Further Comments: A pilot and another witness stopped their car to have a better look at an orange oval ufo. The pilot did not recognise the oval as any aircraft that she was aware off, and because of the lack of clouds and landmarks could not determine whether the object was large and very far away or smaller and closer.

Peg Legged Man

Location: Iffley - Road running through village
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early twentieth century?
Further Comments: This ghost would wake the village up night after night with the scrapping of his false leg as he passed through the village. The locals paid an old man to dismiss the noisy shade, but the would-be exorcist consumed so much Dutch courage before facing the ghost that the police took him away for being drunk and disorderly.

Ouseley

Location: Ipsden - Area east of village
Type: Other
Date / Time: Early to mid seventeenth century
Further Comments: Ouseley was once a busy little village, until the day it mysteriously vanished without trace...

John Thurlow Reade

Location: Ipsden - Icknield Way, white memorial stone
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 1827?
Further Comments: John's ghost was seen by his mother on the spot now marked by the memorial stone - he had just died in India at roughly the same time of the sighting. The Icknield Way has several more ghosts reported along it, including phantom coaches, shucks, Romans, and Boadicea's legion.

Manipulated Dream

Location: Ipsden - Watch Folly Tree (oak), SW of village
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The tree marks the site where a shepherd boy was murdered by a gang of footpads. If slept under, the dreamer witnesses the crime taking place.

The Devil Helps Thrice

Location: King's Sutton - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Fourteenth century
Further Comments: This church is one of three in the area (Bloxham and Adderbury being the other two) that were paid for by three brothers. One of their workers who helped construct this tower never took any pay, never slept and never ate - he vanished as soon as the tower was built. The brothers were convinced that they were helped by Old Nick.

White Lady

Location: Kingham - Langston Arms Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1964
Further Comments: Her appearance preluded by coughing and shuffling sounds, this apparition of an old woman was seen by staff and customers as she passed down the corridors of the hotel.

Pilot

Location: Kingham - Woodland near Kingham Hill School
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s, mid-2000s
Further Comments: In his autobiography, Guy Pratt mentions that he witnessed a ghost while at the school. Although Guy does not go into detail, he wrote that a piece of folklore stated a RAF pilot crashed nearby but had never been found. During the 2000s, stories continued to be told, with the addition of a big cat that had escaped Cotswold Wildlife Park (although no evidence could be found of the creature's existence).

The Blowing Stone

Location: Kingston Lisle - Blowingstone Hill
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The village is said to have taken its name from when King Alfred used the stone to summon an army to fight the invading Vikings - when blown into, the stone can create a loud, deep note. Another legend says whoever can sound a note that can be heard from the Uffington White Horse Hill, shall be king of England. This may not be legally binding…

James Dashwood

Location: Kirtlington - Village pond
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A ghost that caused a great deal of grief locally, Dashwood was finally bound to the pond, but will be released if the small body of water ever dries up.

Coach

Location: Leafield - Road to Kingstanding
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Two women returning home to Kingstanding heard the approach of a fast moving horse-drawn coach behind them so climbed up a bank to let the vehicle pass. The coach, too wide for the road on which it travelled, passed at speed and left the road, falling into a ditch. The coach then promptly vanished.

Disappearing Cyclist

Location: Little Milton - A329, and Rofford Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2006, and December 2015
Further Comments: A driver heading towards the village spotted a cyclist who disappeared. The driver stopped to see if the cyclist had fallen off their bike but could not find anyone. Nine years later, in the same neighbourhood, the same driver was travelling with their son. Both watched a cyclist disappear, and despite looking, no trace of the cyclist was found.

Faceless Woman

Location: Little Milton - Country Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000
Further Comments: Passing along this country road during the day, a driver passed a tall woman wearing old fashioned dark clothing. Looking back at her through his rear view mirror, the driver realised she had vanished.


The Rollright Stones, England

Dancing Fairies

Location: Long Compton (actually in Warwickshire) - The Rollright Stones - the King Stone and the Whispering Knights
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The King Stone was once a place where fairies danced around. Legend says that the monolith was once a King who was petrified by a witch (though which ruler is unclear). There are so many other smaller stones that it is said to be impossible to count them all. Another set of nearby standing stones known as the Whispering Knights are thought to be the witch's aids, who conspired against the king but were turned to stone anyway.

Servant

Location: Mapledurham - Manor House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The house is said to be haunted by a servant murdered by his short tempered master.

Lady Arabella

Location: Milton Common - Church of St Michael and All Angels
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: December 1968
Further Comments: Dressed in Tudor clothing, this grey lady has been observed moving across the churchyard.

Grey Lady

Location: Minster Lovell - Mill and Old Swan public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Grey Lady unknown, other activities 2008 - 2011
Further Comments: The grey lady is said to be a former landlady who finds it hard to leave. Another woman haunts this site, after hiding in a chest and remaining undiscovered for several years (a la Thomas Haynes Bayly's The Mistletoe Bough). Staff have also reported a knife flying across the restaurant, footsteps and bangs from a locked room, and a man who stood by the bar after closing time who then vanished. Just outside the pub a black figure with no features other than white eyes was spotted.

The Lovell Family

Location: Minster Lovell - Minster Lovell Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The spirits of two of the Lovell family exist here. The first, Francis, was trapped in an underground room when the rest of the building was pulled down on top of the trap door; his body was found 250 years later. William, the second Lovell, can be heard on blustery evenings crying for his bride, who died in a tragic accident while playing hide and seek on their wedding day.

Rosalind

Location: Minster Lovell - White Hart public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A Victorian lady, it is believed that Rosalind took her own life, hanging herself from the staircase. She now sheds tears, though her face is covered by a veil, in remorse for her rash course of action.

Archibald

Location: Moreton - Brook Cottage
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: The occupier of the cottage reported seeing the figure of a man wearing a black cape and top hat. After encountering him several times, and learning to live with his knocking, the occupier nicknamed the ghost Archibald.

Ghost in Waiting

Location: North Leigh - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Not as yet!
Further Comments: Two effigies within the church, Sir William Wilcote and his wife Lady Elizabeth Blacket, are said to have once had their hands close together, but now they farther away. When the distance becomes too great, the Lady Blacket will return to haunt the village.

Vanishing Man

Location: Nuneham Courtenay - A4074 / A423, about a mile northwest of village
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid December, 1969 or 1970
Further Comments: A mother and daughter in their car braked hard to avoid hitting a man who walked out into the busy road from a fence on the right hand side. The man looked quite solid - tall, middle-aged with an early twentieth century hairstyle - but vanished without trace.

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